How to Optimize USB Storage for Better Performance on Windows 10

From the Windows 10 version 1803, Microsoft has by-default stopped optimizing the external USB devices for “Better performance” in the Windows 10 systems. Instead of it, now they would be optimized for “Quick removal.” 

This change was implemented because most Windows 10 users never bothered with the “Safely Remove Device” option before ejecting the USB from the computer device. By enabling the Quick Removal option by-default, Microsoft has reduced the risk of data loss for such people. However, this option can slow down the running applications and writing process.

If you don’t want your USB Drives to deteriorate your system’s performance, you can change the default Quick removal settings to Better performance. 

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What are “Quick Removal” and “Better Performance” Settings?

Windows 10 provides you two removal policies to select for your USB Storage Drives – Quick removal and Better performance. Users have the flexibility to choose different policy settings for different USB storage, i.e., if one of your USB drives have a Quick removal policy enabled, another can be allowed the Better Performance policy.

If your system is on Windows 10 version 1803 or above, by default, the Quick removal policy would be enabled for every USB storage. While this policy is enabled, whenever you write the data to the drives, Windows would try to complete it as quickly as possible. This would ensure that you don’t need to worry about the “Safely Remove Hardware” option while ejecting the USB storage from the device. 

However, this policy can slow down your system, as it can hinder the performance of the currently running applications. If you are copying anything to the USB drive, since more priority is given to complete the writing process as soon as possible, other running applications would be stopped or slowed down to finish the USB drive’s writing process. 

Though, this policy does reduce the chances of data corruption, especially if you don’t follow the “Safely Eject” option.

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On the other hand, the Better performance policy is more focused on maintaining the system’s performance by not allowing USB storage’s writing process to diminish the running apps. When it is enabled, the Better performance policy will cache the writing process and let other applications think that the writing is already completed so that they are not stopped and can proceed normally.

Windows then complete the writing process in the background without affecting the running applications and processes.

However, this policy can sometimes cause data loss or corruption. Suppose you are copying some files to the USB storage, with Better Performance policy enabled, you might think that copying is completed and would eject the drive. However, Windows is still finalizing the copying process in the background. Removing the USB drive would result in the interruption, and the process would remain incomplete. Therefore, it becomes compulsory to follow the “Safely Eject” option before unplugging the device. It tells Windows to write all the cached data to disk, ensuring all your data is safe before removing the drive.

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How to enable Better Performance Policy?

If you don’t care about the data loss or follow the good practice of “Safely Eject,” then you can enable the Better performance policy for maintaining the system performance. However, you have to enable this setting for each of your USB drives manually. Windows will remember the Settings after the first time.

Here is how to do that.

  1. Connect the USB Drive to the PC

  2. In the Windows search bar, type “Disk Management” and select Create and format hard disk partitions.
    Disk Management

  3. Once Disk Management is launched, look for the USB drive you want to make changes on.

  4. Right-click on it, and select Properties.
    USB Property

  5. Under the Hardware tab, select your USB drive, and then click on Properties.Hardware tab

  6. Now, under Policies, choose the Better performance and also enable the write caching in the Windows.
    change policies

  7. Click OK and exit the Disk Management.

After enabling this policy, always remember to eject the drive from the settings before removing it from the USB port.

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Bottom Line

By making Quick Removal the default policy, Microsoft is clearly focussing more on avoiding data loss rather than performance. The Quick Removal option is also necessary since many users never eject the USB drive from the settings before removing it. However, even after it is enabled, the data loss can still happen because, on some low-end systems, the writing process still runs in the background even after allowing the Quick Removal policy.

Even after that, the default policy is acceptable in most modern systems. If you feel your device is working fine with that, you don’t need to change it to Better performance.

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1 thought on “How to Optimize USB Storage for Better Performance on Windows 10”

  1. the write caching policy is not seen on my flash drive. Put a few different usb devices into the usb port and it does not appear for any of them


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