Can't Safely Eject External Hard Drive on Windows 10, How to Solve It?

The message 'Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device' appears whenever I try to remove my external hard drive, preventing me from doing so safely. How do I resolve this question?

Best Answered by

Roxanne· Answered on Jun 17, 2024

When there is a message warning that "Problem Ejecting a USB Mass Storage Device," you'd better not remove it directly since it may cause severe data loss. To better resolve this issue, we need to figure out what reasons may lead to this problem:

  • The files on the external hard drive are in use by some of the computer's programs.
  • The drive is formatted as NTFS and will cause this kind of issue.
  • The external hard drive has been infected by viruses/malware on the computer.

Thus, the first way you should try is to close all the programs and software on the computer and restart this PC before unplugging this external hard drive. If it does not work, use the following solutions:

Method 1. Eject the Drive via the Windows Built-in Tools

Three Windows-based utilities can manage the external hard drives once plugged in:

File Explorer: Click "This PC" to locate the target external drive, right-click and choose the "Eject" option.

Device Manager: Press "Windows + X" to open Device Manager, right-click the target drive, and select "Uninstall device" to safely eject it.

Disk Management: Open Disk Management to right-click the drive and tap its "Eject" button.

Method 2. Format the External Hard Drive to FAT

Sometimes, NTFS drives may have eject issues requiring users to format it as other file systems like FAT32. EaseUS Partition Master is your first choice with its powerful "Format" tool. Install this software, and I will introduce the details:

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Step 1. In the "Partition Manager" section, right-click the target removable device and click "Advanced" > "Convert to FAT."

Step 2. Click "Proceed" to execute the NTFS to FAT32 conversion.

Step 3. Press "Apply" to finalize the process.

Method 3. Run an Anti-virus Scan

Download reliable anti-virus software to scan and repair the viruses and malware on this computer. After that, try to eject the external hard drive safely.

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