Fix USB 3.0 Slow Transfer Speed Issue

Universal Serial Bus or USB has been a standard interface for almost 20 years now, to connect devices to a computer. The latest USB 3.0 has significant advancements over USB 1.0 and USB 2.0. A USB 3.0 drive ideally has a speed of at least 15-20 MB per second, which makes it almost ten times faster than USB 2.0. If your USB 3.0 transfer speed drops, it may be due to upgrading to Windows 10 or formatting the flash drive. 

USB 3.0 can power more devices from one hub and uses two unidirectional data paths, SSRx+/SSRx- and SSTx+/SSTx-, to receive and transmit data. These data paths run in parallel with the already existing D-/D+ data bus, which allows it to transfer data simultaneously.

Fix USB 3.0 Slow Transfer Speed

In addition to this, USB 3.0 also increases the current on Vbus from 500 mA to 900 Ma, reducing the need for extra power supplies. In high-speed mode, a USB 3.0 controller can also receive data using the entire bandwidth, that is, it allows to transmit information “point to point” where there is a computer on each end.

How can I speed up my USB transfer speed?

It is always advised to connect your USB flash drive to one of the rear ports instead of the front ports of the computer to speed up your USB transfer. Even then, if USB 3.0 is slow on windows 10, it may be due to driver incompatibility. There are several methods to fix this.

Method 1: Update Driver from Windows Update and Device Manager

Make sure that Windows Updates is enabled. In settings, select “Update & Security” and click on “Windows Update.”

Check for Pending Updates and begin updating.

Restart your desktop to check if USB 3.0 slow transfer speed has increased.

To update drivers from the device manager, press the “Windows” key and ‘X’ simultaneously.

Locate and select “Device Manager” and expand “Universal Serial Bus Controllers.”

Right-click a driver and select “Update Driver.” Repeat this step for all drivers.

Restart your desktop.

Method 2: Using Device Manager to Optimize USB 3.0 

Go to the Windows Icon, right-click, and select “Device Manager.” 

In Device Manager, expand “Disk Drivers” and search for your USB device. 

Right-click and select “Properties.”

In Properties, select “Better Performance” and click “OK.”

Method 3: Converting USB 3.0 from FAT32 to NTFS

Before proceeding with this method, it is essential to restore data from USB 3.0 Device by using tools like AnyRecover or EaseUs.

Simultaneously press the “Windows” key and “X” from the menu.

Select “Command Prompt” and enter the following command “Convert (Drive Letter):/fs:nfts.”

Method 4: Uninstall and reinstall drivers

Simultaneously press the “Windows key” and ‘X.’

Select Device Manager.

Locate and select “Universal Serial Bus Controllers,” right-click each driver and select “Uninstall.”

Universal Serial Bus Controllers

Restart your desktop and reinstall the drivers.

Method 5: Format USB

Connect USB to the computer and open “This PC.”

Right-click the USB flash drive and select the format option.

For the file system, select “NTFS” and click start.

Click “OK” to complete the process.

How fast is a USB 3.0, and why?

Theoretically, USB 3.0 has a maximum bandwidth of 5 GB/s or 640 MB/s. This is considered ten times faster compared to USB 2.0, which has a bandwidth of only 60 MB/s. This is because USB 3.0, with advanced encoding techniques, includes improvements in signalling technology when compared to USB 2.0. The separate cabling system allows new signalling techniques and maintains backward compatibility. Moreover, it contains five new cables to the connector, which would enable a full-duplex instead of half-duplex. In addition to these advancements, the main reason behind the increased bandwidth is improved silicon technology within the integrated circuits that are implemented in USB 3.0. 

Now that we have seen how USB 3.0 is faster than USB 2.0, we must address the next question: Is USB 3.0 as fast as SSD?

The main difference between USB 3.0 and SSD is the controller, which is used to interface between the computer and NAND flash chips. Multi-level cell or MLC is a memory element typically used in USB 3.0. It has the potency for storing numerous bits of data. Therefore, to store several bits of information, most MLC drives have four possible states per cell. This decreases the number of transistors required and the size of the drive, followed by access speed.

On the other hand, Single-level cell or SLC is used in SSD, where each cell is in either one of the two states and can store one bit of information per cell. This, in turn, increases the access speed and cost of the device. However, this speed gap between USB 3.0 and SSD is being reduced by the new USB 3.1, which is as fast as SSD. 

Plugging USB 3.0 into USB 2.0 port

USB 3.0 is faster and more efficient than USB 2.0, as earlier mentioned, proving it to be a terrific upgrade. Unfortunately, most of the computers today do not have integrated USB 3.0 ports. To our luck, USB 3.0 is also backward compatible with USB 2.0. Therefore, whether you plug in USB 3.0 peripheral into USB 2.0 port or vice versa, it will function properly. However, in both cases, you can only transfer data at the speed of USB 2.0.

USB 3.0 port is powered and delivers higher power, unlike USB 2.0 port. Hence, it is more suitable to recharge devices and plug-in USB hubs into a USB 3.0 port. Now, you might be wondering, do USB 3.0 hubs have a slow transfer rate? The answer is no. A powered USB hub does not affect the performance of the devices connected to it or the computer. Moreover, to take advantage of the efficiency of USB 3.0, all devices connected in the hub must be USB 3.0 compatible. Otherwise, even if one device in the chain is USB 2.0 compatible, all other devices will slow down to the speed of USB 2.0.