How to Use a USB Drive with the Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 tablet comes up short on storage, but with a cable and free apps it’s possible to connect a USB drive to the Nexus 7 for more storage.

This solution isn’t for everyone. It requires a rooted Nexus 7, a cable that hangs off the edge and apps to make the process work. If you haven’t purchased a Nexus 7, I still recommend the 16GB version, but if you need storage to take movies on a flight or road trip this is an option to have on hand.

This same cable will let you use an Xbox 36o controller to play games on the Nexus 7 tablet.

USB drive and Nexus 7

Connect a USB drive to the Nexus 7 for more storage.

How to Use a USB Drive with the Nexus 7

This solution isn’t perfect, but it works 90% of the time for me, and allows me to watch movies and TV shows that wouldn’t otherwise fit on my Nexus 7 tablet.

What You’ll Need

You can find the cable at many online retailers, but the link below is for Amazon with Prime Shipping.

You’ll also want to put your movies and TV shows in the right format with an app like SmartConverter on Mac.

First you must root the Nexus 7 tablet. I suggest Rooting and Unlocking the Nexus 7 with our guide. The process is straight forward and easy to do. Unlocking the Nexus 7 will wipe the device, so be sure to back up important information before you start.

StickMount Nexus 7

Stickmount mounts USB drives to the Nexus 7.

Install the Stickmount app from the Google Play store. This app makes the USB drive show up in Android file explorers. After installing it, plug in a USB drive and grant the app superuser permissions.

USB drive on Nexus 7

THe USB drive shows up in a special folder on the Nexus 7.

Install the ES FileExplorer app, or your preferred Android file explorer. This allows you to find the USB drive an open files on the tablet.

To find the drive, go to sdcard/usbStorage/sda1/

USB Drive Nexus 7

Contents of the USB drive on the Nexus 7.

This folder will show the contents of the USB drive. From here, tap on a file to open it in the corresponding app.

Game of Thrones USB Nexus 7

Watching a movie from the USB drive on the Nexus 7.

I was able to open almost any movie file, but I not all files played well. I recommend using SmartConverter on Mac or a similar tool to convert the files for an Android tablet to play without stuttering.