Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Whenever you unplug a USB drive from your Windows 11 computer without ejecting it, you risk losing data. In the worst-case scenario, the data on your USB drive may become corrupt or inaccessible. If Windows 11 doesn’t let you safely eject a USB drive, you should address the underlying problem right away.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

If you’re having trouble ejecting a USB drive from your PC, there can be a few reasons. It could be due to temporary glitches or malfunctioning USB drivers. Here are some fixes you can try if Windows 11 won’t let you eject the USB drive.

1. Close Apps or Programs Using the USB Drive

Windows 11 may fail to eject a USB drive if a background process is using an app or file on the drive. To resolve this issue, use the Task Manager to force close any apps or services that are using your drive. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch the Task Manager, go to the Processes tab, select the program that might be using your drive, and click the End task button to close it.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Alternatively, you can restart your PC to close all apps and services. After rebooting, try ejecting the drive.

Windows 11 offers various ways to remove a USB drive. If you encounter difficulties ejecting a drive from the system tray or File Explorer, you can utilize the Disk Management utility.

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Step 1: Right-click the Start icon and choose Disk Management.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

On the bottom half of the window, you can see the drives connected to your system. Right-click the USB drive you want to remove, then select Eject.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Alternatively, you can eject the USB drive from the Settings app. Here’s how.

Step 1: Press the Windows key + I to open the Settings app and go to the Bluetooth & devices tab. Click on Devices.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Step 2: Locate your USB drive on the list. Click the three-dot menu icon next to it and select Remove device.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Step 3: Select Yes to confirm.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Windows ejects the USB drive, removing it from the list. You can then safely unplug it.

To eject a USB drive on Windows, you can use the Safely Remove Hardware utility if the above methods don’t work.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog.

2. Type the following command in the box and press Enter:

RunDll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Step 2: Select the USB drive you want to eject and click Stop.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Step 3: Select your USB drive and click OK to confirm.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

You will be prompted with a message in the bottom-right corner indicating that it is safe to remove the hardware.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

4. Configure Device Removal Policy

Windows 11 uses the Quick removal policy for USB devices by default. This means you can unplug your USB devices without ejecting them first. Therefore, Windows may not display the Eject option because it’s already safe to unplug your drive.

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If you want to manually eject your drives, you can configure the removal policy. Follow these steps:

1. Click the search icon on the Taskbar, type “device manager,” and press Enter.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Step 2: Expand Disk drives, right-click your USB drive, and select Properties.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Step 3: Open the Device Properties window and go to the Policies tab. Choose Better performance and click OK.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Windows will prompt you to restart your PC for the policy change to take effect. Afterward, you should see the Eject option for your USB drive.

5. Run Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

Windows has a Hardware and Devices troubleshooter that can help in such situations. It will scan all the devices connected to your PC, including your USB drive, and fix any issues affecting its removal. Here’s how to run it.

Step 1: Open the Start menu, type in command prompt, and select Run as administrator.

Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

Step 2: In the console, type or paste the following command and press Enter:

msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic

Step 3: In the Hardware and Devices window, click Next to run the troubleshooter.

Step 4: If the automatic repair appears, click Apply this fix.

Try ejecting the USB drive to check if it works.

Faulty or corrupted USB drivers on your PC can cause these issues. Try updating the drivers from the Device Manager to fix the problem. Here’s how:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + X to open the Power User menu and select Device Manager.

Step 2: Double click Universal Serial Bus Controllers to expand it. Check for a yellow exclamation mark next to the entries. Right-click and select Update driver.

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Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Eject a USB Drive on Windows 11

To update the drivers, follow the on-screen prompts. Restart your PC and check if the issue persists.

Better Safe Than Sorry

It’s recommended to safely eject a USB drive before unplugging it to preserve data integrity. The provided solutions should address any issues, allowing you to safely eject the USB drive as usual.

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