How to Copy to and From a Memory Stick

By Arthur Barnhouse

USB memory sticks have, by and large, replaced floppy diskettes for easy, safe storage of computer files. Memory sticks also tend to be easier and cheaper to use than CD-Rs and CD-RWs. These storage devices are widely available and often inexpensive. Memory sticks can also be used on the vast majority of computers purchased since the turn of the century. The storage capacity of memory sticks varies from brand to brand, but generally they offer more than enough memory to backup a wide assortment of important files.

How to Copy Files to a Memory Stick

Plug the memory stick into a USB port. USB ports are usually located on the back of the computer, though some towers have them on the front and laptops often have ports in the side. Depending on which operating system you're using, a window may appear on your screen telling you new hardware has been detected. You may close this window if you like.

Go to "My Computer." If you have the icon on your desktop, simply click on it. Otherwise, go to "Start" and choose "My Computer" from the menu. You will see a list of drives and devices. The memory stick will appear as "Removable Disk." It will also be followed by a letter and colon---E: or F: on most computers.

Click on "Removable Disk." If you haven't yet stored anything on the memory stick, the window that appears will be blank. Leave the window open or minimize it, but do not exit it.

Find the file you wish to copy to the memory stick and right-click it. Select the "Copy" option.

Go back to the Removable Disk window. Right-click and select "Paste." You should see the file appear within the window. To make sure the file copied correctly, open it from within the Removable Disk window. If the file opens, you've successfully copied your file to the memory stick. You can then remove the memory stick and store it in a safe place.

How to Copy Files From a Memory Stick

Go to "My Computer" and select "Removable Disk" from your options. Once again, this is either E: or F: on most computers.

Choose which file you want to copy from the memory stick and right-click on it.

Select "Copy" from your list of options. If you want to remove the file entirely from the memory stick, select "Cut."

Go to the folder where you wish to copy the file. You can also copy the file directly to your desktop. Right-click and select "Paste." The file will appear in the folder or on the desktop. Open the file. If it opens, you've successfully copied a file from your memory stick.