We will go over how to use a USB drive, thumb drive, flash drive, pendrive, etc, on a Mac computer (aka Apple Macintosh) like a MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini, or Mac Pro.
A flash drive is a small, portable drive that plugs into a USB port on your computer. They are inexpensive and a great way to transfer or backup files quickly and easily. Simply insert it into a USB port on your computer. Modern MacBooks, like the newer MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro may not have a full-sized USB-A port at all, only offering the smaller USB-C alternative. While this may seem frustrating at first, USB-C offers many advantages, like faster speeds and the ability to plug in upside down or right side up. If you have a computer that only works with USB-C, you can either get a USB-A to USB-C adapter or dock or you can purchase a USB-C flash drive, like the Kingston Data Traveler Duo 3C. These are both relatively inexpensive and pretty commonly available now that USB-C is quickly becoming the new standard.
Once you insert the drive for the first time, your Mac should install the necessary driver software automatically and a USB icon should appear on your Mac display. If the icon does not display, you should also check that your Mac is set to show external drives on the desktop. You can do this by going to Finder, Preferences, General and making sure that there is a checkmark next to External Drives. Another way to access your drive is by going to Finder and clicking the flash drive from the sidebar on the left side of the window. If it still does not show up try unplugging and replugging it in or using a different USB port on the computer.
Once you’ve gotten your USB drive connected to your computer, you can use it the same way you’d use any other folder on your computer. Copy files by dragging them from one location to another and a copy will be saved in both locations. To select more than one file at a time, click and drag the cursor over the files you want to select. Remove a file by dragging it to the Trash, then click and hold the Trash icon and choose empty trash to fully delete the file.
Once you’re finished using your USB drive, you need to safely eject the device before unplugging it. You can do this by clicking the USB icon on the desktop and selecting Eject from the file menu. You can also click Finder and click the upward-pointing arrow to eject your flash drive. Or you can drag the USB drive icon from the desktop to the trashcan. Once the drive is ejected, you can safely remove the flash drive and stow it away for future use.
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