Quick Tip: Eight Ways to Force Eject a Disc from Your Mac’s Optical Drive

disk-utility-hero-100563378-largeWhile Apple has slowly phased out optical drives from it’s Mac lineup over the years, you might still have a MacBook or desktop Mac with a disc drive. You might also have an external solution with a CD/DVD/Blu-ray drive.

At some point, there’s a chance that a CD, DVD or Blu-Ray disc is going to get stuck in your Mac or external optical drive. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that can be taken to force eject a disc that’s stuck.

First, try one of these three methods:

  • Holding down the eject key
  • Drag the disc icon to your Mac’s trash bin
  • Right click on the disc icon and select eject
  • Press Command > E

Next, try this method:

  • Launch the terminal app and use the following command and then press enter: /usr/bin/drutil eject

If all else fails, you can try these methods:

  • Boot your Mac into single-user Mode. At the prompt enter /usr/bin/drutil eject. To restart the computer enter “reboot” at the prompt without the quotation marks.
  • Hold down your trackpad button (or your left mouse button) and restart your Mac. Hold the button down until the desktop appears. This will trigger the system to eject your disc before OS X begins loading.
  • Shut down the Mac and restart it, then let it sit for 15 minutes. After a short amount of time, the disc may eject itself.

If your disc is still stuck, feel free to contact OWC’s customer support team for further assistance. And if you’re looking to bring optical capabilities back to your workflow, check out OWC’s lineup of optical solutions.

Find more macOS tips and Quick Answers at the Rocket Yard!

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19 Comments

  • what if we insert a dvd that is damaged, I had to disassemble the wholw dvd unit to extract the dvd. These people who build these dvd players are the dumbest people EVER

  • I was cleaning up the thousands of CDs and DVDs that have accumulated over the decades and one got stuck in the external Mac Apple “Superdrive.” I tried all the tricks to eject it, including rebooting. Then the OS wouldn’t even show that the external drive existed. There were lots of suggestions online of how to eject the DVD and I tried most of them — saving the most extreme for last, which involved prying open the housing with a flathead screwdriver.

    My solution was to unplug the drive from the Mac and plug it in to a Windows 7 laptop. The laptop found the correct driver and automatically ejected the disc. I posted this solution to the Mac
    support forum, but they took it down, because “the post was not a technical question.”

    I think the irony of Windows 7 fixing a “Superdrive” was too much for them.

    • This worked for me. Thank you so much for your posting. I tried everything from my Mac but ultimately it was a PC loaded with Windows that ejected my DVD.

  • You’ll have to get Catalina to accept reading CD’s first. Of dozens of CDs Catalina will only accept half of them so far from my external optical drive. Catalina does not read all CD disks.

  • terminal mode worked but the second time I needed to forcibly eject a different disc took a few repeats before it came out. Thanks

  • Disc Icon was not showing up on desktop or anywhere for that matter so no dragging or eject or command eject would work!!! Tried the Restart method while holding down mouse and IT WORKED!! My mouse is a Bluetooth no buttons just held it down towards the left side of it the whole time after I hit restart and sure enough it popped right out!!! Thankkkkkk you!!!!

  • the terminal app automatically ejected the DVD, after none of the other methods helping. i recommend skipping right to the terminal app part.

  • Worked fine holding down the mouse button on restart. Also no OS installed and a Mac install DVD was stuck in drive. Thank you for the info.

  • Just go to “Force Quit” from the Finder menu and select “Relaunch Finder”. That solves the problem 95% of the time for me.