The Windows requirement to safely remove USB devices is one of the most annoying and often forgotten things. Also, at the same time, it is one of the least understood. Why is it there and how does it help? Also, if it does help, how can we make it better?

All of these problems will be explained in this article and hopefully, from now on there will be no more issues with it. We will see that is not utterly useless and it does serve some purpose in protecting your USB drive and the information that it contains.

What is the Safely Remove feature?

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This feature is very simple, and it has something to do with write caching for your USB device. In short, it prevents the USB drive from disconnecting when Windows is using it (writing or reading) in order to prevent information loss or damaging the disk itself (however, I never has this problem with any USB flash memory).

Therefore, the feature actually allows you to see if the drive is being used, and it will prompt you not to disconnect it. Also, if there is no process that is using the information on the USB drive, Windows will prompt you that it is safe to remove it.

How to deactivate this feature

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Sometimes it will save you from corrupting information on your device by letting you know that Windows is still using the flash drive. However, after you have finished editing the information on it, you can remove it by simply unplugging it, and you will not have any data corruption. The Safely Remove tool can also be deactivated altogether. Here’s how:

1. Plug in your USB Drive
2. Open Device Manager (right click on computer -> Manage -> Device Manager or simply search in the Start menu for “device manager”)
3. Locate your USB drive (under the Disk Drives menu)
4. Right Click the USB Drive and click Properties
5. Under the “Policies” tab, click select “Quick Removal
6. Save and exit

After doing this, you will not have to use the Safely Remove USB tool and when you are sure that the drive is not used by Windows, you can just remove the drive. Also, some might argue that there will be an impact on drive speed by using this option, but from personal experience I can attest that if it is, it is negligible.

Safely Remove USB Tools

Also, for those that want a better solution for safely removing USB drives, there are some tools out there that work pretty good. Although they work pretty much as the Windows tool, they offer the user another option. For example, sometimes the default Windows tool will not work and it will say that the drive is being used even if you are not adding or reading any data on it.

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These tools will force the read/write operations to stop and you will be able to safely remove your USB drive. You can look at these tools as more aggressive USB removers which let you know if your drive is being used. Apart from this, they do not serve any other purpose that the default tool uses. If you are interested in such tools, here are a few of them:

These tools will allow those who want to be extra sure that the data on their USB drives is safe and that there is no possibility that they would remove the drive while the contents is being used. For those of you that use the USB drives often, probably you’ll find the following articles of great use:


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Author

I often wonder, where is technology heading? What do all of these advances mean for us and for our future? I sometimes miss the days when I didn’t know how to use a floppy disk, or how a computer CPU works, but now, until I find an answer to my questions, I’ll keep tracking these advances and show everything I find to those who share my interests.