How to Get Files Off Your USB Flash Drive in Mac OS X

By K.C. Winslow

When you use a USB flash drive in Mac OS X, there are two ways of getting the files off the drive. If you copy the files from the flash drive to the Mac, a copy of the files is left on both the drive and the Mac. Alternatively, you can erase the files from the flash drive.

Step 1

Plug the USB flash drive into the USB port of the Mac computer while the computer is turned on. The device will mount to the Desktop.

Step 2

Double-click on the icon for the flash drive to reveal the contents of the drive.

Step 3

Select the file you want to copy to the Mac by clicking on it. Select multiple files by holding down the "Shift" key while you click on the files.

Step 4

Drag the file or files to a location on the computer. A status bar will appear on the screen while the files are copying to the computer.

Step 5

Select the file you want to erase from the flash drive by clicking on it. Select multiple files by holding down the "Shift" key while you click on the files.

Step 6

Drag the file or files to the Trash folder. The Trash folder icon is found on the Dock.

Step 7

Go to the "Finder" menu at the top of the screen and select "Empty Trash." Confirm you want to erase the files in the pop-up window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ensure you have a backup copy of any important files before you erase them from the flash drive to avoid losing information.