iPad Pro Best way to add storage to ipad

lifeline

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 29, 2009
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0
What the best device to add to iPad Pro for adding storage to edit movies and videos without taking up storage on devise?
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,499
3,477
Depending on which iPad you are talking about, it can either be “not so viable” to “great”. Specifically, iPad Pro 2018 with USB-C port can add a slew of accessories, including various types of expandable storage, to use with iPad Pro. For best performance, USB SSD would be a great choice, as well as TB3 enabled SSDs. They can easily cost you $400 upfront but the great performance will pay for itself several times over.
But for any other iPad with lightning port, I’d say, maybe don’t bother. You need external power to use any sort of USB storage in any manner. If you use iPad on the desktop, a good old cheap USB HDD is more than enough to saturate lightning ports’ USB2.0 speed.
 

Jimbo Limbo

macrumors regular
Aug 13, 2015
102
108
Toronto
What the best device to add to iPad Pro for adding storage to edit movies and videos without taking up storage on devise?
Samsung T5 USB-C Solid State Drive 1TB is likely the best storage per dollar. I bought one to back up a 2018 Ipad Pro 12.9 1TB once iOS 13 arrives. Beta users have already tested it. See youtube for more deets.
 

Shirasaki

macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
9,499
3,477
TB3 ssds generally don't function over regular USB C ports.
Really? They are pricey so I don’t bother getting one of such but that is interesting. Does Apple not provide thunderbolt support on iPad Pro 2018? Maybe they will support that next year, or 2019 iPad.
 

nicho

macrumors 68030
Feb 15, 2008
2,654
1,186
The iPad Pro USB-C connector supports thunderbolt.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207443

However directly connecting a thunderbolt SSD may not work if the SSD doesn't get sufficient power from the iPad. In that case a dock might work.
It doesn't and that web page doesn't say it does. What might be confusing you is that Apple's Thunderbolt 3 (M-M) cables also functions as USB-C (M-M) cables.

"If you're using an Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable or other Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) cable with your display or other device, it should work with your Mac without an adapter."

"If you're using a Belkin USB-C to USB-C cable or other USB-C cable with your display or other device, it should work with your Mac or iPad Pro without an adapter."

See how the ipad pro isn't named there under Thunderbolt 3? Because it doesn't support Thunderbolt 3. If it did, it would be listed alongside
  • iMac Pro
  • iMac models from 2017
  • Mac mini (2018)
  • MacBook Pro models from 2016 or later
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
in the list of models at the top rather than alone underneath the Macbook.

Irrespective of power, Thunderbolt SSDs like the Samsung X5 won't work because they don't have a USB controller and won't be recognised. The same goes for Akitio Thunderbolt devices - https://www.akitio.com/faq/287-why-is-my-thunderbolt-3-device-not-recognized - the USB protocol isn't a "fallback" option. [edit: to clarify, it would be if they used Titan Ridge controllers, introduced in early 2018, but as yet none that I'm aware of do. The X5 certainly doesn't] So it's no Thunderbolt, no work. And the iPad Pro has no Thunderbolt.
 
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Digitalguy

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2019
272
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Personally I went with Sandisk Extreme SSD. It’s even more portable than the Samsung and has better protection IMO. It works with any ipad on Ipad OS.
I take the opportunity to give some more info about storage via USB..

1. Concerning TB3 it’s an Intel proprietary technology (Intel licences it) that works over USB C but is not compatible with USB 3.0/1.
However, USB 4.0 will incorporate TB3 for free, as Intel has given the technolgoiy to the USB Group.
So in the future, we’ll have the equivalent of TB3 on ipads, which will fall back to USB 3.1 for older devices like current ipads.

2. Also a note about power. I have done many tests lately and here is the result:

Ipad pro 2018 can power any drive, including mechanical ones with it’s 7.5 watts.

