Microsoft finally accepts that nobody safely removes USB devices

External hard drive

Microsoft has finally capitulated. After years of politely suggesting that Windows users should manually trigger the “safe” removal of USB devices from the system before unplugging it, it’s changing the way Windows interacts with USB drives. With the recently released Windows 10 build v1809, “Quick removal” will become the default USB setting, meaning that you don’t risk losing any data if you just yank your devices out when you’re done using them.

Even if you’ve not noticed it before, Windows typically runs USB devices in “Better performance” mode. That allows for write caching on the external drive which improves performance when transferring data. However, if you do not “safely” eject the USB device by going into the task bar and selecting the appropriate option, you run the risk of losing data when it’s removed. Quick Removal has always been an option if you choose to set it, but it’s not been the default one. That’s now changed, following the eventual rollout of the Windows 10 October update.

Windows should update itself to the latest version automatically, but if you want to make sure you’re running Windows version 1809, search for Windows update in the Windows 10 search bar, select the appropriate result, and manually trigger an update check if required.

This is all good news for those who prefer to just yank out their USB drives when they’re done transferring files, but that can lead to a reduction in write performance. For those transferring large files regularly, that may mean unwanted delays. If you’re in that category, don’t fret, there is a way to switch back to the Better performance setting on a per device basis and Microsoft has released a series of instructional steps on how to do it, via ZDNet.

Step 1: Plug in your USB device and identify its drive name (For example, D:, G:, H:, etc.).

Step 2: Press Windows key and X and select Disk Management.

microsoft usb quick removal windows update diskmanagement01

Step 3: In the lower-half of the Disk Management window, right click (or tap and hold) the device and select Properties.

Step 4: Under the Policies tab, toggle Better performance on, then tick the box next to Enable write caching on this device. Then select the OK button.

You will need to do this for any other devices that you want write caching enabled for, but once selected, Windows will remember your setting for that device.


Former student uses USB Killer device to fry $58,000 worth of college’s PCs

A former student used a USB Killer device to short circuit more than $58,000 of computers at a private New York college earlier this year. The student pled guilty to the charges and sentencing is scheduled to begin in August.

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.

10 Nintendo Switch tips and tricks to get the most out of your hybrid console

Have a new Nintendo Switch? Awesome! It's a great console from the moment you turn it on, but owners can make it even better by using a few simple tips and tricks. Here's what every Switch owner should know.

How to share your best gaming moments with friends on the PS4

Check out Digital Trends' quick guide to everything you need to know to save your outstanding PlayStation 4 gameplay moments, share them online, and transfer them to your computer.

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.

Dell slashes prices of XPS 13 and Alienware 17 laptops in latest promo

Dell's latest promotion will score you big savings on the XPS 13 or the Alienware 17. The stylish XPS 13's discount is for $430, and only the rose gold model is on sale, while gamers who choose the Alienware 17 will save $860.