Listen to Songs on a Flash Drive Connected to a Microsoft Surface

By Andy Rathbone

Your Microsoft Surface includes a USB port, which provides a handy way to move files to and from your Surface. If you carry around your favorite songs on a flash drive, it’s easy to tell the Surface to play them. The best way is to add the flash drive to your Surface’s Music library. Then, whenever you plug the drive into your Surface, the drive’s songs will automatically appear in the Music app for playing.

To play a flash drive’s songs on your Surface, follow these steps:

  1. Insert your flash drive into your Surface’s USB port. Then tap the Start screen’s Desktop app icon to bring the Desktop to the screen.


    The USB port lives on the right edge of the Surface RT and Surface 2; it’s on the left edge of the Surface Pro and Surface 2 Pro.

    If you don’t see the Desktop app’s tile on the Start screen, swipe up and tap Desktop in the Apps view. The Windows desktop appears onscreen.

  2. Tap the File Explorer icon from the taskbar along the bottom of the desktop.


    File Explorer appears, either within its own window or filling the screen.

  3. When File Explorer appears, find your flash drive’s icon.

    Your flash drive’s icon will probably be named after your flash drive’s manufacturer or model, and it will probably have the letter D.


  4. Tap and hold your flash drive’s icon; when a square appears, lift your finger.


    A pop-up menu appears with an Include in Library option.

  5. From the pop-up menu, choose the Include in Library option. Then tap the Music option to add your flash drive to your Surface’s Music library.


    Another pop-up menu appears, listing the Music library.

    When you return to the Music app, it lists the music found on your newly inserted flash drive. (Depending on the number of songs, your Surface may take a few minutes to list all of the songs and categorize them by artist and album.)

    By adding your flash drive’s letter to your Music library, your music will automatically appear in the Music app whenever you insert any flash drive with music into your USB drive.