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How to Eject USB from Mac Safely in 6 Ways

Recklessly ejecting a USB drive from Mac will lead to data loss or corruption. In the instance of abrupt ejection of USB, Mac may be accessing files from the USB tethered drive or conversely Mac may be writing data on to the USB drive. The danger of unsafe ejection of USB from tethered Mac range from data corruption, data loss, destruction of the USB logical drives and incomplete data transfers. Usually, whenever you eject a USB drive inappropriately, Mac will display a warning that the “Disk Not Ejected Properly”. Keep reading to know the assorted Methods on how to Eject USB from your Mac computer.

There are different methods that one can use to eject a USB from Mac. Below, we have discussed some of them:

1. Using Finder to Eject USB from MAC

Among other methods, you can use a finder to eject USB from Mac. Follow the steps below to get it done:

Step 1: Launch the Finder utility

Finder utility

Step 2: Locate the USB drive you want to eject on the left side of the Devices tab

Step 3: When you’re certain of the USB to eject, click on the Eject icon

Eject icon

Step 4: Wait for a few seconds, and MAC will pop up a success message.

Step 5: You may now safely eject the USB drive from MAC, for it will not be tethered anymore.

2. Eject USB from MAC using the eject option

Whenever a USB drive is connected to Mac, it automatically appears on the desktop. This method will use the desktop USB icon to eject the USB from Mac safely.

Step 1: On the desktop icon that shows up when a USB is connected to Mac,

USB is connected

Step 2: Right-click on the icon

Step 3: In the dropdown menu that shows, scroll down till you see the label Eject.

Step 4: Confirm the name of the drive to eject

Step 5: And click on the Eject drive option

Ejectdrive option

Step 6: After a few seconds, the USB drive will be safely ejected from your Mac

3. Eject USB from Mac using the drag and drop option

From the desktop icon that shows when a USB is tethered to Mac, it can be dragged and dropped into the Trash can. This will, after a few seconds, safely eject the connected USB drive from Mac. The following steps will help accomplish ejection of the USB drive,

Step 1: On the desktop icon denoting the connected USB


Step 2: Hover over it and hold it down by left clicking and holding.

Step 3: After holding, you can drag the desktop icon across the desktop screen.

Step 4: On dragging the USB desktop icon across the screen, the Trash can icon turns into an Eject button


Step 5: Drag the icon to the Eject icon and drop it by releasing the left

Step 6: This will trigger an Ejection of the USB drive

Step 7: After a few seconds Mac will prompt you to safely eject the USB drive upon which the USB can be ejected.

4. Eject USB from Mac via files tab

You can also eject USB from Mac via the files tab. Here is how to get it done in a few easy steps:

Step 1: Launch the Finder utility

Step 2: On the top horizontal tabs, locate the tab labeled Files and click on it

Step 3: Upon clicking on the Files tab, a drop-down menu will appear.

Step 4: Hover the pointer down the options and locate the Eject option

locate the Ejectoption

Step 5: Click on the eject option conjugating with your USB name. That is, EjectUSB name.

Step 6: This will eliminate the risk of ejecting a different USB drive.

Step 7: Wait for a few seconds, and you will be prompted that the USB has been safely ejected.

5. Eject USB from Mac using command

This option utilizes the “Command + E” shortcut to eject a connected USB drive from Mac safely.

Step 1: Locate the USB volume label on the desktop

Step 2: Select the volume by left-clicking on it just once

Select the volume


Step 3: After the USB drive is selected, click on the Mac shortcut option “Command + E” achieved by holding down the command button followed by a strike of the letter E on the keyboard.

strike of letter E on the keyboard

Step 4: This will inform Mac that you want to eject the selected USB drive

Step 5: Wait for a few seconds, and the USB drive will be ejected from Mac.

6. Eject USB from Mac using terminal

This method should only be used in case the methods above fail to eject the USB drive from Mac safely. Entering a command line in the terminal window will also do the work of ejecting a USB by following the steps below;

Step 1: At the top of your screen, click on Go

Step 2: From the dropdown menu, select Utilities

Step 3: This will open a new window with all Mac utilities

Step 4: Locate the terminal utility and double-click it to open.

Step 5: On opening the terminal window, type in the command, “drutil tray eject”. Or copy and paste this command to the terminal window.

Step 6: Hit the Return button to run the command.

Step 7: Mac should automatically eject the USB drive.

This method usually works when only one USB drive is connected to Mac. Otherwise, the following commands should eject a specific USB drive from Mac;

Step 1: In the Terminal window, enter the command “drutil list” and press Return.

Step 2: A list of all connected devices will be displayed.

Step 3: Carefully locate and identify the USB drive you want to eject number, for example, number 1, 2, or 3.

Step 4: Type the command “drutil tray eject (number)” to eject the specific USB drive. For example, if the USB is number 4, type in the command window, “drutil tray eject 4”

Step 5: This will automatically eject the tethered USB drive from your Mac.


Q. How do I eject a USB from a Mac without an icon?

You can use Command E to eject a USB from a Mac without an icon. Alternatively, to eject it safely, launch Finder, and you will see the drive appears in “the Devices list”. Proceed on to tap on the eject button on the right to safely remove it. Wait, till the drive icon vanishes from the sidebar which signals it is safe to unplug from the computer.

Q. Why won't my USB show up on my Mac?

Your USB may not show up on your Mac if it is not well-connected to the system. When you insert the USB and get no notification, your Mac, may not be scanning the USB. The USB may not show on your Mac because of port-related issues, USB formatting issues, hard drive issues, or operating system issues.

Q. Does mac support USB3.0?

All the Mac Models after 2012, have USB 3.0 ports. Therefore, if your model is among those, then your Mac computer supports USB 3.0. However, there is an exception for the 2015 MacBook which uses USB 3.1 Gen 1 and USB-C connector.

However, no Mac models have dedicated USB 2 ports because Apple created its version of that. You can use the USB 3 cabling to get USB 3 performance.


Usually, if an attempt to eject a USB drive from Mac fails, an application or user is still reading or writing to the drive, thus an error message. Ensure all apps such as music that may be reading the drive are closed before attempting to eject. Always ensure to safely eject the USB to avoid data loss and lengthen the life span of the USB drive. With that said, we come to the end of this post. I hope you found it exceedingly useful.