All About USB Drives

About USB Drives

USB drives are handy external drives to store all kinds of data. You can use them for transferring files between your devices. You can also use them for backing up photos if you get a large enough USB drive. You can create new folders and you can drag all kinds of folders and data from your computer or device to the USB drive for storage.

They are sometimes referred to as Thumb drives, Flash drives, or USB drives. "Flash" drives because the data is "flashed" to electronic storage rather than a spinning hard drive. USB drives, obviously because they plug into the USB port on your device. (There are also external drives that plug into the USB port that are the large spinning disk type of drive, usually refered to just as an external drive rather than a USB drive.) 

USB drives do not become obsolete however the new ones are faster than the older ones. Make sure when you buy a USB drive that you get the ones that say 3.0 which are considerably faster than than the ones that say 2.0. Also if you have a newer computer, make sure to get a USB drive that has the USB-C connector which is the newer standard.

If you have a newer computer and you have old USB drives you can use them but you have to get the adapter for USB to USB-C. The adapters are inexpensive and can be found at many stores beside Amazon like Best Buy and even at Walmart online. 

The USB flash drives are generally not formatted to Mac computers, but as soon as you plug them in you can reformat them or often the computer will recognize it as incompatible and will reformat it automatically if you follow the prompts. You use the Disk Utility app to select the drive and reformat. The disk utility is in the folder called "Utilities" in the Applications folder.

USB drives can be encrypted when you reformat them but unless you have particularly sensitive information I wouldn't suggest encryption. Passwords can always be lost and then your data is irretrievable.

Because they are so small they can easily be misplaced. I like to connect something to them resembling a keychain if the drive has some type of loop connector. Hey, I just thought of a great idea! Apple should create an air Tag that is a USB drive. Wow, I'm a genius! You would be able to locate any lost drives!