All Sections

How to add extra storage to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones

Here’s how to get more storage in the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones, if you have the basic 32GB model or don’t have the cash for the 128GB version. From memory card adapters to cloud storage, these are the best solutions for quickly expanding the Pixel phones’ memory.

Last year, Google’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P mobiles annoyed us greatly by shunning memory card support, meaning you were stuck with the built-in storage space. In 2016, Google has continued this irritating Apple-style dismissal of microSD memory cards with its new Pixel phone and Pixel XL handsets.

Of course, one of the reasons for that might be to get consumers to stump up an extra £100 for the mighty 128GB model of Pixel and Pixel XL. After all, most people will probably fill the basic 32GB handset quickly, leaving you craving extra storage space.

But never fear, here’s how to quickly and easily expand the Pixel phones’ built-in storage with handy accessories like Type-C USB storage keys and memory card adapters.

Read next: Our quick-and-easy guide to freeing up wasted storage on your phone.

How to expand the Pixel or Pixel XL’s storage space: Plug a drive into the USB Type-C port

By purchasing an external Type-C USB drive that supports Android phones, you’ll be able to carry around as much stuff as you like and transfer to and from your handset simply by plugging the two together.

Sandisk is one manufacturer who offers portable USB Type-C flash drives, like the sexily-titled Sandisk Ultra Dual Drive USB Type-C. These come packing up to 128GB of built-in storage space and can read data at up to an impressive 150MB/s, thanks to the Type-C technology.

How to expand the Pixel or Pixel XL’s storage space: Wirelessly transmit your media with a streaming device

Got a massive stash of HD movies and music that you want to take away on holiday, only to be confronted with the Pixel phone’s limited storage? You could always get yourself a hard disk that offers wireless streaming to your Pixel or Pixel XL smartphone.

Manufacturers like Seagate and Sandisk offer WiFi drives that can connect to a wireless network and stream video and audio content direct to a mobile phone. For instance, the Seagate Wireless Plus packs a mighty 1TB of space, enough to carry hundreds of HD films wherever you roam.

How to expand the Pixel or Pixel XL’s storage space: Use a microSD memory card adapter

While the Pixel and Pixel XL don’t have a built-in microSD memory card slot, you can purchase third-party memory card adapters that plug into the Google phones’ USB port and allow you to add microSD storage all the same.

One such solution is the HyperDrive USB Type-C Adapter. This handy plastic device slips into the Pixel’s charging port and adds slots for microSD and full-sized SD cards, as well as a full-sized USB port for attaching a USB flash drive.

In this way you can quickly transfer files to and from your Pixel or Pixel XL. So you can easily backup your photos and videos and other important stuff, while copying new music or the latest Hollywood blockbusters onto your phone.

How to expand the Pixel or Pixel XL’s storage space: Carry your files in the cloud

The good news for Pixel phone owners is that Google is offering to back up all of your photos and videos that you shoot with the 12-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel selfie camera, free of charge. These are backed up at full resolution, so you get no loss in quality.

Of course, this isn’t much use if you want more space for apps, games and other bits. But thankfully you can also create your own cloud storage at home, using a NAS drive. Check Amazon for affordable NAS solutions, which connect to your home WiFi and can be accessed from anywhere in the world – providing you have an internet connection.

Check out our full Pixel and Pixel XL tips and tricks guide for our round-up of the best hidden features and how to get the most out of your new Pixel phone.