How to Use a USB Flash Drive

By Jason Gordon

Flash memory has revolutionized data storage. Floppy disks were fragile and didn't hold enough. Zip Drives were too expensive and bulky. CD and DVD-ROMs took too long to burn and were awkward to carry around. USB flash drives solved all of these problems by being compact, easy-to-use, and reliable for data storage and transfer.

Step 1

Take off the cover of the drive to expose the USB connection, and plug it in to an open USB port on your computer.

Step 2

Check to make sure it installs. The device driver will load for your flash drive (watch for the pop-ups at the bottom right side of the screen). If nothing happens or installation is unsuccessful, visit the manufacturer website to check for an updated driver.

Step 3

Open up your new drive. Your operating system (Windows, etc) may ask what you want to do with the new drive. "Click on Open folder to view files." A blank folder should appear. You can also find your new drive by looking under "My Computer." Save from any open program to your flash drive by selecting "Save As" and the flash drive letter (usually E, F, or G).

Step 4

Transfer files onto your USB flash drive. Click and drag and files or folders you want to place on your flash drive into the empty folder. This process is only limited by the size of the drive (512MB, 1GB, etc).

Step 5

Remove the flash drive safely after transferring files by clicking on the taskbar icon that looks like a green arrow. Click on it and select "Safely remove mass storage device." If this doesn't work, close all folders and retry. The files and folders will remain on the USB drive until erased.

Step 6

Transfer your files to any computer using the same method as above. Plug in and install the drive. Open and view folder. Click and drag any files to and from the folder to the computer.

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