If you are disconnecting a USB storage device from your computer, it is important to eject the device properly by heading to Windows notification area (system tray) and clicking on Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media. When you will do so, you’ll put a stop to the read/write operations between the USB storage device and your computer. It will ultimately help you to minimize the risk of data corruption or loss.
But if you need to connect a USB flash drive, memory card, or external hard drive frequently to your computer, you may not like to follow the same routine each time to eject your device. In that case it will be convenient for you to create a desktop shortcut to eject USB storage devices quickly.
Safely Remove Hardware Using a Desktop Shortcut
To open the Create Shortcut Wizard, right-click on the free space on your desktop and choose New > Shortcut:
In the Type the location of the item field, copy/paste the following line (case-sensitive): Rundll32 shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL HotPlug.dll.
Once you are done, move to the next screen by clicking on Next:
By registering a new name in the Type a name for this shortcut field, you can rename the shortcut (e.g. Remove USB). After registering a new name there, click on Finish and that’s all there is to it to place the new shortcut on the desktop.
How to Change the Shortcut Icon
It is very easy changing the default icon of a desktop shortcut. Right-click on the new shortcut > Properties > Shortcut and click on Change icon:
Now you will see a dialogue window titled Change icon, click on the Browse button and look for a file named “shell32.dll”:
Once you have found a file named “shell32.dll”, select the file (C:\Windows\System32\shell32.dll) and click on the option Open:
Now Windows will display the icons contained in the shell32.dll file. Choose the icon you want and click on OK to validate:
Assigning a Keyboard Shortcut
It is also possible to associate a shortcut key with your new desktop shortcut. In the Shortcut key field, go back to the Properties menu and define a key combination:
Click on Apply then OK to save your new settings.
Ejecting USB Storage Devices
As your new shortcut is ready now, you have a direct access to the Safely Remove Hardware utility. In the Safely Remove Hardware utility, you will see all the USB storage devices connected to your computer. To eject any device, just choose its corresponding entry from the Hardware devices list and click on the Stop button:
To validate your action, click on OK button on your computer screen. Now Windows will reflect a message that says, “The USB Mass Storage device can now be safely removed from the computer”.
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