How to Save Files Using a Thumb Drive

By Contributing Writer

A thumb drive is a portable hardware device that is used to save computer files. The files can be accessed by plugging the thumb drive into any computer with a USB hub. A thumb drive is also known as a flash drive, USB drive or jump drive. It's easy to use and provides flexibility for people who need to use files at more than one location.

Saving and Copying Files on a PC

Step 1

Open "My Computer" and note which drives appear in the folder.

Step 2

Locate a USB hub on the computer. Plug the thumb drive into the USB hub.

Step 3

Note where the new drive appears in the "My Computer" folder. Usually, it will appear as a removable disk with an identifying letter, i.e., "Removable Disk E."

Step 4

Copy a file to the thumb drive by right-clicking on it with your mouse. Copy more than one file by holding down "Control" as you click each file. Select "Send To" on the pop up menu and choose the name of the thumb drive you saw appear in the "My Computer" folder.

Step 5

Save a file to the thumb drive by clicking "Save As" in the program you're using to create the file and choosing the correct drive from the drop-down menu.

Step 6

Left-click the "Remove Hardware" icon in the system tray in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. It will have an illustration of the thumb drive with a green arrow. A message will appear telling you it's safe to remove the drive.

Step 7

Remove the thumb drive from the USB hub.

Saving and Copying Files on a Mac

Step 1

Plug in the thumb drive. A white thumb-drive icon will appear on the desktop.

Step 2

Copy files to the thumb drive by dragging and dropping them on top of the white icon. To drag and drop multiple files, hold down the Apple key on the keyboard as you select the files.

Step 3

Drag the white thumb drive icon to the Trash; it will change from a trash can to an Eject icon.

Step 4

Remove the thumb drive from the computer when the white thumb-drive icon is no longer visible on the desktop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Thumb drives come with different memory capacities, so make sure to choose one with a memory large enough to suit your needs.

References & Resources