How do I know if my phone is OTG compatible?

What is OTG?

OTG stands for ‘On-The-Go’ and refers to the USB OTG (USB On-The-Go) technology that enables an Android device to act as a host for connected USB peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, or external storage.

Normally when you connect your Android device to a computer via USB, the device acts as the ‘slave’ and the computer acts as the ‘host’ – the computer can access data on your device. With OTG, this relationship is reversed – the Android device acts as the host and can access data on USB devices connected to it (Samsung).

OTG requires a special OTG adapter or cable that allows your device to switch into host mode. Once enabled, you can connect peripherals like a USB flash drive, external hard drive, mouse, keyboard, game controllers, or even networking devices like Ethernet adapters.

This allows you to greatly extend the functionality of your Android device. For example, you could view photos stored on a flash drive, connect a mouse and keyboard for easier text input, connect a game controller for mobile gaming, or hook up an external storage device to expand the storage capacity of your phone or tablet (Playbackbone).

Why OTG Compatibility Matters

OTG compatibility allows your phone to connect with external devices, greatly expanding its capabilities. Here are some of the key benefits of having an OTG-compatible phone:

Access external storage – You can plug in flash drives, external hard drives, SD cards and more to expand your storage capacity and access files. This is useful for accessing media, documents, backups and other data.

Connect peripherals like keyboard, mouse, game controllers etc. – OTG allows you to connect input devices like keyboards, mice, gamepads and more. This can transform your phone into a productivity machine or gaming device.

Useful for productivity, storage expansion etc. – With the ability to connect keyboards, mice, extra monitors and storage, an OTG phone becomes far more versatile. You can get work done on the go with an external monitor and keyboard, carry presentations and files on a flash drive, and more.

Overall, OTG compatibility opens up many new ways to use your mobile device. It expands the functionality beyond the phone’s native capabilities, making it more powerful and flexible.

How to Check OTG Support

There are a few ways to check if your Android or iPhone is OTG compatible:

Android Phones

For most modern Android phones and tablets, you can check the settings to see if OTG support is enabled:

  1. Open your Settings app
  2. Go to Additional settings or Connected devices
  3. Look for an option called OTG – if it’s there, your device supports OTG

You can also install an OTG checker app from the Play Store like “USB OTG Checker” to test compatibility 1.


Since iPhones do not support USB OTG, you’ll need to check the tech specs on Apple’s website or your device packaging to confirm. Most modern iPhones do not have OTG capability.

Physical OTG Port

Finally, look for a USB port with the OTG icon on your device. This designates it as an OTG-enabled USB port.

Enabling OTG on Android

In order to use OTG capabilities on Android, you first need to enable developer options and USB debugging. Here are the steps:

Enable developer options:

  • Go to Settings > About Phone and tap Build Number 7 times.
  • You will see a message saying “You are now a developer.”
  • Developer options are now enabled in your Settings.

Turn on USB debugging:

  • In Settings, go to Developer Options.
  • Check the option for USB Debugging.

You may also need to enable OTG in your phone’s settings:

  • On Samsung Galaxy devices, go to Settings > Connections > USB Accessories and enable USB OTG.
  • On Huawei devices, go to Settings > Advanced Features > OTG Connection and enable it.

Once developer options and USB debugging are enabled, your Android device should be able to connect to supported OTG devices.

Using Adapters and Dongles

To connect the types of devices which aren’t usually used with a smartphone with OTG capabilities, it is essential to use OTG compatible adapters and dongles.

Some common types of OTG adapters include:

  • Micro USB to USB adapters – These allow you to connect USB devices like flash drives, keyboards, or mice to Android smartphones with a Micro USB port.
  • USB C to USB adapters – For newer Android phones with USB C ports, a USB C to USB adapter allows connectivity with USB peripherals.

The key benefit of OTG adapters is they allow connecting devices with different ports and protocols. For example, using a Micro USB to USB adapter, you can connect a standard USB mouse to an Android phone’s Micro USB port. Or a USB C to USB adapter lets you attach USB flash drives to phones with USB C ports.

This flexibility to connect normally incompatible devices is what makes OTG so useful. With the right OTG adapter, you can add extra functionality like external storage, keyboards and use regular USB accessories with your Android smartphone.

Connecting External Storage

An important use case of OTG connectivity is to connect external storage devices to your phone. This can include things like flash drives, portable hard drives, and card readers. The main benefits are:

Flash Drives: With an OTG cable and flash drive, you can easily transfer, backup, and store files on the device.

Portable Hard Drives: OTG support lets you access terabytes of external storage for additional capacity and to offload videos, photos, apps, and more.

