How to Copy SD card to Hard Drive with iPhone iPad iOS 13 NO

Aaron shows you how to use an iPhone or iPad through a USB hub to copy an SD card to a HDD or SSD without a laptop or PC.

It is now possible to use only an iPhone to copy or backup an SD card to a HDD (hard disk drive) through a USB hub without using a laptop. This is huge for travelers, backpackers, adventurers, and filmmakers. Having all of your footage on a single SD card is scary. Losing or having the card fail can be catastrophic. Often it’s not possible to have a laptop while backpacking or traveling. Aaron shows how to use a powered USB hub to run access a portable hard drive using an iPhone Xs. You can also use this technique to copy from on SD card to another.
Aaron shows the process of using IOS 13’s File app for connecting, copying, back up, pasting, creating folders, navigation, and ejecting devices. This is great for photographers, videographers, drone operators, filmmakers, adventurers, travelers, and the like.
This technique works for SD, CF, Compact Flash, QXD, and any other card you can think of. You can even copy your USB mass storage camera/camcorder to a HDD/SDD using your iPhone or iPad.

**** UPDATE ****
I changed the Amazon USB cable link below. This may dramatically improve your file transfer speed. It appears the bottleneck is the Apple Lightning system.
**** END OF UPDATE ****

0:13 SD to HDD and thumb drives overview
2:04 Files on iOS 12 and iOS 13
2:24 Hardware overview
2:39 Powered USB hub options
3:17 Required iPhone adapter
3:29 Wall power for phone
3:41 SD card to phone
3:58 How the iPhone handles non-standard file formats like Canon camcorders or Sony RX100
4:29 How to connect everything
5:41 Inserting & Detecting SD card
6:40 Connecting HDD to iPhone
7:11 How to copy a folder of the SD card
7:33 Creating and naming a folder on the HDD using iPhone
7:59 How to paste file from SD to HDD – special trick
8:13 Beginning paste from SD to HDD
10:28 Finished copy from SD to HDD
11:05 Why use a powered hub with HDD
11:15 Viewing files on HDD
11:42 Overview of ejecting all devices, risks, indicators
12:30 Eject SD card
12:54 Eject HDD (portable laptop hard drive)
13:22 Why SD backups matter (saved $10,000 shoot)
15:08 Other iOS 13 features
15:08 Plug in 64GB Sandisk SD chip
15:14 How to copy any camcorder or other folder
16:19 Future How To SD to SD video plan
16:56 Device eject issues and indication
17:08 HDD drive light indicator
17:14 SD card reader access light indicator

Get the following on Amazon:
LaCie 2TB Hard disk (HDD):
Sandisk 2TB Solid state drive (SDD):
Sandisk 64GB SD card: 
Sandisk 32GB SD card: 
Sandisk USB 64GB thumb drive: 
USB and SD card reader hub:
Lightning to USB & power adapter:
Lighting SD card reader:
Additional USB-C to USB 3.0 cables from the video:

How to use external storage on iPad and iPhone with iOS 13
Everything you need to know about external hard drives and iPadOS

Please subscribe to the channel to support – Thank you!
All links are Amazon affiliate links. Thank you!
🔴 Aaron Linsdau is a bestselling #1 author on 🥇
⛺Antarctic Tears:
✈️ Adventure Expedition One:
⛰️ Lost at Windy Corner:
📚 2024 Total Eclipse Guides:
Visit Aaron’s website at:

► Subscribe to my channel here:
Support this channel here:

About Aaron Linsdau
Aaron Linsdau is a polar explorer and motivational speaker. He is the second only American to ski alone from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, setting a world record for surviving the longest expedition ever for that trip. Aaron is an Amazon best-selling author, is an expert at overcoming adversity and minimizing risk, and loves improving the lives of others.

Follow Me Online Here:
World Beyond:
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.



  1. Jazz jazz jazz. You’re so cute. Get to the point. So… I took your hint about FILES and it works. Plugged in the lightening cord Sd card reader and sure enough the files are found as you report IN the FILES container. Thank you. Talk less and go far. Good luck.

  2. Did you try plugging in a super fast portable into the camera adapter and seeing if it powers a USB hub. I’m trying to find a full mobile work flow. I feel like you have all the cables lol

  3. I have an iPhone 6s, a 5T Western Digital HDD, and I use a PC with Windows10. Does the HDD have to have certain settings for the iphone files app and Windows file manager app to be able to read the videos? It's will be 4GB video clips I will be moving from SD to the external HDD. the iphone files app reads/sees the Apple SD dongle (using the UNI hub).

  4. my phone use to read sd cards off of the apple card reader, the ios 13 downloaded and TOTALLY ruined ALL that. there is no way what so ever to read sd cards now from any of my cameras . there is no fix for it what so ever. i really like iphone, but with this latest short fall from iphone, ive had to litterally thro it away and break down and get a galaxy phone so i can actually download content from sd cards. i really hated to do that, because i love how i phone is formated

  5. Get items from this video on Amazon:
    USB Uni Hub and SD card reader hub:
    LaCie 2TB Hard disk (HDD):
    Sandisk 2TB Solid state drive (SDD):
    Sandisk 64GB SD card:
    Sandisk 32GB SD card:
    Sandisk USB 64GB thumb drive:
    Lightning to USB & power adapter:
    Lighting SD card reader:
    Additional USB-C to USB 3.0 cables from the video:

  6. Great work! I don't know of anyone else doing this with IOS and you have made some great points that others have ignored, especially the need to safely eject the HD. I have been working on a comparison of various methods (mostly using Samsung Android phones with OTG USB) of avoiding the need to take a laptop and included your IOS scheme. I have shared it via Ugly Hedge Hog at There may be information there to speed up your method by perhaps an order of magnitude. 

    Also, I will be going to Antarctica on the Nat Geo Explorer in December, shooting with NIKON D7500, and would appreciate any last minute advice you can offer based on your polar explorer experience. Thanks again.

  7. Hi Aaron, to answer your question the apple Iphone X will only support USB 2 speeds, but the adapter will support USB 3 speeds only the apple IPAD 12 & 10.3 support USB 3.0 speeds. (Maybe the Iphone 11 supports USB 3 speeds?) That is 1 reason why it's so slow.

  8. Hi ???????? I have this 256GB password protected thumb drive the iPad can’t seem to access due to a password app embedded in the drive… however, other drives do work. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain the process!

  9. Thank you for this. I was looking for a video on how this worked for iPhone specifically.
    BTW I don't know if this is something they've changed for iOS 13, but at 7:35 you don't have to scroll all the way to the bottom to tap and hold for the New Folder dialog. You can tap and hold in any blank space between folder icons to get the dialog. You can also keep scrolling to the top and that will eventually bring more buttons and one of them is a New Folder Button.

Comments are closed.