When you don’t need to “Safely Remove” a USB drive on Windows 10

Windows 10 File Explorer

Do you need to ‘safely remove’ or ‘eject’ a USB flash drive
before unplugging it from your computer? It depends. If you use
Windows 10 version 1903 or newer, Windows now automatically
disables write caching for USB drives and you won’t find the
‘eject’ option because it’s no longer needed.

Last year,
Microsoft introduced a new policy for Windows 10 that
instructs the operating system to allow you to remove the
device without using safely remove hardware or eject option.

The reason users are advised to use “eject” or “safely remove
hardware” option is ‘write caching’.

When the write caching is on and you’ve stopped the data
transfer, your USB device still caches some part of the data to
complete at a later time. If you click on the ‘eject’ button,
Windows will tell the USB drive to finish up and flush the data
hanging out in the cache.

We all know that one person who will say that you should
always, always safely remove or eject any kind of USB drive.
But you do you always need to “eject” USB flash drives? On
Windows 10 with version 1903 or newer, not usually.

By default, Windows 10 allows you to remove the device without
using the eject process – as long as you don’t remove a drive
while transferring data. If you do that, you’ll obviously
corrupt that data regardless of the caching system, but that’s
a no-brainer.

How to never use the “Safely Remove” option again on Windows 10

Windows comes with different policies you can select for USB
storage devices. By default, Windows 10 is set to use the
“quick removal” policy that ensures devices can be disconnected
from your computer directly.

Another option is “Better performance” that improves
performance but requires you to use the “Safely remove
hardware” option.

Quick Removal could reduce the risk of data corruption if you
like to pop USB drives out at your leisure. It does this
by disabling write caching. By default, Windows uses Quick
Removal, so you can remove your drives safely.

Since each storage device has its own specific policy setting,
you can ensure that caching is disabled if you want to quickly
remove your USB drive.

Windows 10 Disk Management

To do this, open the Disk Management tool and right-click on
your USB drive, and select “Properties,” then open the
“Hardware” tab, and open “Properties” again.

In the Properties tab, head to the “Policies” tab, and you’ll
find two options — Quick removal and Better performance.

Drive removal policies

If you see that “Quick removal” is the default, you’re good to
go and you can close the window. This ensures that caching is
disabled and it’s safe to remove the drive.

But remember that this may degrade system performance. When you
use the second policy, Windows can cache write operations to
the external device and apps will work smoothly if they had
already written the data.

With better performance (caching) enabled, it’s very likely
that that data will be tied up with some background process on
your PC. On that note, Microsoft recommends you to use the
safely remove hardware option.

When it comes to smaller USB drives, you should always quick
removal policy as long as you’ve let any transfers complete.

If you use external drives with a lot of data on it and
performance is important for you, you may as well be safe and
always eject it properly.

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