All You Need To Know About The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive


Smartphone photography and video capabilities are areas that continue advancing as consumer rely on their devices as their primary means of capture for photos and videos. In 2015, IDC estimated consumers would capture and share over 1.6 trillion digital images, seven out of 10 on a mobile device3, and they expect this will continue growing. The iXpand Flash Drive offers flexibility and is ideal for people who generate or consume a lot of content – for example, enthusiast mobile photographers as well as parents with young kids.


Smartphones are graduating from serving as a “snapshot” camera to an enthusiast-grade machine thanks to applications and technologies like Live Photo, slow motion and software that will let consumers edit directly on the phone. As imaging capabilities and performance improve on phones, consumers continue to take more pictures and videos – that continue to increase in file size – thus requiring more storage, and the need for simple solutions that enables fast, easy sharing of their quality content.

A survey SanDisk conducted among over 1,200 active smartphone users4 emphasized the magnitude of this matter.  When asked about challenges iPhone users face, we found that running out of memory on their iPhone is a real issue, second only to running out of battery on their beloved device.  Additionally, 84% of iPhone users report that they have to delete photos, videos or apps to free up space on their phones.  We also found that consumers felt that backing up their content was inconvenient and takes too long.  We think users deserve a simple, quick solution that helps resolve these issues – the iXpand Flash Drive.


The SanDisk iXpand™ Flash Drive for iPhone and iPad is the easiest way to free up space on your iPhone or iPad.

Designed to be the perfect companion for your iPhone, the iXpand Flash Drive offers an easy way to free up space on your iPhone. You can automatically back up your camera roll and watch popular-format videos straight from the drive5. For a complete list of formats, click here. The drive features both a flexible Lightning connector (designed to work with most cases) and a USB 3.0 connector to plug into your Mac computer or PC so you can easily move your stuff when and where you want it. The iXpand Flash Drive also includes encryption software that lets you password-protect files, so you can share your content while keeping sensitive files secure across your devices6. Take all the photos and videos you want—the iXpand Flash Drive delivers a fast and simple way to free up space on your iPhone so that you’re always ready to capture more memories.

Product: iXpand Flash Drive use-case image
iXpand plugging in to iPhone

Upon connecting the drive to your iPhone or iPad using the Lightning connector, you will be prompted to download the iXpand Drive app.  The app enables you to seamlessly manage your content between your devices and computers – making it easier than ever to free up memory on your iPhone or iPad. Once configured, you can automatically back up your photos and videos as soon as you plug the device and take your digital media library wherever you go. After the initial content sync, the iXpand will quickly back up only new content that has been added to the device. The app allows you to take photos and videos directly to the drive without using up your iPhone’s memory.

Finally, the drive is designed with a new stylish, durable metal housing and a flexible connector that works with most iPhone and iPad protective cases – eliminating the hassle of removing the protective case before connecting the iXpand Flash Drive.

With the iXpand Flash Drive, there’s no need to worry about cables, internet availability, bandwidth, account limits or data and storage plan fees.

Take more of your digital library with you

Enjoy your photos, music and movies wherever you go.  Don’t be limited by device memory. The iXpand Flash Drive lets you multiply your storage while on-the-go by simply plugging in the drive.  You can watch all popular-format videos right off the drive, without filling-up memory on your mobile device. There’s no need to worry about native file formats and format conversions, we’ve handled it all for you.  Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie. The all-new redesigned music section now gives you the freedom to listen to your music how and when you want to while creating your own custom playlists!

High speed USB 3.0 for blazing fast file transfers

The iXpand Flash Drive comes with a USB 3.0 connector allowing you to transfer files in a flash from your Mac or PC.

Keeps content private – even if the drive is lost

The iXpand Flash Drive app makes it easy to protect and transfer these encrypted files across devices.

  • Simply enable security from the settings menu and create a password.
  • From there, any time you’d like to secure a file, select it and press the lock icon.
  • The files will be encrypted and stored in your SanDisk SecureAccess Vault folder.
  • You can then easily access those files by plugging the drive into your computer and double-clicking on the vault.
  • From there, enter your password and your files are instantly available.

What’s new with the second-generation iXpand Flash Drive?

The second-generation iXpand Flash Drive is built from the ground up using SanDisk’s expertise in flash memory to create the best solution on the market. Some of the key differences between the first and second generation are:

  • USB 3.0 technology. With up to 70MB/s transfer speed7, the iXpand Flash Drive now has a faster transfer rate which means less waiting around to get your content and go.
  • New modern design. With a unique angled design, the majority of the iXpand Flash Drive now sits behind the iPhone, making it much easier to use.
  • Redesigned Mobile App. The current iXpand Sync app has 4 stars on the App Store, however we wanted to create an even better experience for users. With a more media- centric approach, the app allows you to simply manage content and play popular-format movies, including non-native and PC-friendly ones like AVI and WMV, directly from the drive. We now offer social media backup, which allows you to back up your favorite social media photos directly to the iXpand Flash Drive. New capabilities also allow you to shoot photos and videos and save them directly to the iXpand Flash Drive – allowing for immediate space-saving on your iPhone or iPad. Additionally, the iXpand Drive app enables users to encrypt files for secure transfer and easy access across devices, with just a fingerprint.
    • Many other exciting improvements have been incorporated into the app to give you a fresh new experience, these include:

