Flash drives have been a boon for sharing data. Their large storage capacities, quick loading and offloading of files, and their petite size make them ideal for carrying important files on your person. However, these little marvels are no good if you're unsure as to how to open the drive to see the files that you have loaded on it. Thankfully, the process is quick and easy on the Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.
Opening a Flash Drive in Windows
Insert the flash drive into an open USB port on the PC. Windows will pop up a window that gives you a list of things you can do with your newly inserted flash drive. Select the option to "Open files to view folders" and then click on the "OK" button. This will pop up a window with a listing of all the files that you have loaded onto the flash drive. Quick and easy, right? But what if that window doesn't pop up?
Bring up "My Computer". Click the "Start" button and then click "My Computer." This will show you a list of all the drives that you have available on your system, all labeled with a single letter such as "C" or "D." The primary drive will fill the first spot, C, with an secondary hard drives or CD/DVD drives carrying subsequent letters of the alphabet. The flash drive will typically be listed after your CD/DVD drives, and will often be labeled with the name of the manufacturer of that flash drive (unless you have changed the name to something more personalized).
Double-click the flash drive under "My Computer." This will show you the contents of the flash drive and allow you to work with your files.
Opening a Flash Drive in Mac/Linux
Insert the flash drive into an open USB port on your computer.
Find the icon for your newly inserted flash drive on the desktop. The Macintosh and the Linux operating systems share the same granddaddy: Unix. This makes the process for opening flash files under these two operating systems almost identical. Whenever you insert a flash drive into the USB port on your system, the operating system will place an icon for the device right on your desktop. You can also find the flash drive if you have a file navigation window open. It will be located in the left pane of this window, and will have the same name as the icon on your desktop. This name will typically be the name of the manufacturer of your flash drive (unless, as mentioned before, you have changed the name yourself).
Double-click the icon of the flash drive. This will open a window that shows you the files that are located on your flash drive. You can now work with them as usual.