Safely Ejecting / Removing External Devices on Ubuntu 16.04 | 17.10 | 18.04

Like Windows and other operating systems, Ubuntu allows you to use external devices like USB flash drive, CD/DVD disc and other removable devices. However, if you don’t follow the best practice of safely removing or ejecting the device before unplugging, you may corrupt or destroy the device.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to safely remove or eject external devices when using Ubuntu desktop. this way you can make sure you’re doing the correct thing to keep your data protected.

When you’re ready, follow the steps below to lean how to do it.

Here’s something to be aware of. If you just unplug a device while connected to a Ubuntu desktop, you run the risk of unplugging while an application is still using it.

This could result in some of your files being lost or corrupted. When you use an optical disc like a CD or DVD, you can use the same steps to eject the disc from your computer.

Step 1: Ejecting Removable Devices

To eject removable devices from Ubuntu, go to the Activities overview, open Files or File Explorer from the dock on the left of your screen.

Locate the device in the sidebar. It should have a small eject icon next to the name. Click the Eject icon to safely remove or eject the device.

ubuntu ejecting devices

Alternately, you can right-click the name of the device in the sidebar and select Eject.

Step 2: Stop Applications and Eject

If any of the files on the device are open and in use by an application, you will not be able to safely remove the device. You will be prompted with a window telling you Volume is busy. To safely remove the device:

Click Cancel, close all the files on the device and click the eject icon to safely remove or eject the device.

Alternately, you can right-click the name of the device in the sidebar and select Eject.

ubuntu external devices

This is how to properly eject or unplug external devices on Ubuntu desktop. If you don’t follow a safe practice of ejecting external devices, you may risk losing your data.

That’s it!

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1 Comment

  1. Well yes, obvious…
    But what if the device does NOT appear in nautilus (or other file manager)?

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