How to Back Up Files to a USB Flash Drive

By Editorial Team

Updated July 21, 2017

USB flash drive
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A USB flash drive is small enough to fit in your hand, yet large enough to store up to 1 GB of computer data. This makes transporting files from your home computer to another computer a convenient process. You can also use a USB flash drive to back up files on your computer to avoid losing them in the case of a hard drive crash.

Insert your USB flash drive into a USB port on your PC or laptop.

Click the "Start" button on your desktop and click "Computer." Double-click the USB flash drive to open a window to display its contents.

Click "Start" and "Computer" again to open another window. Reposition both computer windows as necessary so that they don't overlap.

Click and hold the left mouse button over a file you want to back up. Drag it to the flash drive window and release the mouse button. Your computer copies the file over.

Repeat Step 4 for each file you want to back up. Close both windows and remove the USB flash drive when you have finished.


Ensure that your USB flash drive is large enough to accommodate what you want to save. If you only want to save certain files from the hard drive to the flash drive, go to the folder that contains the files you want to save, right-click the folder and view "Properties." This will tell you the size of the contents of your folder.