How to Boost Data Transfer Speed in External Hard Drive?

If you frequently experience slow data transfer speed or the procedure gets paused many times while transferring or copying items to and through your external hard disk drive, then you need to go through this post. This guide will explain some easy solutions to boost data transfer speed in an external drive on your Windows 10/11 PC. After applying these methods, you will definitely see improvements in the external hard disk drive data transfer procedure.

External Hard Drive

Ways to Boost Data Transfer Speed in External Hard Drive 

You can apply the following methods to enhance data transfer speed in the external hard drive on your Windows PC.

  • You can set a Better Performance option for your external hard drive.
  • Try to connect to USB 3.0, 3.1 Port.
  • You should close running programs
  • Try to convert your external hard disk drive to NTFS File System.
  • You have to clean up the external hard drive.
  • You can utilize Fast File Copy tools.
  • You must format the external hard drive.

Set Better Performance Option 

It is the most powerful option that can assist you in boosting data transfer speed in the external hard drive. By default, Windows OS retains the Quick Removal approach for external hard disk drives or USB, which turns off disk write caching operations which can also be the reason for slow transfer speed and performance. But, this can be changed to the improved performance mode that can make the external hard drive or USB device perform faster, and you can get an enhanced data transfer speed. Below are the instructions.

  • First of all, launch the Disk Management feature on your device.
  • Then, you have to right-tap on the external hard disk drive option visible on the left section.
  • Next, you should press the Properties button.
  • On the Properties page, you need to navigate to the Policies tab.
  • Choose the Better performance option available in the Removal policy section.
  • Now, hit the Enable write caching on the device tab under the Write-caching policy.
  • Next, you must tap on the Ok button.
  • After that, close the Disk Management window.

Connecting to USB 3.0/3.1 Port 

If you possess a USB 3.0/3.1 USB or external hard drive and attach it to the system with the USB 2.0 port, it can also create problems in the transfer procedure as it will offer the data transfer speed of USB 2.0 only. Hence, you must attach the hard disk drive with a USB 3.0/3.1 port to the system, and you will experience a change in the transfer speed or file copy.

The latest desktops or laptops have a USB 3.0/3.1 port that offers a faster data transfer rate. You have to just look for the logo like SS (SuperSpeed) or color to recognize the USB 3.0 port and then attach the external hard disk drive to it.

Close All the Running Programs 

If your external hard disk drive is occupied with numerous things such as downloading files, scanning viruses, running videos, and others, then it can slow the data transfer speed. In this case, you have to give it a rest and close all the running programs or other stuff while transferring or copying files through the external hard disk drive to increase the data transfer speed.

Change External Hard Disk Drive to NTFS File System

If you utilize the external hard disk drive on your Windows and it utilizes the exFAT or FAT32 file method by default, then you need to convert it to the NTFS file system. There is a huge difference between FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS file systems. exFAT and FAT32 file format is compatible with small SD cards, external drives, or USB drives and have their own restrictions. On the contrary, NTFS (New Technology File System) is way more effective than the FAT32 and exFAT file system, supports huge files, and offers better read and write.

Hence, it will be better to convert the external hard disk drive to an NTFS system to increase the data transfer speed for your external hard disk drive. Before this, you need to keep a backup of the external hard disk drive as there might be a possibility of data loss. You can change the external hard disk drive to the NTFS file system through the elevated Command Prompt window and initiate the following command when the backup is done.

  •  Convert DRIVELETTER:/ fs:ntfs

To successfully complete the command, you need to replace the DRIVELETTER with the real drive letter (such as H, G, S, etc.) of the external hard disk drive. Or, you can also utilize some free software or tools such as EaseUS Partition Master that supports exFAT to NTFS conversion.

Clean Up External Hard Disk Drive 

If your external hard disk drive is full, it can also slow down the data transfer speed. Less storage space also creates problems opening and using files, programs, and other data. Additionally, there can be a few junk files and other data that may be affecting the external hard drive performance. So, you have to delete the junk files and unwanted data. Find massive or other files on the external hard disk drive and transfer less important data to other storage or delete them. Together with that, you can also utilize some junk cleaner tools to clean some disk space and boost the disk drive.

Use Fast File Copy Software 

Although the traditional file copy procedure in the Windows OS is better for copying and sending files, sometimes, it’s not compatible, particularly when sending or copying the data from an external hard drive or a USB flash drive to your PC or vice-versa. In such a situation, you need to use fast file copy tools such as TeraCopy, available for Windows 10/11.

Format the External Hard Disk Drive 

You need to backup the external hard disk drive data before formatting the external hard drive. Formatting will delete all the data responsible for slow speed and offer space for new data. It can also enhance performance for the data transfer between the Windows system and the external hard disk drive. While formatting the external hard drive, ensure to choose NTFS as the File format in the Format window.

Other than these solutions, you can try to update USB drivers, defrag the hard drive, initiate an antivirus scan, and more.


There can be multiple reasons behind the slow speed of transferring data. For instance, less or no storage space in the external hard drive, bad sectors, an improper file system, wrong port connection, and others. If you face this error frequently, you can change the hard drive to NTFS, close all the running applications or programs, and try other methods. You need to walk through the above-detailed guide on how to boost data transfer speed in an external hard disk drive? It covers all the solutions to fix this problem.


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