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How to never “safely remove” a USB device again in Windows 10



A woman connecting a USB device to a laptop.
Antonio Guillem / Shutterstock

Do you always “eject”

; your USB devices before disconnecting them? You can save yourself a few clicks – and some time – with these simple tips, because you never have to put out a flash drive again.

Always make sure that a device is not in use before disconnecting

In general, the biggest threat to data when you delete a USB device (such as a thumb, hard drive, and so on) is disconnecting it while data is being written to it. This interrupts the write operation, and the file being written or copied is incomplete or may remain a corrupted file.

So before disconnecting any USB device from your computer, make sure that all the files have completed copying or saving to it.

Sometimes it is sometimes difficult to know if your computer is writing to a device. A background process can be writing to it, or a program can save it automatically. Disconnecting the device and interrupting these processes may cause problems.

The only way you can avoid it is to “safely” remove the device. However, Microsoft insists that as long as the “Quick Delete” system policy is selected and you do not write data to a device, you do not need to output it.

You also need to make sure that write cache is not enabled for the device, but more on that in an instant.

RELATED: Do you really need to remove USB flash drives?

Get a device with an LED

A hand that connects a USB device with an LED.
Sergio Sergo / Shutterstock

It is easy to see when some USB devices are in use because they have a built-in LED that flashes when data is being read or written. As long as the LED is not flashing, you can safely disconnect the hard disk drive.

If your device does not have an LED, just do your best to make sure that a backup or copy operation is not in process before removing it.

Mandatory: Enable Quick Delete Mode in Device Manager

By default, Windows 10 optimizes USB devices so you can quickly remove them without having to use the “Safely Remove Hardware” message icon. To do this, disable the write cache.

The write cache can speed up the appearance of USB disk writing, but it can also make you think that a writing process is complete when it is actually still running in the background. (This became the default policy in the Windows 10 October 2018 update, also known as version 1809.)

Since it is possible to turn on the cache cache again in Device Manager, you should make sure that it is disabled if you want to quickly remove your USB device without ejecting it in the future.

To do this, click the Start button, type “Device Manager” in the search box, and then press Enter.

Type

Click the arrow next to “Disk Drives”, right-click on the external USB device and then select “Properties”.

Click the arrow next to it

Under the “Policies” tab, select the radio button next to “Quick Removal” (if it is already selected, just leave it that way) and then click “OK.”

Select

Close “Device Manager” and you are ready! In the future, you can safely remove the specific USB device without ejecting it when a write operation is not in progress.




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