How To Transfer Files Between The Galaxy Tab and a USB Drive, SD Card, or Camera

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 slates are notable for their slim, iPad-esque profiles. They’re also notable for having only one port: a 30-pin connector. By default, users can’t plug in a USB flash drive or SD card to transfer files on the go. Samsung offers a solution to this problem with the Galaxy Tab USB and SD Connection Kit.

These dongles make transferring files between the Tab and a drive or memory card pretty easy if you can figure out where that happens. A notification pops up in the tray, yet tapping it doesn’t do anything.

Don’t worry if you encounter this. The Galaxy Tab isn’t great at making the next steps obvious, so I’m here to help.

Galaxy Tab with USB Adapter

 

Transferring Files Between the Galaxy Tab and USB Drive / SD Card

Step One: Insert the USB drive or SD card into the adapter, then plug that into the Galaxy Tab’s port. Once the Tab recognizes the drive or card, an indicator will pop up in the Notification Tray.

Notification USB

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Note: Android tablets can read USB flash drives or external SSD drives, but they cannot read traditional (spinning) hard drives. IF you’ve tried to plug in your external HDD and Android didn’t recognize it, this is why.

Galaxy Tab with USB Adapter

Step Two: Open the app drawer and find the My Files app.

Step Three: If the app opens into the Root folder, scroll the folder list on the left side of the screen until you find the Storages folder. Tap to expand it, then tap to expand the usb folder inside, then expand the sda folder inside that.

The sda folder is where the files on your USB or SD card live, not a new folder on the drive.

My Files App Galaxy Tab

The app may open into the correct folder upon launch. If you’re already in the My Files app when you plug in the adapter the correct folder will open automatically.

Step Four: To copy or move files or folders to the Tab, tap the box to the left of the file name to select it. This will bring up editing options in the upper right corner.

The two pages icon is for Copy, the scissors are for Cut, and the trashbin is for Delete. In the dropdown menu on the far right you’ll find Rename and Details.

Selecting FIles - My Files App Galaxy Tab

Tap on the Copy or Cut icon after you’re finished selecting. The icons in the upper right corner will change to a clipboard icon. This is the Paste command.

Paste Icon - My Files App Galaxy Tab

Step Five: Navigate to the folder on the Galaxy Tab (under Root) where you want to copy or move the file/folder. Tap on it to open, then tap the Paste icon. Your file is now in the new folder.

My Files App Storages Folder Galaxy Tab

Note: A quirk of many Android file apps is that, unlike a computer, the clipboard forgets what it’s holding if you do some other command before pasting. Example: if you select another file or create a folder. If this happens just navigate back to the Storages folder and start over. For this reason, I usually Copy instead of Cut, then delete the files I don’t need on the drive later.

Step Six: To copy or move files from the Tab to the USB Drive or SD card, repeat the steps above but in reverse.

Step Seven: Once you’re done, click the USB icon in the Notification area. It will now say “Click here to remove drive”. Tap that and the folders will disappear from the My Files manager. You can now unplug the drive from the Tab’s’ port.

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Pro Tip: You can connect a camera to the Tab without having to take the SD card out as long as the camera has a USB connection. Just plug the USB cable into the USB Adapter dongle. The Tab will simply recognize it as a drive and you can copy images to a folder on the slate quickly.

Comments

  1. Johnt says

    According to information on the Samsung page which you highlighted, these adaptors are not compatible with the 7.0 Tab

  2. republic84 says

    FYI when you plug in either adapter into the galaxy TAB as in TABLET not slate, slate seems to be a MSFT term (i have the 10.1) it AUTOMATICALLY opens the directory. You dont need to search for it, unless you close out and navigate enough that a long press on the home button no longer lists that active process. And yes the adapters ARE compatible with the 7.0 Plus tab (as says the instruction book that came with the adapter set), just not the original. My 7.0 original is rooted and has custom firmware and no matter how much ive tried, even changing some files around with the Plus’ files, the coding just isnt there.  Still not sure however why Sammy didnt just put a MicroSD slot in the 10.1??… Apparently they were trying to pull a crApple.

  3. Lisan Centraltx says

    I’ve just bought the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Wi-Fi GT-P6210 and the Galaxy Tab USB and SD Connection Kit and tested it with a 32GB USB and it worked fine. It does not open immediately, I have to go to MyFiles and both my SD card and my 32GB USB are found under extStorages.  No changes have been made to my firmware.

  4. justine says

    Thank you so much for your clear instructions – I’ve been searching for this information for days!

  5. Mike says

    Do you have to copy the files to the device? or can you open them from  the flash drive and save them there when you are done?

  6. Marijke van der Linde says

    That was VERY helpful. Excellent explanation that helped this Galaxy Tablet 10.1 enthusiast greatly! All works well and I think the Galaxy Tablet 10.1 is fantastic. It does everything I want it to do and exceeds my expectations! Much better than the Ipad, much cheaper and free to download applications from anywhere we want!  :-)

  7. Roberto Sallier says

    Hello,

    Does this adapter works to connect an USB Key to the Galaxy pad 7.7 P6800? No info in the manual

    Roberto

  8. Doug says

    Thanks much! I purchased a Samsung USB adapter for my Note phone and could not figure out out to find the files on the USB drive. Your instructions for the Tab enabled me to locate the files on the USB Drive when I connected it to my phone. Great!

