How to Eject a CD From Your Mac

This minHour teaches you how to eject a CD from your Mac, as well as how to remove a CD from an unresponsive CD drive. While the last few generations of Mac don't have CD drives, older Macs do, and CDs used in these Macs can sometimes get stuck or become unresponsive to the "Eject" key.

Ejecting Normally

Press your Mac’s ⏏ Eject button.

This key is in the top-right corner of your Mac’s keyboard. If the CD tray/slot is working correctly, the disk should slide right out.

  • The disk may take a few seconds to eject if you were using it immediately before pressing the Eject button.
  • If you’re attempting to eject from an external disk drive instead, press and hold the key until the disk pops out. Most external disk drives also have a physical button that you can press.
  • Some disk drives have a small pinhole in the front. You can insert a small paperclip or similar object into this hole and push to open manually the CD tray.

Press ⌘ Command and E together.

This keyboard shortcut will force your CD to eject if the key isn’t working but the CD drive is undamaged.

Use the Finder.

Open the Finder—which resembles a blue, face-shaped icon in your Mac’s Dock—then do the following:

  • Find the disk’s name under “Devices” on the left side of the window.
  • Click the “Eject” triangle icon to the right of the disk’s name.

Drag the disk icon into the trash.

Locate the disk icon on your computer’s desktop, click and drag it onto the Trash Can in the lower-right corner of the screen, and release the disk icon. This should prompt the CD to eject from your Mac.

Eject the disc with iTunes.

To do so:

  • Open iTunes
  • Click Controls in the upper-left side of the screen.
  • Click Eject Disc or Eject [Name of Disk] at the bottom of the drop-down menu.

Ejecting a Stuck Disk

Close any open apps.

Some CD drives—especially external ones—won’t respond to ejection commands if the CD is currently being used by an app. You can keep web browsers open, but make sure things like iTunes, media players, video games, and any other programs that might be using the disk are shut down.

Tilt your Mac while ejecting the disk.

Angle the disk slot side of the Mac downward, then use one of the disk ejection techniques that you’d use for a working disk. Sometimes mechanical parts that drive the CD ejection can become weakened over time; gravity may provide the push you need to release the CD.

Restart your Mac

This will usually prompt your Mac to force the CD to eject upon starting back up.

  • If you use a traditional mouse with your Mac, make sure you’re holding down the left mouse button.

Use Disk Utility to open the CD tray.

Open Spotlight by clicking the magnifying glass icon, type disk utility into Spotlight, and click to open Disk Utility, then do the following:

  • Click your disk’s name in the left-hand side of the window.
  • Click Eject at the top of the window.

Use a Terminal command.

Click Spotlight, type in terminal, and click to open Terminal. Type drutil eject into Terminal and press ⏎ Return to force the CD drive open.

  • If this command doesn’t work, try typing in drutil tray eject instead.

Retry the above methods after giving your computer a break.

Shut down your computer for as long as possible (at least 10 minutes), then turn it back on and work through the above methods again to see if any of them work.

Take your computer to a professional.

If none of the above methods work, it’s most likely either because your CD drive itself no longer works, or because the CD in the CD drive is physically stuck. Take your computer to a computer repair store or an Apple store and allow a professional to physically remove the disc rather than attempting to do so yourself.


  • If you’re using an external CD drive with your Mac, you can remove a stuck CD by opening the CD drive’s casing, finding the pinhole, and inserting a small object (e.g., a bent paperclip) into it until the CD slides out. The only way that this won’t work is if the CD itself is jammed, at which point you’ll either have to dismantle the CD drive yourself or take the drive into a professional.


  • Macs no longer come with CD drives, which means that they don’t come with Eject buttons either. You can still use the Finder, keyboard shortcuts, iTunes, or disk icon methods to eject a CD from an external drive, however.

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