How to Transfer Data From a Flash Drive Onto Your Computer

By Abby Vaun

Flash drives can store text, video and music files. Because of its small size, a flash drive is convenient to carry and makes transferring data between two computers simple. Flash drives are compatible with both PCs and Macs, and most are ready to use right out of the package. A flash drive plugs into a USB port on your computer; it is sometimes called a USB drive, pen drive or thumb drive.

Step 1

Plug the flash drive into a USB port on your computer. USB ports can be on the side, front or back of your computer.

Step 2

Locate the flash drive icon on your computer. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, click the "Start" menu and select "Computer." In Windows XP, click the "Start" menu and select "My Computer." On some systems, a window for the flash drive will automatically open when you plug it in. Click "Open folder to view files," then click "OK." On a Mac, the flash drive icon will automatically appear on the desktop.

Step 3

Double-click the flash drive icon to open it. Drag the files and data you want to transfer onto your computer's hard drive.

Step 4

Close the window for the flash drive. For a PC, move your cursor over the icons in the system tray. When you find the one that says "Safely remove hardware," click the icon. When the message "Safe to remove hardware" is displayed, you may unplug the flash drive from your computer. For Mac computers, drag the flash drive icon to the trash and unplug the flash drive.