If you frequently use USB devices such as USB flash drives or external USB hard drives, you are most likely familiar with the Safely Remove Hardware icon on the taskbar. You must click this icon to open a menu that allows you to remove external USB devices.
We will show you a method for creating a shortcut that you can use to quickly access the Safely Remove Hardware dialog box in Windows 7/8/10.
Create a shortcut to safely remove devices
Right click anywhere on an empty spot on your desktop. Select New | A shortcut from a pop-up menu.
The “Create Shortcut” dialog box appears. Copy and paste the following line into the Enter the location of the element. Click Next.
– / RunDll32.exe shell32.dll, Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll
Enter a name for the shortcut in the Enter a name for this shortcut input field and click Finish.
The default icon for a new shortcut doesn’t really reflect the purpose of the shortcut very well. We went to http://www.iconfinder.com and searched for “usb” to find a suitable ICO file to use as an icon for a shortcut and downloaded a free icon file.
Change the shortcut icon
To change the icon for a new shortcut, right-click the new shortcut and choose Properties from the pop-up menu.
The Properties dialog box opens. Make sure the Shortcut tab is active and click the Change Icon button.
The Change Icon dialog box appears. To select a different icon, click the Browse button.
Another Change Icon dialog box is displayed for selecting an icon file. Browse to where you saved the downloaded ICO file, or to the .icl, .exe, or .dll folder containing the desired icon. Select the file and click “Open”.
You will be returned to the Change Icon dialog box with your selected icon file displayed. If you selected a file that contains multiple icons (.icl, .exe, .dll), all icons in that file are displayed in the box. Click the desired icon and click OK.
The icon appears at the top of the Shortcut tab in the Properties dialog box.
Create a keyboard shortcut
You can also add a keyboard shortcut to launch the generated keyboard shortcut. To do this, click in the keyboard shortcut edit box on the Shortcut tab of the Properties dialog box. Press the keys for the keyboard shortcut you want to use. Keys are automatically entered in the edit field.
Click OK to close the Properties dialog box.
A custom icon shortcut is available on the desktop.
Double-click the shortcut to quickly open the Safely Remove Hardware dialog box.
If you want to access the Safely Remove Hardware dialog box with one click, you can pin the new shortcut to the taskbar. To do this, right-click the shortcut on your desktop and choose Pin to Taskbar from the pop-up menu.
The shortcut is now available on the taskbar. Just click it once to open the Safely Remove Hardware dialog box.
NOTE. Remember that you can also use the keyboard shortcut you defined for the keyboard shortcut.
You can also create this shortcut in Windows 10. It requires a bit of tweaking, but it saves time when you have to remove USB devices from your computer. Enjoy!