Introduction: Hidden USB Storage

Picture of Hidden USB Storage

If you're like me, you may or may not have secret files plotting world domination and other devious deeds. These files obviously need to be hidden from the prying eyes of sisters, FBI agents, grandparents, etc. We are going to convert a phone jack in the wall into a secret USB memory device.

Note: I am not responsible for any illegal files or folders hidden on this device. Use your discretion before downloading any content you may believe to be illegal.

Now, with that out of the way, lets start building!

Side-note: check out my newest online project APERTUREshift!

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

I did this project without spending a dime. If, however, you aren't privileged to have a box full of miscellaneous wires, you may have to buy some cheap items.


1. Quality USB cable - I used an old iPod cable.

2. RJ-11 cord - Make sure there are four wires inside by looking through the clear connector. If you only see two wires, find a different cable.

3. A USB extension cord - make sure one of the ends is female. (You can go without this but you will have to break open your memory stick, and mess around inside...not suggested.)

4. USB stick containing your secret data.

5. And finally, the phone jack from the wall.


1. Zippo or a different, inferior lighter.

2. Shrink tubing - If you don't have some of this stuff around the house, you should be ashamed of yourself.

3. Knife or wire strippers.

4. Screwdriver.

5. Solder and soldering iron.

Step 2: Castrate the Male

Picture of Castrate the Male

The first thing you will want to do is cut off the male end of the USB extender. Keep as much wire on the female side as possible. (1st pic)

Strip the plastic, braided shielding, and foil shielding off the wires. USB 2.0 uses four wires to transfer 5VDC and data. However, my extender had a fifth unshielded copper wire that helped keep everything from crimping. This fifth wire is useless, and I cut it off. (2nd pic)

Step 3: Red to Red, White To.....Yellow?

Picture of Red to Red, White To.....Yellow?

The Standard USB colors are black, white, green, and red. The standard phone jack colors are black, yellow, green, and red. The similarity made it simple - match all the colors, and match the white and yellow.

Loosen four screws on the back of the phone jack. (1st pic)

Now take each of the four wires from the female USB, and tighten them to their respective screws. (2nd pic)

Insert your memory stick, and your done with the in-wall portion (3rd pic)

Step 4: Solder, Shrink, Repeat

Picture of Solder, Shrink, Repeat

You're going to need to expose the wires of the iPod USB cable. As before, strip off the rubber, metal braid, and foil. I also found some fiberglass in-between the wires for strength - just cut those off. After exposing the four wires, CAREFULLY strip each, keeping the metal inside as intact as possible. (1st pic)

Now grab the phone cord, and cut off one of the ends leaving about 2 in of wire. Strip the outer casing and strip each of the four wires. (2nd pic)

Take a piece of shrink tubing slightly larger than the iPod cable, and slide it down to the end of the iPod cord. Make sure you do this first, or you will have to undo your solder joints to put it on. Now take some small shrink tubing and slip it over one of the small phone wires, twist corresponding USB and phone wires together, and solder. Don't use too much solder or the shrink tubing will not fit over the joint. After soldering, slide the shrink tubing over the joint and shrink with your nifty Zippo lighter (or a heat gun). Repeat this for all four wires, matching the colors like you did in step 3. (3rd & 4th pic)

Remember the large shrink tubing over the USB cable? It's time to slide it over the entire joint creating a semi-professional finish. (5th pic)

Step 5: Done!

Picture of Done!

If, your memory stick has a LED on it like mine, I would suggest putting a piece of electrical tape over it so that it doesn't reveal your secrets. Attach the fake phone jack to the wall, and replace the face plate. If you used a phone box from Radioshack, simply attach it to an inconspicuous spot on the baseboard near your computer.

To access your secret plans, all you do is plug the USB end into your computer and the phone end into your fake phone jack. It should show up as a USB mass storage device.

Congratulations! your plans are now well hidden. Thank you for reading my Instructable; comments are appreciated as usual.


MichaelM450 (author)2016-01-19

Use Case: Protect your files on your computer with that and use it as a deadmans switch while having an encrypted Harddrive.

Or a Storehouse for the partition/file decryption key files. No files, no open.

