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How to Eject a Stuck CD or DVD from an iMac or Apple Macbook Computer - Comprehensive Tips and Tricks to Remove a Disc

Updated on June 19, 2012

I love my iMac. I was an instant fan when my PC gave me the fatal blue screen of death and required a complete operating system installation - AGAIN! For me, the Mac just works. Each and every time. It is as reliable as Old Faithful!

Well, except for the day I could not eject a DVD. I finished watching a movie, hit the Eject button and nothing happened. Weird, I thought. I rebooted the computer and tried it again, but it still failed. I ran to find a paper clip and stick it in the manual eject slot only to find out that there isn't one on the slot-loading iMacs. Urgh!

After some research, I found several ways to manually eject a stuck disk. Listed below is a comprehensive list options using simple techniques - and if those fail, I included a few videos on how folks were able to physically remove the CD.

This is the disk eject button on a Mac.  Look for it in the upper right hand corner of the keyboard.
This is the disk eject button on a Mac. Look for it in the upper right hand corner of the keyboard.

Option 1

Push the Eject Button - Odds are that if you are reading this, you have already tried this one. You can also hold down the eject button for a few seconds to see it that will work.

Many times people simply push the key just like any other key on the keyboard. That will work often, but try to hold it down for one to two seconds first.

Option 3

Right Click the icon on the desktop and choose the Eject option from the menu.

Option 2

Drag the Disk Icon on the screen to the trash can. Sometimes, this will do the trick.

Option 4

Select the Disk Icon on the desktop, hold down the Command key and type the letter "E."

Option 6

Instead of holding down the mouse button during reboot, hold down the eject key. This can work just as well!

Option 5

Turn off the computer. As you are turning the computer back on, hold down the left mouse button. The computer should eject the CD/DVD early in the process.

From the Applications Folder, Choose Utilities.  Then Open Terminal.
From the Applications Folder, Choose Utilities. Then Open Terminal.

Option 7

From the Terminal (look at the picture to the right to see how to open it), type in:

drutil tray eject


And then hit "Return."

From Applications choose Utilities and then Disk Utilities.  Select the Drive (not the disk itself) and choose Eject
From Applications choose Utilities and then Disk Utilities. Select the Drive (not the disk itself) and choose Eject

Option 8

From Disk Utilities, highlight the CD/DVD drive and choose Eject at the top of the screen. It may or may not work if you select the disk instead of the drive itself.

This option works particularly well for disks that your computer doesn't recognize at all.

Click on the picture to the right to see how it works.

Option 9

Use a software program called Disk Eject. It is free, but the author welcomes donations.

Use Tweezers or Cardboard

Physically Ejecting

Well, if all of the previous options failed, you are probably stuck at physically removing the disk.

The next series of techniques require touching the disk itself and any time you do that, you run the risk of scraping it. Of course, it does you no good if the disk is stuck in the computer, right?

The Two-Credit Card Trick

Leverage Using a Screwdriver

Don't use anything but the standard shaped CDs or DVDs in a slot loader.  They may work fine in the traditional tray loader found on Power Macs.
Don't use anything but the standard shaped CDs or DVDs in a slot loader. They may work fine in the traditional tray loader found on Power Macs. | Source

Don't use non-standard disks

Apple Computer recommends that you do not use odd-shaped disks in a slot loading CD/DVD player. It it usually fine to use those disks in a tray-loader, but be wary of the slot-loads on most of the macintosh lineup.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2446?viewlocale=en_US

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