How can I Optimize USB Storage on Windows 11/10? Microsoft no longer optimizes external storage devices for “Better Performance” Windows 11/10 as of the October 2018 Update. It optimizes them instead for “Quick Removal.”
Better Performance and Quick Removal in Windows 11 and Optimize USB Storage
Whether it’s a USB thumb drive or an external hard drive, Microsoft has two policies for external storage devices connected via USB. Each storage device has its own policy settings, allowing you to choose different policies for each device. You can use the Better Performance policy on USB A and the Quick Removal policy on USB B, for example.
As previously stated, starting with the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, both Windows 10 and Windows 11 use the “Quick Removal” policy by default. When the Quick Removal policy is selected, whenever you connect your USB drive to a PC and write to it, Windows writes the data to the drive as quickly as possible. This policy ensures that the USB drive can be removed without having to use the “Safely Remove Hardware” option. In any case, a program could be writing to your USB drive in the background. Even so, if you’re in the habit of safely removing storage devices before unplugging them, this feature dramatically reduces the risk of data corruption.
This Quick Removal feature, on the other hand, may cause other programs to slow down. When saving a file to an external drive, for example, the program you’re using may stop and wait for the save process to complete before continuing.
The “Better performance” policy, on the other hand, has no effect on the speed of your program. Write operations to the drive will be cached by Windows, allowing applications to continue as if they had already written the data. The write operation is then performed in the background by Windows. There is a drawback to this policy. In some cases, it can lead to data loss. You will believe that the data has been saved and will remove the drive; however, the data has not been saved and the files on the drive will become corrupt. That is why Microsoft has included the “Safely Remove Hardware” option. So make sure to use the “Safely Remove Hardware” feature before unplugging a drive from Windows 11/10. Windows will not allow you to remove the external drive until it has written all of the cached data to disk, ensuring that all of your data is safe.
However, it’s unclear how much your Windows 11/10 PC’s performance will improve if you select the Better Performance option. It should be determined by the external storage device’s speed. Microsoft believes that the default “Quick Removal” is sufficient for most people who want to avoid data loss; as a result, this policy automatically applies to a USB flash drive. After all, you have the option of switching between Better Performance and Quick Removal; you can wisely choose either.
How to Optimize USB Storage for Better Performance on Windows 11/10?
If you have more than one external drive, you must apply the Better Performance policy to each one separately, as previously stated. When you connect the same USB drive to your PC again after applying the policy, Windows will remember for the next time. As a result, if you change this option for one USB flash drive, it will not apply to another. If you plug the same USB flash drive into a different PC, you’ll have to re-configure this policy.
- Plug your USB flash drive into your Windows 11/10 computer.
- Press the Windows + R keys together on the keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
- To open the Disk Management tool, type diskmgmt.msc in the Run box and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
- Locate and right-click the USB flash drive entry at the bottom of the Disk Management window. Choose Properties from the drop-down menu.
- Go to the Policies tab in the USB Device Properties dialog box and select the Better performance option.
- When you’re finished, click the OK button.
If you change your mind and want to use the default policy Quick Removal, repeat the steps above and choose the same option in step 5.