USB sticks are great for storing frequently used files to access them on any computer with a USB port. These amazing devices, even being smaller than 5 cm, can even store a terabyte of information, although they are more common (and cheaper) in smaller capacities. Copying files to a pendrive is extremely simple, even if it's your first time.
Method 1 of 2: Using Windows
Step 1. Navigate to the folder containing the files you want to copy
Open "Windows Explorer" (also known as "File Explorer") by pressing the keys ⊞ Win+E. Navigate through the list of drives and folders on the left side until you find the location where the desired files are stored.
- Personal files are usually saved in the "Documents" folder (often called "My Documents" or "Leonardo's Documents" if that's your name).
- If you're looking for photos or music saved on your computer, look in the "Pictures" and "Music" folders.
Step 2. Insert the pendrive into a computer's USB port
USB ports are located in different locations depending on your computer. On desktop computers, these ports are usually found on the front panel, but they can also be on the back of the monitor. On notebooks, USB ports are located on both sides of the device.
Step 3. Find a place on your pendrive to store the copied files
You can copy files to any folder within it.
- Probably, a dialog box will appear right after connecting the pendrive to the computer. One of her options should be "Open folder to view files". Click on the link that will appear in the root (main folder) of the pendrive. Files can be copied directly to this folder or any other existing option.
- If no window appears, press the ⊞ Win+E keys to open the "Windows Explorer" and double click on the pendrive name on the left side of the screen. It should appear titled "USB Drive", "Removable Storage" or the manufacturer's name such as "Sandisk".
- Creating a new folder with a memorable name helps keep it organized. To create a new folder on the pendrive, press Ctrl+⇧ Shift+N and type the desired name (such as "Personal" or "Photos"). Press the ↵ Enter key. Double click on the folder to open it.
Step 4. Drag the file from your computer to the pendrive
With both "Windows Explorer" windows (one for the computer and the other for the USB stick) open, drag a file from one location to another. Dragging a file to a USB stick will create a copy of it without deleting the original version.
- To copy multiple files at once, press the Ctrl key and click on each of them. After highlighting the correct files, click on any of them and drag the group formed to the pendrive.
- You can also copy entire folders from your computer by dragging them in the same way.
Step 5. Save an open file directly to the pendrive
If you have a file open in Microsoft Word or Photoshop, you can save it directly to the pendrive without having to drag them between windows. Click on "File", then "Save As" and select a location to save it on the pendrive.
Step 6. Safely eject the drive
To ensure that no data is corrupted on the pendrive, it will need to be safely ejected.
- In the lower right corner of the screen next to the clock, click on the USB icon (depending on your version of Windows, it may have a green checkmark on top of it). Right click on the icon and then select "Safely Eject".
- After seeing the confirmation "Your device can now be safely removed", you can remove the pendrive from the USB port.
Method 2 of 2: Using a Mac Computer
Step 1. Insert the pendrive into a USB port
If you are using a notebook, the USB ports are located on the sides of the device. On Mac, they are usually located on the back of the monitor. The pendrive will automatically mount on the computer, and a new icon (which looks like a small white hard drive) will appear on the desktop.
Step 2. View files on pendrive
Double-click on the new pendrive icon on the desktop. Its contents will be displayed in a new window. You can copy files directly to the root (main folder) or to any other folder that appears in the right-hand panel.
- The amount of storage space on the pendrive also appears at the bottom of the window.
- You can also access the pendrive by opening the "Finder" and selecting the pendrive in the "Devices" area on the left side of the screen.
Step 3. Create a new folder for the copied files
Creating a new folder on the pendrive to copy the files can help, but it's not mandatory. Having folders named appropriately for the types of files they contain can help keep you organized.
- With the pendrive window open, press ⇧ Shift+⌘ Command+N keys to create a new folder.
- Enter the name for the folder and press the ⏎ Return key.
Step 4. Locate the files you want to copy from your computer
Open the "Finder" and navigate to the folder that contains the files you want to copy to the pendrive.
Step 5. Drag the files to the pendrive
To copy a file without deleting it from your computer, drag it into the open folder on the pendrive.
- If you created a new folder to save the files, drag them into it.
- To select more than one file at a time, Control+click each file and drag it to its new location.
Step 6. Eject the pendrive
Remember to "eject" the pendrive before removing it from the computer's USB port. This practice helps to avoid data corruption. Go to the desktop and drag the pendrive icon to the "Recycle Bin" (the icon will change to the word "eject" as you do). Then you can safely remove the pendrive.
- If you can't find the pendrive in your computer's file explorer after plugging it into the USB port, try removing it and plugging it in again.
- Make sure the pendrive has enough space before saving the files. A 2GB drive should suffice to save school documents or transfer documents. If you plan to save photos and music, consider purchasing a 64GB or 128GB device.
- According to experts, half of the USB sticks that people lose or forget somewhere are plugged into computers, usually by unscrupulous people. Consider encrypting your USB drive to protect your data or your identity.