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Flash Drive File Management

Sandy in FL asks:

How do I delete stuff off my Flash Drive?

Thanks for the great question Sandy!

It is very common to have a flash drive sitting around, whether it be in your house or even on a key chain. They are great to hold your pictures, files, or music, but it doesn’t take long to fill them up. Thankfully, it is easy to get files on a flash drive and just as easy to get them off. Read on to learn how you can give your flash drive some space.

The first thing you need to do is connect your flash drive to your computer by inserting it into a USB port. In a few seconds, your computer should recognize the flash drive. If the flash drive does not automatically open, click on Start and Computer and look for the flash drive under Devices with Removable Storage.


Click on the drive and a window will open showing the folders and files that are on the flash drive. To delete an individual file simply right-click on it and select Delete. Once you have done this, a window will pop up asking Are you sure you wish to delete this item(s)? Click Yes.

If you want to delete all the files on the flash drive, hold down the Ctrl key and press A on the keyboard to highlight every file and folder. Right click on any one of them and select Delete.

If you want to delete certain folders and files, hold down the Ctrl key and click on each file/folder you want to delete to select them. When you are finished right click on any one of them and select Delete.

If you want to save the files onto your computer you can open a second Computer window and drag and drop files from your flash drive into a folder on the computer. To do this, click Start and Computer. Click the C: drive. Keep this window open and click on the second window that shows your flash drive files. Now you can drag the files from your flash drive into any place on your hard drive in the second window.

When you are finished deleting the files off your flash drive find the Safely Remove Hardware icon in your system tray in the bottom right hand corner (by the clock). This icon will have a left facing green arrow on it. Double click on the icon and a window will open showing your flash drive. Click on it once to highlight it, click the Stop button, and wait for the message Safe to Remove Hardware. You can now safely remove your flash drive from the USB port. If you do not do this before you disconnect your flash drive, you can corrupt your files.

~Rita Wood