Have you ever noticed the "Safely remove hardware and eject media" icon appearing in the system tray overflow menu on Windows 11?
Whenever you plug in a USB drive or an external disk to your Windows PC, a USB drive icon with a checkmark appears in the taskbar notification area. The purpose of the icon is to remind you when it is okay to safely eject your USB or external drive.
Please note: Running scripts on Windows is usually safe. But in some cases, that the following instructions may wreak havoc on your PC. Proceed with caution.
Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media
Even if your USB device is hot-swappable and can be inserted and removed when Windows is running, it is recommended that you eject the device first before removing it to prevent data loss.
Data loss can happen if you have a locked file that's still in use by Windows or another program, and if you pull out the USB or external device too soon, your file might and can become corrupted.
If you want to hide the “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media” icon, it may seem impossible because the most you can do is hide icon and notifications in Windows 10.
However, if you set this option in Windows 11, it will only hide the icon from appearing. You can still see it by clicking the arrow icon pointing upwards to show the hidden taskbar icon overflow.
Remove icon from the system tray
Here's how you can remove the "Safely remove hardware and eject media" icon from the system tray notification area on Windows 11.
1. Open Notepad and copy and paste the following:
reg add HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\SysTray /v “Services” /t reg_dword /d 29 /f systray
2. Open the dropdown menu in front of Save as type: and click on All files to select it.
In this example, the file is renamed to "WindowsBatchFile.bat." You can name the file anything you want, just be sure the file you save has a .bat file extension.
3. Click Save when you pick the file name and location when you are ready to save your file.
4. Press Windows key + R to open a run dialog window.
a. If you want to hide the Securely Remove Hardware icon for only your account on the PC, type
shell:startup in the run dialog and press Enter.
b. To hide the Securely Remove Hardware icon for all accounts on the PC, type
shell:common startup in the run dialog and press Enter. Copy and paste the WindowsBatchFile.bat into
shell:startup for your account (if you are the administrator) or
shell:common startup or all accounts on the PC.
5. Copy and paste the WindowsBatchFile.bat into
Common Startup folder.
6. Restart your PC for the changes to take effect.
That's it! Once you restart your PC, you shouldn't see the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media icon anymore.
Undo the changes
If you ever decide you want to undo these changes, it's pretty simple on Windows 11. Here's what you need to do.
1. Windows key + R
2. In the text box, type
shell:common startup and delete the WindowsBatchFile.bat in either or both folders.
3. Restart your PC.
You should now see the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media icon back in the task overflow on Windows 11.
What other Microsoft features on Windows 11 bug you the most? Let us know in the comments!