[Solved] Cannot Remove USB Flash With Safely Remove Hardware Feature Not Working

by Abhishek Bhatnagar on July 24, 2012


There are times some of our users faced the problem when suddenly the icon in task manager stopped working as nothing happening when users click on the icon to remove the USB flash drive or any other removable drives and for some users the safely remove hardware icon in the windows taskbar disappeared.

After searching about this we came to know that this could happen when the DLL files responsible for this feature are not working correctly or gets damaged. Still there are many ways to fix this problem, either you just need to run some commands in case you don’t see the safely remove icon or just need to make sure that when you remove the flash drive the you are not copying to or from the drive to computer and also close the window showing the drive files when you unplug it from USB port.

Method1: Safely Remove Hardware Icon Not Visible Or Missing ?

In such case the first thing you should try running the following command which brings back the safely remove hardware icon back in windows taskbar, even if you don’t see the icon back in system tray you will able to use the safely remove hardware feature using this command below in any versions of windows.

“C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll” [ run the command without quotes ]

If you need to run the above command every time you plug any USB drive then you should better create a shortcut with the command above as target path, so that you just need to double click the desktop shortcut when safely remove hardware does not respond when you click it or it does not appear in system tray.

Method 2: Do You Actually Need To Remove Every USB Removable Drive Safely Using Safe Remove Hardware Icon ?

No, unless you are doing some heavy copy of data to or from the USB Drive, by default any USB drive you plug is optimised for quick removal, so you can unplug the USB drive without using safely remove hardware. But don’t do it when some data transfer is going on to or from the USB drive to computer it is plugged in.

In order to enable a drive for better performance, you will need right click on the USB drive icon in My Computer and then –

  • click the Hardware tab.
  • click Properties.
  • Now click on Policies tab.

Enable Write Caching Windows

If you want to do fast copy of data, you should enable this feature but a power failure or sudden shutdown may result in loss of data from the drive once you enable this feature. We suggest you not to use this feature until you really need it.

Method 3: Alternative Way To Fix Safely Remove Hardware Not Working

This method is quite different as it may look like a possible solution to many but it works perfectly for many windows users out there who were facing this problem, as reported by users when they click the icon of safely remove hardware list of USB devices does not pop up. You will not be able to access the devices and printers when this is happening at the following path Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Devices and Printers.

Follow the procedure below to fix this, the simple solution to make sure Bluetooth Support Service is running (even if you do not use Bluetooth!)

1. Go to Start menu >> Run or press Window Key + R
2. Type services.msc and press ENTER
3. Scroll down to locate Bluetooth Support Service, right-click and select Start
4. Now, the safely remove hardware should be working again.
5. Restart your pc and Devices and Printers should load correctly as well.

If this problem appears again and again then go to the properties of the Bluetooth Support Service and change its startup type to Automatically (Delayed Start) as shown in the image below.

Bluetooth Support Service Delayed Start

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