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How to disable ‘Safely remove hardware’ feature on Windows 10

For years we’ve been advised to never just yank a USB out of a PC. It needs to be properly ejected and if the device is in use by an app, or a process, Windows doesn’t let you remove it. Turns out, you can disable this particular feature and just yank the USB or external device right out. Here’s how you can disable the ‘Safely remove hardware’ feature on Windows 10.

You don’t need to do this on Windows 10 1809 as it is the default setting.

Disable ‘Safely remove hardware’

Connect an external storage device to your Windows 10 PC. Open the Disk Management app. You can search for it in Windows Search. The search results will not show the Disk Management app by name. Instead, you’ll see ‘Create and format hard disk partitions’ listed as a result. Select that, and it will open the Disk Management app.

Once you have the Disk Management app open, right-click the external device’s name in panel at the bottom. Do not right-click the disk’s storage bar. Right-click its name and from the context menu, select Properties.

In the Properties window, go to the Policies tab. There are two policies that can be configured but the one that’s relevant is the ‘Removal Policy’. Select the ‘Quick removal (default)’ policy. This policy, seeing as it’s the default one, might already be selected. If not, select it and click OK.

Once you make this change, you will have to restart your computer for it to be applied.

Applying this policy lets you remove an external storage device without ejecting it. If you try to eject it though, Windows 10 will nevertheless stop it and allow you to remove it. In some cases, you may see a message telling you that the device can’t be stopped because it’s in use. It’s up to you to ignore the message if you want to and just remove the device anyway.

Write cache for external drives

Write cache allows your system to run faster when it has to work with an external drive. It gathers commands sent to the device in your RAM so that the external device can read/receive them when it’s ready. Your system might be able to read/write commands faster than the external drive and write caching allows you to work without a noticeable difference.

When you disable write cache, it will likely result in slower read/write times when you access your external drives. If you’ve already developed a habit of safely removing external drives, you can enable write cache for better performance.

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