Windows 10 now lets you remove USB sticks without the guilt trip

If you’ve ever felt vaguely guilty when Windows tells you off for not properly ejecting your USB device, then good news: it’s no longer necessary. You’re free to rip the USB stick from the side of your laptop with no ill effects and no nagging message telling you to buck your ideas up – assuming you’ve had the 1809 update.

What is this witchcraft? Well, it’s actually just a simple change in the way Windows deals with USB storage.

Previously, Microsoft defaulted USB storage to “better performance.” This means that USB devices are in a state of readiness for whatever you want to do, meaning performance is quick and snappy. The flipside of this is that because data is cached in preparation, removing the device without warning could lead to file corruption – hence the slap on the wrist whenever you throw caution to the wind and do it anyway.

Related: Windows 10 tips

From Windows 10 version 1809 onwards, Microsoft has changed the default to “quick removal” – a name which makes its main advantage pretty obvious: you don’t have to make sure it’s ready before you take out the drive. The downside of this is that without caching, the transfer of files will take a bit longer, which could undo all the time saved by being able to pull the USB out at will.

Still, this is just the default behaviour, and if you miss the speed advantages of the old ways, it’s easy enough to go back. Just connect the device, locate it in Disk Management, right-click the device and bring up “Properties.” Select the “Policies” tab and then change the option in “Removal Policy” from “Quick removal” to “Better performance” and you’ll be back to the old Windows behaviour of the pre-1809 days.

Is this a better way for USB to behave in Windows 10? Let us know what you think on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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