PSA: Nexus 5 supports USB OTG out of the box

n5

One handy feature that most Android devices have nowadays is USB OTG (On-The-Go). Using an OTG converter or cable, users can directly connect external keyboard, mouse, game controllers, storage drives and even external hard disks.

Last year, there was quite an outrage when it was discovered that the Nexus 4 does not support USB OTG. While later on developers where able to add support for OTG using custom kernels, the implementation was wonky at best and required the use of an external power source. The lack of USB OTG on the Nexus 4 was because of the modem being connected to the device over USB.

Thankfully, the Nexus 5 has no such issues and fully supports USB OTG right out of the box. This means that you can easily plug in and use external keyboards, mouse, DLSR cameras and more. While external HDDs are also supported, only the FAT32 formatted ones will work right out of the box. To read/write to NTFS partition, users need to use either a custom kernel or use an app like StickMount that requires root access.

Anyways, the inclusion of USB OTG on the Nexus 5 should please a lot of potential owners out there. It also opens up the possibilities for some serious DIY projects and hacks.

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  • JTrip

    OTG isn’t working on my Nexus 5. I’ve read others with the same issue.

    • Phill_S

      It wont mount on my N5, but I can access my memory stick using Total Commander and “USB Stick Plugin-TC”.

      Better than not working, but less than ideal.

      • JTrip

        Thanks. I’ll give it a shot. Now if I could just get flash player working on it like my Nexus 4.

    • Rajesh

      What device are you trying to connect? As I mentioned in the article, for NTFS disks/drives, you will need root access.

      • JTrip

        Oh I was trying to access my computer’s hard drive. I can do that with my N4 but not my N5.

    • Menek

      Have you tried a mouse or a keyboard? Thanks!

      • Rajesh

        Yes, and they work flawlessly.

  • Tim

    Its workin for mouse, keyboard and stuff like that, but i cant get a usb stick or harddrive to work yet. Guess im gonna root it then :/

    • Ferenc Hechler

      You can access your USB-Stick without root from the filemanager “Total Commander” with the “USB-Stick Plugin”. Both are available in the Google-Play-Store.
      An instruction can be found here: http://usbstick.hechler.de/installdoc/

  • kitkat

    I’m having the same problem. Got my N5 today, and I can’t access the USB stick (tried 3 different ones) as well. I also tried Nexus Media manager and that also does not work, simply stay in Waiting for Media….

    I guess kitkat has a problem with OTG… Hope it will be fixed asap !

    • Rajesh

      Which USB stick are you trying? As I have mentioned in the article, you need to use StickMount to mount NTFS formatted drives.

      • Vijay Thomas

        But Stickmount works on rooted devices only

    • xaw2

      Don’t you need nexus media importer that dose not require root?

  • Gabe

    Google is evil. They don’t have sd cards on nexus phone so you’re forced to use google drive (32gb sd is $15. 5gb gdrive is $9/mo).

    Now they see people using flash drives. What they do? They release a os upgrade. Now on 4.4.4 theydisabled usb mass storage.

    No more USB flash drives. You suckers trusting google will have to succumb to gdrive.

    • Gabe

      Forgot to mention. On their controlled search results page, this (now wrong) information is the first result for n5 USB otg searches. Misleading everyone researching to buy a n5.

      Please update this article to inform it’s disabled. (though i bet your rank will drop to make rom to another misleading article instead)