After years of chastising us for failing to safely eject USB drives from computers, Microsoft has done the unthinkable: finally acknowledging it’s okay to yank that sucker out and live your best life.
Ever since USB drives became a thing, the Windows maker has warned and admonished computer users for not safely removing external hardware like USB sticks and external hard drives by ejecting the media before you pull them out.
This protocol has existed for years, and for good reason. In previous versions of Windows, and even in Windows 10, failing to eject USBs (and other external devices, like flash cards) before taking them out could run the risk of significant file problems, especially if data was being written to the drive at the time of removal.
Thankfully, a new update to Windows 10 does away with this painstaking, time-sapping procedure – a commonplace hindrance that over time has become fodder for countless memes.
The update actually rolled out late last year, but is only now getting wider attention thanks to new Microsoft support docs, which explain that, beginning with Windows 10 version 1809, you can now pull that USB out whenever you feel like it.
In earlier versions of Windows, the default policy for handling external media was called ‘Better performance’, which necessitates safely ejecting USB drives before you pull them out.
This has been a very long time coming. Despite the change, though, you probably don’t want to tempt fate (or interrupt file transfers) by pulling USB devices out when you know data is actively being copied. But if it’s just sitting there, you’ve now got the green light.