In Windows, there is actually a Safe Eject option used to help you remove your external drive from computer safely. But some users don’t use it; instead, they plug out the drive from computer directly when they think all the files have been transferred or saved. Is this harmful?

Everyone knows there will be an icon showing up in the bottom right corner of computer screen after a USB device had been connected. This is actually a sign to identify that the connection is successful. Then, you’re advised to safely remove USB device when you don’t need to use it anymore.

Can’t Safely Remove USB Device

The right things to do to unplug a USB device:

  • Find the icon in taskbar.
  • Right click on the icon and locate the USB device.
  • Click to eject USB device.

unplug a USB device

Sometimes, you can remove the USB device successfully after doing so and see the Safe To Remove Hardware message. At this time, you can unplug the drive from computer without worrying.

Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device

Yet, there are still some cases in which you’re not allowed to remove the USB device safely from the computer at present. You’ll see the Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device error message, which indicates that the USB drive is still in use.

Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device

At this time, you have two choices.

  1. Do as the system suggests: close any programs or windows that might be using the device and then try again.
  2. Unplug the USB device from computer forcibly.

Here comes the question: do you really need to safely eject USB device? Now, I will discuss it.

Do You Really Need Safe Eject

The Safe Eject option provided by Windows systems is designed especially for the removal process; it can help to safeguard against something going wrong with the USB drive. To be more specific, this function will flush all the active writes to disk and it will:

  • Alert open programs the accessibility of the USB drive and its contents.
  • Warn users when there’s something hasn’t been saved properly.

Obviously, there are a lot of benefits if you choose to safely eject the USB drives. It is actually a simple task that only requires a few clicks and takes a few seconds.

In contrast, if you choose to unplug the drive directly from computer when you have finished using it, you may find yourself in the following awkward situations when you connect it again to computer:

As a result, I recommend that you do remember to safely remove USB device, instead of unplugging it forcibly.

Safely Remove Hardware

By defauly, the Windows operating system will optimize the USB device for a Quick removal (Disables the write caching on the device and in Windows, but you can disconnect the device safely without using the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon). In this way, you are able to disconnect the device safely without using the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon.

But, you are allowed to access and change this removal policy from the device manager by doing the following things:

  1. Find This PC icon and right click on it.
  2. Choose Manage from the context menu.
  3. Find and select Device Manager from the left-hand panel.
  4. Find and expand the Disk drives from the right-hand panel.
  5. Right click on the target USB drive .
  6. Choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
  7. Shift to Policies
  8. Then, you can check Better performance (Enables write caching in Windows, but you must use the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon to disconnect the device safely).
  9. Click on the OK button to confirm.

Quick removal or Better performance

If you’re not satisfied with the Better performance option, you can change it back to Quick removal anytime you want.

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