Computer Components

How to Copy a CD/DVD to a USB Drive

What You’ll Need

A computer with a CD or DVD drive: This can be a desktop or laptop.

A USB drive: Make sure it has enough space for the thing you want to copy.

File manager: Any operating system comes equipped with a basic file manager (File Explorer on Windows, Finder on macOS).


Insert the CD: Put the CD into your computer’s CD or DVD drive.

Open the CD: Your laptop or PC will usually open the CD file window automatically. If not navigate to This PC (Windows) or Finder (macOS) and find your CD or DVD drive icon.

Insert USB Drive: Plug the USB drive into a free USB port on your computer. Your system should detect it automatically.

Find Your Files: Inside the window showing your CD’s content, find the files you want to copy. You might need to navigate through folders to find them.

Select and Copy: You have options:

Single file: Click once to highlight it then press Ctrl+C (Windows) or Cmd+C (macOS).

Multiple files: Hold Ctrl (Windows) or Cmd (macOS) while clicking to select individual files, then use copy shortcut (Ctrl+C / Cmd+C).

Or everything at once: Press Ctrl+A (Windows) or Cmd+A (macOS) to select all files within the CD, then copy as above.

Navigate to USB Drive: Open a new window showing the contents of your USB drive (within File Explorer or Finder).

Paste: Inside the USB drive window, press Ctrl+V (Windows) or Cmd+V (macOS) to paste your copied files.

Key Notes

Specialized Files: If the CD has executable files (like software installers), you’ll have to run them directly from the CD. They won’t always let you copy them and run them from a separate device like a USB drive.

Protected Content: Commercial CDs or those with copy protection can have special restrictions preventing copying.

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