How to Access a Flash Drive on a Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Accessing a flash drive on a Mac is a simple and straightforward process that allows you to transfer files between your computer and the external storage device. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps of accessing a flash drive on your Mac, whether it’s a USB or an external hard drive.

Step 1: Connect the Flash Drive

The first step is to connect your flash drive to your Mac’s USB port. Ensure that the flash drive is properly inserted into the USB slot.

Step 2: Open Finder

To access the contents of your flash drive, open Finder by clicking on its icon in the Dock or by selecting it from the Applications folder or Launchpad.

Step 3: Locate the Flash Drive

In Finder, look for the Devices section in the left sidebar. Under Devices, you will find your connected flash drive listed with its name or as “Untitled”. Click on it to display its contents in the main Finder window.

Browsing Files and Folders

Once you have opened your flash drive in Finder, you can navigate through its files and folders just like you would with any other folder on your Mac.

  • To open a file: Double-click on it, and it will open using its default application (if available).
  • To open a folder: Double-click on it, and its contents will appear in a new Finder window.
  • To go back: Use the Back arrow button located at the top-left corner of each Finder window or use the Command + [ keyboard shortcut.
  • To go forward: Use the Forward arrow button next to the Back arrow or use the Command + ] keyboard shortcut.
  • To go up one level: Click on the folder name in the window’s title bar or use the Command + Up Arrow keyboard shortcut.

Ejecting the Flash Drive

Before physically disconnecting your flash drive from your Mac, it’s important to properly eject it to ensure that no data is lost or damaged. Here’s how:

  • Option 1: Right-click on your flash drive’s icon in Finder and select “Eject” from the context menu.
  • Option 2: Click on the Eject button (an upward-pointing arrow) next to your flash drive’s name in Finder’s sidebar.

Once you have successfully ejected your flash drive, you can safely remove it from your Mac’s USB port.


Accessing a flash drive on a Mac is a simple process that can be done through Finder. By following these steps, you can easily browse, open, and transfer files between your Mac and your external storage device. Remember to always eject your flash drive before physically removing it to prevent any data loss.

Please note: The steps outlined in this tutorial apply to most versions of macOS. However, slight variations might exist depending on your specific operating system version.

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