Safe to Remove Hardware Icon Not Working

Updated on April 19, 2019
Susan May Gudge profile image

Susan May Gudge has experience with Telex, Adams, win95, win98, XP, windows 7/8/8.1/10, with interests in 3D graphics and webpage creation.

Safe to Remove Hardware Icon Location.
Safe to Remove Hardware Icon Location.

Evidence of Trouble With the Icon

1. Right or Left clicking on the USB icon gives no results.

2. Devices and Printers window locks up and will not open.

3. Bluetooth refuses to be added or to work at all.

Can I Just Disconnect the External Drive Without Using the Safety Icon?

When you right or left click on the icon made for safely removing hardware and nothing happens, it is best to repair the problem and not just remove the external drive. If you remove it incorrectly, it may not be finished copying or writing the files and there is a great possibility that removing by just unplugging it will corrupt the files.

External Drives to Backup Files

(Old Model) Seagate Expansion 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive ST905004EXA101-RK
(Old Model) Seagate Expansion 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive ST905004EXA101-RK
I have had this Seagate external drive for about five years and never have any problems with it until the Bluetooth problem. Having fixed that, it disconnects like it used to, quickly and easily. It now has 490 of the 500 Gigs filled so I recently bought another Seagate with a larger drive to compliment my older model. Both are serving me well and the prices were very reasonable.

When I Try to Open Devices and Printers it Gets Stuck or Shows Blank Page.

When you try to open Devices and Printers, the green loading bar continues to the end then just stops and hangs there. It will remain blank and not show the devices already installed on your computer. This is another indication that there is a problem with the hardware removal icon.

Devices and printers should open fast, if not immediately. You will find you cannot add any devices and it will not show what you already have connected. Being an important part of the computer system, this should be repaired immediately so that it works as it should.

Devices and Printers Refusal to Open.
Devices and Printers Refusal to Open.

I Cannot Add My Bluetooth Headphones or Open Devices and Printers Section.

For some strange reason that only Windows knows, the Bluetooth system totally controls the Safe to Remove Hardware feature. If the Bluetooth services are not configured properly, it can stop many things from running correctly. If you have Bluetooth on your computer, as most computers do have this now, it could be the problem for the inability to add devices or the Safe to Remove Hardware icon not working.

How Do I Repair This Problem?

1. Run services.msc

2. Set Bluetooth Services to Automatic instead of Manual

Where Is The Services Panel Located?

There are three different ways to find the Services depending on the operating system you are using for Windows.

1. With the older systems, like Windows 7, you simply click on Start and type in services.msc in the Search box.

2. With Windows 8 and newer, left click the Start icon and choose Run. When a demand box appears, type in the words services.msc

3. For all systems, old and new, you can hold down the Windows key on your keyboard. While holding it down, press the R letter also on the keyboard. This will open up the box where you will type in services.msc

Finding the Services Panel
Finding the Services Panel

How to Fix the Problem

Once you have opened the Services panel, look for anything to do with Bluetooth. Double click each one and change them from Manual to Automatic. If it is set at Manual (Trigger Start), I would leave it as is. Trigger Start is a form of Automatic on some of the newer computers. Instead of starting to run when you start your computer, it will automatically start when you turn on a device. Trigger Start is a new feature on the newer computers.

Trigger Start for Bluetooth Services Should Stay As Is.
Trigger Start for Bluetooth Services Should Stay As Is.

How to Change the Manual to Automatic

Highlight the service you wish to change. Double click on it and a new box will show up. Where it says Startup type, open the options and choose Automatic. If it has only Manual without the Trigger Start on the main panel, try changing the Manual option to Automatic on the Startup type option. Trigger will not show as an option but choosing Manual will automatically mark it as Manual (Trigger Start).

On the top left there should be something marked Start Service. Click that, close the Services Panel and try your Safely Remove Hardware Icon. That should solve your problem with both the Safe to Remove Hardware icon not working and the Devices and Printers not loading.

Startup Type
Startup Type

Should There Be Only One Listing for Bluetooth?

There should definitely be two, Bluetooth support service and Bluetooth User Support Service (sometimes called Bluetooth Hands-free Support Service instead of User). Sometimes there are three listings for Bluetooth, the third being Bluetooth Audio Gateway Service.

One of my computers is in French, so I had to expand the field to be able to read the whole line for each item on the list in Services. I finally found the second one down much further on the list due to the French translation. It was that one that was set for Manual instead of Automatic and was causing all the difficulties I was having. If your computer is in another language, look carefully for the Bluetooth listings. Luckily, the word Bluetooth remains as Bluetooth even if the rest of the line is in another language.

Finding the Bluetooth Listing in a Language Other Than English.
Finding the Bluetooth Listing in a Language Other Than English.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Susan May Gudge


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