Most people and including me in the past would just unplug it. Then I read an article in a computer magazine. The author really made a good point on how to properly eject those devices. Always click the Green “Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media” icon in the bottom right tray. The reason for removing your devices this way is so on an External Hard drive it allows the actuator arm and Head to park itself avoiding damage. If you just unplug the unit without clicking the icon there’s a chance the head will not get parked thus causing possible damage allowing the head to come into contact with the platters. This can cause corruption and bad sectors to appear on the hard drive. I worked with a lady a couple weeks ago who had her External Hard drive taken out before she could click the safe to remove icon. It was bad news for her. She lost just about everything on the External hard drive due to the heads not being parked in the right position and the entire hard drive became corrupt. Another reason for clicking the safe to eject icon is maybe your device has not finished uploading/downloading the data. If you just pulled out the device and it was still uploading/downloading then you won’t know for sure if everything transferred or not. (I have seen this happen) People thought the data they were copying was all good to go, but then when they looked for it and it was nowhere to be found on the drive. “Puff” the data went to electrically heaven and was nowhere to be found. Now I always click the icon before removing my devices. I have seen it more often now where I get a message saying the device cannot be stopped right now because it is still doing something with my data. If I had just unplugged it I would have lost my data. This also goes for Thumb drives (Flash Drives) Always use the Eject icon before removing.