SanDisk iXpand™ Flash Drive – At-a-Glance Overview

  • Quickly free up space on your iPhone or iPad by moving photos and videos to your iXpand Flash Drive, a great storage solution for iPhone and iPad users who actively use their devices to capture photos and videos
  • The new iXpand Flash Drive is built on the award-winning, first–generation iXpand Flash Drive, and now features a new modern design, faster transfer speeds with USB 3.0 and a new app
  • Easily manage your photos and videos with the iXpand Flash Drive app (available for download from the App Store)
  • Automatically back up your contacts, photos and videos from your camera roll2
  • Save space instantly with the new in-app camera that allows you to shoot photos and videos directly onto the drive
  • Watch popular video formats5 on your iPhone or iPad
  • Designed with a flexible connector to fit through most protective iPhone or iPad cases
  • Secure file storage across your computer, iPhone and iPad, with a fingerprint6
  • Available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB capacities*
  • TWO-year limited warranty8 [APAC ]


The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive is compatible with

  • iPhone and iPad models with a Lightning connector and iOS 8.2 or higher. A current, detailed list can be found here
  • PC and Mac computers, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Chrome OS, Mac OS X v10.8+ – no drivers are needed.

Getting Started Is Easy


  1. Gently lift the Lightning connector slightly and attach to an iPhone/iPad by pinching the iXpand Flash Drive with your thumb and forefinger as shown in the figure below.
  2. Connect the iXpand Flash Drive into your iPhone/iPad as shown in the figure below.
  3. The drive will be automatically detected by your iPhone or iPad.
  4. When connected for the first time, you will be automatically guided to download and install the app from the App Store.
  5. Once the app is downloaded, you can immediately start using the drive to transfer photos and files, or watch movies directly from the drive.

Connecting to a PC or Mac computer:

  1. Plug the USB connector to the USB port of a compatible PC or Mac computer.
  2. Use the drive the same way as other flash drives to manage the drive’s content, or copy, move, delete, create folders, etc.

Built on a modern interface makes it simple to use

iXpand Drive app is the companion to your iXpand Flash Drive. The simple home screen makes it easy to quickly access main tasks when in a hurry or delve deeper into more features through a set of Quick Action Cards. These Action Cards allow you to do different tasks right from the home screen.

The home screen also contains a menu of common actions such as ‘Transfer Files’, ‘View Files’, and ‘Back up and Restore.’

Protect precious memories in case your device doesn’t make it

The iXpand Drive app makes it easy to back up and restore content right from the home screen. Click on the “Back Up and Restore” option from the home screen and you will be presented with a screen with the following three options:

  1. Back up your camera roll to the iXpand Flash Drive
  2. Backup your photos from social media accounts to the iXpand Flash Drive. This feature allows you to backup photos from popular social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram and Picasa.
  3. Back up & Restore Contacts

Backing Up your Camera Roll – You can back up your camera roll to the iXpand Flash Drive by setting up auto-back up or manually back up as needed. Turn on ‘Automatic Backup’ by sliding the switch.

Save space on your iPhone instantly by taking photos and videos directly on the iXpand Flash Drive

Open the iXpand Drive app and touch on the camera icon in the top left corner. You will be taken to a camera interface to allow you to snap photos and save them directly to your iXpand Flash Drive’s internal memory – saving precious space on your device.

Enjoy hours of music and videos with having to be connected

Enjoy all your music in one central location. The Music section will combine music that resides on the drive and within your iTunes Library.

To navigate to the Music section, select ‘View Files’ from the home screen, and then select the music icon along the top of the next screen. You can tell where the Music file resides by finding the iTunes icon next to the file. If the music file has this denotation, then it is located in your iTunes library. You can choose different sorting options – By Song, By Artist, By Album, By Playlist, or By Genre. Tap the song you want to play. You can play the other songs in the same folder by swiping left or right.

Supported Music formats: MP3, AIF, WAV, AIFF, M4A, WMA, AAC, OGG, FLAC

Playback supports music purchased from iTunes. DRM-protected content cannot be streamed. Check with the content provider for playback restrictions.

Create playlists on-the-go from all of your music!

You can create playlists from not only the music stored on the iXpand Flash Drive, but also your music stored in iTunes. Open the app and click on the ‘View Files’ option on the home screen. Then click on the music icon. You will be taken to a music interface to allow you manage and play your music.

  • Select the Playlist item from the Music menu.
  • The list of playlists will appear.
  • To create a playlist, Select the “New Playlist” button.
  • Name your Playlist.
  • Add songs to the playlist by touching the name of the song.
  • Once you have selected your songs, touch the “create playlist” bar.
  • You can now play your favorite playlists anytime by accessing them from the Music screen.
  • Select the playlist, and then select play.

So, if you are an Apple user and are looking for a device to ease the storage crunch and add value to the experience, the iXpand is for you! Have fun with it!

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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