Windows tries to be helpful but, just like in the good old days of Clippy (the ‘helpful’ paperclip assistant from Microsoft Office), it can be somewhat of a mother-hen at times.
One area where this is a constant theme is when it comes to USB drives. You can hardly move your hand towards one that’s occupying a port on your PC without being alerted that you need to remove it safely!
Well, we have enough stress in life right now, without being hectored by our computers. So here’s a way to disable the warnings and remove USB drives in whichever manner you choose.
How to use the Quick Removal Mode in Windows 10
Windows 10 has defaulted to what’s known as the Quick Removal Mode ever since the 1809 update (which arrived in September 2018), which means you shouldn’t be seeing the Safe Removal warnings if Windows 10 is up to date.
And this could well be the simple solution you might be looking for. Here’s
how to update Windows 10.
If the warnings are still appearing after you’ve updated to the latest version, then it could be that the settings for your external drives are on the old Better Performance one that uses USB drives as a writable cache to help with storage management on your PC.
This is easy to fix, but there isn’t a universal setting, so you’ll have to apply it to any external USB drives that show the warning.
With the USB drive inserted in your PC, open the Windows Start Menu and type Device Manager into the search field.
Choose the Device Manager option that appears in the results, then click on the arrow to the left of Disk drives to reveal all the options.
You should see the USB drive listed, so right-click on it to open the contextual menu, then select Properties and click the Policies tab on the next page.
Here you’ll be presented with two options – Quick removal or Better performance. The former is usually selected as the default, but if that’s not the case click the circle next to Quick removal then select OK.
That’s it. You should now be able to remove your USB drive whenever you want, without Windows scolding you. Of course, it’s always best to check that you’re not writing any data to it before you do so, as you could end up with corrupted files and a PC that quietly whispers, ‘I told you so’.
If you’re looking to upgrade your removable storage, take a look at our pick of the
best USB drives,
best portable hard drive & SSD, plus
best NAS drives.