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How can I transfer large files to an external hard drive faster?

I need to transfer a large amount of files to my external hard drive and I don't want to wait hours for it to be done. Is there a fastest way to do it?

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iBoysoft author Jenny Zeng

Jenny Zeng

Answered on Monday, July 10, 2023

How fast your files can be transferred depends on various factors, including the speed of your drive, the used USB cable or port, and your computer. Here are some general tips to follow if you want to transfer files to an external drive more quickly:

  • Quit unnecessary running apps.
  • Connect the drive to one of the fastest ports on your computer.
  • Start one transfer at a time.
  • Use a USB 3 cable.
  • Switch to a solid-state drive (SSD).
  • Try not to perform other tasks while the transfer is ongoing.
  • Use NTFS for Windows and APFS for macOS.

Besides, you can try the methods below to speed up a file transfer on Windows and macOS.

If you are transferring from your PC to an external drive, you can improve data transfer by enabling the "Better performance" option in Disk Management > Properties > Policy and disabling the "USB selective suspend setting" in Battery > Power Options > Change plan settings > Change advanced power settings > USb settings.

If you are transferring from your Mac to an external drive, try employing the rsync (remote sync) tool in Terminal.

  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Type the following command and hit Enter.sudo rsync -vaE --progress /Volumes/SourceName /Volumes/DestinationNameFirst enter sudo rsync -vaE --progress with a space and the end, then drag and drop the folder with the files you want to transfer onto the Terminal window. Next, drag and drop the destination folder or drive where you want to files to be saved to onto the Terminal window. Last, press Enter.
  3. Input your admin password and press Enter.

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