5 Ways to Increase Transfer Speed of USB 3.0 External Hard Drive

Tracy King updated on Sep 29, 2020 to Partition Manager | How-to Articles

How to Speed Up a USB 3.0 External Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7

If your hard drive is slow, you are in the right place. This page walks you through the way to speed up and increase a USB 3.0 external hard drive for data transferring or file copying in Windows 10, 8, or 7, etc. If you are having one of the problems listed below, you'll need to find a way to improve the performance and speed up your external hard drive:

  1. 1. Copying files stops halfway
  2. 2. External hard drive transfer speed slow
  3. 3. File copying slow on USB 3.0 flash drive or external hard drive
  4. 4. The computer gets stuck while copying or transferring files to USB 3.0
  5. 5. PC freeze on copying files from USB 3.0...

To increase the transfer speed of the external hard drive, we listed the five best methods for fixing this issue, and you can apply any one of them for a try:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Optimize the Performance Connect your external hard drive to your PC. Open Windows File Explorer...Full steps
2. Convert USB 3.0 Drive to NTFS Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master on your computer...Full steps
3. Fix Corrupted System Files Press Win + X to bring up the Power User menu and select Command Prompt...Full steps
4. Clean Up Junk Files Download EaseUS Tools M for free and install it on your computer...Full steps
5. Format External Hard Drive Connect your external hard drive to a Windows 10 PC. Open File Explorer, locate and right-click...Full steps

Tip 1. Optimize External Hard Drive Performance to Increase Speed

When the storage devices get slow, one quick way to improve the device's performance is to change the device hardware settings. Follow the steps below to speed up your external hard drive.

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to your PC.

Step 2. Open Windows File Explorer, locate and right-click on your external hard drive, choose "Properties".

Step 3. On the Hardware tab, click "Properties", and choose "Change Settings" on the General tab.

Step 4. Click the "Policies" tab, choose "Better performance", and click "OK" to confirm all the changes.

how to increase transfer speed of external hard drive - optimize performance

Then, you can check if your external hard drive has become fast in speed.

Tip 2. Convert USB 3.0 External Hard Drive to NTFS to Speed It Up

The file system type affects the external hard drive transfer speed deeply. Storage devices with NTFS work faster and more efficiently for file copy and file transfer. Thus, the most useful way to increase USB 3.0 external hard drive speed is to convert the USB 3.0 external hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS.

Professional partition magic software - EaseUS Partition Master can help. It enables you to convert the external hard drive to the NTFS file system within three simple steps. This disk management tool has many other highlights:

Download this software and convert FAT32 to NTFS without losing data:

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 Windows 10 is supported


Step 1: Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master on your computer.

open EaseUS Partition Master

Step 2: Select a FAT32 partition, right-click on it and select "Convert to NTFS". If you need to convert a storage device such as SD card or USB flash drive to NTFS, insert it into your PC first and repeat the previous operation.

convert FAT32 to NTFS

Step 3: Click "OK" on the pop-up dialog box to continue.

convert FAT32 to NTFS

Step 4: Go to the upper left corner, click the "Execute 1 Operation" button and you will see the operation details. Click "Apply" and "Finish" when the process completes.

convert FAT32 to NTFS
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 Windows 10 is supported

Tip 3. Fix Corrupted System Files to Increase External HDD Speed

If the USB 3.0 external hard drive contains corrupted system files, the file copying or data transferring speed will slow down naturally. SFC command line can efficiently help find and repair the corrupted system files on your external hard drive. Here are the steps to run SFC/SCANNOW.

Step 1. Press Win + X to bring up the Power User menu and select "Command Prompt".

Step 2. Type: sfc /scannow and hit "Enter".

increase transfer speed external hard drive with sfc scannow

Also read SFC finds corrupted files but unable to fix if anything goes wrong.

Tip 4. Increase Transfer Speed of External Hard Drive by Cleanup

You can clear and remove useless junk files on PC that make your USB 3.0 slow for file transferring. After using the computer for a long time, many useless junk files are taking space on the hard drive. And the best way is to apply a simple free way to clean and remove useless junk files that slow down your USB 3.0 external hard drive for transfer files and data. 

To make things easy for you, we'd like to recommend you try EaseUS Tools M for help. You can free download it here and follow the steps below to clean up junk files in Windows 10/8/7 now:

Step 1. DOWNLOAD EaseUS Tools M for free and install it on your computer.

Step 2. Launch EaseUS Tools M in Windows PC. Select "Large File Cleanup" on the main screen.

large file cleanup - 1

Step 3. Select the drive and click "Scan" to let the program locate, find all large files on your disk.

large file cleanup - 2

Step 4. Identify and select useless large files and click "Delete" to remove those files from your PC or laptop. A message pops up and tells you this process will permanently delete the files. Click "Yes" to start the process.

large file cleanup - 3

Tip 5. Format USB 3.0 External Hard Drive to Speed It Up

Another efficient way to quickly fix the slow external hard drive issue on Windows PC is to format the USB 3.0 external hard drive to NTFS. Format a partition could cause data loss. If you have essential data on the device, copy, and extract crucial data to another hard drive first.

To format the external hard drive to NTFS File System:

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive to a Windows 10 PC.

Step 2. Open File Explorer, locate and right-click on the drive, select "Format".

Step 3. Set the NTFS as the target file system, tick "Quick Format" and click "Start" to start the formatting.

speed up transfer to external hard drive by formatting

Additional Tip - How to Back Up External Hard Drive Files

Although these methods can help you fix the slow USB 3.0 external hard drive issue, some may also cause unnecessary data loss errors on your drive. To avoid unnecessary data loss issue, you should copy and extract important data on your USB 3.0 external hard drive to your PC or another secure storage device in advance.

You can either choose to copy and paste existing files from your slow external hard drive to a new device at a very slow speed or prefer a more efficient and fast alternative tool to back up and extract all your files from the external hard drive to a new device at one time at high speed. 

If you choose the latter option, you may turn to EaseUS Todo Backup Free for help. It is easy and risk-free to back up files from your external hard drive with a small space occupation on your target device. 

Step 1: Open EaseUS Todo Backup and select "File" as the backup mode.

You may have a large amount of vital data to be protected as time goes on, such as documents, pictures, music, and videos, etc. It is always a good habit to have a backup on a regular basis. File Backup is one of the best choices for you to get over unexpected data loss.

Step 2: Select the files that you want to back up.

Tick the option at the top left corner named User Defined, you can browse to back up one or some specific file types on your computer or external storage device.

click file backup to back up files

Step 3: Select a destination to save your backup file. 

You'd better create the backup file in some other storage media or in some other drive. If not, there may be a risk of the backup file getting corrupted or destroyed.

Step 4: Click "Proceed" to execute your operation.


Whenever you are faced with external hard drive slow transfer speed, you can try these solutions above. These tips should help you increase your transfer speeds. EaseUS Partition Master plays a vital role in solving your slow issue. Besides, this software can help you with disk management, partition clone, and system migration. You can always try this product to enjoy extra features.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

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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?

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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.

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