To avoid losing data, it's important to remove external hardware like hard drives and USB drives safely. 

  1. Look for the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the taskbar. If you don't see it, select Show hidden icons . Press and hold (or right-click) the icon and select the hardware you want to remove.

    How to find the Safely Remove Hardware icon in Windows 11.

  2. If you can't find the Safely Remove Hardware icon, press and hold (or right-click) the taskbar and select Taskbar settings .

  3. Select Taskbar corner overflow to expand it. Scroll to Windows Explorer (when you hover over it, the tooltip will read Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media) and turn it on.

  4. If this doesn't work, make sure the device has stopped all activity like copying or syncing files. Select Start  > Settings  > Bluetooth & devices  > Devices .

  5. Select More next to the device, and select Remove device.

  6. Finally, check with the hardware manufacturer for new drivers or other updates.

  1. Look for the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the taskbar. If you don't see it, select Show hidden icons . Press and hold (or right-click) the icon and select the hardware you want to remove.

  2. If you can't find the Safely Remove Hardware icon, press and hold (or right-click) the taskbar and select Taskbar settings .

  3. Under Notification Area, choose Select which icons appear on the taskbar.

  4. Scroll to Windows Explorer: Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media and turn it on.

  5. If this doesn't work, make sure the device has stopped all activity like copying or syncing files. Select Start  > Settings  > Devices. Select the device, and select Remove device.

  6. Finally, check with the hardware manufacturer for new drivers or other updates.

Check connected hardware

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