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How to restore the safely remove hardware functionality\icon
Michelle writes in with a hardware question
Question: The "safely remove hardware button" is missing. How do I safely remove a flash drive?
Answer: I would begin by checking your past items under your notification settings of the system tray section of your task bar. Right click on a blank spot of the task bar and choose Properties. Then on the Taskbar tab at the bottom make sure Hide inactive icons is checked and then click on the Customize button. Look under Past Items and if you have Safely Remove Hardware listed there then click on it and choose Always show.
Keep in mind that it may be as simple as the Safely Remove Hardware icon was hidden because you were using the Hide inactive icons option and you simply need to click the arrow next to the system tray to show all the hidden icons.
Another option is to make your own shortcut for the Safely Remove Hardware icon. Right click your desktop and choose New then Shortcut. In the Type the location for this item box copy and paste in the following text.
C:\WINDOWS\system32\rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL hotplug.dll
For the name you can type in Safely Remove Hardware and click Finish. You can also right click the new shortcut and choose Properties and then click the Change Icon button to give the icon a different picture.
Sometimes you can click on Start and then Run and type in the same command and it will fix the original problem of the Safely Remove Hardware icon not being in the system tray by itself.