  9. vishal says

    Hello sir I have buy a USB cable connector with my galaxy tab 620, it work fine when I connect a USB pen drive, but it shows a notification of high power USB connected when I connect my reliance net connector dongle so sir what I have to do to use my reliance dongle with the tablet is there any other procedure to connect

  10. ren says

    hi, if you do have move the files over to “my files” and then they arent there, does the tablet create a back up?

  11. roger says

    thanks for the usful info about transfering from sd card to tab.
    however i cannot transfer the other way. ie. from tab to external sd card using the usb adapter. i do not get an option to paste to any file.
    any advice please.

  12. AG says

    I have a galaxy tab 7.7 as well the s2 phone. i have the OTG cable for connecting my flash drives. 4GB flash works fine with both devices , how ever any thing higher like the 8 GB flash drive when connected i get this” High power USB device is connected and it wont work. Can you advise me as to how to fix this.
    Thanks.
    AG

    • Roberto Sallier says

      It certainly works very well on the P6800 7.7 inches. Just plug the USB key with the adapter. Very smooth. What is a pity is that you cannot connect the tab to a Mac by the provided cable and “see” it like in a PC. And Kies air is a nightmare.

    • Paulo says

      I use a similar adapter and it works fine with my Samsung Tab 2 10.1 with pendrives and with my USB set of keyboard + mouse (in my case, the mouse pointer is very small). If you use a USB keyboard I would recommend “External Keyboard Helper Pro” an app that automatically asks if you want to change the default keyboard when the external one is connected. There are also other similar apps.

  13. Helen Smeaton says

    Great instructions with clear easy to understand visual steps. I’ve only just started playing around with the Galaxy tab and while I figured out how to get data from the SD card onto the tab by dragging and dropping in the file folder, this only “moved” the file, leaving the SD card empty and I couldn’t work out how to copy from one folder to another.

    Many Thanks

  14. Vu says

    Hi, i am using galaxy tab (wifi) p1010. After reading thru the post and comments, i am still unclear as to whether p1010 can use this adapter?

    Can you please confirm for me?

    Thanks

  15. padideh says

    Thanks of your complete informations. it is very helpful for myself.
    but I have a problem to connecting my tablet to my computer.
    My computer doesn’t recognize my tablet and needs USB drive and I couldn’t get it.
    BY the way many thanks of your kind attentions.
    MY COMPUTER IS PENTIUM 4 WINDOWS XP 3
    And my Tablet is GALAXY S2 .7 PLUS

  16. Neal says

    Hi KT, Thanks for your Info.
    I bought the kit.
    The SD Card work perfectly wel
    The USB brings up the files for a moment and then its all gone.
    I cannot find the USB anyware in any directory
    I am using a Galaxy Tab 10.1
    The USB is fornmatted to Fat 32 and only 2gb
    On the Settingsbar I get the message saying that the USB device was unexpectedly removed. Wel it was not. It is stil in the Tablet.
    Can you pleaase advise.
    Neal

    • jim mccard says

      Look to the settings in the side pannel just above the time and battery showing. The usb should show, dont clear it.if you then go into a programme, say to upload photos, the usb will show.

  17. Norma says

    I know this is a late reply to all this but I have just tried to move the files from my USB to my device. For some reason I can copy them with no problem but when I go to paste them in the folder on the tablet there is no paste option. Why would that be?

  18. Francis says

    Thanks for the great instructions. I can now copy from my camera’s sd card to my Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, using the usb connection kit.

  19. Dorothy McLarnon says

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! I have been struggling for weeks trying to figure this out on my own. Finally I took my husband’s advice and Googled the problem and connected to your link and now I have successfully unloaded all my photos from my Nikon camera using the USB. Hopefully I will be able to resolve my next problem which is getting the Galaxy and the Nikon to discover each other so I can upload wirelessly.

  20. Jin says

    What do you do when there is no root folder? When inserting the 4 in 1 connector into my galaxy note 10.1 a red light blinks and as it blinks it disconnects then connects repeatedly. When I try to insert the sdcard, it blinks green but I can’t see the files. Do you know what is happening?

  21. Dora says

    I transfer the pictures from the sd card to my tablet, however I can’t find them in the tablet where are they store?

  22. Verna says

    I am using a Galaxy Tab OTG Connection for my Samsung Tab 10.1 but it does not recognise it – what do I do Thanks

  23. kg says

    I am using galaxy tab 7.0 when i connect the usb cable it did not show on the notification bar and its not working on my tab what is the problem

  24. Suresh Dave says

    Very good and helpful instruction particularly step by step with events note and its pictutres.well done.

  25. GregB says

    I just got the Samsung adaptors and tried the USB one on my Galaxy Tab 7.0 and it works great. The tests I tried were from the camera directly and from a card reader. Both were connected to the tab through the USB connector and there were no issues what-so-ever. Thanks K.T. for making me aware of the dongles – I was having quite a time trying to figure out how to get photos from my Olympus XD card directly to the Tab without using a computer.

  26. Chris says

    Thank you so much for this helpful advice. I would have never figured this out. A real techno-rockhead

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