Fix: Windows is Unable to Stop the Device

USB mass storage devices are useful forms of secondary storage which allow you transfer data with ease between computers. The capacity of these devices increase almost 2-3 years and their portability make them an excellent choice for storing and transferring data.

USB or other storage devices need to be ejected safely to prevent loss of data. If your computer is reading/writing data on your device, and you eject it directly, it may cause the data to get corrupt or unusable. There is an option present in Windows which allows you to safely eject the device. Sometimes user faces a problem where Windows fails to stop device.

The most common reason behind this error is that certain files on the USB might not be closed properly or may still be running on your computer. Some other third-party application might be using data contained in your USB device.We will guide you on how to fix this error and safely remove your device without any hiccups.

Solution 1: Using Windows Own Tool

We can use Windows own safely remove tool to eject the device currently plugged in your system. If this method fails and prompts you that the device cannot be stopped, follow the other solutions listed below.

  1. Press the arrow button on your taskbar on bottom right corner of your screen.
  2. When taskbar expands, right click on the USB icon and select “Eject (Device)”. Here “Device” will be replaced by the name of the storage device you have plugged in your computer.

Note: Many users reported that ejecting a second time did the trick for them. Try repeating solution one again and check if it does the trick for you.

Solution 2: Making an Educated guess

The foremost reason why the computer fails to eject the mass storage device is that it is already in use by another application or program. Try to close all the programs open on your computer.

If you opened a document in Microsoft Word and closed it, later on, try to close Microsoft Word too. Sometimes applications can hold onto data from your USB device until they are properly closed. Make sure that there isn’t any copy process underway or some application running in the background.

You can also use the task manager to help you determine which application is running on your storage device.

  1. Press Windows + X and select Task manager from the list of options available.
  2. Navigate to the processes tab and check if something is open/running from your storage device.

As you can see in this, two files were open from memory storage, not letting it eject properly. Select the application and press the button “End Task” present at the bottom right side of the screen.

Solution 3: Checking through System Logs

We can check the Event Log for errors which were registered when you faced the prompt from the computer. The Event Log contains all errors that an application undergoes and can be used to pinpoint the problem.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type “eventvwr” and press Ok. This will launch your PC’s event viewer.
  2. Now click on Windows logs present on the left side of the navigation pane. Now click on Application. We can hope to find the log generated by your system when this error occurred.

  1. Click the button which says “Filter Current Log” present at right side of the screen on the right navigation pane.

  1. Now type “225” in the event log ID space present in the middle of the window. Now press Ok. This will filter all the other events out of the log, leaving behind only logs with ID 225. Event ID 225 is the ID of the error which the computer generates when it cannot turn stop the device successfully.

  1. Now open the log which was left behind. As we can see, Microsoft Office was responsible for generating the error.

Since you have pinpointed the application which was causing the problem, you can try to end the process using the task manager before ejecting your storage device.

Solution 4: Using a third-party program

If you cannot still determine which program/process is causing you problems, we can try installing a third party application which displays all the information.

Note: Install all the third party applications on your own risk. Appuals will not be responsible for any damage done to your computer. We do not have any affiliations with any type of software product whatsoever. The product was listed for the ease of users in solving the error at hand.

Out of all third-party applications, USB Safely Remove seemed to be the most efficient and easy to use.

It lists all the memory devices plugged into your computer along with the necessary details about storage and the name (such E or F) given to them by the computer. The application lists the processes tied to the storage device which is disabling it to eject. It has the option to force stop any process/application so you can safely eject your device.

Solution 5: Enabling Quick Removal

USB devices have an option which allows you to remove your USB device without feeling the need to eject. This option comes at the cost of a little performance loss. Your computer will disable write caching on the device. This may slow your USB device a little but will give you the flexibility to easily remove it without the definitive need of using the Safely remove feature.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  2. Once in the device manager, navigate to the subcategory of “Disk drives”. Once you expand it, you will find your USB/Storage device. Right-click it and select Properties.

  1. Once the properties are opened, navigate to the Policies tab. Make sure that the option of “Quick removal” is checked. Press Ok to save changes and exit.

Now you can unplug your storage device after saving all your work without feeling the need to safely remove your device.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.