With lightning it’s more complex.
- USB thumb drives: most will not work without plugging external power into the camera connection kit 3.0, saying it requires too much power. This is not true. It’s a matter of some special protocol. I have a small USB 2.0 hub that complies with this protocol so I can plug in most USB thumb drives and they will work without additional cables plugged in (with either the CCK 2.0 or 3.0). The only exception are some ultrafast thumb drives that use an SSD controller like the Corsair GTX. Those fall in the next category.
- Portable SSDs (like those from Samsung and Sandisk): they will work with any ipad that has Ipad OS provided that you use the USB 3.0 CCK and plug in power.
- HDD or some SSD in USB enclosures (so the kind of portable SSD you can make yourself out of some internal SSDs): those will only work with USB 3.0 ipads (so 12.9 first gen, and any of second gen, but not the 9.7 pro, mini or air 3 etc.), again provided that you plug in power.
 
Last edited:

Kostas3000

macrumors regular
Sep 28, 2016
131
136
New York
Personally I went with Sandisk Extreme SSD. It’s even more portable than the Samsung and has better protection IMO. It works with any ipad on Ipad OS.
I take the opportunity to give some more info about storage via USB..

1. Concerning TB3 it’s an Intel proprietary technology (Intel licences it) that works over USB C but is not compatible with USB 3.0/1.
However, USB 4.0 will incorporate TB3 for free, as Intel has given the technolgoiy to the USB Group.
So in the future, we’ll have the equivalent of TB3 on ipads, which will fall back to USB 3.1 for older devices like current ipads.

2. Also a note about power. I have done many tests lately and here is the result:

Ipad pro 2018 can power any drive, including mechanical ones with it’s 7.5 watts.

With lightning it’s more complex.
- USB thumb drives: most will not work without plugging external power into the camera connection kit 3.0, saying it requires too much power. This is not true. It’s a matter of some special protocol. I have a small USB 2.0 hub that complies with this protocol so I can plug in most USB thumb drives and they will work without additional cables plugged in (with either the CCK 2.0 or 3.0). The only exception are some ultrafast thumb drives that use an SSD controller like the Corsair GTX. Those fall in the next category.
- Portable SSDs (like those from Samsung and Sandisk): they will work with any ipad that has Ipad OS provided that you use the USB 3.0 CCK and plug in power.
- HDD or some SSD in USB enclosures (so the kind of portable SSD you can make yourself out of some internal SSDs): those will only work with USB 3.0 ipads (so 12.9 first gen, and any of second gen, but not the 9.7 pro, mini or air 3 etc.), again provided that you plug in power.

great comment

you should slightly expand it and make it a separate thread: “instructions for iOS external drives”
 

Logsdon13

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2019
12
1
Personally I went with Sandisk Extreme SSD. It’s even more portable than the Samsung and has better protection IMO. It works with any ipad on Ipad OS.
I take the opportunity to give some more info about storage via USB..

1. Concerning TB3 it’s an Intel proprietary technology (Intel licences it) that works over USB C but is not compatible with USB 3.0/1.
However, USB 4.0 will incorporate TB3 for free, as Intel has given the technolgoiy to the USB Group.
So in the future, we’ll have the equivalent of TB3 on ipads, which will fall back to USB 3.1 for older devices like current ipads.

2. Also a note about power. I have done many tests lately and here is the result:

Ipad pro 2018 can power any drive, including mechanical ones with it’s 7.5 watts.

With lightning it’s more complex.
- USB thumb drives: most will not work without plugging external power into the camera connection kit 3.0, saying it requires too much power. This is not true. It’s a matter of some special protocol. I have a small USB 2.0 hub that complies with this protocol so I can plug in most USB thumb drives and they will work without additional cables plugged in (with either the CCK 2.0 or 3.0). The only exception are some ultrafast thumb drives that use an SSD controller like the Corsair GTX. Those fall in the next category.
- Portable SSDs (like those from Samsung and Sandisk): they will work with any ipad that has Ipad OS provided that you use the USB 3.0 CCK and plug in power.
- HDD or some SSD in USB enclosures (so the kind of portable SSD you can make yourself out of some internal SSDs): those will only work with USB 3.0 ipads (so 12.9 first gen, and any of second gen, but not the 9.7 pro, mini or air 3 etc.), again provided that you plug in power.
Have you tried the SanDisk extreme ssd with a lightening iPad and can confirm it should work? I just picked one up to use with my iPad Air (2019 version). I connect it to the camera connection adapter and the power supply but my iPad doesn’t recognize the drive or give me any sort of message that it knows it’s plugged in. The iPad does recognize a thumb drive. My ssd is in exFAT so should be formatted correctly. Any thoughts? Bout to kick myself for buying an ssd that won’t work but from what I have been reading seems like it should with my setup.
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2019
272
176
Yes, the SanDisk SSD will work if you use the CCK plugged into power. Your issue is probably due to the fact that the drive was not ejected properly... Contrary to what people say and believe, ipads do not eject drives properly and no, it's not that they don't need to, they just don't have an way to do it...
So plug your drive into a pc (preferably windows, I have not tested this with mac), it should ask you to repair the drive. Do it and then eject it properly from the"safely remove.." option. Then plug the CCK into the ipad and into power, and only then plug your Sandisk. Let me know if it worked.
 

