Problem ejecting usb mass storage device

  1. Step 1: Check the unclosed files or programs. Once you get the “Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device” error, the first thing you should check is those unclosed files or programs. …
  2. Step 2: Sign out and log on your system. …
  3. Step 3: Restart your computer.

Problem ejecting usb mass storage device

If you unplug a USB external drive before making sure it’s safe to do so, you’re courting disaster. The sudden, unprepared removal of a storage device can corrupt files. I’ve even heard stories of it bricking flash drives.

Here’s how to remove the drive safely, even when Windows tells you it’s not safe. Try these five steps in order until one of them works.

1: Use Windows’ own tool

0622 safely remove hardware

Click the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the notification area, then click your device. Wait until a message pops up. If the message says “Safe to Remove Hardware,” remove the hardware.[ Further reading: Our best Windows 10 tricks, tips and tweaks ]

But if the message that pops up tells you that “This device is currently in use,” you need to go on to step 2.

2: Make an educated guess

Think about what you’re running and what might be holding on. Did you load a portable program from that drive? If so, make sure it’s closed. Same with any document, photo, or other file on the external drive.

If you opened a document in, say, Microsoft Word, and then closed the document, try closing Word. Sometimes an application can hold onto a file even after you closed it. You shouldn’t have to close Windows/File Explorer to remove external storage, but sometimes it helps.

You can also open Task Manager (right-click the taskbar and select Start Task Manager) and examine both the Applications and Processes tab to see if anything is hanging on.

3: Use a third-party utility

I tested a number of free programs that are supposed to help with this problem. None of them did. So I’m going to recommend USB Safely Remove, even though its $20 pricetag (after a 30-day free trial) seems a bit steep.

Once installed, it replaces Windows’ own Remove Hardware tool and behaves very much like it. 

0622 usb safely remove

But when it can’t safely remove the drive, it tells you what program is causing the problem, and offers to stop the program or even force it to stop.

0622 usb safely remove 3

All of which brings up another issue: Why doesn’t Windows’ own tool offer this capability. I don’t have an answer.

I strongly suspect that if you buy USB Safely Remove, you’ll never have go to step 4 or 5. But if you don’t want to spend the money…

4: Log off and on

Logging off your account will close every file and program you’ve opened, including whatever is holding on to the external drive. But it’s annoying and time consuming. You’ll have to save and close all of your open files.

And after you log back on, you’ll have to open everything up again.

Besides, it might not work. If another user account is running on that machine, it just might be holding onto something on the external drive.

So you may have to go to the one trick that always works:

5: Shut down the PC

This is every bit as much a hassle as logging off and on, and takes even more time. But it will work; no question about it.

Just shut down PC, remove the external drive, then boot your computer. Hopefully, you’ll find another solution before this one.

How to Fix Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device Error

This error might have been faced by all USB drive users at one time or the other when trying to eject it.
This sought of condition occurs when some application/process from your USB drive is being accessed/used by your system or when any application in the USB drive is running or else it may also show up when some virus files are running in your drive.

How-To Overcome (after each step try ejecting, if it’s not ejecting successfully then go to next step)
1) Scan your USB drive with the latest updated anti-virus software and clean the infected files if any.

2) Close all the applications in your USB drive.

3) Unlock the files that the OS is using from your pen drive and all the process that are running from your USB drive with the help of a very small and efficient software called Unlocker.
Download Unlocker (Freeware) from


After installing the software Goto My Computer and righclick on your USB drive, which gives you a shortcut menu, there you get to see the ‘Unlocker’ option (shown below)click on it.

(click on image to enlarge)

Then you get the Unlocker window showing all the process running and the process path and other details.
Click on Unlock all (shown below)

How to Fix Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device Error 2

That’s it!! Now Eject and there will be no problem.

