How to Put Music on a Flash Drive

  1. Connect your flash drive to your computer.

  2. Navigate to the folder containing music files and copy these files.

  3. Find the flash drive index folder and paste the files.

Edited by Ben Jacklin

While a lot of people stream music nowadays, it is vital to know how to put music on a flash drive, especially if you want to transfer high-fidelity files or music not available on streaming services. In this guide, we explore where you can find and download music to a USB for free or transfer existing files from your computer.

How to download music to a USB from a computer

Let’s look at how to download music to a USB from a computer. You may want to download songs directly to a USB, as this can help you to avoid putting a lot of files on your computer.

You can download songs from Internet platforms, including Amazon Music and more. A lot of online streaming providers advertise a download function, but this is only to download within their specific app so that you can listen offline.

So, how do I download music from my computer to my USB? When performing your download, your computer will ask you where you want to save the files. By default, it will probably have a Downloads folder where files go. At this stage of the download process, you can change the destination folder.

Make sure that your USB stick or thumb drive is connected for flash drive music downloads, and navigate to the drive instead of your Downloads folder. When you perform the download, the files will then go to this destination.

There is a chance that the files might be in a zipped format, so you may need to unzip your flash drive music downloads. Most machines have an inbuilt program to do this, so you can simply right-click on the file and select Unzip.

There are a number of options and music websites for downloading your favorite tunes, either directly to a flash drive or to transfer them afterward.

Amazon Music

Best for: music selection

Amazon has a huge platform with tens of millions of songs and albums that you can download. While they do have a streaming platform, you can also use Amazon’s site to purchase and download songs individually.

Amazon Music also has a membership platform for streaming, so you can choose to pay a monthly fee for access to all the songs, but these are not downloadable within this plan, so you will have to buy the songs separately if you want to transfer them onto a flash drive or a thumb drive.

You can choose whether to do all of this via the Amazon site or download Amazon Music for PC and Mac, which lets you access downloads of all of your favorite songs.


  • Excellent choice of songs with millions of tracks and albums

  • Many different formats of songs available (depending on the artist)


  • No way to download the songs to a flash drive from the streaming service, Amazon Music HD

  • You need to pay for each individual song or album you download


Best for: free downloads

SoundCloud has long been a way for musicians to connect with their fans. It’s a place for them to upload their ideas, work in progress, and even different mixes and remixes.

SoundCloud has a real community of DJs and musicians that share stuff directly with their fans rather than through a record company or distributor. It’s a good place to find rarities and music from independent artists.

A lot of the songs that are available for download are totally free, too, but you do have to sign up for an account to start to download them to your USB drive.

SoundCloud is great for finding new and independent music, but there’s no guarantee that releases by your favorite bands and artists will be on there, as it isn’t as mainstream as the likes of Amazon. You might not find the latest number one release on there to download.


  • Lots of songs available to download for free

  • Content available on SoundCloud that you can’t get elsewhere, such as remixes

  • A lot of audio uploaded in HD file formats


  • Lots of mainstream music is not on SoundCloud

  • Not all of the songs on the platform are available to download at all

Apple Music & iTunes

Best for: lossless audio

A lot of people are looking for how to download music to a USB drive from Apple Music. This is a huge platform for streaming music, and if you are signed up to Apple Music, you can download music to a device in the app, but you can’t download every song as a file like an MP3 to transfer to a USB drive.

Instead, within the Apple Music app, you can now navigate to the iTunes store, where you can find and download individual songs or full albums. You also have to spend money on each individual download, unlike the Apple Music plans that give you unlimited streams of songs.

It can get a little confusing as Apple Music is in the process of incorporating iTunes. While you used to have a specific iTunes app, this is now just a store that is incorporated within the Apple Music app. If you are an Apple Music member, you already have access to millions of different songs.


