This device is currently in use USB error solution on Windows 10 PC

Using a USB device as a storage device to store media and files is a common practice among PC users. All you need to do is simply plug it in and start transferring media files or documents back and forth. While this is supposed to be an easy process, sometimes you may experience unexpected errors such as ” This device is currently in use ” preventing you from safely removing the device.

The error message suggests that you close any programs or windows that may be using the device, although that is not the case at all. This can be a tricky situation, especially when you are in the middle of important work and need to rush. Fortunately, we can offer you 3 ways to fix ” This device is currently in use “ USB error on your Windows 10 PC. Let’s see how.

Method 1: restarting Windows Explorer

Step 1: Right click on Start and select Task Manager from the menu.

Launch Task Manager with the right mouse button

Step 2: In the Task Manager window, under the Processes tab, locate Windows Explorer .

Right click on it and select End task from the context menu.

* Note – Since I have two of them open in my Task Manager , I would close both of them one by one.

Task Manager processes Windows Explorer Right-click End Task

Step 3: Now that it stopped successfully, we would have to restart Windows Explorer .

In the Task Manager window, go to the File tab at the top left and select Run new task .

Task Manager File Tab Run New Task

Step 4: In the Create new task popup, type explorer.exe in the search field and hit Enter .

Create new Explorer.exe task Login

Step 5: This will restart Windows Explorer and your USB error should now go away. Now you can safely remove your USB device.

To safely eject the USB device, go to the bottom right of the Taskbar , expand the arrow ( show hidden icons ) to open the system tray. Right-click on the USB device icon and select Eject Cruzer Blade .

Taskbar Show hidden icons USB drive icon Right click Eject Cruzer Blade

Step 6: You will now see a message saying ” Safe to Remove Hardware “.

Simply remove the pendrive and voila.

Safe Windows message to remove hardware

However, if this doesn’t work, move on to the next method.

Method 2: through Device Manager

Step 1: Press the Win + X keys together on your keyboard and select Device Manager from the menu.

Win + X Device Manager

Step 2: In the Device Manager window, locate Universal Serial Bus controllers towards the bottom.

Expand the device and select USB Mass Storage Device . Right click on it and select Uninstall device .

* Note – When you see the error, you will see a yellow triangle next to the USB Mass Storage Device . This means that there is a problem with the storage device.

Device Manager Universal Serial Bus Controllers USB Mass Storage Device Uninstall Device

Exit Device Manager and restart your PC. Now, try to safely remove your USB device one more time and it should easily eject.

But, if you keep seeing the same error, you can follow the below method.

Method 3: via devices and printers at the control panel

Step 1: Go to Start and type Control Panel in the Windows search box.

Desktop Search Start Control Panel

Step 2: Click the result to open the Control Panel window.

Start search Control panel result

Step 3: In the Control Panel window, go to View by and select Large icons from the drop-down menu.

Then click to open Devices and Printers .

Control panel view by devices and large icon printers

Step 4: Next, under Devices , find your USB device. Right click on it and select Remove device .

Device and Printers Devices Right-click Remove Device

Step 5: In the pop-up Remove Device , select Yes to complete the action.

Remove Popup Device Yes

That’s it. The USB device has now been removed from the PC and you should no longer see the error.