With the latest Windows 10 updates, it will be easier to remove USB keys.
Microsoft has changed the function that in Windows 10 allows you to disconnect USB and Thunderbolt devices, including USB keys, external disks, smartphones (iPhone included) visible as discs, etc.
The changes will be effective with the 1809 version of Windows 10, the release known as October 2018 Update. The novelty is subtle but important. So far, by default, the system policies active by default when connecting a USB device were set to “Better performance”. This policy allows storage operations to be managed in ways that overall improve performance.
In fact, with this active criterion, Windows can store the write operations of the external device in the cache memory. However, you need to use the secure hardware removal process to remove the external drive (the note works by allowing you to safely remove a device by clicking on the dedicated icon in the taskbar).
The safe removal of the hardware process protects the integrity of the data on the device, ensuring the elimination of all cached data at the end of the operations.
With Microsoft Windows 10 v1809, by default, the USB device policy in the system is set to “Quick Removal”. This policy allows storage operations to be managed so that the device is ready for removal at any time and it is practically possible to remove the USB device without needing to use the Safe Hardware Removal process. However, in this mode, Windows does not cache disk write operations. This can adversely affect system performance.
Microsoft still allows us to exploit the “Best Performance” policy but it will be up to the user to set this policy for each USB / Thunderbolt device. To change the criteria of an external storage device, proceed as follows:
1) Connect the device to the computer.
2) Select Start and then “File Explorer”.
3) In the File Explorer, identify the letter or label associated with the device (for example, the USB drive “D:”
4) Click with the right mouse button (or equivalent combination with the trackpad), select “Disk Management”.
5) In the lower section of the Disk Management window, select the right mouse button/trackpad the device label and then choose “Properties”.
6) Select the desired criterion (“Best performance” or “quick removal”).