Is your USB 3.0 transfer speed slow? Fix it with 6 methods

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4. Select the Better Performance option for your USB drive

  1. First of all, insert the USB stick into one of your PC’s USB 3.0 slot.
  2. Open the Device Manager window.
  3. Double-click the Disk drives category.
  4. Right-click your listed USB 3.0 stick to select Properties.
  5. Select the Policies tab shown directly below.
    Policies tab usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  6. Select the Better Performance option there.
  7. Press the OK button.

Users can boost their USB 3.0 drives’ transfer speeds by selecting the Better Performance option. To do that, simply complete the above procedure.

5. Clean boot Windows

  1. Open Run by pressing the Windows key + R at the same time.
  2. Input msconfig in the Open box, and click the OK option.
  3. Click Selective Startup on the General tab.
    MSConfig window usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  4. Deselect the Load startup items check box.
  5. Select the Load system services and Use original boot configuration settings.
  6. On the Services tab, select the Hide all Microsoft services check box.
    The Services tab usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  7. Click Disable all to deselect the third-party services listed.
  8. Click the Apply and OK options.
  9. Next, click Restart on the dialog box window that opens.

You can also try clean-booting Windows to ensure that no third-party software (such as antivirus utilities) can slow down the USB transfer speeds.

Need more info on how to access MsConfig in Windows 10? Check out this detailed guide.

6. Convert a FAT32 USB drive to NTFS

  1. Plug your USB drive into the laptop or desktop.
  2. As converting a USB stick to NTFS will erase all the drive’s content, you should back up files on the USB stick before doing so.
  3. Next, open the Run accessory.
  4. Input cmd in Run’s Open box, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open an elevated Command Prompt.
    Command Prompt usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  5. Enter this command in the Prompt’s window: X: /fs:ntfs. Replace X with your actual USB drive letter.

Changing the file system of the USB stick to NTFS can also speed up its data transfer speed. Refer to the above procedure in that regard.

If you’re having trouble accessing Command Prompt as an admin, then you better take a closer look at this guide.

Those are some of the ways you can fix slow data transfer speeds for a USB 3.0 drive. Some of the above resolutions should also fix USB 2.0 drives’ file transfer speeds.

Which one worked in your case? Don’t hesitate to let us know by using the comments section below.

FAQ: Read more about hard drives

  • Is exFAT faster than NTFS?

No, the NTFS system files offer a 19% increase in performance, while exFAT only offers 7%. 

The most common reason for exFAT running slowly is because you have too much data on the hard-drive.

  • Can Windows 10 read NTFS?

Yes,  Windows 10 can read NTFS partitions/hard drives without any issues. If you’re encountering issues, check out our  NTFS File System Error on Windows 10 guide.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2020 and has been since revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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