Checks on the iPad itself
You should first know that external drives can be managed on the iPad from the Files app and not from anywhere else. Once you have verified that it is not listed here, you will have to carry out the following checks.
Close background processes
It is possible that your iPad has “crashed” in a certain way, because some of the processes that it is executing may be causing problems. Closing open apps is not always effective, since other tasks may be running in the background despite this. The most effective way to restart all these processes is none other than restarting the iPad.
Yes, the classic switch off that, as funny as it sounds, many times it solves problems that seem to be more serious. It is advisable that, despite the possibility of restarting the iPad, perform a manual shutdown and after 15-20 seconds turn it on again. All this with the disk / pendrive disconnected, which we advise you not to reconnect until the tablet is turned on and you have opened the Files app.
Update the software if possible
A fundamental aspect to avoid errors is to always have the iPad updated to the latest software version available. In fact, Apple itself will require it when you go to repair with the iPad, so even going directly to technical service to solve this problem you should have done this before.
To find out if there is a more recent version of iPadOS that is compatible with your device, you must go to Settings> General> Software update. In this section you will see the new version, if there is one, ready for download and subsequent installation. Of course, you must have an internet connection to download and at least 50% battery on the iPad (or have it charging) so that it can be installed later.
Check the connection port
There is only one port through which you must connect the disk or pendrive to the iPad, which is the one at the bottom. If you are using a Magic Keyboard, you should know that the USB-C port that it incorporates is only valid for recharging the battery, so it will not be useful for other uses such as transferring files with external drives.
You must ensure that the port is fully functional, either by connecting other accessories that are connected through this connector or the charging cable itself. If they don’t work for you, you should check what happens to it, although as a general rule the main reason is usually dirt. It can be cleaned with a lint-free swab, so that you can remove any speck of dust, no matter how small, that could be preventing a correct connection.
Check this from external drive
Once the problems on the tablet itself have been ruled out, it is time to review the accessory in question. In fact, the alternatives that remain at this point all go through some kind of problem with it. In the following sections we tell you what you should check.
Is it compatible with your iPad?
In addition to having ensured through the description of the product that it works on iPadOS, you must confirm that it can be used through the port that your tablet has. We remember that iPad with Lightning connector have more restricted the use of external drives because they offer speeds lower than those with USB-C, so if your iPad is one of the first you could have problems because of it.
Once compatibility is assured, you should check that the disk has exFAT 32 format, which is the only one that is able to recognize the iPad. Due to the limitations of the Apple tablet software, this should be verified on a computer (Mac or Windows). If you verify that it has another format, you will have to give it to it, which is achieved by formatting, adding the corresponding option during the process so that it stays in exFAT 32.
Be careful if you use an adapter
Not all external drives have connections that are fully compatible with iPads, especially in the case of Lightning. This is where the adapters or hub come into play, so if you are having to use one as an intermediary between the disk / pendrive and the iPad, it could be the cause of your problems.
You will need to make sure that said adapter be ready for data transferAs otherwise it could be reason enough for the iPad not to even detect it. There may also be the situation that you are defective, so we advise that you try some other adapter if possible and even that you try that same one on other computers to confirm if it only fails on the iPad or it also fails on the others.
Beyond what was previously commented, if you have not been able to solve the problem, perhaps it is that the disk itself is defective. This can be seen by testing use it on other computers, whether they are also iPad or computers. If it is not recognized in these it can be a clear indication that it is defective, but it can also be the own cable you are using to connect it.
Therefore other valid tests are to use other cables with the disk to see if this way the accessory can be recognized. In the same way, you can try connect another disk to iPad, although we understand that this in the end is more complicated because you may not have any. In any case, these are the final methods that we find to end up ruling out bigger problems.
If the problem persists
Since you have not been able to solve these problems on your own, the chances that the disk and / or the iPad are defective are already very high. Therefore, it is advisable that contact the manufacturer or seller disc to use the warranty, if you still have it. In case you didn’t have it, you would have no choice but to buy a new album.
And while it is true that it is strange that the iPad port fails for file transfer and not for charging, it is not ruled out either. Therefore the other option you have at this point is to contact technical service and request assistance so that they can diagnose the device and discover what your problem is, offering you the best solution in that case.