I am old enough to remember when flash drives were new (and expensive, I might add).

As a college student I loved carrying my assignments with me to the computer lab to print for free, but was terrified of corrupting my flash drive’s files. I could not afford to lose my English papers, research projects or precious photos of friends sticking out their tongues (smart phones weren’t a thing yet). Consequently, I was very strict about ALWAYS safely ejecting my drive before yanking it out of the computer and rushing to class. Honestly, I don’t know who taught me the importance of safely ejecting my flash drive, but, boy, did I take it seriously.

Of course, most of the other students did not follow this rule, and my anxiety rose as I watched these fools carelessly grab and go. To this day I refuse to pull out my flash drive without safely ejecting it and reading that sweet pop-up message that assures me it’s safe to remove my hardware. Coworkers, family and friends all make fun of me for this, so, I asked Mike. Surely our IT manager would agree with me about the importance of safely ejecting a flash drive.


“The short answer is, it depends. If all you’re doing is working in Word or Excel, chances are you can pull the drive safely after you’ve closed out of Excel or Word and that will be just fine.

If you’re working with really sensitive data, though, that’s where I always want to safely eject it. That way we can ensure that Windows isn’t accessing any of the files so you don’t lose any data.

If Windows won’t safely eject it, that’s where you restart the computer and then during the boot process you can pull the flash drive out safely, no problem whatsoever.”

It depends. Really, Mike? Well, I am counting that as a win for me. I consider any of my saved files as “really sensitive data” and will continue to safely eject my USB drives.

What about you? Are you a grab-and-go free spirit or a persnickety safe eject-or? Let us know in the comments below.

Meet the Author

About Jess

My career began with social media marketing and content creation, which sparked an interest in all things digital, and eventually I expanded my skill set across the digital marketing spectrum. I learned front-end website maintenance, Google analytics, Google ads, lead-capture programs, and even some e-commerce experience. I can’t wait to see what I learn next.

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