How to fix a slow USB 3.0 transfer speed

  • It’s mostly due to some changes you’ve made to your computer or USB drive, such as formatting your USB drive and upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and 8, and so on.
  • The reasons for this problem can vary depending on the situation.
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Usb 3 Bandwidth

Over ten years ago, USB 3.0 was released in 2008, the third major revision to the USB standard. Since then, USB 3.0 has been replaced by USB 3.1 Gen 1. Since then, it has been a big improvement over USB 2.0, which arrived in 2000 with speed of only 480 Mbit/s. USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 are the same thing, therefore.

Usb 3.0 Speeds

A new version of the Universal Serial Bus standard referred to as USB 3.0 is being introduced to interface electronic devices and computers in the third major upgrade. A major highlight of the device is its Superspeed USB, which provides a file transfer speed of up to 625MB/s (5Gbit/s), or 10 times as fast as standard USB 2.0.

Usb3.0 Speed

Known as USB 3.0 (Universal Serial Bus), the latest version of the USB has been released in November 2010. It offers a speed that is approximately 5Gbits/s (625MB/s), which is much faster than its predecessor.

Whenever you want to transfer a large number of files, you may find yourself extremely frustrated if you have a very slow USB transfer speed on Windows 10/8/7. In the next section, we’ll discuss how to speed up USB transfers between PCs and USB flash drives. This Techquack post has lots of helpful information on how to do this.

Usb 3.0 Speed

USB 3.0 is designed to support a maximum bandwidth of 4.8 Gbit/s compared to 480 Mbit/s for its predecessor Hi-Speed USB 2.0. In case you are wondering, 4.8 Gbit/s = 600 MB/s which amounts to being able to transfer a CD worth of data each second. Now that’s rather fast. It should be noted that this value represents a theoretical data rate which is never achieved in typical usage. To be fair, the fastest current USB 2.0 devices only achieve about 50% of their theoretical maximum data rate. You can expect the first generation of USB 3.0 devices to achieve real world bandwidths of approximately 1.4 Gbit/s with later devices breaking 2 Gbit/s.

Understanding the inner workings of USB is best accomplished by taking a look at the speeds and feeds being used by our USB 3.0-based devices.

It has been reported that some Windows 10 users are experiencing very slow USB 3.0 transfer speeds when using USB 3.0 drives.

A USB flash drive is one of the most popular means for transferring files on computers, such as photos, videos, documents, and much more. Nevertheless, you get annoyed sometimes when the USB transfer speed is too slow, especially when you need data now or have important things to do. If you have a lot of important things to do, you do not want to wait dozens of minutes for data transfer.

Usb 3.0 Data Transfer Rate

This speeds up USB 2.0 (aka Hi-Speed USB), which can only transfer up to 25 MBps (megabytes per second) at its maximum.

Usb 3.0 Transfer Speed

It is theoretically ten times faster than USB 2.0 because USB 3.0 has a theoretical transfer speed of 5Gbps (gigabits per second).

Is it because of changes I made to my computer or USB drive that my transfer speed is slow? You might be wondering why. The main reason is that you’ve formatted your USB drive, upgraded to Windows 10, etc. Getting acquainted with the methods in the next section will enable you to transfer files faster between your PC and USB flash drive. How do I speed up USB data transfer?

Usb 3.0 Speed Mb/s

480 megabits per second (mbps) is the theoretical speed of data transfer in USB 2.0, or 60 megabytes per second (MBps), a very high speed. USB 3.0 is ten times faster than USB 2.0, with a maximum speed of 5gbps (640MBps)-over ten times faster.

Usb3 Max Speed

In 2008, USB 3.0 revolutionized USB bandwidth when it was introduced, resulting in a difference in transfer speed between 3.0 and 3.1. With its new SuperSpeed transfer mode, USB 3.0 increased its maximum transfer speed by nearly 10 times compared to its predecessor, USB 2.0, to 5Gbps (around 500MB/s in real life), around the same as its predecessor.


What is the reason for a slow USB 3.0 data transfer?

What is the reason for a slow USB 3.0 data transfer?

In general, USB 3.0 transfer speeds can be slow due to a variety of reasons. However, we have identified the top causes based on user feedback.

Usb 3.0 Max Speed

Whereas USB 3.0 can handle up to 5gbps of data transferred – over ten times faster than its predecessor.  So in a nutshell the 3.0 provides a faster read/write speed overall when transferring a lot of information. Of course we wanted to test this and in theory 1GB of data to be uploaded running at max speed was suggested to take around 5 seconds and having tested this with a USB 3.0 with the same data on the same PC (in a USB 3.0 port) the time was 2mins 05 seconds to complete the transfer. The 3.0 was clearly faster but posed a question how relevant this was in your world?

