Mass storage mode is a setting that allows a desktop or laptop computer to easily integrate with a mobile device. When mass storage mode is on, a mobile device is treated like a removable disk, which allows the computer to directly talk with the device. While the mobile device goes into this storage mode, the computer is actually accessing the device's memory card and its contents. The major benefit of this mode is that files can be quickly moved and added without intermediate software. Some mobile devices force users to manually enable this mode, while others enable it automatically.
Before mass storage mode, a mobile device could be connected to a computer and the user could move and add files. The difference was that the mobile device had to use an intermediate driver to communicate with the computer. This intermediate driver slowed down the process and required some of the computer’s hard drive space. With mass storage mode, the mobile device is treated like a removable disk when it is plugged into the computer’s universal serial bus (USB) port.
Some mobile devices have internal memory, meaning they can hold files without a memory card. Most devices require a memory card, and this is where all or most of the devices’ contents are stored. This means that, when this mode is enabled, the computer is directly accessing the memory card. If mobile devices have internal memory, then the computer is typically able to access both the internal memory and the memory card simultaneously.
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The primary benefit of using mass storage mode is that it takes much less time to move and interact with files in the mobile device. By using the driver method, the computer has to go through the driver and initiate a command to move or add a file, and the driver must relay this command to the mobile device. With mass storage, the computer directly tells the mobile device that it wants to move or add a file. This also means the computer has to use less memory to work with the mobile device, resulting in faster transfers.
Mobile devices may require the user to manually enable mass storage mode. Some devices can automatically initiate this mode whenever a USB connection is made. Performance levels are about the same when the computer is interacting with the device, regardless of whether this is initiated manually or automatically.