Ploopy (author)2015-08-08


lol. your "Secret Plans.txt" is empty...

shafeek.zakko (author)2014-10-15

Thanks, a really great work
you are a funny guy :D

vikas.potluri (author)2014-10-12

For more secrecy, use a telephone cord that goes up to your computer and then using a female to male telephone cord extender, replace the male with the usb so you have a switch...and if you ever get caught just plug it into your computer (assuming you have a telephone input and it won't cause popups :) )

Nathanator1416j (author)2014-10-09

Wow! This really is a great idea! I think I might try it in some form or another.

AbsoluteƵERØ (author)2014-10-09

Just be careful with a hack like this. If you accidentally plug the wire into a live phone jack and get a phone call (over POTS) you could seriously fry your motherboard on your machine.

Rambones (author)2014-05-07

Just made an ethernet version works great :) thank you

dazzer991 (author)Rambones2014-10-02

how did you do that as im trying to do that for my external hard drive

ZeroVirus (author)dazzer9912014-10-09

Just use the same principles as this. RJ-45 has 8 wires instead of the 4 for RJ-11. Pick 4 wires and then follow this procedure.

hornbadoing (author)2014-10-06

thats an RJ-11 not an RJ-45.

chrwei (author)hornbadoing2014-10-09

I'm simply amazing that this has remained wrong for 6 years. you are not the first to point it out.

Grey_Wolfe (author)2013-10-28

I enjoyed the whole 'secret plans' spy theme to your Ible. Also, generally an excellent idea.

But the first thing I thought when you said that one would need to hide those files from the FBI was that the FBI would probably open your phone jacks to plant bugs and find your secrets by accident.

Either way, great Ible, and you made me smile. :D

binaryben (author)Grey_Wolfe2014-10-09

That awkward moment when you go to store your secrets in a phone jack and find existing bugs!

dan3008 (author)2014-07-03

Going to make this with my unused wall phone jack upstairs. Its not even connected to anything, so will make a perfect hiding place

CameronRobertson (author)2014-06-30

Wow, this is amazing! How I wish I had stumbled upon your secret site when I was still back in my teenage years and had so much more stuff to hide from the parents/sisters/teachers. Now, I can still do it just for the sake of how mysterious it is going to feel like. However, I am not really a technical kind of person and it would be great if you could post an instructional video for this amazing spy storage device? I would appreciate if you could do that, but no worries if you do not have the time to do so. I understand that you might be busy doing up other spy gadgets. ;)

SARCHASTIC ONE (author)2014-04-23

Wow I love it, just bought a soldering iron and it arrived today, cant wait to try this out.


sokka (author)2013-11-30

I did this with a 1TB USB powered external hard drive with an EXISTING phone jack in my house. They guy who built it put in phone jacks with 4 jacks in each plate (and there is plenty of space below the plates to mount a disk drive). Only one of them in each room works, leaving 3 to play with. One of the jacks goes to power the drive and one is for data transfer, and I have one more for whatever purpose I want! Time to put a powered speaker into my brother's room with preexisting wiring!

Everett_McKinley (author)2012-01-19

shrink tubing is awesome, but black tape should work just as good.

iNate (author)Everett_McKinley2013-11-24

Black tape will draw in moisture but being inside it should be fine

ccronkhite (author)2013-10-22

An additional option would be a magnetically controlled switch to disconnect it on the inside. Similar to a magnetic child lock for cabinets. The magnetic key could be hidden inside some random object. That way if someone did find the cord and they tried that phone jack it wouldn't work without also having the secret key.

astral_mage (author)2013-09-30

466 comments an counting?

mjzmjz (author)2010-05-10

really good idea, 1 question, can I put the usb drive in a live phone plate? Can I use the phone on that line, then unplug the phone, then use the usb drive?

Toki Wartooth (author)mjzmjz2010-06-03

I'm pretty sure that wouldn't work. I'm assuming you would splice the phone line and the USB line together and terminate it at the phone jack. Phone lines carry a little bit of electricity so with it added to the USB power output from the computer's it would probably overload the little USB stick. Even if it didn't fry it the electrical signals from the phone line would make some kind of background noise that the computer probably couldn't ignore.

You could always get a dual jack phone plate though. ;)

actually it dc low voltage current than ac. c tesla still got his dc into the homes

account3r2 (author)Toki Wartooth2010-09-20

"Phone lines carry a little bit of electricity..."

a little bit? phones carry around 60v dc idle and 120v ac ringing

Toki Wartooth (author)account3r22010-09-20

Yes, you are right it. It is more than a "little". My point still stands though. It's not the 5 watts necessary for a USB device.

