Unplugging a USB device without ejecting it from your computer can be a scary concept. The majority of us know the alarming 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 unscathed. But what are the other potential outcomes?

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

  1. Nothing. Your data will remain undamaged 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 very frustrating nonetheless

Although many people can just unplug their devices without inflicting any damage, it is still best to eject it first to avoid the inconvenience of lost data that is always a possible consequence.

For a guide to quickly and easily ejecting your contraptions check out this article.