  • Lots of music available in lossless, HD formats

  • Easy to use

  • Recommendation systems to help you to discover new music

  • Regular sales and promotions to download songs cheaper


  • No downloads from the monthly membership Apple Music plan

  • You have to install Apple Music/iTunes to make the downloads

YouTube Music

Best for: music discovery

YouTube Music is a great way to listen to new music and find things based on recommendations from YouTube’s algorithm. YouTube has a clever way of working out the kind of things you like based on the previous videos you have watched.

YouTube Music is very much a standalone site, with the functionality dedicated to listening to tunes in your browser. It is often mistaken for a download platform.

On YouTube videos, there is even a download button under the video, but this is another way to view the files offline, rather than access the actual files.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to download the music to your flash drive. However, if you download the YouTube Music app to your device, there is an internal downloader to listen to songs while you are offline.


  • Huge selection of music

  • Great algorithm for suggesting new music for you

  • Music from small independent musicians as well as global stars


  • No HD downloads

  • No option to download music to a USB

How to put music on a USB flash drive on Windows  10 and 8

Windows 10 is the most popular operating system for computers and laptops. If you are using the Windows 10 operating system and want to discover how to put music on a USB flash drive, you’re in luck. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to put music on a USB drive for a car or other purposes.

Step 1. Put the drive into the USB port in your computer. Your Windows 10 computer will alert you pretty much instantly that a drive has been inserted, and AutoPlay might give you options for what to do with the drive. If it is the first time you’ve inserted the drive, it may need to install a driver, which usually takes a few seconds.

Step 2. Open File Explorer to navigate to the folder that is the root of the USB drive you’ve just inserted. You can leave this window open if you want. This is also where you can check the remaining space on the drive. Note that the computer will have given it a letter, such as (E:) or (F:).

Step 3. Navigate to the music files you want to copy. This assumes that you have already downloaded the files. If you have recently downloaded them online, the files may be in the Downloads folder.

You can press Ctrl + A to select all the files you want for the USB download music process.

Step 4. You can transfer the files in a few different ways. It is possible to click and drag or to copy the files from their existing location and paste them onto the drive. However, the easiest way is to right-click and then navigate to Send To and choose the USB drive.

Wait for the files to transfer, and your USB drive should be ready. You will need to properly eject it in order to be able to use it and reduce the chances of the files corrupting. Make sure the files have been fully transferred before ejecting.

How to put music on a USB stick on a Mac

Mac systems are always a little bit different to Windows, and you will be using Finder instead of File Explorer. The process to download music to a flash drive on Mac is also relatively simple and straightforward. Read on to learn how to download music to a flash drive.

Step 1. Connect your USB drive within the USB port on your Mac, this will vary in location depending on the model and may be on the side or back of the machine.

Step 2. The flash drive will appear as an icon on the desktop, or on the left-hand menu of the Finder window. Navigate to the folder, and you can even check the space left on the USB stick.

Step 3. Navigate to the files you want to transfer onto the flash drive. If you have downloaded the files to the default folder, you can navigate to Downloads in a separate Finder window and find the albums or single files that you want to copy across to your flash drive.

Step 4. Transfer the files over to the USB drive, which can be done by either copying and pasting the files, or dragging them between finder windows. If you haven’t already downloaded the files from the Internet, you can set your USB drive as the default download folder.


Something went wrong when you were trying to download music from the computer to a flash drive? This is a relatively common issue, and unfortunately, USB drives don’t tend to last forever.

There are plenty of potential issues, especially if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy, but there are also many solutions to the problems. It isn’t too difficult to troubleshoot issues with putting music on flash drives and USB drives, whatever operating system you’re using.

  1. Check if the file has DRM protection. Right-click the file and view the Details tab on the Properties window. If the Protected row says Yes then it is DRM protected which means Digital Rights Management and you might not be able to transfer it.

  2. Check that the drive (and port) works. If you connect your USB drive and nothing pops up, there could be a problem with the port or drive itself. Try connecting to a different port, or a different machine. If it still doesn’t show up, it could be a problem with the USB drive.

  3. Check the space on the drive. If you have tried to transfer songs, and they have not moved onto the USB drive, it could be because of a lack of space. Check there is enough room for the files you want to download.

