How to Copy Files from a USB Drive to Windows 11 PC

office 4551450 640
office 4551450 640

This post shows students and new users steps to copy or transfer files from a USB flash or thumb drive to a Windows 11 computer. A USB or portable drive is a common way of easily transferring files from one computer to another.

Windows 11 supports many types of USB and portable drives. From USB 2.0/3.0 to USB-C to pen drive and more, depending on if your computer has a port or external USB adapters available.

A lot of computers already have built-in USB ports available. You may purchase an external adapter if your computer lacks enough USB ports. Once a USB drive is connected to your computer, make sure it’s properly plugged in, and working.

To get started transferring your files from a USB drive to Windows 11, follow the steps below.

How to transfer files from a USB flash drive to Windows 11

Once you have the correct USB ports available for the thumb drive with your files, insert the drive into the USB port. A USB-C drive goes into the USB-C port and USB 2.0/3.0 goes into the standard USB port.

Depending on your computer settings, Windows 11 will notify you to choose what to do with the files, similar to the notification below.

Select to choose what happens with removable drives

The new pop-up should come up with options on what to do with the drive inserted. At this point, click Open folder to view files.

In some cases, you may not get a prompt, and File Explorer will automatically open and show you the content of the drive. If File Explorer doesn’t open the memory card or drive automatically, click on This PC on the left, then double-click a newly attached drive with the letters E, F, G, or H.

At this point, you can either choose to transfer a single file or all the files on the memory card to your computer. If you’re transferring all the files, press CTRL + A on your keyboard to select all the files. You can also read this post to learn how to select files.

Once you’ve selected the file or all the files, press the Windows key and E on your keyboard. A new window of File Explorer will open up. Simply browse to where you want to put the copied files, then press the CTRL + V on your keyboard to paste the file(s).

You may also use the mouse to select and copy/paste files to Windows 11. Read the post below to learn how to select items on Windows 11 to copy and paste.

How Select Files and Folders in Windows 11 – Website for Students

That should do it.


This post showed you how to transfer files from a USB thumb drive to Windows 11 PC. If you find any error above, please use the comment form below to report.

Posted by
Richard W

I love computers; maybe way too much. What I learned I try to share at


  1. hello, I switched to using a laptop with Windows 11 (passed down to me by another person), so i am trying to copy over files and folders from my existing laptop (Windows 10). I copied the files and folders onto an external hard disk drive. when i try to copy over to the other laptop, some folders it just doesn’t copy over. when i clicked paste, there is no response, any idea? thanks! i am searching google and YouTube but not getting any hint yet.

  2. Copying files from external HDD to Windows 11 HDD forces those files to be stored on OneDrive. As only 5 GiG is available on the “free” storage of OneDrive, anything over that gets tagged as a error being unavailable.
    The easy option is to fork out more money to Microsoft for more storage where it is downloaded from when needed, another slow process, costly, and not all that secure. Microsoft has our files, not us. We just provide Microsoft with the medium to stalk us.
    Windows 11 is NOT free. In exchange for Windows 11, we give up our rights to privacy.
    To transfer all files docs/pics/video/downloads etcetera, is to search the Internet or Google, for how to disable OneDrive. Then copy the file to where you want them, not where Windows wants them.

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