Best External Hard Drives for iPad iMore 2020
There are a few factors to consider when picking the best external hard drive for your iPad: how often you store your files, how many files you store, and how easily you need access to your files. Different types of external hard drives will work better, depending on your personal needs. We recommend the Toshiba Canvio Advance as it has a high storage capacity and is built into one hard drive.
- Best Overall: Toshiba Canvio Advance
- Best Value: SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive
- Best Portability: iDiskk 256GB iPad Lightning Flash Drive
- Best Capacity: Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro
- Best for all Apple Devices: iDiskk 1TB (1024GB) iPad pro External Hard Drive
Best Overall: Toshiba Canvio Advance
The Toshiba Canvio Advance has a slim and stylish design, measuring in at 2.5 inches. It comes in fun and vibrant colors to reflect and fit your style. Its high storage capacity of 4TB is capable of storing thousands of media files and documents. Compatible with USB 2.0 devices, but powered by USB 3.0 technology, the Toshiba Canvio Advance runs extremely fast, allowing you to transfer and organize your files at a rapid pace. You do require an adaptor for thunderbolt connectivity, however.
You never have to worry about theft of your files as the Canvio Advance is password protected. It also comes equipped with Toshiba Storage Security Software for added protection. Simply set a time and interval, and this device will backup automatically.
You don't have to worry about the Toshiba Canvio Advance hard drive breaking down after a short period as it has been time-tested for reliable performance. It comes backed by a 2-year warranty, so you can use your device freely with peace of mind.
- Time-tested for reliable results
- Password protected
- Great amount of storage space
- Requires an adaptor for thunderbolt connectivity
Time-tested and password protected
This hard drive is time-tested for reliable performance and is password protected to keep your files safe
Best Value: SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive
This small and useful hard drive measures in at 2.32 by 0.51 by 0.66 inches, and is specifically made for newer iOS devices. It has an Apple Lightning connector and a USB 3.0 connector built into its practical J-shaped design, which makes it easy to connect your iPad or mobile devices. The flexibility of the design makes it so that you don't even need to remove your iPad's protective casing before connecting. This also gives you the ability to upload your images and files from your iPad to the device instantly.
Instead of wasting storage space by storing your images on your iPad or iPhone, simply plug into the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive and save your files directly on to the hard drive. This opens up space on your iOS devices, ensuring that your applications continue running smoothly. You can also keep movies and TV shows on this external hard drive for those long days of travel.
With the SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive, you can download the iXpand app and create a password to ensure that all of your files stay protected across all of your devices. Some customers mention that the app can be difficult to use.
- Has an Apple Lightning connector
- Can plug in iPad without removing protective case
- Equipped with USB 3.0 connector
- iXpand app can be difficult to use
A built-in Lightening connector
The built-in Lightning connector enables users to quickly and easily upload files directly from their iPad.
Best Portability: iDiskk 256GB iPad Lightning Flash Drive
With 256 GB of external storage, the iDiskk 256GB iPad Lightning Flash Drive is a great choice. Measuring in at 4.2 by 3.1 by 0.9 inches, this compact external hard drive for iPads is lightweight and portable. With its built-in Thunderbolt Lightning connector, you can easily connect to your iOS devices without the use of an additional cable.
The iDiskk 256GB iPad Lightning Flash Drive delivers rapid transfer speeds. Transfer large files such as movies in as little as 20 seconds with the built-in USB 3.0 connector. With this external hard drive, you can create videos via the in-app camera features and back them up automatically to the iDiskk. The built-in password and touch ID protection software will keep all of your files, photos, and videos safe and encrypted.
This external hard drive is designed with a connector that measures in at 4-millimeters longer than a traditional connector. This allows for easy and damage-free connectivity to your iPad and mobile devices. Although some users mention that communicating with customer service can be quite difficult, this device is backed by an 18-month warranty.
- Equipped with Lightening Thunderbolt connector
- USB 3.0 connector
- Small and compact
- Difficult customer service
Small, compact, and portable
This small and compact external hard drive comes equipped with a built-in Lightning Thunderbolt connector.
Best Capacity: Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro
The Western Digital My Passport Wireless Pro delivers high-speed performance with its 4K streaming over 802.11ac Wi-Fi capabilities. This makes for easy uploading, offloading, editing, and streaming on both your iOS device and your PC. It is even compatible with your Smart TV.
Offering a 10-hour battery supply with its built-in 6400 mAh power bank, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro is perfect for those on-the-go needs. Included in this hard drive is an extra port that gives you the ability to share its impressive battery power with other devices. With this feature, you can ensure that your iPad stays charged all day long.
The My Passport Wireless Pro is nice and compact. It measures at 5 x 5 x 0.86 inches. It is small and easy to carry while still offering an abundance of useful features.
- Huge amount of battery and storage space
- Charges other devices as well
- Small and compact
- A little on the expensive side
Great for fast on-the-go streaming
This hard drive is perfect for anyone who is looking for uploading and editing capabilities at an impressive speed.
Best for all Apple Devices: iDiskk 1TB (1024GB) iPad pro External Hard Drive
The iDiskk 1TB (1024GB) iPad pro External Hard Drive is excellent for all of your Apple devices. With up to 1TB of storage, this external hard drive allows you to store large videos, photos, and more. This high capacity storage device can store 2,000 HD videos or up to 250,000 songs. To use this device, simply plug it into your iPad or smartphone and start transferring or streaming immediately.
Measuring in at 5.7 by 3.1 by 0.9 inches, and equipped with a 10,000mAh battery, this external hard drive for your iPad can provide up to 8 hours of continuous use while remaining a convenient size. It can also work as a power bank to help recharge other devices.
This external hard drive comes equipped with a chip that is MFi Certified. This means that it has been authorized by Apple and will remain compatible with your devices. With the iDiskk 1TB (1024GB) iPad pro External Hard Drive, you can expect fast and safe data transfers. Back up your files with the included app whenever the drive is connected to your devices. You can also set up automatic backups of your newest content if you'd like. Some customers mention that it does not always backup automatically.
- Large storage capacity
- Can charge other devices
- Mfi Certified
- Doesn't always automatically backup files
Best for all Apple Devices
Mfi Certified and can charge multiple devices
This external hard drive is Mfi Certified and can charge other devices with its 10,000mAh battery.
Picking the right hard drive for your Apple device is key to making your life easier and more organized. It is hugely beneficial to know what features are offered and why one model or brand tumps another. There is an abundance of options for hard drives that are compatible with iPads, so knowing which one meshes best with your lifestyle is essential.
Most users are looking for something sleek and compact so that it can be carried around easily and be available for use immediately. Another essential feature is storage capacity. We recommend the Toshiba Canvio Advance as this external hard drive for your iPad comes equipped with 4TB of storage space and fast transfer speeds while maintaining a modern and practical design.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Camille Sanghera is a freelance writer who loves using the power of words to give individuals and objects a voice. When she is not content writing, you can find her running trails with her dogs or writing fiction and self-help books.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
These USB-C hard drives can back up or beef up your Mac's storage
USB-C is the future, and grabbing an external hard drive is a great way to store backups, music, movies, files, and more! Here are our favorite USB-C hard drives for your Mac!
iPhone doesn't have an SD card slot, but you can use a flash drive instead!
Having a flash drive that works with your iPhone is a great little piece accessory to have in your back pocket! Here are the best options for backing up your phone.
All the Nintendo Switch accessories for Animal Crossing fans
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally out on Nintendo Switch. Go all out with your Animal Crossing love with these adorable-themed accessories.