I’ve had the problem all too many times, and I’m sure you have, too…
I’m working with a flash drive, perhaps copying files to it or from it, and I get finished. So, I’m ready to eject the drive…
But, Windows is being contrary and hasn’t let go of the drive yet. One (or more) of the programs that I used to access the flash drive told Windows that they were using data from the drive, but have not (yet) told Windows that it’s finished with the drive.
Or, maybe Windows figures out that the file is in use because the program requested it from Windows. Either way, Windows does not let go of the flash drive.
For example, if you are using Outlook, you might want to save an email attachment to your flash drive. That’s fine, until you finish and want to eject the drive. Windows says that it is’in use’ and not let you eject .
Whether it’s Outlook not telling Windows that it has finished with the drive and the file, or whether it is Windows just not paying attention, it really doesn’t matter. Either way, we can’t safely eject the drive until the problem is solved.
What’s the solution? You have to close Outlook so that Windows will finally release the flash drive.
It’s not just Outlook — Excel, Word, and many other programs work the same way. Windows Explorer will block the ejection if Explorer has a file folder open on the drive.
That last becomes a more significant issue some times. Windows Explorer is actually the same program, but have a different user interface, as Internet Explorer and as Explorer, the Windows Desktop.
Sometimes we can close every open program, but Windows still won’t release the flash drive. At this point, the problem may be Explorer. The easiest fix at that point is simply to reboot the computer. It’s a pain, but it’s easy to do.