How to Save Files to a USB Flash Drive

Written by jacqui lane Google
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How to Save Files to a USB Flash Drive
USB flash drives are also referred to as thumb drives and pen drives. (Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A USB flash memory stick is an inexpensive, portable way to back up data. The devices can be used in any computer with a USB port, making it a convenient way to transfer files from one computer to another. When you plug a USB flash drive into your computer, Windows automatically recognises it as an external storage device.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Remove the cap from the USB flash drive if it has one. If it has a retractable USB connector, slide the switch forward to extend the connector.

  2. 2

    Insert the USB connector into a USB port on your computer. The direction in which you insert the drive depends on the orientation of your computer's USB ports; some computers use vertical ports while others use horizontal ports.

  3. 3

    Click "Open Folder to View Files" in the AutoPlay menu that appears. If the AutoPlay menu doesn't pop up automatically, click "Start" and select "My Computer." Double-click on the drive letter that represents the USB flash drive.

  4. 4

    Navigate to the folder on your computer containing the files you want to save to the USB drive. Hold "CTRL" and click each file that you want to copy. Press "CTRL" and "C" to copy the files.

  5. 5

    Click the folder representing the USB flash drive and press "CTRL" and "V" to copy the files onto the USB drive.

Tips and warnings

  • To save a file or document directly to the USB drive, select "Save As" in the program you are using and select the drive letter representing the flash drive from the list. Press "Enter" to save the file directly to the drive.
  • USB Flash Drives are not immune to viruses.
  • Extreme heat or cold, water, physical damage; all of these could cause internal damage to the drive and corrupt the information stored on it.

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