How to: Eject stuck volumes on your Mac

Mac external driveHave you ever had trouble removing a volume from your Mac? A USB, or maybe an external drive that whatever you do, whether it is dragging it to the trash or pressing CMD+click and selecting quit, simply doesn’t want to eject from your Mac. This can be caused by a number of things, one of which maybe that the volume is simply corrupt. There is a little command line that you can use to force eject any volume. First open up your Terminal in Utilities. Then type % hdiutil eject -force device_name with ‘device_name’ being the name of your volume. Consult the df command if you’re not sure about the name. The troublesome volume will automatically be removed from your Mac.

If you’re not so comfortable working with the Terminal, don’t worry, there is a couple of third party application that allow you to eject volumes easily. Semulov, which as you’ll notice is Volumes spelled backwards, shows all your mounted volumes from the menu bar. This is particularly helpful if you tend to have many volumes installed. You can eject them individually or in batch and always have an eye on the ones connected to your Mac. What’s Keeping Me? lets you find and kill programs that are slowing down your Mac or that you simply can’t stop. This applies to volumes. Type the name of the volume in the search bar, select it from the results list, and choose to press either ‘Quit App’ or ‘Kill App’. The first one is normally the most effective at ejecting your volume in one go.

If none of these methods work, you can always open up the Activity Monitor, identify the process tied to your volume, and kill it to eject the volume from your Mac.

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