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How to upload photos to USB stick

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How to upload photos to USB stick: The friend you spent the last holiday with asked you to share the photos you took with your digital camera during the trip, so you thought well to upload all the files on a USB stick and give it to him personally. Your idea is undoubtedly the best, since you have made several shots and they are all in RAW format (therefore very “heavy”), but if you are now here and you are reading this guide, it seems clear to me that you have some doubts about to do.

Let’s guess: it’s the first time you find yourself doing an operation like this and you would like me to explain you how to upload photos to a USB stick , right? I’ll bet. Well, just know that there is no problem, you can count on my help. Dedication, then, a few minutes of your precious free time to read this guide dedicated precisely to the subject in question, and you’ll see that, in the end, you’ll have perfectly clear ideas about what to do.

Before offering all the necessary information, however, I will take care of some useful tips relating to the calculation of the space required on the pendrive and how to find and use the most suitable file system. Then we will see how to perform the operation in question by acting from Windows, macOS and, on the mobile side, on Android and iOS. Having said that, I wish you a good read and I wish you a big good luck for everything.

Preliminary operations

To be able to upload your photos to a USB stick , you must firstly worry about getting a sufficiently large pendrive. As a result, you need to calculate the space needed to meet your needs.

Secondly, you need to format the pendrive with a suitable file system , depending on the device to which the USB stick will be connected. To find out more, read on: find out everything in detail below.

Calculation of space

printed Photo

If you want to upload your shots on a pendrive, you must first make sure that the latter is of the right capacity . In order to determine this, you need to find out how much space the photos you want to transfer to the pendrive take up. Below you will find out how to proceed on both Windows and macOS .

  • If you are using Windows , you can get the information in question by moving all the photos of your interest to an empty folder , right-clicking on it and selecting the Properties item from the contextual menu. Check, therefore, what is reported under the item Dimensions , in the window that opens on the desktop and you’re done. If you want, you can also know the weight of the individual files , selecting the various photos from time to time and proceeding as I have just indicated.
  • If you are using macOS , to find out how much space occupying your photos, move them all to an empty folder , then right-click on it, select the Get information item from the menu that appears and, in the window that opens, check what is shown in correspondence with the wording Dimensions . If you want, you can also find out the weight of the individual photos , selecting them one at a time and proceeding in the same way as I just explained to you.

In all cases, keep in mind that the weight of the photos depends, essentially on their format and their resolution . If necessary, you can reduce it by using online services and ad hoc programs, such as the ones I mentioned in my guide focused precisely on how to reduce the weight of a photo .

Once you find out how much space the photos take up, you can make sure that your key can contain them by checking the capacity of the same which, as a rule, is shown on the front or on the back of the pendrive. However, this wording is not always 100% true. You can find out the exact capacity of your USB stick by following the steps below.

  • If you are using Windows , connect the pendrive to the computer, click on the yellow folder located on the taskbar to open File Explorer , right click on the name of the stick in the left sidebar of the File Explorer and select the word Properties from the context menu. In the new window that will be shown to you, check the contents of the Capacity item .
  • If you are using macOS , connect the pendrive to the computer and click on the smiley face icon located on the Dock bar , to open the Finder . In the window that appears on the desktop, right-click on the name of the pendrive in the left sidebar and select the Get information item from the context menu. In the further window that opens, check the value shown under the heading Capacity .

If the pendrive in your possession should not be sufficiently large or if you do not yet have a USB stick, you can remedy it immediately by buying an ad hoc one, perhaps helping you in choosing by consulting my buying guide specifically dedicated to this type of product. .

Choosing the file system

Photo of a USB flash drive

We come now to the file system speech . Most of the pendrives are set with the file system called  FAT32 , which guarantees the highest degree of compatibility with practically any type of device but, unfortunately, it does not allow you to store individual files having a think larger than 4GB.

For the photos there shouldn’t be any big problems (it is difficult for a single shot to exceed 4GB), but the situation could be different if the photos are collected in a single ZIP / RAR archive or if there are also some videos among them, also in high resolution. You may therefore find yourself in the position of having to choose a different file system.

As an alternative to FAT32, you can opt for Windows NTFS (which also allows you to store files larger than 4GB, but is less supported than FAT32 and on systems like macOS and Linux it is accessible, by default, in read-only) or for exFAT (which is an evolution of FAT32, it allows you to store files larger than 4GB and is supported by most devices).

If you intend to connect your pendrive only on Apple computers, you can choose the HFS + or AFS file systems , i.e. the default ones of macOS, which have no particular limits in terms of maximum file size but, as you may have guessed, they are compatible only with “bitten apple” operating systems (unless using external solutions ).

To find out what is the file system currently used by your USB stick, connect the latter to your computer and continue as shown below.

  • If you are using Windows , open the File Explorer by clicking on the yellow folder on the taskbar , right-click on the name of the pendrive in the left sidebar and select the Properties item from the contextual menu. In the new window that will open, check the contents of the wording File system .
  • If you are using macOS , open the Finder by clicking on the smiley face icon located on the Dock bar and, in the window that opens, right-click on the name of the pendrive in the left sidebar. Then, select the Get information item from the context menu and, in the additional window that appears, check what is reported under the Format item .

If the format of the USB flash drive is not what you think is most suitable, to be able to change it you must proceed with formatting the device. To find out how to do this, follow the instructions on what to do that I have given you in my guide on how to format a USB stick .

How to upload photos to PC USB stick

Transfer photos from Windows to USB stick

Having completed the preliminary steps above, let’s get to the heart of the matter and let’s find out, together, what needs to be done to upload photos to a USB stick acting from Windows .

First, if you have not already done so, connect the pendrive to the computer on which the photos of your interest are saved by inserting the device into one of the USB ports that you find on the back or on the front of the case (as regards computers fixed) or on the sides of the body (as regards laptops).

