HomeHow toHow to Optimize USB Storage for Better Performance on Windows 11/10?

How to Optimize USB Storage for Better Performance on Windows 11/10?

Enhancing USB Performance on Windows 11/10: A Guide to Optimizing Storage Devices.

Optimizing USB storage devices can significantly enhance data transfer speeds and the overall responsiveness of your system when accessing files. While Windows has traditionally offered optimization options for better performance, a notable change took place with the Windows update of October 10, 2018. From this point forward, Microsoft shifted its default optimization for external storage devices from “Better performance” to “Fast removal.” This decision was primarily to ensure the safe ejection of devices without data corruption. However, for those who crave the best speed and performance out of their USB storage, there’s still a way. This risewindows article will guide you through the steps to achieve better USB performance on your Windows 11/10 device.

Better Performance and Quick Removal on Windows 11/10

With the 2018 Windows update, Microsoft pivoted from optimizing external storage devices on Windows 11/10 for “Enhanced Performance” to prioritizing their “Quick Removal.” In the realms of Windows 11/10, Microsoft offers two distinct policies for USB-connected external storage devices: be it a USB flash drive or an external HDD. Each device possesses unique policy configurations, allowing users to assign diverse policies to individual devices.

For example, you could designate a long-duration power policy to USB-A while assigning a short-term policy to USB-B. As of the October 10, 2018 Update, Windows 10 and 11 have adopted the “Fast Erase Policy.” When a USB drive is connected, and data is written, with the fast erase policy activated, Windows promptly writes the data.

This strategy ensures users can disconnect a drive without the need for the “Safely Remove Hardware” option, especially when an application is writing to your USB in the backdrop. While this feature minimizes data corruption risks, especially if you’re accustomed to removing storage devices before unplugging, it might decelerate other running applications.

Contrarily, the “Better Performance” policy doesn’t hinder your applications. Under this policy, Windows caches write tasks, allowing apps to function as though the data has already been saved, executing the write task later. However, this approach carries a downside – potential data loss. One might assume data is secured and detach the device, only to find it wasn’t stored, leading to file corruption. It’s worth noting Microsoft continues to maintain the “Safely Remove Hardware” option.

Given that Microsoft deems the default “Quick Removal” suitable for the majority aiming to circumvent data loss, this policy is the standard for USB flash drives. Still, the choice between “Better Performance” and “Quick Removal” remains at users’ discretion, emphasizing informed decision-making.

How to Optimize USB Storage for Better Performance on Windows 11/10?

For those using multiple external drives, it’s crucial to understand that the “Better Performance” policy must be individually set for each drive. Notably, once you configure a specific policy for a USB drive, Windows retains this preference for subsequent connections of the same device. Thus, altering the setting on one USB flash drive won’t automatically apply it to another. Yet, a noteworthy point is that if you connect the same USB drive to a different computer, the policy would need reconfiguration.

Step 1. First, connect your USB flash drive to a Windows 11/10 PC.

Step 2. Now, bring up the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows + R keys together from the keyboard.

Step 3. Then, type diskmgmt. msc in the Run box and press the Enter key from the keyboard to launch the Disk Management tool.

Step 4. Next, look for the USB flash drive entry at the bottom of the Disk Management window and right-click it. Select Properties from the available options.

Step 5. After that, in the USB Device Properties dialog box, navigate to the Policies tab and select the Better performance option.

Step 6. Lastly, click the OK button.

If you want to change and apply the default policy Quick Removal, repeat the above steps in step 5 and select the same.

Also Read: How to Access Computer Management on Windows 11?


Optimizing your USB storage devices on Windows 11/10 can be a balance between achieving faster data transfer speeds and ensuring the safety of your data. The October 10, 2018 update from Microsoft shifted the default optimization policy to favor safe device ejections with “Quick Removal” rather than “Better Performance.” However, for users who prioritize speed, there’s an option to switch back to the “Better Performance” policy. This policy leverages data caching, potentially increasing performance, but also comes with the caveat of potential data loss if a device is prematurely ejected. It’s essential to make informed decisions based on your usage patterns and requirements.


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