Logsdon13

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2019
12
1
Personally I went with Sandisk Extreme SSD. It’s even more portable than the Samsung and has better protection IMO. It works with any ipad on Ipad OS.
I take the opportunity to give some more info about storage via USB..

1. Concerning TB3 it’s an Intel proprietary technology (Intel licences it) that works over USB C but is not compatible with USB 3.0/1.
However, USB 4.0 will incorporate TB3 for free, as Intel has given the technolgoiy to the USB Group.
So in the future, we’ll have the equivalent of TB3 on ipads, which will fall back to USB 3.1 for older devices like current ipads.

2. Also a note about power. I have done many tests lately and here is the result:

Ipad pro 2018 can power any drive, including mechanical ones with it’s 7.5 watts.

With lightning it’s more complex.
- USB thumb drives: most will not work without plugging external power into the camera connection kit 3.0, saying it requires too much power. This is not true. It’s a matter of some special protocol. I have a small USB 2.0 hub that complies with this protocol so I can plug in most USB thumb drives and they will work without additional cables plugged in (with either the CCK 2.0 or 3.0). The only exception are some ultrafast thumb drives that use an SSD controller like the Corsair GTX. Those fall in the next category.
- Portable SSDs (like those from Samsung and Sandisk): they will work with any ipad that has Ipad OS provided that you use the USB 3.0 CCK and plug in power.
- HDD or some SSD in USB enclosures (so the kind of portable SSD you can make yourself out of some internal SSDs): those will only work with USB 3.0 ipads (so 12.9 first gen, and any of second gen, but not the 9.7 pro, mini or air 3 etc.), again provided that you plug in power.
Have you tried the SanDisk extreme ssd with a lightening iPad and can confirm it should work? I just picked one up to use with my iPad Air along with the camera connection adapter with power plugged in and the iPad has no clue a drive is attached. It will recognize a usb. My ssd is formatted to exFAT so I think
Yes, the SanDisk SSD will work if you use the CCK plugged into power. Your issue is probably due to the fact that the drive was not ejected properly... Contrary to what people say and believe, ipads do not eject drives properly and no, it's not that they don't need to, they just don't have an way to do it...
So plug your drive into a pc (preferably windows, I have not tested this with mac), it should ask you to repair the drive. Do it and then eject it properly from the"safely remove.." option. Then plug the CCK into the ipad and into power, and only then plug your Sandisk. Let me know if it worked.
thanks for the tip. I will try it this evening and let you know the verdict. Fingers crossed!
 

Logsdon13

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2019
12
1
Personally I went with Sandisk Extreme SSD. It’s even more portable than the Samsung and has better protection IMO. It works with any ipad on Ipad OS.
I take the opportunity to give some more info about storage via USB..

1. Concerning TB3 it’s an Intel proprietary technology (Intel licences it) that works over USB C but is not compatible with USB 3.0/1.
However, USB 4.0 will incorporate TB3 for free, as Intel has given the technolgoiy to the USB Group.
So in the future, we’ll have the equivalent of TB3 on ipads, which will fall back to USB 3.1 for older devices like current ipads.

2. Also a note about power. I have done many tests lately and here is the result:

Ipad pro 2018 can power any drive, including mechanical ones with it’s 7.5 watts.

