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[Fixed] Can't Save Files to USB Flash Drive

Updated by Roxanne on Jun 13, 2022
Written by Jean
mins read

Are you having problems of saving files to your USB flash drive? Try the following 3 quick and practical fixes to resolve this issue now:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Convert FAT32 USB to NTFS Connect USB to PC > Run EaseUS Partition Master and right-click USB > Select "Convert to NTFS"...Full steps
Fix 2. Extend Volume Size Run EaseUS Partition Master > Free up space to extend partition > Extend partition to save files...Full steps
Fix 3. Obtain permission to save files Press Windows + R to open Run > Type netplwiz > Open and select user account > "Properties"...Full steps

Can't save files to the USB flash drive

"I'm in deep trouble saving files to a SanDisk USB flash drive. My computer recognizes the flash drive but I can't save pictures or documents to it. Ctrl C+V is not working, the 'save' or 'save as' option is not working, even dragging files directly to the flash drive is still not working. What's the problem? How to save files to a USB flash drive as usual?"

Being a removable storage device that is portable, a USB thumb drive, memory stick or floppy disk is designed to store data so that people can take it anywhere and transfer files easily. Since a flash drive that cannot save files is useless, you must spend some effort in finding a troubleshooting method so as to bring it back to life.

3 ways to fix flash drive not saving files properly

Here, three workable methods are available for you when you can't save files to a USB flash drive, or when your flash drive is not saving files as it could have, including formatting FAT32 to NTFS, extending volume size and obtaining access permission.

Fix 1: Convert USB Flash Drive from FAT32 to NTFS Without Formatting

If you are unable to copy or save files to the drive due to the error 'file is too large for destination file system', you should know that the cause of the problem is related to the file system of the device. The common file systems of an external USB drive, USB or memory card are NTFS, FAT32 and exFAT. When your file is larger than 4GB and your flash drive comes with FAT32, you can't save the file there due to the file system's maximum file size is 4GB.

To fix the matter, you can either use Windows Disk Management to format FAT32 to NTFS or use a third-party EaseUS Partition Master Free to convert FAT32 to NTFS directly without erasing data. For data safety, we bly recommend you try the professional solution without data loss.

Download and install EaseUS free partition manager on a Windows computer. Make sure your flash drive has connected to the machine correctly. Then follow the steps below to convert your FAT32 to NTFS.

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

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. Now the converting process will start automatically. Wait until the operation process is finished.

convert FAT32 to NTFS

Fix 2: Extend volume size when the disk is almost full

Step 1. Shrink partition to free up space to extend partition.

If the hard drive has enough unallocated space to extend the target partition, jump to Step 2, and continue. If not, free up space first:

  • Right-click on a partition next to the target partition and select "Resize/Move".
  • Drag the partition ends to free up space, leaving enough unallocated space behind the target partition, click "OK".
free up disk space to get unallocated space

Step 2. Extend target partition.

Right-click on the target partition and select "Resize/Move".

extend partition -1

Drag the target partition handle into the unallocated space to extend partition.

extend partition -2

Step 3. Keep all changes.

Click the "Execute Operation" button and click "Apply" to keep all changes.

extend partition -3

Fix 3: Obtain permission to save files to a specific location

Now we're arriving at the last commonly seen error that will cause the trouble, which is "you don't have permission to save in this location, contact the administrator to obtain permission". This happens a lot when you're trying to save certain Microsoft files.

Step 1: Press the "Windows + R" keys simultaneously and open "Run".

Step 2: Type netplwiz and hit "Enter" to open the "User Accounts" settings box.

Step 3: Select the user account that gives the error message.

Step 4: Click on "Properties" and then "Group Membership", select "Administrator" and click "Apply".

Hope the three approaches we've given can help to solve your trouble in saving a file to a USB flash drive or memory card. If none of the fixes works, it's highly like that your flash drive is write-protected. Try to remove write protection and get rid of the problem "flash drive won't save files".

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About the Author

Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

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Product Reviews

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  • 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. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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