How dangerous is unplugging a USB device without ejecting it?

Unplugging a USB device without ejecting it from your computer can be a scary concept. Many of us know the frightening warning icon that pops up on an iPod when you plug it into your computer. Does the danger associated with preemptively unplugging an iPod pertain to all USB devices?

Most of us have taken the risk of removing the device without taking the proper steps. And for many of us, the device came out unaffected. But what are the other possible outcomes?

One of two things may happen if you remove the device before ejecting it:

  1. Nothing. Your data will remain unchanged and you will cause no harm to the USB device or to the computer
  2. The device can become corrupted, along with all its contents. This is sometimes reparable, but can be incredibly frustrating nonetheless

Although there is a great possibility that you won’t do any damage by preemptively unplugging the device, it’s generally not worth the risk. The inconvenience of losing your data is far greater than the convenience of removing a mechanism before ejecting it.

If you’d like some help ejecting your gadgets quickly and easily take a look at this article.