Fix 'External Hard Drive Very Slow to Respond' Error on Windows 10/8/7

Tracy King updated on Sep 23, 2019 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

Why does my external hard drive get very slow to respond?

"Hi, there. Do you know how to fix a USB 3.0 external hard drive slow speed on Windows 10?
I have a Seagate USB 3.0 external hard drive with 1TB space. It has worked for more than two years, and almost all my data like videos, images, worksheets, etc. are all saved on the drive. 
But recently, when I tried to transfer or save a new file to the external hard drive, it became very slow to respond. 
It takes a very long time to load on Windows 10 and even becomes extremely slow to respond when I try to copy or transfer a new file or image to the external hard drive. I don’t know why it comes so slow, and how can I fix the slow speed on my external hard drive?"

It seems that storage devices such as external hard drive, USB or SD card with slow to respond or slow transfer rate issue have become one of the top concerns among ordinary users. So what will you do when your external hard drive or USB etc. devices become extremely slow? To buy a new and bigger external hard drive to replace your current one? 

This is not a wise choice. Here we’ll offer a cost-effective method to you and simply fix the ‘external hard drive very slow to respond’ issue on Windows 10/8/7 without losing any data. 

Free Fix for 'External Hard Drive Very Slow to Response' Issue

Sometimes storage devices slow issues are caused by a large number of junk files or useless big files that take most space on the drive. 
If corrupted system files or bad sectors exist on the storage devices, it may also slow down the device transfer rate. 

Before you start to fix the slow external hard drive issue, please read the note below carefully:
To avoid unnecessary data loss issue on the external hard drive, we recommend you to backup external hard drive data to your PC or another storage device at first.

And professional partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master Free would help you remove 'slow speed', 'low transfer rate' or 'slow to response' issue from your external hard drive, USB or SD card, etc. devices with just a few simple clicks. Just free download, install it on your PC and follow guidelines here to speed up your ‘slow to respond’ external hard drive now.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

# 1. Remove and clear useless large files and junk files on the slow external hard drive


Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master. Select "Tools" and click "System Optimization".

choose system optimization

Step 2: Click "Junk File Cleanup". Then you can click "Analyze" to let EaseUS Partition Master find junk files on your PC.

choose junk file cleanup

Step 3: You can check and choose junk files and click Clean up. All of the selected junk files will be cleaned and deleted from your PC. Click "Yes" to clean up junk files.

Clean up junk files

You can also choose to optimize PC disk so to improve your external hard drive’s performance with the Disk Optimization feature.

# 2. Repair bad sectors and corrupted system files that slow down the external hard drive


Step 1: Insert your SD card into your computer or connect your USB/external hard drive to your computer and run EaseUS Partition Master. Right-click the partition on your storage device and choose "Check File System".

Check Error on SD Card/USB/External Hard Drive - Step 1

Step 2: In the new window, keep the option "Try to fix the errors if found" selected and click "Start".

Check Error on SD Card/USB/External Hard Drive - Step 2

Step 3: Then EaseUS Partition Master will automatically check the file system error on your SD card, USB, or external hard drive. When it has done, click "Finish" to end the whole process.

Check Error on SD Card/USB/External Hard Drive - Step 3

Another Way to Fix Slow to Response External Hard Drive

Besides clearing junk or big files and removing bad sectors on the slow external hard drive, another straightforward way that you may try is to format the external hard drive to NTFS and wipe all data on the drive to optimize its performance.

Note: Just one thing that you need to keep noticed: formatting will clear all data on your drive. So if you have valuable data on your slow external hard drive, please export and backup those data to a secure storage device first.


100% of people found this article helpful.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.