How to Access a Flash Drive

Flash drives provide an efficient method to transfer, store and access files. They serve as a convenient way to manage small or large data from documents and music to system backups and utilities. To successfully access a flash drive, all that is needed is an available USB port on your computer.

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View and access a flash drive's contents through a computer's USB port.

Access from Windows

Step

Connect your flash drive to a USB port on your PC and allow Windows to recognize it. Click the “Start” menu and launch “My Computer.”

Step

Double-click the flash drive from the list of storage devices. The device in question is typically named “Removable Storage.” Alternatively, the company or brand label is used instead.

Step

Launch or modify files within the drive. When finished, right-click the flash drive label and select “Eject” to safely remove it from your computer.

Access from DOS

Step

Connect your flash drive to any USB port available on your PC. Turn on your computer and press “F8” during the POST procedure (before your Windows logo is displayed) to launch the Windows Advanced Boot options. Select “Safe Mode with Command Prompt” and press “Enter.”

Step

Access the drive letter corresponding to your flash drive. While there is no direct command to see a list of available storage units, you may type an experimental drive letter, followed by a colon, and press “Enter.” For example, typing “D:” and pressing “Enter” would access that drive’s contents, if available.

Step

Type “Dir” to see a list of available files and folders within the flash drive. Launch a desired file by typing “CD\Foldername” and press “Enter,” where “Foldername” represents the directory you wish to access. To launch a particular file, type the file name within the folder in question, or within the root of the flash drive.

Access from Mac OS

Step

Insert your flash drive into a USB port on your Mac computer. Allow the system to properly register the device.

Step

Launch the flash drive icon that appears on the desktop to view or access your flash drive.

Step

When finished, drag and drop the flash drive icon into the trash can, which is located next to the system dock on your desktop.