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Tips on Transferring Files with USB Flash Drives

by Paul Sanders

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USB flash drive connecting to a laptop

When you want to transfer files between computers, you have several options to choose from. Using USB flash drives to move files around is arguably the fastest, most portable way to transfer your important data. Many high-capacity flash drives can hold more data than traditional CD-ROMs and DVD-ROM discs. Here are a few tips for transferring your files with USB flash drives.

USB Flash Drive File Transfers:

  1. Check your connection ports. Most flash drives use USB ports to connect to your computer or laptop. Make sure your computer has USB ports that allow you to connect your flash drive. If your computer uses a USB 3.0 port, it will read both USB 2.0 and 3.0 flash drives; however, if you buy a thumb drive that uses USB 3.0, it can only be used with a USB 3.0 port.

  2. Use high-capacity flash drives. The size of flash drive you use will depend on the size of the files you plan on transferring between computers. Three or four gigabytes are enough for moving a couple of text files and spreadsheets around. Moving high-resolution photos can use up your flash-drive space quickly, however, and larger files and programs can be stored on drives with as much as 100 GB of flash memory.

  3. Select files to transfer. The only limitation to transferring files is the amount of memory on your USB drive. Text files, music files and financial records are all commonly moved and backed up using flash drives. If your USB flash drive is large enough, you may be able to do a full system backup on it. That way, you can restore your files, system settings and programs if your hard drive fails.

  4. Take it on the road. Many car stereos feature USB ports. Load your flash drive with music from your CD and MP3 collection and take it on the road with you. Your vehicle's stereo system may support multiple music file types, including MP3 files. Check your vehicle user manual for more information on your car stereo. If you have installed an after-market stereo, consult the manual for the stereo itself.

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