How to Safely Remove USB Flash Drive and Why It’s Necessary



How to Remove a Flash Drive from a Windows 10 Computer

Steps

Using the Desktop Taskbar

  1. Save any open documents you have on the flash drive.The easiest way to do this in any open window is to hold down and press .
  2. Find the "Eject" icon.It's the rectangular, flash drive-shaped icon with a checkmark next to it. It lives in the row of options that are in the bottom-right corner of the screen, though you may first need to click the upward-facing arrow on the far-left side of these options to view it.
  3. Click the "Eject" icon.Doing so will invoke a drop-down menu.
  4. ClickEject.This option is at the bottom of the drop-down menu. It will typically say something likeEject SDHC (E:)with your flash drive's name written after the "Eject" prompt.
  5. Wait for the "Safe to Remove Hardware" prompt.Once this notification displays in the bottom-right side of your computer's screen, your flash drive is ready for removal.
  6. Gently tug the flash drive away from your computer.It should slide out. The next time you plug your flash drive into your computer, all of your files should be as you left them.

Using the This PC Program

  1. Save any open documents you have on the flash drive.The easiest way to do this in any open window is to hold down and press .
  2. Open the Start menu.To do this, you can either click the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen, or you can press the key on your computer's keyboard. Opening the Start menu will automatically place your mouse cursor in the "Search" bar.
  3. Type inthis pc.Doing so will search your computer for the "This PC" program.
  4. Click the "This PC" icon.It's a computer monitor-shaped image at the top of the Start menu's search window. Doing so will open This PC.
  5. Find your flash drive's name.It will appear below the "Devices and drives" heading that's in the middle of the page; typically, your flash drive will be on the right side of this page.
    • You'll usually see "(E:)" or "(F:)" after the flash drive's name.
  6. Right-click your flash drive's name.A drop-down menu will appear.
  7. ClickEject.It's near the middle of the drop-down menu. Once you do this, the flash drive's name should disappear from the This PC window.
  8. Wait for the "Safe to Remove Hardware" prompt.Once this notification displays in the bottom-right side of your computer's screen, your flash drive is ready for removal.
  9. Gently tug the flash drive away from your computer.It should slide out. The next time you plug your flash drive into your computer, all of your files should be as you left them.

Enabling Quick Removal

  1. Make sure your flash drive is attached to your computer.Quick Removal is a Windows service that formats your flash drive for a no-eject removal, meaning you can simply unplug the flash drive when you're done with it. To enable Quick Removal, your flash drive must currently be plugged in.
    • You can't set up Quick Removal for an SD card.
  2. Right-click the Start button.It's the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the screen. Doing so will invoke a pop-up menu.
    • You can also hold down and tap to bring up the pop-up menu.
  3. ClickDevice Manager.This option is toward the top of the pop-up menu.
  4. Click the>to the left of "Disk Drives".The Disk Drives section is toward the top of the Device Manager window. Clicking the arrow to the left of it reveals the list of your computer's disk drives, which happens to include your currently attached flash drive.
  5. Right-click your flash drive's name.The flash drive's name will vary, but you will usually see "USB" in its title.
  6. ClickProperties.This option is at the bottom of the right-click drop-down menu.
  7. ClickPolicies.It's a tab at the top of the "Properties" window.
  8. Click theQuick removaloption.It's near the top of this window.
  9. Click .This will enable Quick Removal for this specific flash drive. When you're done using the flash drive, you can physically remove it from your computer without going through the "Eject" process.

Community Q&A

Search
  • Question
    I do not have a system tray button, how do I install one?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The system tray isn't something that you can download. It should be on all Windows 10 computers in the right hand corner. It looks like this ∧.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I check what files are open that are stopping the removal of the flash drive?
    Community Answer
    Check if an application, file, open document, music or video file or any other application is in use and close it. You can also run the Task Manager to "kill" any processes used by the device. Be careful—ending tasks doesn't damage your computer per-se, but it can lose unsaved files and corrupt existing open files if you close a program that is using them, and it can cause your computer to do an emergency shutdown. It won't cause permanent damage unless the program is doing something like flashing the BIOS (in which case, you shouldn't be removing flash drives!).
    Thanks!
  • Question
    There is no message saying that the flash drive can be safely removed, but I clicked the USB stick in the System Tray Icon. Then, I couldn't access some movies on the flash drive. How do I fix this?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Usually you can just take the USB Flash Drive out without safely removing it. Only when you are doing stuff on it like moving files from or to it, or watching movies from it. Even then, there is a low possibility that it's going to become corrupted or something.
    Thanks!
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  • The "Eject" process will also work for SD cards (e.g., memory cards from cameras).
  • Since Quick Removal is a device-specific function, you'll have to enable it for all of your flash drives if you want to use it with all of them.

Warning

  • You shouldn't use Quick Removal for external hard drives. Since they store significantly more data than a typical flash drive, using the "Eject" process is a much safer way to remove an external hard drive.

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Date: 12.12.2018, 15:37 / Views: 64243