When I copy files over to a USB drive (in Pantheon Files), the transfer starts fast, but then slows down over time. Once everything is transfered and there are 0 seconds remaining, the transfer just hangs, for multiple minutes.

Can I stop the transfer then? Is it really done?

Do you think this is an elementaryOS/Ubuntu issue or just specifically my computer?

Is there anything I can do to speed it up?

Thanks in advance!

  • Are you transferring a lot of files (if so, how many approx) or one or two very large files? Which version of Files are you using? The system may be caching the write operations (which is fast) initially but Files is waiting for the data to actually be written to the USB drive (which is slow). It may be related to bug #1404588 (to which a significant bounty is attached) Apr 4, 2017 at 16:27
  • primarily large file sizes. Sometimes one single file, sometimes multiple. As I haven't yet managed to get a file server set up on elementaryOS, I'm stuck using usb. My files is up to date, but this has been a persistent problem as long as I can remember.
    – Nymunariya
    Apr 6, 2017 at 6:24
  • It might simply be a hardware limitation of your USB drive. Do you use USB 2 or USB 3? As @JeremyWootten pointed out even if system (the Linux kernel) caches the write, it takes time so that it gets actually written. So even if the UI can be fixed, you might have to wait anyway …
    – lemonslice
    Apr 7, 2017 at 6:51
  • I notice that when the progress window indicates 0 seconds left, it indicates that there is 0.1 MB left to transfer. However, if you refresh the view of the destination, the file size indicates the whole file has transferred. The progress window does persist tens of seconds in this state (with a file size of 500MB transferred) but Files continues to be usable underneath. So there does seem to be an issue here. A lot if USB devices have a flashing light indicating when data is being transferred. When this stops it probably safe to assume the transfer is ended. Apr 8, 2017 at 11:16
  • There is a similar bug report on Launchpad - bug 1669403 Apr 8, 2017 at 11:29

2 Answers 2


I was able to fix the problem by following the tutorial: https://gist.github.com/2E0PGS/f63544f8abe69acc5caaa54f56efe52f


I have exactly the same issue and my solution was simply patience. Yes, we need to wait several minutes with the transfer window seemingly frozen at 0 seconds, but eventually the transfer completes (I even get a notification from Files of the successful completion of the transfer)! I believe this has to do with the format of the usb.

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