The slot-loading optical disc drives in MacBooks, iMacs, and Mac Minis are definitely more elegant than those flimsy trays on most computers. The part that’s not so elegant is when a stubborn CD or DVD gets stuck!
Over the years, a ton of different methods for ejecting stuck discs have been passed around the Apple community. While some approaches appear to work more reliably than others, there is no single troubleshooting technique that has been proven to work for everyone. In an effort to be as comprehensive and help as many people as possible, I’m throwing in all of the strategies I’ve come across related to this topic. If you’re battling a CD or DVD that refuses to pop out, hopefully you find at least one does the trick!
The standard stuff
For the sake of being complete, let’s start out simple. When a disc won’t eject from your Mac, try the following: 1.) Press and hold the Eject key, 2.) Right-click on the disc icon on the Desktop and select “Eject” from the menu, 3.) Drag the disc icon to the Trash. No luck? Read on for more tips!
Launch Disk Utility (Applications > Utilities) and select the troublesome CD or DVD in the sidebar. Click the Eject button at the top of the window.
Launch Terminal (Applications > Utilities) and copy the following command: drutil eject
Restart your Mac and hold down the left mouse button (or trackpad if you have a laptop) as it boots up. Keep pressing it until the login screen or desktop displays.
Tilt and shake
Pick up your Mac laptop and tilt it so the CD/DVD drive is pointing downwards. Restart and hold the Eject key down while gently shaking the computer up and down.
The self-fixing Mac
Shut down your Mac, turn it back on, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Make sure the power cord is plugged in as you do this and the disc just might pop out on its own.
Disrupt the spin
If you listen carefully, you can probably hear your optical drive powering up & down over and over again. As long as the disc spins, it’s not coming out. The first step is to get your hands on a very thin piece of cardboard or even a folded business card (so it’s twice as thick). Now restart your Mac and hold down the mouse/trackpad button as you poke the cardboard inside the SuperDrive slot. The goal is to slip it above the CD or DVD — towards the left side of the drive — and gently jiggle it around to put pressure on the disc. You might have to continue this for up to a minute or so, but it often works when all other methods fail.