Flash Drive Backup: A Complete Guide To Keep Data on USB

You can perform a flash drive backup directly from your computer or using third-party applications.

Flash Drive Backup

Typically, backing up data allows you to keep your data safe and secure in the event of unexpected circumstances.

This complete guide outlines the methods and procedures for backing up data on a USB flash drive

How To Perform a Flash Drive Backup?

To perform a flash drive backup, you must insert your USB flash disk into your PC USB port and confirm whether or not the system has identified the drive. Go to the files or folder you wish to back up, highlight them, and send them to the flash disk.

– Have Your Flash Drive Ready 

Get functional USB drives. The drive must be of sufficient size. Otherwise, you may be forced to use an alternative form of an external hard drive

Have your Flash Drive Ready

Now, insert the flash drive into the PC’s USB port. Ordinarily, your computer generates a sound, and you may see a popup window to show that it has recognized your flash disk. If not, go to My Computer or This PC window, where you should see the flash drive. 

– Resize Open Any Windows

Resize the “This PC ” or “My Computer” window and move it to one side of the PC window. To move it, left-click the top panel of the window and hold, then drag it to the side. Resizing and moving it eliminates overlapping of windows during the transfer of files. 

– Access Your Files or Folder

Go to where your files or folders are located. The method to access the files depends on the location you saved the files. Nonetheless, the standard method of accessing the files is launching File Explorer (press the Win key, type File Explorer and click it when it appears).

Use the Quick Access menu to locate your files and folders. Move the cursor to the file or folder, press and hold your mouse’s left button and drag and drop the file on the flash drive icon. Release the mouse’s button when you see a small plus (+) over the flash disk. This action moves the file/folder to the flash disk. 

Alternatively, copy the file and paste it into the USB flash disk. Place the cursor on the folder/file, right-click, and select copy from the menu. Go to the Flash disk icon under This PC and double-click to open it. Right-click and choose paste from the menu option. 

But instead of opening the flash disk, you can place your cursor on the Flash disk icon, right-click and select paste. Watch as the file is transferred to the flash disk. If it is a small file, the step is instant. However, if you are dealing with a large file, you will see a status bar indicating the progress of the backup. 

– Verify the Success of Your Actions

Verify whether or not the file has been successfully copied to your flash disk. To do so, double-click the flash disk icon to open it. Check if the folder you copied is listed. 

How To Backup Folders on Flash Drive With Third-Party Apps?

To backup folders on flash drive with third-party apps, you can download and install the AOMEI Backupper app. Using the copy-paste method is an easy but very time-consuming step. The biggest advantage of this USB backup software is that it is faster and takes less space on the destination drive. 

You can shorten the time taken to backup files to a USB flash drive using third-party apps such as AOMEI Backupper. Moreover, you can program the software to back up your data to an external disk drive, HDD, SSD, or cloud service daily, weekly, or monthly. With that being said, here is how to use the software:

– Insert USB Into PC and Launch the Software

Plug your USB disk into your computer correctly and ensure it is detected. Launch the Backupper software, click the Backup button, and select File Backup. 

Insert USB into Pc

You must have Backupper Professional on your computer to use it. If not, you will need to download it from the AOMEI Download Center. Wait for the download to finish before opening the setup file and installing it on your PC. 

– Insert USB Into PC and Launch the Software

Click the Add File option to select the files/documents you wish to back up to the drive on your computer. If you wish to back up a whole folder, select Add Folder. 

Note that this software offers immense flexibility. Apart from sending the system files to the Flash disk, you can back up your flash drive to an external or internal drive. The procedure of “how to backup flash drive to external hard drive” slightly differed from the rest because you will need to choose the files on the USB drive and select the storage you want to back up the files. 

– Select Your USB

Select the storage drive (USB flash disk) and click the Start Backup button. This action initiates the process of data transfer. Be patient until the process hits 100 percent on the status bar. 

Remember, this software allows you to edit the back options. Therefore, you choose a Schedule Backup or a full or incremental backup under the backup Scheme.

How To Backup Windows 7 Files to a USB

To backup Windows 7 files to a USB, launch Backup and Restore>Set up backup and connect your USB. Go to Backup Destination, select your USB, and back up all your files. Make sure to uncheck the “Include a system image of drives” option.

