The Best USB 3.0 Flash Drive

After more than 14 hours of new research and testing, we found that the 64 GB SanDisk Extreme CZ80 USB 3.0 Flash Drive is still the best flash drive for most people—while you can get it. With both PCs and Macs, the SanDisk Extreme CZ80 offers the best combination of speed, price, capacity, and usability of any thumb drive we’ve found.

Our pick

SanDisk Extreme CZ80 USB 3.0 Flash Drive 64 GB

SanDisk Extreme CZ80 USB 3.0 Flash Drive 64 GB

Fast and easy to use

Our pick for the fourth year in a row, it’s fast and affordable, with a one-piece design that’s simple and comfortable to use.

$52* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $33.

The SanDisk Extreme CZ80 is the same flash drive we’ve recommended for years. SanDisk has given it several quiet speed boosts since we first tested it, and the current version, the 64 GB Extreme CZ80, hits the sweet spot for price and capacity. Unfortunately, SanDisk is discontinuing the Extreme CZ80, but we’ll continue to recommend it as long as you can still buy it for a good price.

Runner-up

SanDisk Extreme Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive 64 GB

SanDisk Extreme Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive 64 GB

If you can’t find our top pick

It’s not quite as fast as the Extreme CZ80, but its performance is consistent compared with the competition, and it has the same easy-to-use sliding mechanism as the CZ80.

$41* from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $45.

If you can’t find the Extreme CZ80 or it gets too expensive, its successor, the SanDisk Extreme Go USB 3.1 Flash Drive, will suffice. In our testing its read speeds were close to the CZ80’s, and while its write speeds in benchmarks were lower than we expected, in our actual file-copy tests it outperformed drives with better benchmark results, and it was more consistent in maintaining high transfer rates.

Budget pick

Samsung USB 3.0 Flash Drive Fit 128 GB

Samsung USB 3.0 Flash Drive Fit 128 GB

Twice the storage for around the same price

While it isn’t as fast as other USB 3.0 drives, it is tiny and half the price of our pick.

Buy from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $40.

If you care more about capacity than speed, or if you want a drive that barely protrudes from a USB port, get the 128 GB Samsung USB 3.0 Flash Drive Fit. It has a thumbnail-sized design that’s perfect for keeping on a keychain or plugged into your laptop as semipermanent storage. It isn’t nearly as fast as our pick or our runner-up, but it is less than a quarter the size and around half the price.

Also great

Lexar JumpDrive C20c 64 GB

Lexar JumpDrive C20c 64 GB

A USB-C option

This Type-A–to–Type-C USB cable doubles as a flash drive and offers better performance than its dual-port competitors.

$31 from Amazon

If you own a device that has only USB-C ports, such as a MacBook, but still regularly work with computers that have Type-A USB ports, get the Lexar JumpDrive C20c, which has both ports—one on each end. (It can even double as a charging cable.) It’s not as fast as our pick or our runner-up, but its versatile design will come in handy if you move data between USB-C and USB-A devices frequently.

If you already have a flash drive you like, pick up a USB-C–to–USB-A adapter so you can use it with your new device. If you’re looking for even more speed and storage than our main pick offers, pass on an expensive flash drive and get a portable solid-state drive like the 250 GB Samsung, T3 SSD instead—for just a little more money than you’d pay for a fast 128 GB flash drive, you get much better read and write speeds and twice the storage in a device around the size of a credit card.

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