  4. Try disk management or disk utility. Windows users can press Win + R and type diskmgmt to find the disk management program, while Mac users can open the Applications folder and run Disk Utility. This should show all connected flash drives.

  5. If you find the drive through disk management or disk utility, try formatting the drive. Be warned that this will remove all files currently on the disk, but it could also repair your thumb drive.

It is possible that thumb drives can become damaged, especially if you are transporting it around all the time. When you are troubleshooting, you might find that you are out of luck.

Make sure you create backups of your files to keep them safe, by having them in multiple locations you aren’t completely relying on your USB drive files to be able to access your music. Some vendors will allow you to download the file unlimited times, but it is still best to keep multiple versions of the file.

How to download music to a USB drive on Windows 7 and earlier versions

Transferring music on an older machine such as Windows 7 can be a different process. While the download process is the same, Windows 7 has a different method of transferring compared to Windows 8 and Windows 10.

The guide for Windows 7 downloading and transferring will also work for earlier iterations of their operating system, so you don’t have to look up a step-by-step guide for other Windows options.

Step 1. Insert your USB drive into one of the computer’s ports, which will typically open the AutoPlay window and allow you to choose what to do with the files, such as opening the folder to view files or to play the internal files using a media player. Windows may take a few seconds to install drives if this is required.

Step 2. Click the Start menu and then navigate to My Computer. This is the method of viewing files going all the way back to Windows XP until it was replaced in Windows 8. You can also look at the drives by clicking the Windows key and E on your keyboard.

Step 3. Find the USB drive under the Devices with Removable Storage section within My Computer. If you have previously given the flash device a name, then this name should appear, or it might have its own name by default, given by the manufacturer. Some are just labeled as Removable Disk.

Step 4. Find the files that you want to transfer over to your drive. If you have ripped these from a CD, they may be within your Music folder, but if you have recently downloaded them from websites or iTunes, they may also be in your Downloads folder. Select all the files and folders that you want to transfer over to your USB drive.

Step 5. Right-click after selecting the files and then find the Send To option on the menu that appears, and navigate to the name of the drive in question. This will start the process of copying those files across to save them to your pendrive. It may take a little time to transfer larger files across.

There are only a few differences between flash drive transfer on Windows 7 and the newer operating systems, the main one being the use of My Computer to find your files and navigate between them.

How to put music on a USB stick from Windows Media Player

You can easily transfer music files from the Windows Media Player library to your USB drive. Learn how to copy music from Windows Media Player to a flash drive by following the instructions below:

Step 1. Insert your USB drive into one of the computer’s ports. Wait a few seconds until Windows installs drivers if this is required.

Step 2. Click the Start menu and then go to My Computer. You can also use the Windows key and E combination on your keyboard.

Step 3. Find the USB drive under the Devices with Removable Storage section within My Computer. Double click it to open the window and view the contents of the USB drive.

Step 4. Launch Windows Media Player and go to the Music tab in the Library. Select all the files and folders that you want to transfer over to your USB drive and drag them to the USB window that you opened in the previous step.

How to copy music from a CD to a USB flash drive

Step 1. Insert the CD into your computer or an external drive and insert the USB drive into a USB port.

Step 2. Open Windows Media Player. Search for it in the start menu by clicking the search or the windows icon and typing Windows Media Player.

Step 3. Click on Rip settings and select More options in the top right corner.

Step 4. To choose the USB drive as a folder to save the music to click Change in the Rip Music tab. Click OK to save the settings.

Step 5. Click Rip CD. The music will start ripping automatically and will be saved directly to your USB when finished. That’s how you copy music from a CD to a USB flash drive.


There are some slight differences in the methods, such as whether you want to download music directly to your flash drive, or download it to your machine and then transfer it to your flash drive.

Generally speaking, it is simple to burn music on a flash drive, but you need to make sure you follow the steps, so you don’t corrupt the files or lose the files that you have downloaded. Follow our guide to ensure that you know how to transfer music from iTunes to a USB flash drive on a Mac or Windows.

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Frequently asked questions

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