How to Transfer Files to an External Hard Drive

If you have an external hard drive but you are not familiar with its functions and how it can help you in your quest to create safe backup files. This article will provide you with the instructions for making this possible so you can maneuver your external hard drive.

Things you will need

  • Computer system
  • External Hard drive
  • USB connection for external hard drive
  • Installation disk (in some cases)


  1. Check all the connections and cables for the external drive to make sure they are all intact. Connect the USB connection from the external drive to the computer and if the hard drive is provided with a power supply insert this into an electrical outlet.
  2. Look for the power button and turn on the hard drive, which would normally make a weird noise once turned on. Now you should see the external drive popping up and using a letter to identify what disk it is. You can simply ask it to open the folder. If your hard drive requires the use of an installation disk to function properly then insert the disk and follow the necessary procedure.
  3. You can check the size of the hard drive by right clicking on the drive letter, e.g. F: and then select properties. The size will appear and this will help you see the amount of files that can be sent to the external drive.
  4. Organize the files you want to transfer to the external drive and check the size of the files so you are certain that all the files will be able to hold on the external hard drive.
  5. Right click on the file or folders you want to transfer and send it to the removable disk or media. Or copy and paste the contents onto the external hard drive.
  6. When the transfer process is completed eject the external drive. At the bottom right corner of the screen (taskbar) there is a green eject icon. Use the mouse to left click on it, a message will appear- ‘safely remove USB mass storage device’ click it. When it shows that the mass storage is safely disconnected, you can turn off the external drive’s power and remove all the cable connections.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • Never expose the external drive to extreme heat or water.
  • Transfer the files from your computer onto the external drive as frequently as possible.
  • The external drive should be kept in a cool, safe place where it is safe from being destroyed or stolen