How to Use a Flash Drive

Knowing how to use a flash drive enables you to use this high speed, affordable data to store and retrieve your data whenever and wherever you want. Read more on how to use a USB flash drive.
Techspirited Staff
Last Updated: Jul 20, 2018
Flash drives are data storage devices that are integrated with the Universal Storage Bus (USB). Also known as a pen drive, thumb drive, or a memory stick, flash drives are reusable and rewritable memory storage devices that are small enough to fit your pocket and are also handy and quite easy to use.
Unlike storage devices like CDs and DVDs, flash drives are highly scratch resistant and are thus, not prone to the data loss and volatile memory loss. Most modern operating systems like Windows, Mac OS X, Linux support flash drives, gaming devices like the Playstation 3, and even your normal DVD and CD players are equipped with flash drive support.
What is a USB Flash Drive?
USB Flash drives are printed circuit boards that carry certain circuit elements and a USB connector. This circuit board is encased within a plastic or rubberized case. The connectors are encased by a removable cap and often use a standard type-A USB that makes it easy to plug into any personal computer or laptops.
Moreover, these flash drives do not require device drives and can store data ranging from 32 MB to 8 GB and even more. The device can hold any type of data including excel, jpeg, video, and text files.
Flash Drive Use Instructions
Installation of Flash Drives
For using the flash drives, you first need to plug it into the USB port of your computer or laptop. If the computer does not have a USB port, then you can use USB-equipped device for installing the flash drive.
Automatic Installation on Computer
Once the flash drive is inserted in the port, you need to wait for the hardware to be installed. Once the computer recognize the drive, the option "Open folder to view files using Windows Explorer" opens up.
If this option does not appear, then you can click on the "My Computer" and see which drives are shown. You can observe an icon or listing with the flash drive such as "Removable Disk (G:)". Click on the icon to check the files available in the flash drive.
Saving Files on Flash Drive
Saving files on a flash drive is quite simple. Open the file that you want to save and from the "File" option select, "Save as". Select the flash drive or the removable drive from the "Save in" drop down menu. Once the flash drive is selected, click on the "Save" button.
Copying the Files
If you want to copy files or folders to the flash drive or from it, then select the files you want to copy by left-clicking on them. For more than one file, hold the Ctrl key while you select the files. Right click on the chosen files and choose the "Copy" option. Open the folder where you want to save the files, right click, and select the "Paste" option.
Removing the Flash Drive
Once you have finished copying, do not just pull out the USB drive. This can cause the data being corrupted or the flash drive to stop working. Instead, look for the "Remove Hardware" icon on the system tray.
Left click this icon to open a window where all the flash drives are listed. Click on the line that matches your flash drive and watch the "Safe to Remove Hardware" message flashing on the "Remove Hardware" icon. This is a signal that it is now safe to pull out the USB drive from the computer or laptop port.
Remember that these instructions apply only to the Windows operating system. The information may change if you are using a Linux or Unix operating system. The formatting may also differ for a Macintosh and Windows computers.