safely remove USB

Estimated reading time: 13 minute(s)

We all know it’s not proper to unplug our flash-drives, external hard-drives or any type of storage device immediately after accessing the files in it on our computer without taking the time to safely remove USB the right way.

If you really want that storage device to last long and retain your files perfectly without corrupting them, you need to go through the right USB Safely remove process on your computer. The process is quite quick and simple, but…

The problem comes when you may see the following error messages appear which may prevent you from safely ejecting USB:

Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage – This device is currently in use, close any programs or windows that might be using this device, and then try again.

Alternatively, you could see this message:

USB Safely remove

Windows can’t stop your Generic Volume Device because a program is still using it. Close any programs that might be using the device and then try again.

While the former will be solved by making sure all the open windows that has the contents of the storage device is actually closed, the former will be a little bit frustrating because just closing all the windows might not solve it, you really don’t have any other way to safely remove your external storage device unless pulling it out without properly ejecting it out; which might corrupt the files stored within.

What is the Problem?

The problem is caused by your device interacting with the operating system in the background.

In this article, I will be showing you further steps to follow to fix this error and safely eject your external storage device.

Read: This is the World’s Cheapest Laptop, But Is it Worth a Cent from your Pocket?

How to Safely Remove USB in Windows 10 [Solved!]

There are various methods by which this error can be fixed. But before you begin do close all open windows and programs that may be using the USB and wait for a few seconds and then try. If this does not help, read on.

  • Using the DISKPART option through CMD.
  • Using Disk Management utility.
  • Through the Process Explorer.
  • Using the Task Manager.

Let’s dive right into the chase.


Make sure to execute the following commands below inside your CMD in an elevated command prompt.

Pull out your command prompt and type


  • This will initiate the Diskpart utility. Then type-

list disk

and then-

list volume

  • These commands will help you in either listing all the Disks connects or all the partitions on those disks formed.
  • From here, you will have to choose one command depending on the list command you entered.

Type in-

select disk #


select volume #

  • Hit Enter. This will select the Disk or Partition you want to select.

Next, type in-

offline disk #


offline volume #

  • Then hit Enter.This will mark the selected disk as Offline.

Now you can take out your USB Storage device physically. But when you plug it in again, you need to carry out the same method but in the last command. You need to enter the following command-

online disk #


online volume #

  • This will get your device back online.

2. Using Disk Management Utility

  • In this one, type diskmgmt.msc in the Start search box and hit the OK button.
  • Find the entry for your USB Storage device and right click on it.
  • Now select, Offline.

Now you can safely remove your USB Storage device physically.

You can perform the same steps and select Online to get your USB Storage device back online when you plugged in again.

3. Using Process Explorer

  • Download Process Explorer from Microsoft and then run the executable file.
  • Now, from the menu ribbon, select Find.
  • From the drop-down menu, select Find Handle or DLL…

It will bring up the Process Explorer Search mini window.

  • For the Handle or DLL substring, type in the drive letter for your USB Storage device and select Search.
  • It will look up for all the processes making use of the selected USB Storage device.
  • You can kill those processes and then try to eject the device normally.

4. Use the Task Manager

Simply open the Task Manager and then look for the running processes and programs assessing your USB Storage device.

When you have a program using a USB drive, it will hog on to some Disk or CPU while transferring data and interacting with the device. This could be the offender.

Select them, then right click on them and finally click on End Task or End Process depending upon if you are terminating a Program or an entire process for it.

You may also restart Explorer.exe and see if this helps.

Finally, after following these steps, your stuck storage device will safely eject when you try to eject it.

Read: Lenovo unveils the world’s first laptop with a foldable display

NB: Don’t be the lackadaisical type that would rush to pull out an external storage device from a computer’s USB port simply because it failed to safely remove USB the first time. When you do so, nothing would happen the first time but that will be the first step to messing up the files stored in that pen-drive, external hard-disk, etc.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here