Fix External Hard Drive Won’t Eject

Some users are saying that they are unable to eject their external hard drives like USBs safely. This issue is often caused due to the content of the drivers or Windows USB drivers, which will prevent external hard drives. Some users have reported that they cannot eject their external drives safely because they are not getting the option called safely to remove Hardware and Media located at the bottom of the taskbar.

It is always recommended to remove your drive only when there is no other process using it. Your drive will most likely get corrupted or damaged if you recklessly eject the drive to secure the external Hardware’s safety and integrity. Nevertheless, to help you fix your problem, you can follow the solutions down below.

How do I safely eject an external hard drive?

When This PC or My Computer window opens, find your external storage device. Now left-click once to highlight it, then right-click. On the pop-up window, click on Eject. Wait for the “Safe to Remove Hardware” message to come up and then remove your external storage device.

Is it safe to remove an external hard drive without ejecting it?

“Whether it’s a USB drive or external drive or SD card, we always advise safely ejecting the device before pulling it out of your computer, camera, or phone. Failure to safely eject the drive may potentially damage the data due to processes happening in the system background that are unseen to the user.”

What happens if I don’t eject my external hard drive?

When you eliminate a flash drive without warning the computer first, it might not have completed writing to the drive.” This means that removing your external drive out without warning could result in the file you just saved being lost forever – even if you saved it hours ago.

What prevents Users from Ejecting their External Drive Safely on Windows 10?

If you are unable to eject your external drive safely and the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’ option is greyed out, the problem is typically due to the following factors —

  • Contents of the drive are being used. If the background processes or applications utilize the files stored on the external drive, it can cause the issue.
  • Windows USB drivers. Sometimes, the out-of-date or malfunctioning USB drivers on your system can be creating the hiccu

Solution 1: Close all the opened files and programs – Can’t eject the external hard drive

The first step when you encounter this error is to close all the opened files and programs. If not closed, then close all of them and see if you can remove the USB safely. You can also refresh the computer by right-clicking in a blank area and choose refresh. You can also do this by pressing the F5 button.


Solution 2: Run Antivirus scan on your PC – Cannot eject USB drive Windows 10

If your computer is infected with a virus, it will access the computer’s files and programs and prevent ejecting an external hard disk safely. You can utilize Windows Defender or third-party Antivirus software to remove that virus. After scanning and removing the virus, try to eject the external hard drive safely.


Solution 3: Disable computer security software – USB won’t eject

Some of the third-party security software you have installed on your computer will interfere with the USB device and prevent it from ejecting safely. To disable the computer software and try removing the USB drive.


Solution 4: Eject External Hard Drive through This PC or My Computer – Windows 10 eject USB

You can also safely remove the external hard drive by using this method. First, go to My Computer or This PC. Now check for the USB or external hard drive you want to remove. Now Right-click on the icon and select Eject. That’s all.


Solution 5: Log Off and On your computer – Windows won’t eject the USB drive

  • Click Start -> Administrator icon -> Sign out.
  • Press Windows + X -> Shut down or sign out -> Sign out.
  • Press Ctrl + Alt + Del -> Sign out.
  • Press Alt + F4, click the down-arrow icon and choose to Sign out.


Solution 6: Shut down your computer to fix this problem – Safely eject Windows 10

An easy way to fix this problem is to shut down your computer or PC. Click on the start icon and select power, and click on shut down. After shutting down your computer now, you can safely remove your external hard drive or USB and then reboot your system.


Solution 7: Restart your System – Can’t eject the external hard drive

The initial step in resolving your issue would be to reboot your machine. Rebooting your computer will close all the current applications and third-party processes, and when the computer boots up again, there will be no apps utilizing the files stored on the external hard drive. You can also stop such tasks by using the Task Manager. Nevertheless, that is time-taking, and since a restart is much more responsive and efficient, you should restart your computer rather than ending the tasks utilizing the Task Manager. Once your computer has booted up again, try ejecting the external drive.


