We all use USB storage devices to carry or transfer files from one computer to another. Most of you must be aware of the fact that external storage devices must be ejected properly. If you try to remove storage device from Windows PC when it is not ready to be ejected, you can end up corrupting the stored data. However, there are times when you try to eject a storage device but your PC says that it is still in use. It can be a problematic situation. Let us look at some of the simple ways to deal with this situation.
How To Remove Storage Device From Windows PC When Your PC Says It Is Still In Use
First things First: Use Windows’ own tool
Windows has an inbuilt tool that allows you to remove a storage device safely. You can find the icon for “Safely Remove Hardware” in the notification area. When you click on this icon, it should pop up a message saying “Safe to Remove Hardware”. Once you see this message, you can remove the hardware without any worries. If the message does not appear, you need to proceed to the following methods.
Identify the possible reason that might be holding your storage device
The most common reasons that might cause this issue are easy to guess. You might be loading or running programs from the storage device that is still running. Sometimes we initiate file transfer between external storage and PC that has not yet finished. Similarly, there can be several things that can be holding the storage device back. Terminating these processes should resolve the problem.
Download and install a third-party utility tool
You can also choose to install a third party tool that can help you to remove storage device from Windows PC when your PC says that it is still in use. You can get many free utilities but it is best to spend some money and buy a good utility tool. ‘USB Safely Remove’ is a good utility that you can get for $20. You can try it for free for the first month.
Most third party tools like USB Safely Remove replaces the windows built-in tool. It works in a similar manner but with added features. If you cannot remove storage device, it will indicate all the programs that might be holding it back. It also allows you to terminate the program or choose to ‘Force Stop’.
Log off and on
I would not recommend this option unless you are not prepared to buy a third party utility. You can try logging off your computer to close all the running applications. Windows will warn about any running applications and ask you to close it or save the changes in a file.
Switch on your PC again and try ejecting the USB storage device. This method works most of the times except a few. The problem with this method is that it is tedious and time-consuming. Also, if multiple user logins can still cause prevent you from removing the storage device safely. You can simply shut down your PC completely if all the above methods fail and restart it.