Fix Slow file copy speed in Windows 10

We copy and move a lot of files around on our computer. And most of the copying takes place to and from external devices. If due to some issues, you face slow copy or move speed, then this post may help you increase copying speeds on your PC. Well, this is a common issue some solutions are available for this. In this post, we’ve tried to address this issue by providing suggestions to increase copy paste speed in Windows 10/8/7. You can see what works best for you.

Slow file copy speed in Windows 10

file copy speed slow

1] Try changing the USB Port

Modern computers have a variety of USB ports. So, if your USB drive supports USB 3.0/3.1, make sure you plug it inside a USB 3.0/3.1 port. A USB 3 port is usually blue, or you can refer to your computer’s documentation to locate it. Switching ports would improve copy speeds drastically, and it should be the first thing that you should try while trying to speed up the entire copying or moving process.

2] Update USB Drivers

Slow copy speeds can also be a side-effect of faulty drivers. Since there are a lot of devices and a lot of corresponding drivers available, it is not that difficult to get wrong drivers in place. So, you can easily update the drivers by visiting your PC’s manufacturer website. The drivers can be found under the support section, make sure you download and install the latest USB drivers. This would also resolve some other minor issues that you might be facing while using USB drives on your computer.

3] Fix Errors with Hard Drive

It might be a good idea to check your hard disk or external drive for errors by following these steps:

Open This PC. Right-Click the desired external drive and select Properties.

Go to the Tools tab and click on the Check button under Error Checking.

This will scan your drive for any errors and will also provide you with an option to fix them. Go ahead, fix all these errors and check if copy speed has improved or not. Again, following this solution will also fix many other small issues with your drive.

4] Format the Drive

Well, this solution has been known to work for some. Reformat your external drive in the NTFS format instead of FAT32.  To format your drive to NTFS, follow these steps:

Take a backup of your data on the drive. Right-click and select Format from the menu.

Select NTFS as the file format and disable Quick Format.

This will ensure that your drive is totally clean and free from all errors.

5] Disable Windows Auto Tuning

Window Auto-Tuning feature is said to improve the performance for programs that receive TCP data over a network by dynamically adjusting the receive buffer size to the throughput and latency of the link. So, if you are copying some data over the network, the autotuning feature is playing a role here. And in some cases, completely disabling Windows Auto Tuning feature has resulted in faster copy speeds over the network.

If disabling Auto Tuning did not help, make sure you switch it back to normal mode.

6] Change USB Removal Policy

Plug in your USB or external hard drive to your Windows computer. Open This PC folder, right-click on the device and select Properties. Next, select the Hardware tab. Here, select the storage media which you want to make faster, and then click on Properties button.

If you want better performance from your USB device, you can select the Better performance option. When this is selected, it enables write caching in Windows, but you have to use the Safely Remove Hardware option from the notification area, to disconnect the device safely, else it may result in data corruption.

Make USB or External Hard Drive perform faster

Windows by default disables write caching on your USB drive so that you can unplug it whenever you want. You can enable write caching to improve the performance of the device. But you must make sure that that you always use the Safely Remove Hardware option from the system tray. If you have write caching enabled and you did not safely remove the device, then it might result in data corruption. Read here about how to change the Removal Policy of an external USB drive.

Let us know if you have any other ideas.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.