Photo: hufse

Have you ever saved files to a thumb drive at work so you could bring them home & left the drive at work? Or worse yet, lost a thumb drive?

I was thinking about how many files I have on one of my USB drives and came up with a simple solution that only took a few moments to complete.

Our HR Department has retractable badge holders available for employees’ ID badges. (You can find similar items at any locksmith shop.) They look like this and are intended to be clipped on your belt or pocket; the retractable cord is about 2-1/2 feet long:

To put my thumb drive on a leash I cut off the plastic tab for the badge holder, put an extra key ring through the USB drive and in turn through the small metal loop on the retractable cord:

I then mounted it to the audio port inside one of the top zippered compartments of my backpack:

At home I just set the backpack next to my PC and plug in the thumb drive:

I have a similar setup at work with a USB hub that’s convenient to where I place my backpack each day.

Never lose a thumb drive again with this simple solution! Related: see my post on 11 essential things you need to carry in your daily bag for my take on the important (other) items which should always be in your briefcase or daily bag.

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4 Comments on Simple hack: put your thumb drive on a leash & never lose it!

  1. Travel says:

    That is a good idea to link it to backpack,but be careful if you have little kid at home,you may end up loosing your tiny thing.
    At home my grand kid could play around with it,and end up in the garbage bin…..ha……….ha…..ha


  2. kc says:

    Good point!


  3. jeremy says:

    I’d probably lose the whole bag after that. I’m notorious for losing thumb drives. I’m just waiting until they can implant it into my skin somehow. Hopefully I wouldn’t lose my skin.


  4. Michael W. says:


    At the rate thumb drive prices are dropping, the key caddy will soon cost almost as much as the thumb drive.

    How about clipping it to a Swiss Arm “Classic” or mini pocket knife, the kind that comes with a small pair of scissors, a nail file, and a small unlocked blade?

    Here’s the Classic from the Target website:;page=1

    I keep my “condo complex” entry key on a small key chain with a mini Swiss like that, plus a miniature key-chain Photon light. Very handy set up. Doesn’t put me at risk for dropping my main set of house keys or car keys down the crack between the steps at the entry. (Stuff like that happens. But not to me.)


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