How to Safely Eject a Flash Drive from Your Chromebook (The Fast and Easy Way)

Ejecting a flash drive from your Chromebook is (super) easy.

First, you’ll need to (obviously) already have a flash drive inserted and recognized by your laptop.

If you don’t know how to use use a USB drive (or any other USB peripheral for that matter), I wrote a complete guide on connecting them.

But, if you already have one inserted, be sure to remove it properly. And safely.

Note: This guide works on all USB devices on any Chromebook. If your laptop recognizes it, this guide works.


Safely remove any USB device quickly and easily

Here’s how.

Step 1: Open up the Launcher by pressing the Finder key (magnifying glass) or clicking on the Launcher app (bottom-left corner).

Step 2: Click on the Files app. It’s a blue icon with a folder. If you don’t see it, click on “view all” text to see all the apps installed on your Chromebook.

Step 3: Now that you’re in the file explorer, look on the left-hand side of the screen. You’ll see a list of tabs. Find your USB drive’s name or model number. It varies depending on the brand.

Step 4: Click on the eject icon to the right of it. Your laptop will now eject the drive and make it safe to remove. It looks like this:

USB eject icon.
Click this icon to eject your stuff.

Step 5: Pull the USB drive from your Chromebook. You’re done.

If you try to remove any connected device that’s recognized by Chrome OS, it’ll throw a notification at you that says to not remove anything without first ejecting it. It’s actually pretty funny. But I don’t recommend that you try it unless you’re willing to risk data loss or corruption.

Keep in mind that these steps apply to anything connected to your Chromebook- this includes USB thumb drives, flash drives, external hard drives, SD cards, etc. Of course, headphones and chargers don’t matter. Use common sense and your best judgment.

When in doubt, eject!

Do I need to do this every time?

The quick answer is “yes.”

Computers constantly communicate with any devices plugged into their USB ports. Laptops and Chromebooks are no exception. Even if you’re not transferring data between the laptop and the drive, there could still be possible communication between them.

If you remove the drive, it severs the communication and could result in data loss. It’s bad practice.

Even though you can get away with doing this now with no repercussions, I still wouldn’t recommend it. Sure, it saves time. But when you can’t open your file because it got corrupted, you’ll understand.

Sure, it saves time. But when you can’t open your file because it got corrupted, you’ll understand.

Always eject safely using the proper process.

Yeah, I know it can be a pain. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?

I mean, the point of you reading this tutorial in the first place is because you know it can be bad to just pull the drive.

Now you’re a master

That’s it. Was that easy enough? Just remember to do this whenever you need to remove something.

Have a question? Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (check the "Contact Us" page).
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