How to Fix “This device is currently in use” on Windows 10/8.1/7

Safely remove hardware – the best way to remove USB sticks and peripherals. Are the files and folders open? This prevents damage to the device. External hard disks and flash drives must shut down all associated programs and processes.

If a process is running that is connected to the unit, you will receive an error message indicating that

This device is currently in use. Close any programs or windows that can be used by the device and try again.


USB sticks also have a common problem. The taskbar can be the culprit if something goes wrong with the Windows Explorer process. You have to restart it.

Quick removal is another option after upgrading Windows 10 to version 1803. Most of the screenshots below were taken after the 20H2 update. Many of the solutions proposed here are still expected to work after the 2004 update.


Unprotected removal may result in damage to the hard drive. It is always best to select and remove a disc if no write or copy operation is in progress. The external device is where you are most likely to perform a similar operation. Files from the USB storage device must always be virus-free.

This unit is currently in use, but not.

It could also be a bucket fault!

Corrupted files can exacerbate this problem. If an unauthorized virus is detected on the disk, a virus scan must be started. Microsoft Defender does a good job in Windows 10 to prevent such ransom software and fraudulent tools.

The scanning process can also reverse this operation. As far as the Seagate hard disks are concerned, this is the standard antivirus release for Windows 10. It locks the devices, making it difficult to correct this error without restarting the computer.

If you search for logs in the Event Viewer, you will see this typical message. However, you cannot terminate any task or process related to Windows Defender.

A common problem with Seagate USB hard drives. This error also seems to occur after applying all of the following solutions.

Best solution for safely removing the Seagate USB hard drive in Windows 10 64-bit.

It takes time: Five minutes.

The best solution for trouble-free removal of Seagate USB storage devices. In many cases, a USB error is simply used after safe removal. Make sure that all browsers, file explorers and files are closed. Then try this procedure. As a last resort you can apply these measures.

  1. Click on the icon with the up arrow and on the icon of the flash drive.

This should be visible in the lower corner of your Windows 10 system.

  1. Click on the device and select Eject Expansion – Seagate Expansion Drive.

If an error occurs, close all programs.

  1. Restart your computer.

You can do this from the Start menu.

  1. Then try to secure the deletion.

In many cases it works. If one of the following solutions does not work, remove all types of USB devices in this way.

However, rebooting the computer is a problem. For non-Seagate devices you can try the following patches.

Solution #1 – Restart the Windows exploration process in Windows 10

  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc at the same time or search for the Task Manager application.
  • The Process tab is the default tab. Otherwise, select it.
  • In the upper part, select the option Display > Group by type.
  • Under Windows Processes you will find the Windows Explorer process.
  • Right-click and click Restart in the shortcut menu.

Solution #2 – Using the Device Management Tool

  • For this part of the Control Panel, look in Windows 10. In the Run devmgmt.msc dialog box, type devmgmt.msc by simultaneously pressing the Win+R keys.
  • Continue with the section Universal Serial Bus Controllers below.
  • Otherwise, find the USB device in one of the categories.
  • A triangle with a yellow exclamation mark indicates problems.
  • Try disconnecting/disconnecting twice to see if the problem disappears.
  • Otherwise, select Delete Device from the context menu.
  • This removes the device from the computer.
  • Then select Action > Search for Hardware Changes at the top.
  • That should bring the device back.
  • Now use the Safely Remove Hardware from the Notification Area option to safely remove the hardware from the system tray.

Solution #3 – Remove USB keys from devices and printers

  • Click the up arrow icon in the system tray in the lower right corner.
  • Click the Open Devices and Printers button.
  • Click on USB in the Device category.
  • Click Delete Device.
  • The device must be disassembled and disposed of safely.

Solution #4 – Disable backup.

There are many utilities for backing up files and folders on your computer. Windows 10 itself has a built-in program. Many of you use it to make system restores and backups.

This can happen between ejecting your secure USB stick and the dreaded message. It is best to turn the program off for a while and then try to uninstall the device again. Also make sure the task manager is closed.

Solution #5 – Viewing events

  • Enter the search bar and open this application.
  • Windows logs > System
  • Warnings, errors and critical errors are displayed on the next page.
  • For Source = Kernet-PnP, with a typical event ID of 225, you should see a warning. (The latest version of Windows 10 is 20H2. Previous versions may have a different number).
  • Double-click at this point.
  • The characteristics of the event should look like this

The DeviceHarddiskVolume1ProgramDataMicrosoftWindows DefenderPlatformxxxxxMsMpEng.exe application with Process ID 3336 has stopped deleting or removing USBVID_xxx_xxxMSFTxxxxxWPB.

  • Write down the process ID. Here it is, 3336.
  • Open Task Manager > Details.
  • The Process tab does not contain a PID.
  • Find the name of the process using this process identification number.
  • Select a process and click on the End of employment or End of process structure button.
  • Now try to remove the USB stick.

If this option is not available, this solution will not work. It is best to restart the computer and see if the error has disappeared.

Solution #6 – Process Explorer to close processes

  • This is a small program of SysInternals. Download this tool here.
  • Unpack the ZIP file and open the procesxp application program.
  • Note the PID of the event display.
  • Press Ctrl + F and enter the PID value. You can also use a USB driver letter, such as B. H:, in the search field.
  • Press Ctrl + H to display the lower control panel. Find the correct process file per drive letter. Click the right mouse button and close the handle.
  • Make sure this corrects the USB ejection error.

Solution #7 – Disabling Windows search engines

  • In the Run services.msc dialog box, type Run services.msc.
  • Since indexing and searching are integrated with the Windows search service, you should stop this.
  • Then try to remove the device safely.

Solution #8 – Disable Disk Index Option.

This method requires multiple folders and files on the drive if you want to disable indexing of the entire contents of the USB stick. Also, if there are too many of them on the same external USB stick, you should apply this solution to all USB sticks. Pay attention: It takes a lot of time.

  • Open File Manager in Windows 10.
  • Right-click on the driver letter and select Properties.
  • Under General, in addition to File Properties, you will see the option Allow indexed content of files on this device.  This function is enabled by default. Uncheck the box.

Now try to remove the USB device and see if the error disappears.

Final thoughts…

The storage device probably has this problem. Since many USB sticks are storage devices, you should remove them safely. Disk Management is another useful tool for removing a currently used device.

In total: an average of 2: 5/5]

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