Subsequently, it waits for the installation of the drivers necessary for the recognition of the peripheral (if in the past you had already connected the pendrive to the computer, the operation in question has already been carried out). You can follow the progress of the procedure through the appropriate window that you will see appear in the bottom right part of the desktop.

Keep in mind that through the aforementioned window you may also be asked if you intend to open the main folder of the pendrive. In this case, also select the Open folder item to view the files . If no warning appears, you open the main folder of the pendrive by starting File Explorer , after clicking on the yellow folder you find on the taskbar , and selecting the name of the stick that you find in the left sidebar in the window that appeared on the screen.

Now, open a new file explorer window , and go to the path where the photos you want to transfer are located. From there, indicate if you intend to transfer the whole folder that contains the images or only certain photos.

In the first case, right-click on the folder icon and, from the context menu, select the Copy item (to keep a copy of the photos on the computer) or the Cut item (to delete the photos from the computer by transferring them to the pendrive).

In the second case, you must select the photos of your interest one at a time by holding down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and clicking on the relevant files. Alternatively, you can draw a selection rectangle by left clicking and, while continuing to hold, including the images of your interest in it.

Once the above steps have been completed, go to the File Explorer window relating to the USB flash drive, right-click anywhere on the pavement and choose the Paste option from the contextual menu, in order to start the procedure for transferring the images . Through the further window that will open on the screen you can follow the progress of the operation.

In addition to as I have just indicated, you can upload photos to the USB stick by right-clicking on the individual files or the folder containing the images, selecting the Send to item from the contextual menu displayed and then the USB drive option .

Once the photo transfer procedure has been completed, remember to disconnect the USB stick from the computer by safely removing it , in order to prevent the data in it from being damaged. To do this, click on the up arrow symbol found in the Windows notification area , click on the pendrive icon in the box that opens and select the Eject option [name of USB stick] from the menu that appears. Then physically disconnect the device from the computer.

How to upload photos to Mac USB stick

Transfer photos from Mac to USB stick

Do you own a Mac and would like to know how to upload photos to your USB stick? I’ll explain right away how to proceed.

First, connect the pendrive to one of the computer’s USB sockets , if you haven’t already done so. If you are using a Mac desktop the sockets are located on the back, while if you are using a portable Mac you find them on the side. If you are using a more recent MacBook and you only have USB-C ports , to connect the pendrive you must use a USB A to USB C adapter , as in the case of the ones you find below.

At this point, open the Finder , by clicking on the smiley face icon located on the Dock bar , and reach the location where the photos you want to transfer to the pendrive are saved. Then decide whether to intervene on the entire folder containing the images or on the individual files.

In the first case, right click on the folder icon and, from the context menu, select the Copy option [folder name] .

In the second case, press the cmd button on the Mac keyboard and left click on the photos that interest you or select the files by pressing and continuing to hold down the left mouse button and including in the selection rectangle that you will go to trace all the photos of your interest. Next, right-click on any of the selected files and choose the Copy item from the menu that appears.

At this point, always acting from the Finder window, select the pendrive icon in the left sidebar, right click anywhere on the window displayed and choose the  Paste / Paste x elements item from the contextual menu. You can then keep track of the progress of the procedure through the appropriate window that you will see on the screen.

If you want to transfer the photos to the pendrive by going to delete the source files, hold down the alt key on the keyboard after right clicking in the key window and select the Move xx items here item from the context menu.

After uploading all the photos on the flash drive, eject  in a safe manner it from your Mac by clicking on the symbol Eject that displays moving the mouse pointer over the name of the key in the left sidebar of the Finder. Alternatively, you can drag the pendrive icon from the desk to the Trash  on the Dock bar. Then also physically disconnect the device from the computer.

How to upload photos to Android USB stick

USB OTG adapter

You want to know if you can upload photos on USB stick also acting as a smartphone or tablet Android ? The answer is yes. You can do it in two different ways, depending on the ports your mobile device has and depending on the pendrive model used.

The first system consists of physically connecting the key to the smartphone or tablet and accessing it as if it were a common external memory, provided that the mobile device you own is equipped with a USB port .

Otherwise, to perform the operation in question you will have to buy a USB OTG adapter . They are quite cheap and you can find them in all the most renowned IT stores and on various online stores, including Amazon. Here are some models indicated.

The second method provides, however, the purchase of a USB OTG stick , which on the one hand has a micro-USB connector for connection to the Android smartphone or tablet and on the other has a classic USB type A connector, to be used for connection with the computer.

Once the connection between mobile device and pendrive has been established, the photos can be transferred using file managers developed by third parties, as in the case of the excellent and free File Manager  available on the Google Play Store, or directly from the manufacturers of the USB sticks , as appropriate.

For further information, I invite you to refer to my guide specifically dedicated to how to transfer files from tablet to key , valid, at the expense of the title, also for smartphones and in which we also find out how to transfer files using the computer as an intermediary.

How to upload photos to iPhone and iPad USB stick

iPhone and USB stick

If, on the other hand, you have an iPhone or an iPad , you can upload the photos to your pendrive from the devices in question using special keys equipped with a Lightning connector (therefore created specifically for Apple devices) or a portable file hub , i.e. a device of Wi-Fi storage suitable for the purpose. The following are some of the best solutions in the category available on Amazon.

Once the connection between the pendrive and the iPhone or iPad has been established, simply download the dedicated app from the App Store and follow the instructions provided on the screen to complete the transfer procedure.

Also in this case, for more details I refer you to the readings of my specific tutorial on  how to transfer files from tablet to stick , valid for both iPhone and iPad, in which we also find out how to make the transfer using PC and Mac as intermediaries.