Card Readers: You can connect an external card reader to transfer, view, edit, or backup files from SD cards and other memory cards without the need for a computer.

Having the ability to quickly connect external storage devices like these can be incredibly useful, especially if the internal storage on your phone is full or limited

Connecting Input Devices

One of the main uses for OTG functionality is connecting input devices like a mouse, keyboard, or game controller to your phone. Here are some of the input devices you can use:

Wired Mouse and Keyboard

You can connect a USB wired mouse and keyboard to your phone with an OTG adapter. This allows you to navigate your phone and type using full-size input devices, which can be more convenient than using the touchscreen. The USB input devices need to be physically connected to your phone’s USB-C or micro USB port. Many people like using a keyboard and mouse to productivity tasks like responding to emails more easily on their phones.

According to a recent article, you can connect wired USB input devices like a mouse and keyboard to your Android phone using an OTG adapter. The adapter enables the USB connectivity. Fortuntely, many newer Android phones have OTG support built-in so an adapter may not be necessary.

Gamepads and Controllers

Gaming controllers like Xbox or PlayStation controllers can also be connected to your phone with an OTG adapter. This allows you to have a more console-style gaming experience with physical buttons and joysticks compared to just using the touchscreen. Many controller brands like SteelSeries even make mobile controllers with integrated phone mounts.

Using a wired or wireless gaming controller can provide more precision and control when playing games on your phone. The experience feels more natural with physical buttons.

Other OTG Uses

In addition to connecting storage and input devices, there are some other unique ways to utilize OTG cables and adapters with Android devices:

  • Ethernet Adapter – An OTG ethernet adapter can add a wired internet connection to your Android tablet or phone when WiFi is not available. This allows you to access the internet for browsing, emails, etc.
  • Audio Devices – You can connect external microphones, speakers, MIDI devices, and more using a USB OTG adapter. This is great for musicians, podcasters, or anyone wanting higher quality audio input/output on their mobile device.
  • Extended Storage – Using certain OTG cables or adapters, you can actually connect a USB flash drive or hard drive to your Android device and use it as extended internal storage. This gives you more space for apps, media, files and essentially expands the storage capacity.

As you can see, OTG opens up many possibilities beyond just accessing photos and files. With the right OTG adapter and accessories, you can use your Android almost like a full desktop computer!

OTG Troubleshooting

If your phone’s OTG capabilities are not working properly, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try:

Check OTG is enabled

Make sure that OTG support is enabled on your phone. On Android phones, go to Settings > Additional settings > OTG to enable it. For some phones, you may need to enable a setting called “USB debugging” as well for OTG to work properly.

Try different cable/adapter

Not all OTG cables and adapters work properly with all phones. Try a different OTG adapter or cable designed specifically for your phone model. For example, this guide recommends using a well-rated OTG adapter like the UGREEN Micro USB 2.0 adapter for Samsung Galaxy phones.

External device formatted correctly

The external USB drive or accessory you’re connecting with OTG may need to be properly formatted for it to be detected by your phone. Connect the drive to a computer and format it to the FAT32 or exFAT file system for the widest compatibility with Android and other devices.

Reboot phone

If your OTG device is not detecting after trying the above steps, reboot your phone. After the reboot, reconnect the OTG cable and device and see if it works properly. A reboot can help reset any software issues preventing OTG detection.

If your phone is still having issues interfacing with external devices via OTG, contact the phone manufacturer or network provider for further troubleshooting or service options.

The Future of OTG

OTG technology is only going to become more widely adopted. Today, most recent flagship Android phones include OTG support. But in the future, we will likely see adoption in more mid-range and budget phones as well. As more consumers become aware of the usefulness of connecting peripheral devices like keyboards, game controllers, and external storage drives, device manufacturers will respond by building in OTG.

We will also see OTG support faster connection speeds thanks to new standards like USB 3.0 and USB-C. The theoretical maximum speed of USB 3.0 is 5 Gbps, a huge upgrade over the 480 Mbps maximum of USB 2.0. And USB-C connectors are reversible and thus easier to use. So accessing external devices will become much quicker and more convenient.

In addition, expect OTG to work with an increasing diversity of peripherals like printers, headphones, display adapters, and more. As the OTG ecosystem expands, you’ll be able to connect almost anything to your phone or tablet when out and about. This will greatly enhance mobile productivity and enjoyment.

Overall, the future looks bright for OTG. Virtually every new Android device will include it, benefiting from faster speeds, improved connectors, and wider peripheral support. OTG will move beyond niche usage to become a mainstream way of interacting with our mobile devices.

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