With lightning it’s more complex.
- USB thumb drives: most will not work without plugging external power into the camera connection kit 3.0, saying it requires too much power. This is not true. It’s a matter of some special protocol. I have a small USB 2.0 hub that complies with this protocol so I can plug in most USB thumb drives and they will work without additional cables plugged in (with either the CCK 2.0 or 3.0). The only exception are some ultrafast thumb drives that use an SSD controller like the Corsair GTX. Those fall in the next category.
- Portable SSDs (like those from Samsung and Sandisk): they will work with any ipad that has Ipad OS provided that you use the USB 3.0 CCK and plug in power.
- HDD or some SSD in USB enclosures (so the kind of portable SSD you can make yourself out of some internal SSDs): those will only work with USB 3.0 ipads (so 12.9 first gen, and any of second gen, but not the 9.7 pro, mini or air 3 etc.), again provided that you plug in power.
Have you tried the SanDisk extreme ssd with a lightening iPad and can confirm it should work? I just picked one up to use with my iPad Air along with the camera connection adapter with power plugged in
Have you tried the SanDisk extreme ssd with a lightening iPad and can confirm it should work? I just picked one up to use with my iPad Air along with the camera connection adapter with power plugged in and the iPad has no clue a drive is attached. It will recognize a usb. My ssd is formatted to exFAT so I think

thanks for the tip. I will try it this evening and let you know the verdict. Fingers crossed!
Have you tried the SanDisk extreme ssd with a lightening iPad and can confirm it should work? I just picked one up to use with my iPad Air along with the camera connection adapter with power plugged in and the iPad has no clue a drive is attached. It will recognize a usb. My ssd is formatted to exFAT so I think

thanks for the tip. I will try it this evening and let you know the verdict. Fingers crossed!
Still not working. Plugged the ssd into my pc. Did not get asked to repair the drive so I went into properties and clicked check disk. Windows didn’t find anything wrong. I reformatted the drive in case. Ejected the drive safely. Plugged in the CCK then the power then the ssd. iPad does nothing. No error messages and no ssd in the files app. Any other thoughts?
 

muzzy996

macrumors 6502a
Feb 16, 2018
543
467
My Extreme SSD drives work fine on my gen 2 iPP 12.9 using the USB 3.0 camera adapter as long as I apply power to the lightning port on the adapter. I get no power prompt if i do not power the adapter like I typically do with other drives.
 

sparksd

macrumors 68030
Jun 7, 2015
2,543
1,530
Seattle WA
Have you tried the SanDisk extreme ssd with a lightening iPad and can confirm it should work? I just picked one up to use with my iPad Air along with the camera connection adapter with power plugged in


Still not working. Plugged the ssd into my pc. Did not get asked to repair the drive so I went into properties and clicked check disk. Windows didn’t find anything wrong. I reformatted the drive in case. Ejected the drive safely. Plugged in the CCK then the power then the ssd. iPad does nothing. No error messages and no ssd in the files app. Any other thoughts?
Just to double-check, if you right-click on the SSD in Windows Explorer when it's connected to the PC, does it say "File System: exFAT"?
 

Logsdon13

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2019
12
1
My Extreme SSD drives work fine on my gen 2 iPP 12.9 using the USB 3.0 camera adapter as long as I apply power to the lightning port on the adapter. I get no power prompt if i do not power the adapter like I typically do with other drives.
Don’t know what the deal is then. The new iPad Air is essentially the gen 2 iPP.
- - Post merged: - -

Just to double-check, if you right-click on the SSD in Windows Explorer when it's connected to the PC, does it say "File System: exFAT"?
Yes it is exFAT.
 

sparksd

macrumors 68030
Jun 7, 2015
2,543
1,530
Seattle WA
Don’t know what the deal is then. The new iPad Air is essentially the gen 2 iPP.
- - Post merged: - -


Yes it is exFAT.
This is weird. What power supply are you using? Can you check the wattage? I ask because I recall someone posting having an issue with external storage not working because the power supply they were using was inadequate to supply both the iPad and the attached storage. It's a reach but everything in the chain is worth checking.
 

Logsdon13

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2019
12
1
I have used both the 12watt iPad charger as well as an 18 watt charger. Hard to believe I would need more than that....faulty CCK maybe...? But then why does the thumb drive work?......
 

Digitalguy

macrumors 6502
Apr 15, 2019
272
176
Very strange. I have tried with all the lightening ipad, including the weakest that takes ipados, the mini 4, and they all work fine with the Sandisk, as long as the drive has been ejected properly, which does seem to be your case... So it is indeed weird, it should work...