Fast Withdraw Policy: Using a fast withdrawal policy, the computer does not run processes in the background when the transfer is not in progress. However, this can lead to poor USB 3.0 performance.

Usb 3 Speed

Known also as USB 3.1 Gen 1 (5Gbps), USB 3.0 offers a 5Gbps data transfer rate.

Outdated or faulty drivers: Outdated and faulty drivers will cause the device to malfunction and new and correct drivers to appear. Updating or reinstalling drivers will yield much better results.

Faulty hardware: Sometimes the problem can be related to a device that the user is using via USB 3.0. Faulty hardware can be the problem of slow transfer speeds.

Windows 10 can also have issues with USB 3.0 transfer speed when outdated drivers are used. To resolve this issue, follow these steps:


How can I fix a slow USB 3.0 data transfer speed?

Updated: March 2024

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How can I fix a slow USB 3.0 data transfer speed?

Update the USB flash driver

The first thing we should do is update the driver for your USB 3.0 drive if your transfers are slow.

Third-party update devices let you update all outdated drivers at once or update your USB 3.0 drive driver. To make things easy, just use one of these devices.

Reinstall the driver for your USB 3.0 controller

  1. Windows 10’s Device Manager can be accessed by right-clicking the Start button.
  2. You will then find a window that appears when you click Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
  3. Select Uninstall Device from the right-click menu when you are viewing the USB 3.0 controller.
  4. Once Windows 10 has been restarted, the USB 3.0 controller driver should be automatically reinstalled.
  5. Device Manager also provides the option to check for hardware changes.

It is confirmed that reinstalling the USB 3.0 controller driver will fix the issue. See the above instructions for help.

Disable Windows Security

  1. Start by pressing Windows+S.
  2. The text box should be filled with the term Windows Security.
  3. This application window can be opened by clicking Windows Security.
  4. In the “Windows Security” dialog box, click the “Screen” button.
  5. Below them are options that can be accessed by clicking Manage Settings.
  6. The next step is to uncheck the options for real-time and cloud security.

Follow the steps above to disable Windows security if you are experiencing slow USB 3.0 file transfer speeds.

Select the “Best Performance” option for your USB flash drive

  1. Your PC must have a USB 3.0 slot for the USB flash drive.
  2. Device Manager can be accessed by clicking here.
  3. The Drivers category can be found by double-clicking it.
  4. Select Properties from the right-click menu of your chosen USB 3.0 drive.
  5. Right below you, you will see a tab entitled “Policies.”.
  6. The best performance option can be found here.
  7. You can now click OK.

The above procedure will show users how to select the Best Performance option to increase USB 3.0 drive speed.

Start Windows cleanly

  1. When you press Windows + R, Run will open.
  2. Then click OK to open MSConfig.
  3. You can select Selective Start by clicking the General tab.
  4. You can uncheck the box for loading autorun items.
  5. The boxes Use initial boot configuration options and Load system services should be checked.
  6. You can hide all Microsoft services by checking the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox on the Services tab.
  7. Listed third-party services can be disabled by clicking Disable All.
  8. Then click OK and Apply.
  9. You will then see a dialog box that asks you to reboot.

Converting a FAT32 USB flash drive to NTFS

  1. Laptops and desktop computers can be connected with a USB flash drive.
  2. NTFS file systems erase all the files on USB flash drives, so you need to back them up before converting.
  3. Once the Run accessory is open, click it.
  4. The extended command prompt will open when you type cmd in the Open Run field.
  5. To format a USB flash drive, enter the command X: /fs: NTFS in the command line window. Replace X with the letter of the drive you wish to format.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Defective hard drive. Another reason for the low USB 3 data transfer speed may be a defective hard drive.

In general, your USB transfer speed will slow down if you have the following problems: An unstable power supply in the USB port. Bad sectors slow down the USB. The USB file system slows down when you transfer large files.

  1. Speed up your computer. Your computer's performance has a big impact on your file transfer speed.
  2. Transfer one file at a time. You should only transfer one file at a time.
  3. Close all running programs.
  4. Use only one USB port at a time.
  5. Change the distance policy.
  6. Use USB 3.0.

  1. Expand "Drives" in Device Manager and find your USB device, right-click on your USB device or hard drive, and select "Properties.
  2. Go to the "Policies" tab and select "Best Performance", click "OK" to make sure that you want to optimize and improve the USB data transfer speed.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.