How to Use a Flash Drive
Flash drives are a quick, cheap, and easy way to back up data and take it with you. Most now fit into a regular USB port and are not normally bigger than your thumb. The great thing about them is that flash drives are very easy to use and writing and storing data on them can be done very quickly. The best thing about flash drives is that they don’t require any software to work properly and work easily with all modern computers. Let's learn the basics of how to use a flash drive.
Learning to use a flash drive is easy and can be done with very little hassle or frustration.
Installing Your USB Flash Drive
Remove the flash drive from its packaging and insert it into the USB port in your computer. The USB port is a small rectangular slot that you can find on either the front or the back of a tower of the computer. If you have a laptop, the USB ports are usually located on the sides.
Once inserted, a little bubble will pop up stating that it is automatically installing your USB flash drive hardware onto your computer. After a few seconds (or minutes depending on how fast your computer is) another little bubble will let you know that your new hardware was successfully installed and is now ready to use.
Another window will pop up and ask you what you want to do with your flash drive. To access files already on your flash drive, select the option that says “Open Folder to View Files”. Click Okay and then the box will expand to show you what is currently on your flash drive.
Saving or Moving Data to Your Flash Drive
You can save new data onto your flash drive as long as the size of the file does not exceed the space available.
There are a few ways to save new content to your flash drive, including:
- The Save As Method: While you have a file open on your screen, click the File button and select “SAVE As” from the drop down menu. This will bring you to a screen that has “Save As” at the top left. Directly beneath it you should see “Save in”. Select the drop down menu and a list of places to save your file will appear. Select the name of your flash drive, then click the Save button. The file will save itself to your flash drive.
- The Drag and Drop: This method is much easier – just keep the flash drive window you first opened nearby and then go to the area that has the files you want to save onto your flash drive. Click once on the file, hold it, and then drag the file to the flash drive window and let go. Now the file is on your flash drive. You can remove it easily by dragging the file back onto your desktop OR by right clicking on the file and then selecting “Delete”.
Removing Your Flash Drive
When you’re ready to remove your flash drive, NEVER just pull it out of your computer. Instead, find a small icon near your computer clock that has a green arrow pointing to the left. Hover your mouse over it and it will say “Safely Remove Hardware”.
Click it and a small box will appear that reads “USB Mass Storage Device” – click that and it will expand to show you the name of your flash drive. Select the name of your flash drive from the menu and click OK.
A bubble will pop up telling you it’s safe to remove the hard drive and then you can take the flash drive out of your computer! Now you know all the basics about how to use a flash drive!
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Follow the links below to learn more about using flash drives, file transfers on flash drives and Secure Data Recovery's flash drive recovery services.