This device is currently in use – USB error on Windows 10

We use our external USB storage devices, peripherals, and a number of devices almost daily. Now when taking out the USB Storage devices, it is advised to use the Safely remove the USB Storage device option. This prevents data corruption in those USB devices. But sometimes, you may see the following error appear which may prevent you from ejecting the device:

Problem ejecting USB Mass Storage – This device is currently in use, close any programs or windows that might be using this device, and then try again.

USB error: This device is currently in use

Alternatively, you could see this message:

Windows can’t stop your Generic Volume Device because a program is still using it. Close any programs that might be using the device and then try again.

This is caused due to the device interacting with the operating system in the background. Today, we will be checking out how to fix this error.

USB error: This device is currently in use

There are various methods by which this error can be fixed. But before you begin do close all open windows and programs that may be using the USB and wait for a few seconds and then try. If this does not help, read on.

  • Use DISKPART.
  • Use Disk Management utility.
  • Use the Process Explorer.
  • Use the Task Manager.

1] Use DISKPART

Execute the following commands in an elevated command elevated command prompt

diskpart

This will initiate the Diskpart utility. Then type-

list disk

and then-

list volume

These commands will help you in either listing all the Disks connects or all the partitions on those disks formed.

From here, you will have to choose one command depending on the list command you entered.

Type in-

select disk #

or

select volume #

Hit Enter. This will select the Disk or Partition you want to select.

Next, type in-

offline disk #

or

offline volume #

Then hit Enter.This will mark the selected disk as Offline.

Now you can take out your USB Storage device physically. But when you plug it in again, you need to carry out the same method but in the last command. You need to enter the following command-

online disk #

or

online volume #

This will get your device back online.

2] Using Disk Management Utility

Type diskmgmt.msc in the Start search box and hit the OK button.

Find the entry for your USB Storage device and right click on it.

Now select Offline.

Now you can safely remove your USB Storage device physically.

You can perform the same steps and select Online to get your USB Storage device back up when plugged in again.

3] Using Process Explorer

Download Process Explorer from Microsoft and then run the executable file.

Now, from the menu ribbon, select Find.

From the drop-down menu, select Find Handle or DLL…

It will bring up the Process Explorer Search mini window.

For the Handle or DLL substring, type in the drive letter for your USB Storage device and select Search.

It will look up for all the processes making use of the selected USB Storage device.

You can kill those processes and then try to eject the device normally.

4] Use the Task Manager

Open the Task Manager and then look for for the running processes and programs hogging on your USB Storage device.

When you have a program using a USB drive, it will hog on to some Disk or CPU while transferring data and interacting with the device. This could be the offender.

Kill iTunes from Task Manager

Select them, then right click on them and finally click on End Task or End Process depending upon if you are terminating a Program or an entire process for it.

You may also restart Explorer.exe and see if this helps.

I hope this helps.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Ayush has been a Windows enthusiast since the day he got his first PC with Windows 98SE. He is an active Windows Insider since Day 1 and is now a Windows Insider MVP. He has been testing pre-release services on his Windows 10 PC, Lumia, and Android devices.

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