Those who use a USB thumb drive use the Safely Remove Hardware icon each time to remove the thumb drive. Safely Remove Hardware allows you to unplug or disconnect the removable storage to prevent accidental data loss if data were still being copied or saved to or from the device. If you have the removal policy for a device set to quick removal, you can disconnect the device safely without using the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon. However, if you have enabled the Write-catching policy, you need to be more careful, and you must use the Safely Remove Hardware option to disconnect the device safely without any data loss.

If you regularly use external USB devices and want to use the shortcut instead of going every time notification area to remove hardware safely, you can curtail the Safely Remove Hardware procedure. This post will show you how to create a Safely Remove Hardware shortcut in Windows 11/10.

How to generate a “Safely Remove Hardware” shortcut in Windows 11/10?

To make a Safely Remove Hardware shortcut in Windows 11/10, perform the following steps:-

Step 1. Right-click or press and hold (for touchscreen device) on an empty area on your desktop, and click/tap on New and then the Shortcut option.

Step 2. In the “Create Shortcut” dialog box that opens, paste the following code:-

%windir%\System32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll

Step 3. Click the Next button.

Step 4. Type Safely Remove Hardware for the name and click/tap on the Finish button.

Step 5. A shortcut with Safely Remove Hardware is created on the desktop.

Step 6. Perform a right-click or press and hold on the new Safely Remove Hardware shortcut, and click/tap on Properties.

Step 7. In the Properties dialog box, click or tap on the Shortcut tab.

Step 8. Click/tap on the None next to the Shortcut key field.

Step 9. Press S from the keyboard to assign Ctrl + Alt + S hotkey to the Safely Remove Hardware shortcut.

Note: You can press any other key in place of S to assign a separate hotkey.

Step 10. Click/tap Apply, then the OK button.

Note: You can launch the Safely Remove Hardware window by pressing the Ctrl + Alt + S hotkey or the hotkey you assigned in step 9 above.

Step 11. If you want to change the Safely Remove Hardware shortcut icon in step 9 above, click the Change Icon button.

Step 12. Browse and select shell32.dll to see all the available icons in Windows 11/10 OS.

Step 13. Select any icon from the list and click the OK button.

Step 14. Click/tap Apply, then OK.

Step 15. Safely Remove Hardware shortcut icon changes.

Note: To quickly access this shortcut, right-click on it and select the Pin to taskbar option.

Step 16. Double-click the newly created shortcut to launch the Safely Remove Hardware window.

Step 17. Select the USB thumb drive entry in the Hardware devices section and click the Stop button.

Step 18. In the next window, again select the USB drive letter-number entry and click the OK button to remove it safely.

Step 19. You should see a message on the right-side corner of the Windows Taskbar, “Safe to Remove Hardware.”

Now you can remove your USB thumb drive safely.

If your Windows 11/10 PC, the “Safely remove hardware” icon, disappeared, the above steps will help you remove your USB hardware safely.


In conclusion, using the Safely Remove Hardware option when disconnecting USB devices from your Windows 11/10 computer is crucial to avoid data loss or corruption. While the traditional method of accessing the option from the notification area works, creating a shortcut for the Safely Remove Hardware option can help you save time and avoid unnecessary steps. By following the steps outlined in this post, you can easily create a shortcut for the Safely Remove Hardware option on your desktop and assign a hotkey for quick access. With this shortcut, you can safely and easily remove your USB devices from your computer, even if the “Safely remove hardware” icon is missing.

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