The Lumia 950 and USB OTG: Thumb drives, microphones and keyboards

In our review of the Microsoft Lumia 950 I noted that there is support for USB OTG and Type-C peripherals. Now, we'll go more in-depth and show you some of the more practical things you can do with it using a cheap USB Type-C adapter.

The gist of the technology means that you can use external storage like a USB thumb drive or any USB card reader and connect it up to your Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 XL. Using the build in File Explorer in Windows 10 Mobile you can then browse the drive, view and edit files like .docx, .pdf, image files and music, create folders, move things around and more.

Obviously the big benefit here would be for students or those in enterprise who need to transfer documents or access files on their phone from an external storage source.

You can also use USB microphones like the BLUE Yeti microphone for higher-quality audio recording.

You can connect up a wireless or even wired mouse too, which results in a mouse cursor on your phone. However, we did have stability issues on occasion. Likewise, keyboards work as well for typing.

Unfortunately, connecting up an Xbox controller had no benefit and no, it did not work with Halo Spartan Strike. Seeing as these are mostly driver issues, and this is technically Windows 10, we suppose Microsoft could roll out wider support for various USB peripherals.

Regardless, it is clear now that our phones are running Windows 10 OS, so none of this should be too surprising. Still, if you can now know that this does work in case you were on the fence. Certainly this also opens the door for more USB peripherals for Windows Phone in the future, and that is very exciting.

For more information on Microsoft's Type-C support you can read their documentation:

Microsoft: Windows support for USB Type-C connectors

Watch our hands-on video and let us know what you think!

USB Type-C Adapters Tested

Where to buy

Want to know which Type-C cable to get? How about a micro SD card? Read these guides for the best tips.


Want all the latest news on these phones? Hit these topic pages for all that we got.

Support and help forums

Want to chat about the Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL? Jump into our forums and ask others what they think or get help and advice on your new phone!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.