Is your USB 3.0 transfer speed slow? Fix it with 6 methods

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • If you notice that your USB 3.0 transfer speed is slow, this guide will surely help you.
  • To resolve this issue, reinstall the USB 3.0 controller driver, updating the USB stick's driver.
  • If you want to explore more useful information, visit our extensive Peripherals Hub.
  • To explore more useful information, check out our detailed  USB 3.0 Section.

Some users have said that their Windows 10 USB 3.0 transfer speeds are very slow for the USB 3.0 drives they’re utilizing.

Here is what one user stated in a Microsoft forum post:

Since updating to Windows 10, regardless of which stick I use… I get very slow transfer rates compared to when I was on Windows 7.

To fix slow USB 3.0 transfer speeds, check out these potential resolutions.


How can I fix a slow USB 3.0 transfer speed?

1. Reinstall your USB 3.0 controller driver

  1. One confirmed resolution is to reinstall your USB 3.0 controller driver. To do so, right-click the Start button in Windows 10 and select Device Manager.
  2. Next, click Universal Serial Bus controllers to open the window shown directly below.
    Device Manager usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  3. Right-click your USB 3.0 controller and select Uninstall device.
  4. Then restart Windows 10, which should automatically reinstall the driver for the USB 3.0 controller.
  5. Alternatively, you can click the Scan for hardware changes option in Device Manager to reinstall drivers.

2. Update the USB drive driver

  1. Try updating the USB 3.0 stick’s driver with Driver Booster 7. First, insert the USB 3.0 drive into the laptop or desktop.
  2. Next, click the Free Download option on DB 7’s page. Then install the software with the Driver Booster 7 setup wizard.
  3. After launching Driver Booster 7, it will automatically scan.
    Driver Booster 7 usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  4. Select all the device check boxes listed. Click the Update Now option to update drivers for the selected devices.

3. Turn off Windows Security

  1. Some users have said they’ve fixed slow USB 3.0 file transfer rates by disabling Windows Defender (now Windows Security). To do that, press the Windows key + S hotkey.
  2. Input Windows Security as the search keyword in the text box.
  3. Click Windows Security to open that app’s window.
    The Real-time protection setting usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  4. Click the shield button on the left of Windows Security.
  5. Click Manage Settings to open the options shown directly below.
  6. Turn off the Real-time and Cloud-delivered protection options there.

4. Select the Better Performance option for your USB drive

  1. Users can boost their USB 3.0 drives’ transfer speeds by selecting the Better Performance option. To do that, insert the USB stick into one of your PC’s USB 3.0 slot.
  2. Open the Device Manager window.
  3. Double-click the Disk drives category.
  4. Right-click your listed USB 3.0 stick to select Properties.
  5. Select the Policies tab shown directly below.
    Policies tab usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  6. Select the Better Performance option there.
  7. Press the OK button.

5. Clean boot Windows

  1. Try clean-booting Windows to ensure that no third-party software (such as antivirus utilities) can slow down the USB transfer speeds. To do that, open Run by pressing the Windows key + R at the same time.
  2. Input msconfig in the Open box, and click the OK option.
  3. Click Selective Startup on the General tab.
    MSConfig window usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  4. Deselect the Load startup items check box.
  5. Select the Load system services and Use original boot configuration settings.
  6. On the Services tab, select the Hide all Microsoft services check box.
    The Services tab usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  7. Click Disable all to deselect the third-party services listed.
  8. Click the Apply and OK options.
  9. Next, click Restart on the dialog box window that opens.

6. Convert a FAT32 USB drive to NTFS

  1. Changing the file system of the USB stick to NTFS can also speed up its data transfer speed. Plug your USB drive into the laptop or desktop.
  2. As converting a USB stick to NTFS will erase all the drive’s content, you should back up files on the USB stick before doing so.
  3. Next, open the Run accessory.
  4. Input cmd in Run’s Open box, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open an elevated Command Prompt.
    Command Prompt usb 3.0 transfer speed slow
  5. Enter this command in the Prompt’s window: X: /fs:ntfs. Replace X with your actual USB drive letter.

Those are some of the ways you can fix slow data transfer speeds for a USB 3.0 drive. Some of the above resolutions might also fix USB 2.0 drives’ file transfer speeds.

FAQ: Read more about hard drives

  • Is exFAT faster than NTFS?

No, the NTFS system files offer a 19% increase in performance, while exFAT only offers 7%. 

  • Why is exFAT so slow?

The most common reason for exFAT running slowly is because you have too much data on the hard-drive. 

  • Can Windows 10 read NTFS?

Yes,  Windows 10 can read NTFS partitions/hard drives without any issues. If you’re encountering issues, check out our  NTFS File System Error on Windows 10 guide.

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