Q&A: Can I use a USB 3.0 Flash Drive in a USB 2.0 socket?

usb-3-0--thumb-driveQuestion from Daneen:  Hi Rick. I bought a couple of USB Flash Drives last night to put baby pictures on and give to my mom and mother-in-law, but I noticed after I got home that they’re USB 3.0 drives.

Will these drives work in USB 2.0 sockets or should I return them and buy USB 2.0 drives? I don’t want to damage my computer, and I REALLY don’t want to damage theirs! Thanks a lot for your help.

Rick‘s answer:  Daneen, USB 3.0 is completely backwards compatible with USB 2.0 which means you can use your new thumb drives in your PC and hand them over to your mom and mother-in-law with no worries.

The only downside to connecting a USB 3.0 device to a USB 2.0 port is the device will operate at the much slower USB 2.0 speed. If you ever take a notion to do so, you can add two or more USB 3.0 ports to your existing computer in order to take advantage of USB 3.0’s super-fast speed. And doing so won’t cost you an arm and a leg either. Check out this post to learn more.

Photo credit: Corsair.com

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