Force-ejecting a stuck CD or DVD on a Mac

Yesterday, I was trying to eject a CD from my MacBook but it wasn’t playing ball. There doesn’t appear to be a hole to force-eject the disk and the media eject key wasn’t doing anything. Neither was there an icon to drag to the trash so, according to Apple’s advice, I needed to reboot the computer.

Er… no… this is 2011 – reboots should be a last resort (even my Windows PC only get rebooted to apply updates once a month). Thankfully MacRumors has a much more extensive list of solutions to force-eject stuck CDs/DVDs.

drutil tray eject did the trick for me although why Apple can’t direct people to the command line in their own advice is anybody’s guess…

2 thoughts on “Force-ejecting a stuck CD or DVD on a Mac


  1. I think they don’t like to point their users towards CLI because they’re worried how it will reflect on their “image”. (I know that sentence doesn’t make sense, stay with me…) One of the core things in Apple’s “ethos” is that their products are dead easy to use. Therefore, on some of their support pages they don’t go into the details of (theoretically) technical fixes because (they believe) this reflects badly on their products. I used to be a Mac user and found this kind of thing all the time with the official support! Luckily, I come from a Linux background, so forums are my natural habitat for help :)

    Obviously just a view on where this odd problem has come from! If it isn’t that, then I have no idea why Apple are holding back…


  2. @Mark, I think you’re exactly right – Apple’s ethos is one of simplicity over functionality. Unfortunately I don’t think that’s always wise: if a user has got as far as an Apple support forum, then they could do with an option (even if it comes with a health warning, like Windows registry hacks do in the Microsoft knowledge base). Time and time again I find myself searching for something in OS X, only to find that it’s hidden in the name of “simplicity”.

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