Safely Removing Hardware on Windows 7

Disconnecting a device from your Windows 7 computer takes nothing more than learning a very simple process. Windows 7 uses a feature called “Safely Remove Hardware” to prepare your computer for the changes that will happen prior to removing a hardware.

You can simply do this by clicking the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon found in the taskbar/notifications area on the lower right corner of your screen. Windows does the necessary things and stores back any data on to the device before releasing it from its port.

Removing a device without safely removing it runs the risk of data loss and damage on the device you just unplugged.

All too often, the devices that you connect to your computer have USB connections. The USB or Universal Serial Bus has become the most popular type of connection because of its compatibility to Plug and Play features. This also allows you to disconnect any device without rebooting your machine or just by using the “Safely Remove Hardware” feature on your Windows 7 computer.

Some common devices connected to a computer via USB connection includes:

  • Flashdrives
  • Thumb Drives
  • External Hard Drives
  • Digital Camera
  • Printers
  • Portable Devices (smartphone, MP3 players etc.)

As you can see, most of the devices listed above carry files and data. This is why the “Safely Remove Hardware” is needed to rid your files away from loss and being corrupted.

Here is a step-by-step guide you can follow to safely remove any device you just used:

1. Look for the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon on the notifications area then click it.

  • Since most devices of today connect to computers via USB connection, the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon looks like a USB connector with a check mark inside a green circle on it.

  • There will be a pop-up menu that will appear which shows the devices that are connected and can therefore be removed.

2. Choose and click the device that you want to remove on the pop-up window that appeared after you clicked the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon.

All internal connections to the device will then be released by Windows.

3. Once you see the pop-up message telling you that it’s safe to remove the device, you can then unplug it from the USB port you connected it to.

Removing a lot of devices connected to your computer means that you should go through the same process for each device.

Why Safely Remove Hardware?

Safely removing any device/ hardware from your computer’s USB port provides some benefits for your device and your computer as well. These benefits include:

  • Preventing data loss, corrupted files and incomplete downloads or copies.

  • It prolongs your device’s life. Removing a device without safely removing it may cause damage on the device.

  • Protects your computer from damages. A device requires a certain amount of power for it to work. During a write process, your device runs on a certain level of electric power. Unplugging it abruptly may cause short circuit to your computer’s motherboard. Now that means costly repair and replacement on your part.

As you can see, safely removing hardware isn’t a complicated process. Learn how you can do it by following the simple steps above and make safely removing hardware a routine to help protect your machine and your other devices from any damage.