How to Safely Remove a Drive on Windows 10

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When you are done using a USB drive on your Windows 10 computer, most people just unplug it. But depending on your computer’s settings, it’s usually best to let Windows know before removing the drive to minimize any risk of data loss. Here’s how.

When is it safe to just unplug a USB drive?

By default, you can often safely remove a USB drive from a Windows 10 machine by simply unplugging it –unless something is actively writing there and you don’t necessarily know when it’s happening in the background. It is a good idea to safely remove drives if you are concerned about data loss.

If you have enabled write caching on your USB drive (by selecting “Better performance” in Device Manager), you will still need to use the “Safely Remove Hardware” notification icon to remove the drive safely. completely safe.

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

If you want to check if write caching is enabled on your removable drive, open the “Start” menu and type “Device Manager,” then press “Enter.” Under “Disk drives”, locate the external drive, then right-click and select “Properties.” Under the “Policies” tab, see the “Removal Policy” section.

Checking the USB drive removal policy in Device Manager on Windows 10

If “Quick delete” is selected, you can simply unplug your drive (when not in use) without notifying Windows.

If you selected “Best performance”, you may need to use the “Safely Remove Hardware” notification icon to safely remove the drive. Here’s how.

How to Safely Remove USB Flash Drive in Windows 10

If you have a USB drive plugged into your Windows 10 machine and want to safely eject it, look for the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon (which looks like a USB plug) in the notification area of ​​the taskbar, which is usually located at the bottom. right corner of your screen. If you can’t see it, click the carat-shaped up arrow to show the hidden icons.

Click the carat shaped arrow in the taskbar notification area to see the hidden icons in Windows 10.

Once the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon has been revealed, right-click on it.

Right click on the Safely Remove Hardware icon in Windows 10.

In the menu that appears, find the name of the drive you want to remove; He will have the word “Eject” in front of him. Click on it.

If there are write operations in progress, Windows will make sure everything is complete before ejecting the drive. Once the drive can be safely removed, Windows will alert you with a notification pop-up titled “Safely Remove Hardware”.

You can now safely unplug the player from your PC.

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