How to Fix Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device on Windows

How to Fix Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device on Windows

problem ejecting usb mass storage device

People generally use portable storage devices for storing additional data. The correct process is inserting the storage device, copy or move data, eject the mass storage to safely remove the device. However, often the ejection is not successful and a problem ejecting USB mass storage device arises as the storage device continues to run in the background process.  

USB Mass storages actually denote HDD, SSD, pen drivers and other types of SD and MMC cards. In the other words, these are also known as flash storage devices. If you ever access any memory cards that are attached to any mobile device or a camera, you have to manually select the Mass storage option to access the files in it. 

If you forcefully open the device, there is a high chance of the storage device getting corrupted. The sectors lose the ability to store data and thus there is a problem ejecting USB mass storage device. Some of the possible reasons are — the device is currently in use somewhere in the system, the unstoppable generic volume and others. 

What does it look like?

The error message with a yellow exclamation mark shows “This device is currently in use. Close any programs or windows that might be using the device and then try again”. This is the only indication of a problem ejecting USB mass storage device. Obviously, there are solutions for the issue. 

Tried and Tested Solutions

Before opting for effective solutions, make sure that the external storage device is in NTFS format. Regarding every external storage device, the format must be in NTFS. This format not only helps in quick formatting but also creates a recovery partition inside the drive. Now, it’s time to check all the solutions. 

1. Shut Down all the Current Ongoing Programs

Let’s assume that you are playing an audio file from the external storage device. In a hurry, you access the system tray and try to eject the device. The audio will stop and there will be a problem ejecting the USB mass storage device. This happens because the interlinking pointer of the external storage’s multidimensional array is currently linked with the system audio playing application. In addition to that, the folder might be open, too, where the audio file is present. 

To resolve the situation, you have to proceed step by step. First, close the audio application, then close the folder. Finally, refresh the system explorer. Only after that, navigate through the system tray and try to eject the storage device. Hopefully, you will fix the problem of ejecting USB mass storage device.

2. Wipeout Malicious Items

The presence of viruses in your system sometimes creates a problem while ejecting USB mass storage devices. Getting proof regarding the existence of viruses is not easy to identify. You need to scan the system with the help of a security application. After removing the viruses, as usual, refresh the system explorer, and then try to eject the storage device. 

3. Use the Task Manager

When you face a problem ejecting a USB mass storage device, there must be some processes running in the background. These processes are directly linked to the storage device and that is why you cannot eject it. The Task Manager will help you to stop the background processes that are linked to the storage device functions. After that, try to eject it and hopefully, you will not face any error. 

4. Disk Management can Fix the Error

Disk Management is the system function that manipulates the internal and external storage devices. After opening the Disk Management window, you will view a list of available disk drives. Of course, the external storage device has a name for better identification. As usual, right-click on the external disk partition and select Eject. Hopefully, you will not witness a problem ejecting USB mass storage devices.

5. Eject via My Computer or This PC

To access the internal and external storage devices, Windows Vista, 7 has My Computer. Windows 8. 8.1 and 10 have This PC. The attached external hard disk will appear in the My Computer or This PC. Choose “Eject” after right-clicking on it. You have to do it only after shutting down all the background applications. 

6. Sign out from Admin Account

Hopefully, you are the administrator of the system that you are using with the help of the admin account. When you get the problem associated with ejecting a USB mass storage device, log off from the administrator account. After some time, log in and check whether you can eject the external hard drive or not. 

7. Shut Down the Computer

Never forcefully pull off the USB cable when you face a problem ejecting USB mass storage device. Just shut down the system and wait for some time. After that, boot up the system, wait for a while and eject the device and surely it will work. 

8. Hardware and Device Troubleshooter (system built-in)

The built-in hardware and device troubleshooter will scan, verify and detect any internal issues. Run the Troubleshooter from the Update and Security option. When the process is over, check the ongoing issues and try to fix them with relevant on-screen instructions. 

9. A Quick Format to Change the Storage Device Extension

You must have already noticed the device extension. Following that, you can format the storage device to eliminate the problem of ejecting USB mass storage devices. Before that, make sure you have a backup of all the data that is present in the drive. Now, your main task is to change the drive extension from FAT 32 to NTFS. 

If the extension is already in NTFS, then you are good to go. If not, then move on to the Properties of the external storage drive, select NTFS and quick format option, then hit the Format option. When this process doesn’t work, then you might get the help of a third-party application to perform the change. 


An expert will always recommend you to use an external hard drive with proper care. The array discs (for HDD and SSD) or clusters (for pen drives) are very much delicate. Further, if all the above procedures fail to fix the error, then it must be a critical issue, thus it’s better to call an expert for additional help. 

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