Resolving the Missing ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ Icon in Windows 10

Encountering a missing ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ icon can be inconvenient, but this guide provides straightforward solutions to restore it. Keeping our guides current is important, so sit back as we explore the fix for this issue on the latest Windows platform.

Effective Solutions for Restoring the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ Icon

On a Windows 10 PC, connecting any storage device should bring up a handy icon in the system tray. This ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ icon is your cue to safely eject devices, preventing data loss. If this icon is missing, you could risk data corruption by unplugging your device prematurely. Although recent systems with Windows 10โ€”and even its successor, Windows 11โ€”have improved how they handle external storage, the desire for safe removal persists. If you’re confronted with a missing icon, fear not! Here’s a step-by-step guide to bring back your safely eject hardware functionality.

Restoring the ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ Icon on Your Taskbar

When the icon goes missing, it may just be hiding or disabled in your Windows settings. Here’s how to check and restore it efficiently.

Check Taskbar Settings for Visibility

  • Right-click on a vacant spot on your taskbar and select ‘Taskbar settings’.
  • Scroll to the ‘Notification area’ and select ‘Select which icons appear on the taskbar’.
  • Find ‘Windows Explorer: Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media’ and toggle it on.
  • After applying changes, the icon should reappear. If not, click the system tray’s arrow to show hidden icons.

Sometimes, another related option, ‘Windows Host Process (Rundll32)’, might need enabling to bring back the icon.

Modify Device Policies for Performance

Altering device policy settings could make the icon visible again. Here’s how:

  • Press Windows key + R, type “devmgmt.msc”, and hit Enter to open Device Manager.
  • Go to Disk Drives, right-click your USB, and choose ‘Properties’.
  • Click the ‘Policies’ tab and check ‘Better performance’ to ensure safe removal policies are in place.

Verify the ‘Plug and Play’ Service

This integral service helps manage the connection and disconnection of USB devices, making sure they’re ready for safe interaction.

  • Open the Run dialog again (Windows key + R), type “services.msc”, and press Enter.
  • Locate ‘Plug and Play’, right-click, and open ‘Properties’.
  • Make sure it’s running and set to ‘Automatic’ startup.

Apply changes, restart your computer, and look for the icon’s return.

Direct Approach via Run Command

If all fails, you could directly invoke the hardware removal dialog:

  • Press Windows key + R, input “rundll32 shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll”, and hit Enter.
  • Manually select and stop your device.
  • If this works, you can simplify the future process by creating a desktop shortcut to this command.


Concluding this guide, these solutions bring back control over safely removing hardware, ensuring data integrity and peace of mind. Should you have more questions or need further clarification on ‘Safely Remove Hardware’ operations in Windows, feel free to reach out.


Q: Why is the Safely Remove Hardware icon essential?

A: The icon affirms that it’s safe to remove a device without risking data loss or corruption.

Q: Can I remove my USB without clicking ‘Safely Remove Hardware’?

A: While it’s possible, especially on newer systems with certain settings, using the safe removal process is recommended for data protection.

Remember, our goal is to provide content that is both SEO friendly and engaging for users, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information that allows for ease of understanding and practical application.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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