By Lena / Last update November 1, 2022

How to Transfer Movies from External Hard Drive to iPad

How do I transfer movies from my external hard drive to my iPad Pro? I want to watch them while traveling.

- Question from an iPhone user

Watching videos is a good way to kill time while traveling. You may have stored lots of videos on the external hard drive, and now you want to transfer videos from external hard drive to iPad/iPhone, right? You’ve come to the right page. This guide will introduce two ways to help you achieve the goal. Just keep reading to learn more.

Part 1. How to Transfer Videos from External Hard Drive to iPhone iPad on Computer

Although you can sync videos to iPhone/iPad using iTunes, you have to take the risk of losing the existing media data on device. To make it easy, one professional iOS data transfer tool named FoneTool is a better choice.

This tool can help you transfer videos in any size from external hard drive to iPhone/iPad without compromising video quality. And it will not erase any data on the device. It is only a matter of making a few clicks of the mouse to complete the transfer. Now free download this tool on your computer and follow the steps below to put videos on your iPhone/iPad.

Best Transfer Software | FoneTool

An effective way to transfer all types of videos of any size. Fully compatible with the latest iPhone 14/13/12/11, iPad 10/Air 5, and also supports iOS 16.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7
50,000,000 people have downloaded it

Steps to Transfer Videos from External Hard Drive to iPhone iPad

1. Run FoneTool > Plug in your iPhone/iPad and the flash drive. (You may need to enter the passcode on iPhone/iPad so that the software can access your device.)

2. Click Phone Transfer on the left side of the interface. Choose PC to iPhone. Click Start Transfer to continue.

Transfer to iPhone

3. Click the “+” icon > Select the videos you’d like to add to iPhone/iPad > Click Open to continue.

Choose Videos

4. Confirm the videos that will be sent to your device > If everything is OK, click Start Transfer to start.


5. When the transfer completed, click OK.

Note: The reverse transfer is also supported. You can transfer videos from iPhone/iPad to external hard drive by clicking the iPhone to PC option.

Part 2. Transfer Videos from External Hard Drive to iPhone iPad without Computer

Actually, on iPadOS and iOS 13+ devices, Apple has added official external drive support. It allows you to directly transfer files from an external hard drive to iPhone/iPad, and you can view files without saving them to iPhone/iPad.

● Supported External Hard Drive Formats: FAT32, exFAT, APFS, macOS Extended journaled.
● iPadOS and iOS support MP4 video (using the extensions .m4v, .MP4 and .mov), but do not support MKV and older formats.

How to Connect the External Hard Drive to Your iPhone or iPad?

Generally, the external hard drive must be self-powered. Otherwise, you should use a powered hub or Apple’s Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter, which can provide power to it using the adapter’s onboard Lightning connector.

To connect an external hard drive to iPad or iPhone, insert a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter or Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter into the charging port. Or either directly to its Lightning or USB-C port (for some newer iPads).

Transfer Videos from External Hard Drive to iPad/iPhone

1. Connect the external hard drive to your iPad or iPhone:

2. Go to Files app > Look under the list of Locations (Tap Brower first on iPhone).

Choose Drive in Files App

3. Tap the name of the external hard drive > Tap Select to choose the videos you want to add to iPhone/iPad.

4. Tap Move > Select the location and here you should choose On My iPhone/iPad > Or choose one folder where you want to store your videos.

5. Finally, tap Copy.

Watch Movies from External Hard Drive with iPad/iPhone

In most cases, there is not enough storage space on iPhone and iPad to store all these videos. The good news is that with iPadOS and iOS 13+, it’s possible to watch movies or other content directly from an external hard drive!

1. Connect the external hard drive to iPad/iPhone. Make sure your external drive is connected to its own power source.

2. Open Files app > Look under the list of Locations (Tap Brower first on iPhone) > Find the name of the external hard drive and open it.

Files App List of Videos

3. Find and tap the video you want to play > Wait for the video to load to full screen (It may take a few seconds to a few minutes depending on the length of the video.)


That’s all for how to transfer videos from external hard drive to iPhone or iPad. You can rely on FoneTool to help you put videos on device or choose to directly transfer videos to iPad via Files app.

If you have any questions about this guide, please leave a message to tell us and we will get back to you ASAP.

FoneTool Runs Perfectly on

iOS Versions
  • iOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
  • iPadOS 16/15/14/13/12/11 and former
iOS Devices
  • iPhone 14/14 Pro (Max), 13/13 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 12/12 mini/Pro (Max), iPhone 11/11 Pro (Max)
  • iPhone X/XR/XS/XS Max, iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6/6s/6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st, 2nd, 3rd generations)
  • iPod touch 1/2/3/4/5/6/7
  • All models of iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro and iPad