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Should you pull your flash drive out without safely removing it?

2 Mins read

You have probably met someone that frowns when you pull out the flash drive without safely removing it first. Perhaps you are the person that frowns when someone pulls out the flash drive without safely removing it first.

Whichever group you belong, one question remains constant: is it really necessary to safely remove a USB before pulling it out?

What happens to the files on the disk if you yank the flash drive out without safely removing it?

The answer could range from “nothing” to “fatal” to “Mortal-Kombat-style annihilation” – depending on what operating system you run.

In the past, computer files might get corrupted when you do not safely eject the flash drive. Also, some times, you might notice that nothing happens when you just pull the flash drives out.

The following could happen when you unsafely remove a flash drive:

  1. Files may be corrupted.
  2. Logical file systems might be impaired.
  3. Complete data loss might happen.

The chances of having corrupted files was high a few years ago, however, operating systems are evolving at better handling unsafe removals.

Microsoft made its Windows 10 operating system to handle the removal of flash drives more efficient.

If you use the Windows 10 operating system, you might have nothing to worry about because the system has a feature called “quick removal.” Quick removal feature allows you to remove a drive anytime, as long as you are not actively copying a file on it.

The quick removal feature has become the default setting for each new drive you plug in as of Windows 10 version 1809.

According to Microsoft, “quick removal” keeps Windows from continuously trying to write to a flash drive, which could help in the event you disconnect it.

Does this mean that you should keep pulling out your flash drive without safely removing it first?

Absolutely not!

There is always room for safety, and while your computer might have been made to better handle unsafe removal, it is always better to safely remove your drive.

When you pull out the drive while files are being written on it, you stand the risk of losing the files, or having files that are not properly written.

Imagine you’re copying a video of 2gb, and you pull the flash out without the file completely written, you will be getting a half-written file, or no file at all, and I bet you don’t want that.

Your computer tells you it can handle unsafe removal, but on a personal note, before throwing caution into the wind, think of safety first.

How do you safely remove a flash drive?

It’s basically one of the simplest things to do on the computer. Right-click on the USB icon, and click eject USB. Then, wait about 2 – 5 seconds before pulling the drive out.

It wouldn’t hurt to wait a few seconds to guarantee the safety of your files, would it?

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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