How to Use a Jump Drive

Jump drives also known as flash drives or USB drives have, after obliterating the use of floppy diskettes, become a staple amongst students. The small, convenient and inexpensive devices offer a simple and easy way for owners to transfer data from one computer to another.

You will need

  • Jump drive
  • Computer with USB port


  1. Plug your jump drive into your computer’s USB port.
  2. Depending on your computer, a dialogue window may appear notifying you that the jump drive has been connected, and allow you immediate access to the drive.
  3. If a window does not appear, navigate to the area on your computer where drives are accessed (“My Computer” on Windows Machines and “Macintosh HD” on Mac OS X systems).
  4. Look for the jump drive listed either by name of manufacturer or as “Removable Drive.” On Windows computers it will be assigned a drive letter that is not in use by other drives.
  5. Once you’ve located and opened your jump drive, transfer files. Transferring files from your computer to your jump and vice versa is easily done by dragging and dropping the files from one hard drive to another.
  6. If your files are open, you may save it to the jump drive by clicking “Save” if it has never been saved before or “Save as” to save it in the new location on your jump drive.
  7. From the Save or Save as menu, select the jump drive as your file’s location. If transferring from jump drive to computer, do the same but select the computer drive as the file’s new location instead.

How to safely remove a jump drive

  1. Close all files accessed from the flash drive after they’ve been completely saved and transferred.
  2. For Windows users, go to the notification area in your task bar located to the bottom right side. Use your mouse to right-click the icon of a USB with a check on it.
  3. Left mouse click the “Safely Remove Hardware” command, and a small window will be displayed.
  4. Select the USB flash drive you want to unplug then click the “Stop” button.
  5. In the confirmation window that appears, click the appropriate hardware device then click “OK.”
  6. A message box will appear to let you know that it is safe to unplug the jump drive from your computer; click “OK” then “Close”.
  7. Remove the jump drive physically from your computer.
  8. For Macintosh users, simply drag the jump drive icon from your desktop to the trash basket on your dock.
  9. This will eject the drive, and it will then be safe to remove it physically from your computer.


  • Always remove the jump drive properly; if this is not practised the drive can become damaged, and files can be lost.


  • Expose your jump drive to water or liquids.
  • Connect it to computers with virus infected files as this may compromise your jump drive.