How to Delete Everything Off a Flash Drive

By James Porter

Flash drives are the new tool of choice for transporting files from computer to computer. They are a major improvement over floppy disks, zip disks and CDs, because of their speed, storage size, ease of use and ability to be reused. You can drag and drop files onto them in a few seconds, or pull files off onto your computer. Or, you can clear the whole thing and free up all of its memory. It only takes a few minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Flash drive
  • Computer

Step 1

Find an unused USB port on your computer and plug your flash drive into it.

Step 2

Double-click on the flash drive to open it up. If you have Windows, you should be able to find it in My Computer under "Devices with Removable Storage." If you have a Mac, it should have popped up on the desktop.

Step 3

Highlight everything in the window. You can push Ctrl + A (Apple + A for a Mac), or just drag a box around all the icons. Alternatively, you can click on the first icon to select it, then push Shift and click on the very last icon.

Step 4

Push "Delete." Or, right click on one of the icons and click on Delete. A window may appear asking you to confirm that you want to delete everything. Just push OK. Your flash drive is now empty.

Tips & Warnings

  • It may take a couple minutes for the flash drive to clear itself. Make sure you don't pull it out of the USB port until it is done.