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How to Use a USB Memory Stick

Updated February 21, 2017

Use a USB memory stick to transfer files from one computer to another. A memory stick, also called a flash drive, plugs into a USB port of a PC or Mac to collect files and temporarily store them on an internal memory card. USB flash drives or memory sticks are manufactured to hold differing memory amounts. Most will plug into a 1.0 or 2.0 USB port to retrieve files containing data or pictures. Sticks with high memory capacity can hold music, video and even video games with the right drivers. Some applications require downloads to enable recording for certain file types.

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  1. Copy files from a PC. Double click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop and take note of the items displayed in the window that opens. Slip the memory stick into an open USB port and see what the display calls the newly listed item. Most will call it a removable disk, but some will label it as a hard drive.

  2. Double click the "My Documents" icon. Highlight the file or folder you want to transfer by single clicking it. To highlight more than one, hold the "Ctrl" key down while single clicking multiple files or folders. Right-click a highlighted choice and roll the pointer over the "Send To" choice. Click on the selection showing the name the computer gave your memory stick, "removable disk," or other such.

  3. Double click the "unplug or eject hardware" icon on the system tray. This icon shows a green arrow over a grey slab, and appears on the lower right by the clock. Click to highlight the selection showing "removable disk," or other name given to your memory stick. Click the "Stop" button. Wait until a message balloon shows: safe to remove hardware, before unplugging the USB flash drive.

  4. Transfer files from a USB memory stick to a PC. Double click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop to open a window showing the various disks. Plug in the USB memory stick and see what identification is given to the new item. It may be labelled removable storage, or hard drive.

  5. Double click the new "removable storage," or "hard drive" item to reveal a list of files in the memory stick. Click the files or folders you want to transfer to the computer. Hold the "Ctrl" key to select multiple files.

  6. Right click one of the highlighted files. Click on the "Copy" selection.

  7. Double click the "My Documents" icon shown on the desktop. Right click to show a list of options. Click the "Paste" selection. All the icons that were highlighted from the memory stick list will appear on the My Documents page, and these files are now available on that computer.

  8. Double click the "unplug hardware" icon on the system tray. Highlight the computer's identification for the memory stick by clicking "removable storage," or "hard drive." Click on the "Stop" button. Wait for the balloon to show that it is safe to remove hardware before you unplug the memory stick.

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About the Author

Jonra Springs began writing in 1989. He writes fiction for children and adults and draws on experiences in education, insurance, construction, aviation mechanics and entertainment to create content for various websites. Springs studied liberal arts and computer science at the College of Charleston and Trident Technical College.

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