*volts. that would be one hot flash drive if it was 5 watts

account3r2 (author)Toki Wartooth2010-09-21

yeah, i guess so.

cparida (author)account3r22011-06-01

enought 2 kill u!!!!

I nave never measured more than 10volts DC on a phone line - but then again that maybe something that varies by region.

junits15 (author)Toki Wartooth2010-06-22

it should be fine, as long as the switches are spdt and assuming you dont want to use the phone and usb at the same time :)

biomech75 (author)mjzmjz2011-11-22

If you put the flashdrive along with the live phone box the power that the live phone connection has could damage the drive

cparida (author)mjzmjz2011-06-01

are u mad?

TrippingJimmies (author)mjzmjz2010-07-16

This would work with an RJ-45 (8 wire) connection. You setup the phone on the blue pair of the jack and the USB on any of the four wires.

or an ethernet port. The ethernet port only uses 4 wires,leaving you with the other 4 (just make sure you aren't using power over ethernet)
So if you use wall mounted jacks, you can easily make a special cable to extract your precious files while leaving it useable for internet with a regular unmodified jack

Tithen (author)mjzmjz2010-07-13

you could drill a small hole then feed the wires for the usb through and wrap them around your phone cable and maybe put a bit of tape around it and connect the wires to a usb male. kinda like when you have a wireless keyboard, the wires are kinda joined but split up at the end for the ps2. does that makes sense idk how to explain it.

hoonflap (author)mjzmjz2010-06-22

maybe wire a bunch of reed switches (4 closed when no magnet for phone and 4 open when no magnet) for the phone and the usb, then put a bar magnet across the front as your "key" to access the usb. phone jack should still work when plugged into a phone with no magnet present.

okiebookie (author)2013-07-27

Good idea. But the USB/phone patch cable needs to be hidden. A searcher would surely start plugging it in to all phone jacks or look for dead phone jacks.

ssykes6 (author)2013-06-27

You're brilliant!

BlackHatCracker (author)2013-06-13

I love it totally! The thing is that I would not have it that close to my work area... Someplace remote, and out of sight.. Leaving that line to a remote location that only you, or I would know about... Other than that... BRAVO! Keep on with the idea of World Domination! Just remember me when you decide to do it... Also, I would suggest using a encryption program when storing the files on the drive as a just in case measure.

BlackHatCracker (author)2013-06-13

I love it totally! The thing is that I would not have it that close to my work area... Someplace remote, and out of sight.. Leaving that line to a remote location that only you, or I would know about... Other than that... BRAVO! Keep on with the idea of World Domination! Just remember me when you decide to do it... Also, I would suggest using a encryption program when storing the files on the drive as a just in case measure.

lug big lug (author)2013-06-03

Not tryin to hate, awesome project and Im probably going to do this, but I am suprised noone has chewed you out for saying RJ45 on that cable. RJ45 is what is used to make ethernet cables and what you are showing is an RJ11 which is for a normal phone line. I might be missing something but thats what it appears to be from the pics. Hate if you wanna, dont if your gunna. Just a peice of friendly advice. If you did use a RJ45 you could possibly use two flashdrives behind it with two different usb ports on the top or something like that hahaha. Awesome 'ible though!!!

Derpancakes (author)2013-03-27

The simplicity is genius.

Lucky7x7 (author)2013-03-11

Great idea.

waterlubber (author)2012-02-15

or, put a relay so when the phone line is connected and the reed switch is OFF (allowing phone, no USB)the relay activates putting on a HUGE resistor, usb saved! to access, use reed switch to kill phone.

waterlubber (author)2012-02-15

Remote Storage Method:
You use an arduino w/ ethernet sheild
Connect ethernet to any ethernet port in house.
connect rest of wires to arduino
make program
connect to server joo made then plug in custom cable


Set up a "special" wiring system in your house, not connected to phone or ethernet. do the instrucable. ta da!

Everett_McKinley (author)2012-01-19

wicked idea.

Ajan (author)2011-08-16

loved it!!

boyrock375 (author)2011-07-19

i really loved this instrucatable and decided to go all out...i had a cluster of conections in my wall so i disconected what i wasnt using and put a 500 gig hard drive in of the small ones that runs off usb power and cover it all back up to look like normal =^.^=

Jamez Britton (author)2011-06-17

This is an absolutely brilliant way to hide stuff. Really good idea!

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