How to expand Google Nexus 7 Storage without rooting

The Google Nexus 7 is one of, if not the best tablets to come out recently. Packing in power similar to premium devices like the HTC One X at a fraction of the cost and yet not feeling cheap is no mean feat. However, like most devices even the Nexus 7 had it’s fair share of criticisms. Apart from the slightly dull screen, most flak was directed to the non expandable storage since the inbuilt storage isĀ meagerĀ for multimedia enthusiasts. They had a point too, an entertainment oriented tablet just couldn’t do with 16 or 32 GB of non expandable storage, especially when it’s an Android. While there are alternatives that involve rooting the device and using apps to mount external storage devices, it’s not really recommended since rooting can be a risky process. So here’s how to expand Google Nexus 7 storage without rooting!

This simple procedure will allow you to use your external hard disks, pen drives and such without much hassle. Keep in mind though, that external hard disks that don’t require a separate power source might not work properly since the Nexus 7 doesn’t generate enough power to run them. So in those cases, you can use an external USB hub to power it up. But if you have an external hard disk with a separate power source or USB flash drives, you’re good to go! You will need the following:

  • A Google Nexus 7 (duh!)
  • USB flash drive or USB external hard disk
  • USB On-The-Go Cable
  • Nexus Media Importer app

Now, there’s a few conditions here. First of all, not all USB OTG cables work, so make sure to test out the cable before buying it if you’re getting one from an electronics shop down the street. I was lucky enough to find one for Rs. 250 (around 4.5$) that I was allowed to test before I buy. According to most reports, however, the Samsung Galaxy S2 USB OTG cable seems to do the trick. Second, the USB device you will use must be in NTFS, FAT32 or FAT, exFAT or any other file system doesn’t work. Finally, the app costs 2.99$ on the app store, but that’s a small price to pay for expandable storage, isn’t it?

The procedure to expand Google Nexus 7 storage without rooting:

1. Connect the USB OTG cable to your Nexus 7.

2. Insert the USB flash drive/USB external hard disk connector at the other side.

3. If your device is recognized, this screen shows up, you can set your preference for access.

How to expand Google Nexus 7 Storage without rooting - Screen 1

4. Go to the Nexus Media Importer app and allow the app to access the drive if it asks for permissions.

5. The upper half of the screen shows your external storage while the lower half shows device storage. As seen below, the USB flash drive is recognized.

How to expand Google Nexus 7 Storage without rooting - Screen 2

6. Simply navigate to your preferred media and tap to open!

How to expand Google Nexus 7 Storage without rooting - Screen 3

You can use external apps to open your media and files, and use it just like built in storage. Just make sure you go to Settings>Disconnect before you remove the external drive/disk.

Do let us know if you face any problems with our guide on how to expand Google Nexus 7 storage without rooting, queries and comments are welcome!


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