Solution 8: Manage the Windows Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter – Cannot eject USB drive Windows 10

The built-in troubleshooters are there for a purpose and should be utilized whenever needs are. In this instance, since you are having issues with your external Hardware, executing the Hardware and devices troubleshooter might fix your issue. Here’sHere’s how to run the troubleshooter:

  • Press Windows Key + I to open Settings.
  • Go to Update and security.
  • Navigate to the Troubleshoot panel.
  • Scroll down and locate “Hardware and devices.”
  • Select it and click “Run the troubleshooter.”


Solution 9: Eject Drive Using Disk Management – USB won’t eject

Disk Management is the Windows built-in service that lets you manage all the disks or drives connected to your system. If you cannot eject the drive using the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’ option, you can carefully remove the Disk Management tool. Here’sHere’s how to do it:

  • Open the Start Menu, type in Disk Management, and click on Enter.
  • Find the external hard drive that you want to eject.
  • Right-click on your external hard drive and choose “Eject



It is important to note that it will appear Offline once you eject the external hard drive. Therefore, the next time you need to use the drive on your system, make sure to adjust the Online in Disk Management status.


Solution 10: Update USB Drivers – Windows 10 eject USB

The final step in solving this problem would be to control your USB drivers utilizing the Device Manager. To solve your problem, you will have to see if the drivers are working correctly or not. Here’sHere’s how to do it:

  • Open Start and type Device Manager, and open it.
  • Expand the Universal Serial Bus or USB controllers list.
  • Check if there’s an entry with a yellow exclamation mark. If present, right-click on it and choose “Update Driver Software.”
  • If there’s no exclamation mark, uninstall the driver and restart your computer so that it can be installed again automatically.


Solution 11: Eject USB Drive using free Partition Manager – Windows won’t eject the USB drive

  • Launch DiskGenius, and you can see the device you want to remove.
  • Select that disk and click the menu “Disk” to choose “Safely Eject Disk.”
  • Unplug the disk after DiskGenius ejects it.


The symptom of “Problem ejecting USB mass storage device.”

USB mass storage devices are a valuable tool to store or transfer bulky data between computers. The “problem ejecting USB mass storage device” issue occurs to USB drives (USB flash drive, external hard drive, thumb drive, pen drive, etc.) on Windows computers when you click the “Safely remove the hardware” icon at the right-bottom corner. The error message will be different on different systems:

  • This device is currently in use. Close any programs or windows that might be using the device and then try again.
  • Windows can’t stop your ‘Generic volume’ device because it is in use. Close any program or windows that might be using the device, and then try again later.
  • The device ‘Generic volume’ cannot be stopped right now. Try stopping the device again later.
  • Windows is unable to stop the device’ USB Attached SCSI (UAS) Mass Storage Device’. Please don’t remove this device while it is still in use. Close any programs using this device and then remove them.

When you encounter this error, please do not force it to remove the USB drive. If you unplug the USB drive without dealing with the error message, the partition on the USB drive may be corrupted, and files are not accessible. In severe cases, the USB drive might be broken.

External Hard Drive not showing in Windows 10

  • Attempt plugging the hard drive in the USB port at the rear of your computer if you have a PC or another port if you have a laptop.
  • Verify if the USB cable of the hard drive is in working condition. You can attempt plugging another cable and check again.
  • Make sure that the hard drive is not physically damaged. External hard drives are susceptible and tend to break even on the slightest fall.
  • You should ensure that the USB port you connect to is working with the most advanced drivers installed.
  • If you see the device in Hardware and printers and not on your device manager, you should uninstall the driver. Then go to the device manager and look for hardware changes.

Why can’t the system eject USB disks?

  • The most common reason behind this problem is that particular files in the USB drive may not be closed when you attempt to eject the external disk.
  • Files stored on the USB mass storage device are used by other computer programs, such as Microsoft Office.
  • Some other third-party software on your computer is accessing the disk which can’t eject, such as security software, anti-spyware application, backup tools, etc.
  • If the external hard disk has an NTFS partition whose indexing is enabled, the error is likely to appear.


These are the best ways to remove an External Hard Drive when it shows the error or does not convey any message like safely removing your USB or external hard drive. Try working from the first solution and stop at the solution when your issue is fixed. But it would be best if you waited until you find the correct solution.






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