How to Fix Slow USB 3.0 Transfer Speeds

If you just bought a new USB 3.0 thumb drive (or hard drive) and noticed surprisingly slow read/write speeds, read on for the quick fix! A USB 3.0 drive should be getting write speeds of at least 15–20 MB per second, if not more. But Windows by default isn’t configured correctly to get those speeds.

Essentially there are two options for this setting, one that enables caching and requires (or highly recommends) that you select the “safely remove hardware” option in the taskbar before unplugging it, and the other which you can simply unplug at will. The latter is the default setting, and leads to severely crippled transfer speeds.

To fix this click the Windows icon (start menu), search for and open the Device Manager.

In the Device Manager, expand Disk Drives to find your USB device.

Right click on the device and select Properties.

In the Properties window, select the 2nd tab called Policies and you will see two options. Most likely if you are experiencing slow speeds, it is set to the default Quick removal.

Simply switch the setting to Better performance and select OK.

You will probably be prompted to restart the computer, and after you do, you should start to see substantially faster transfer speeds!