How to Download Embroidery Designs to a USB Stick

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To successfully download embroidery designs from a computer or the Internet to a USB stick takes knowing a few simple steps. Here are 10 of the Most Common Questions asked by new embroiderers.

Our popular Embroidery Essentials Online Course takes brand new embroidery machine owners step-by-step through mastering every corner of their embroidery machine. But, to even begin the course, students need to understand the basics of how to properly download embroidery designs to their USB stick. This can be very intimidating when students are not computer savvy.

If interacting with a computer was not on your to-do list when you bought your embroidery machine, these first couple steps can be SCARY! With the following 10 topics explained in this free Embroidery Essentials course video, we hope the steps needed to successfully download embroidery designs to a USB Stick will get easier the more times they are repeated.

1. If you Never Learn How to Download Embroidery Designs You Can’t Embroider

It is necessary to get comfortable with how to download embroidery designs from the Internet or a CD to a USB Stick for you to get the most use out of your beautiful embroidery machine. Take the time to learn how to do this required step of the process or have a friend/family member help you with the steps. Write down the steps, repeat them often and before you know it, you will wonder why you were so scared to start.

2. Downloaded Embroidery Designs are ONLY for the Embroidery Machine

An embroidery design file can only be recognized by your embroidery machine. It is the stitch information needed to tell the embroidery machine which way to move the hoop on its x and y-axis to create the saved embroidery design.

3. Yes, you Need an Actual Computer to Download Embroidery Designs on

Embroidery designs can not be downloaded or accessed via a phone or tablet. You WILL need an actual computer to use with your embroidery machine. These other devices do not have a USB port for transferring them to your embroidery machine.

4. Once Downloaded you will need to UNZIP or EXTRACT the Embroidery Designs

Most embroidery designs will download to your computer ZIPPED. This means that the designs are all in a pretty box with a bow on it. You will need to untie the bow. IE: UNZIP or EXTRACT the files BEFORE moving them to a USB stick.

Learn the top 10 Embroidery Essentials Course questions students ask before enrolling…

5. DO NOT Try to OPEN an Embroidery Design File on the Computer

Once the embroidery designs are unzipped/extracted, DO NOT DOUBLE CLICK the files! The computer does not know what to do with a “stitch file”. The computer will get confused and start asking you what program you want to open it in.

6. What Size of USB stick do I Need?

Most embroidery machines prefer a 1 GB USB stick. If a USB Stick was included with your embroidery machine, use it. Otherwise, your local sewing machine store can help you purchase a USB Stick that will work in your brand of embroidery machine.

7. How Many Embroidery Designs will a 1 GB USB Stick Hold?

Embroidery design files are super small. It would take 100’s of embroidery designs to fill up a 1 GB USB stick.

8. It’s Time to Copy and Paste

The term “copy and paste” is all you need to know about how to get designs from the computer or a CD to the USB Stick. We have included two videos below to help with this process. The first one is for WINDOWS users and the second video is for MAC users.

9. No Additional Embroidery Software Needed

A common question we get asked is, “Do I need to purchase additional embroidery software to download embroidery designs to a USB Stick?” The answer is no. Everything you need is built into a standard PC or MAC computer to transfer embroidery designs to a USB Stick.

10. If You Use a Mac Computer, READ THIS!

If you are using a MAC computer to download embroidery designs to a USB Stick AND you own a BERNINA, Husqvarna Viking or PFAFF embroidery machine, note that you will see additional files on the embroidery machine when the USB Stick is plugged in. NOTE: There is nothing wrong with your MAC computer nor your embroidery machine. Just scroll past these “extra” files until you see the embroidery designs on the embroidery machine. Below are two videos to see what these ODD-looking files look like on a BERNINA or a VIKING/PFAFF machine.

In Conclusion…

To successfully download embroidery designs to a USB Stick, remember to:

  • Never try to open an embroidery design on a computer
  • Always unzip or extract the files BEFORE moving them to a USB stick
  • Learn how to COPY and PASTE

If you know you are not using your embroidery machine to its fullest, check out our Embroidery Essentials Online Course TODAY!

download embroidery designs

Own a BERNINA Embroidery Machine? Continue your downloading embroidery designs education here:

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