Microsoft: “Safely removing” USB flash drives is not necessary

Microsoft has finally confirmed you don't need to safely eject a flash drive before ripping it out (at least when it's not writing).

Hey, you know how you tell users how it’s vital to use the “safely eject” feature for USB flash drive before removing them? Rejoice, for those days are over.

Microsoft has confirmed in Windows 10, you don’t need to worry about safely removing USB thumb drives. Windows 10 has a feature called “quick removal” which allows you to pull the drive at any time – so long as you’re not actively writing files to it.

It’s also the default setting with every new drive you plug in as of Windows 10 version 1809, so it’s not something you need to manually set up for your users.

In a nutshell, “quick removal” stops Windows from continuously trying to write to a flash drive, which was why you needed the safely eject feature in the first place.

It’s been this way for a while

Microsoft technically implemented this back in October when version 1809 hit the scene, but not everyone’s aware of it. The big change is that Microsoft is doing the rounds, telling IT professionals that the update is being deployed more broadly.

And, according to The Verge’s Tom Warren, Microsoft has had protections to keep flash drives safe since Windows 7. So even if you’re not using an updated version of Windows 10, you’re probably still covered.

This is somewhat contrary to the mixed messages Microsoft has historically given. Even now, Windows 10 still has a vestigial “safely eject” feature, despite it not being necessary.

Just to clarify: None of this means you should pull out a USB flash device while it’s still writing!

Keeping your data safe

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