If you work a lot with different USB devices, you probably use the “safely remove hardware” icon quite a bit. Am I right? See, even though USB devices are labeled as “Plug & Play”—that is, they’re ready to go upon being plugged in—you shouldn’t just unplug them. A USB port has current running through it, so the power jolt caused by unplugging a “hot” connection can corrupt data on a storage device, camera, or mp3 player.
In other words, don’t just yank your USB device out, use the Safely Remove Hardware icon, Instead. It shows up down near the clock on your task bar.
In Windows Vista and 7 it looks like this:
So, next time you’re ready to remove your USB device from your system, just click the icon and select to “Eject” the device. Here’s an example:
Windows will let you know when it’s safe to proceed.
It only takes a second and could save potential headaches later!
Side Note: If you’re still using Windows XP and your Safely Remove Hardware icon has gone missing, check this tip out to get it back.