What's hot-swappable or can be unplugged while computer is on?

Updated: 04/02/2019 by Computer Hope
Plugging a plug into a computer

A hot-swappable device is hardware that can be safely connected and disconnected while the computer is powered on and running. In this article, we'll look at which components in a computer are hot-swappable, and how you can use them.


Always consult your computer's documentation. Never disconnect a powered component unless you're sure it's hot-swappable.

What can be plugged-in or unplugged while the computer is on?


Although the interface may be hot-swappable, some devices such as disk drives may need to be shut down before they are hot-swapped.

What should not be disconnected while the computer is on?


Disconnecting a device that is not hot-swappable while the computer is on causes the device to stop working and can also cause physical hardware damage.