3 Ways to Fix Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device in Windows 7/8/10

USB flash drive is a handy tool for storing and transferring data from one device to another. The imperfection might be the 4GB limit for FAT32 file system, which is inconvenient for sending large files via USB drive. However, USB drive is still irreplaceable for both work and daily life, and we have to face some annoying issues, like problem ejecting USB mass storage device. In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to safely remove USB drive from Windows 10/8/7

Overview: Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device

The issue of ejecting the USB flash drive usually comes when you click the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media” icon or “Eject” option from right-click menu.
The exact warning messages can be of various types, such as:Drive (letter) is currently in use. Save any open files on this disc, and then close the files or programs using the files before trying again.The device is currently in use. Close any programs or windows that might be using the device and then try again.Window is unable to stop the activity because the device is in use. Terminate the program and try again.The device working can’t be stopped right now, Please Try again later.Note: When facing with any of the above notifications, don’t force removing the physical USB flash drive. Otherwise, the data might be corrupted or lost. Or the file system of your device may get damaged. In case the data loss really happens, don’t be panic, please use iReparo Data Recovery to rescue the lost files or recover unsaved Word document.

Why Cannot Safely Remove USB Drive from Windows 10/8/7

There could have many reasons behind the problem of safely ejecting USB drive, some of which are as below:Most probably the write-up operation is not done completely and you attempt to close it forcefully.Files in the USB flash drive are in the use of another program, e.g. MS Office.Some real-time protection software, defenders, USB security disk are working on the drive.

How to Safely Remove USB in Windows 10/8/7

If you have double-checked all the documents and programs but the USB drive still refuses to be ejected, then please follow our given solution to safely remove USB.

Note: Before the application of these methods, make sure you can recognize the device correctly. Take and note down the name, size, letter, etc., to remember that which device you want to remove. Along with it, you have to check that you have terminated all the file regarding that drive or not.

Method 1. Fix Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device with Safely Removal

Removing the USB flash drive without using the safe mode is just similar to lose data by your will. If you eject the USB flash drive while it is writing the data, then your data will be corrupted or lost. Safely Removal Hardware icon gives a warning signal to the device that ejection can cause the data loss. Do follow the steps below:

  • Step 1. Click the Show hidden icons button on Taskbar, then right-click on Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media icon. A menu will be shown that contains the list of all media connected with your computer.
  • Step 2. Choose the device that you want to remove or eject. If your device is not present in the list, then you should go for the other methods discussed in this article.
  • Step 3. Remove the USB flash from computer. You will receive a confirmation notification that your device is removed successfully.

Method 2. Fix Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device via Device Manager

Windows Device Manager allows users to manage connected USB drives, like updating drivers, disabling a USB device or uninstall it. We can also utilize this feature to safely eject USB drive.

  • Step 1. Right-click on This PC-> Manager-> Device manager from the left panel.
  • Step 2. Expand Disk Drives. Here you will see a list of connected storage media.
  • Step 3. Right click the drive you want to eject, then choose Uninstall device and click OK button to confirm the uninstallation. But don’t ever click on the delete the driver software of the particular device. When you select the delete option then it will permanently delete the device driver folder from the driver store.
  • Step 4. After you have done the uninstallation process, remove the USB drive from the PC.

Don’t worry. Your Windows PC will automatically install and recognize the USB drive next time.

Method 3. Fix Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device in Disk Management

Disk Management is another useful utility of Windows PC. It is for managing local disk, external hard drive and removable disk (including USB drive and memory card). The following USB safe removal process is based on Windows 10 OS, but you can also find Disk Management in Windows 7/8 easily.

  • Step 1. Press Windows key + X key at the same time, choose Disk Management from the list.
  • Step 2. Find the drive that you want to eject safely, then right-click on the left area and choose Eject.

Note: If you want to remove the flash drive you will see an Eject option. But in case of external hard disk, you will see the option of Offline instead of Eject. Select the option of offline and then remove the hard disk. When you re-attached this hard disk to your computer then you have to change the setting to Online by repeating the same process.


The above are alternative methods for fixing problem ejecting USB mass storage device problem. As long as you check carefully for unsaved files or unclosed programs before applying these solutions, your data and the USB drive should be safe and sound.


2 thoughts on “Problem ejecting usb mass storage device”

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!