Here is how to backup computer to flash drive windows 7

  1. Launch the Control Panel, go to System and Security, and click on Backup and Restore.
  2. Select the Setup backup option, connect your USB, and select Refresh.
  3. Go to Backup Destination, select your USB, and click Next.
  4. Click Let me choose, and go to Next to back up Documents, Pictures, Music, and Videos. Back up additional files by selecting them under My Computer.
  5. Untick the “Include a system image of drives” option, click Next, and Select Change schedule.
  6. Untick the “Run backup on a schedule option, select OK, Save the settings, and run the backup. 

How To Backup Windows to a Flash Disk Drive

To backup your Windows computer to a USB disk drive, there are different techniques you can employ. Each method follows special steps, but the procedure of how to backup computer to flash drive Windows 11 OS offers is pretty similar to Windows 10.

Nevertheless, here is how to backup computer to flash drive Windows 10:

– Using the Backup and Restore Function

You must create a sub-folder in the flash memory drive to use the backup and restore tool. Otherwise, you may receive a “the drive is not a valid backup location” error message. This is because some flash drives do not have high enough space to house the system image. 

Note that this feature is designed for Windows 7, but you can access it on Windows 10/11, which will redirect you to Windows 7 as described below. 

  1. Plug your USB flash disk into your computer and ensure that your PC recognizes the drive. 
  2. Launch the backup and restore features. In Windows 10, type Backup in the search bar and tap on the backup Settings option. Scroll down the right-side pane to find the “Looking for an older backup” title. Beneath it, you will see a link “Go to Backup and Restore Windows 7.” Click it.
  3. If you wish to generate a system image on Windows 11, follow these steps: Click Start and go to settings. Select system, go to storage and click on the Advanced storage settings and backup options. This unveils all the available backup options. Now, scroll down to the “Looking for an older backup” option and the “Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” link.
  4. The above steps open the Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Go to the leftmost pane and select the “Create a system image” option to open a dialog box.
  5. Go to the “On a hard disk” option, select your Flash disk, and click the Next button.
  6. Click Start backup and watch your PC send its operating system to the USB. Eject the flash disk safely when the process is complete. 

– Using AOMEI Backupper

You can AOMEI Backupper Pro Windows backup just in the process of backing up files and folders from your computer. However, instead of selecting “Add file” or Add folder,” select System Backup. The System Backup option includes all features needed to boot Windows, minimizing the risk of boot failure. 

Alternatively, select the Disk Backup option if you need to boot the entire PC. Follow the prompts to complete the process. Remember, AOMEI can backup flash drives automatically when plugged in by going to backup> Partition Backup> Add Partition or Volume. Select the destination path and frequency of backup and click Start Backup.

How To Backup Specific Programs to USB Flash Drives

To back up specific programs to your USB flash drives, you can start by selecting the specific programs from the tool’s interface. You will then plug in your USB device and run the MiniTool ShadowMaker file. You can do the backup from this tool.

Backup Specific Programs to USB

Here is how to backup a program to a flash drive:

  1. Download and run the MiniTool ShadowMaker file to install it.
  2. Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker and select backup. Click Source and choose Folder and Files from the popup window.
  3. Go through the folders to find the program you wish to backup and click OK. 
  4. Go to the main interface, click DESTINATION, and select your computer as your destination. This tab detects all drives, so you will need to plug in your USB and select it when it pops up. 
  5. Navigate to the backup tab and select Back Up Now to start the process. 


This complete guide shows you how to back up your Windows and personal data on your PC.

You can consider the main points below when backing up data on your USB flash drives:

  • You can utilize the Backup and Restore feature on your windows 7/10/11 to back up data and place them on your flash drive.
  • For additional features like cloud backup, you need third-party apps such as AOMEI.
  • To backup ordinary files and folders from your PC to the USB, use copy-paste function. You can also copy and paste some downloaded software.
  • You must be careful when backing up the entire Windows operating system on your USB to avoid losing any components of the operating system. Otherwise, it won’t work if it misses any components.

With the methods and techniques mentioned above, you can quickly back up any type of data!

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