How to Transfer Pictures From Computer to USB Flash Drive

By Kefa Olang

Updated August 23, 2017

Whether you have a Windows or Mac computer, and regardless of how old or new it is, the process for copying images or other files to a flash drive is essentially the same. You can drag the files or use the copy and paste function available on your system. Backing up important pictures to a flash drive is a great way to ensure your favorite memories aren't destroyed if your computer hard drive ever fails.

Laptop on desk, close up

Plug your USB flash drive into an open USB port on your computer. Depending on your computer, USB ports are located on either the back or front of your computer. On many laptop models, USB ports are located on the left or right.

flash drive on computer desktop

Launch "File Explorer" using the Windows Search charm. Your flash drive should appear under the Computer heading on the left side of the File Explorer window. For Mac users, the flash drive is displayed on the desktop.

copy images

Double-click your flash drive to open it. Locate your pictures from the folders where you have them on your computer and select the pictures you want to upload to your flash drive. To select several pictures, press and hold "Ctrl" as you click each image. For Mac users, hold "Command."

paste images

Drag the selected photos into the flash drive window. Alternatively, you can right-click the selected images, select "Copy" and then right-click the flash drive window and select "Paste."

eject drive

Close the flash drive after the copying is complete. Click the "Safely remove hardware" button on the system tray beside the clock on your desktop and click your flash drive's assigned letter in the "Hardware" window. Click "Stop."

If the "Safely remove hardware" option doesn't appear on your version of Windows, just wait a minute or so after the copying appears to be done and then remove the flash drive from your computer.

For Mac users, drag the flash drive from the desktop to the recycle bin to eject it. You can now safely remove your flash drive from the computer.