Say Goodbye to Data Loss: How to Eject USB From Mac

This article provides instructions on how to eject USB safely from Mac, preventing data loss and potential damage to the connected device or computer. It is important that users understand these steps to eject a USB device from their Mac computers properly. Knowing these things can help users make informed decisions when connecting and disconnecting external devices from their Mac computers.

How to Eject USB From Mac

Benefits of Safely Removing Your USB

Not only does it help to protect data, but it also ensures that all USB devices are properly disconnected from the system. The eject button located on various types of USBs, such as flash drives and external hard drives, provides this functionality for users when dealing with their digital assets.

Safely ejecting these devices can prevent potential corruption or damage to the device and the files stored within them. It also saves time since having to restart a computer due to improperly ejected media can be quite costly, depending on the circumstances.

Risk of Not Ejecting a USB From a Mac

Failing to properly eject a USB before unplugging it from your Mac could result in significant damage and loss of data. In some cases, this may even render your storage device useless if it has been damaged beyond repair due to improper removal procedures. Additionally, leaving files open after detaching them from your machine can lead to unexpected changes within those documents that can cause further issues.

Steps To Eject a USB From a Mac Without Finder Window

To do so, three simple steps should be followed.

  1. First, the user must open ‘System Information’ in their Utilities folder on their Dock or Applications folder. This will give them a list of all connected devices plugged into the machine.
  2. Then they must locate the specific device they want to remove from this list and select it by clicking on its name.
  3. Finally, once selected, users can click either the Eject button at the top right corner of the System Information window or choose Eject from the context menu, which appears when you right-click on the device’s name.
Properly eject media drives from Mac

Steps To Eject a USB From a Mac Using Finder

Here are the steps to safely remove a USB drive from a Mac using Finder:

  • Locate the USB drive icon on your desktop or in the Finder left sidebar.
  • Click on the USB drive icon to select it.
  • Once the USB drive is selected, go to the Finder menu at the top of the screen.
  • Click on “File” in the menu bar, and then click on “Eject” (or “Eject [USB drive name]”).
  • Wait for a few seconds until the USB drive disappears from the desktop and the Finder sidebar.
  • Once the USB flash drive disappears, unplugging the external device from your Mac is safe.

Trashing a Device to Safely Eject a USB From a Mac

A Mac user can consider the steps below when using this method:

  • Right-click or control-click on any removable media (such as a USB thumb drive) and select ‘Eject’ from the menu options
  • Dragging an external drive’s icon into your Trash will prompt a warning message; click ‘Yes’ if you wish to proceed
  • Clicking on an external volume’s name in Finder may result in an error message; choose ‘Ignore’ if prompted with such
  • Make sure all necessary files are closed prior to proceeding with either ejection method
  • Unplugging without first executing either Finder or Trash ejection method may cause corruption of data stored within the device
Learn about trash method

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know if My USB Drive Is Corrupted?

If the files cannot be opened or are incomplete, abnormalities or an error message appear when attempting to access the media drive, and there may be some form of hardware damage.

Examples of media drives

What Is the Difference Between Trashing a Device and Ejecting a USB From a Mac?

Trashing involves simply deleting the file or folder associated with the device, while ejecting removes its association with the computer’s system.

What Are the Chances of Data Loss or Corruption if I Don’t Eject My USB?

When the computer does not recognize that the device has been safely disconnected, it can continue to write cached files, which may be incomplete and lead to lost data. There could also be an increased likelihood of file fragmentation and data degradation.

What Should I Do if I Am Unable To Eject a USB From a Mac?

If you’re unable to eject a USB from a Mac, it’s important to avoid simply pulling the drive out as this can cause damage and data loss. Instead, follow these steps:

Close any open files or applications that may be using the USB drive.

Click on the USB drive icon on your desktop and drag it to the trash bin icon in the dock.

Wait for the “Eject” icon to appear next to the USB drive icon, and then click on it to safely eject the USB drive.


An external drive

Understanding the process of ejecting USB drives from a Mac is important to ensure that any stored data remains safe and secure. By trashing a device, all saved data will be lost, potentially leading to costly repairs or replacements. The chances of data loss or corruption can also increase if a user fails to eject their USB drive properly. Therefore, users should be familiar with disconnecting their external drives before proceeding safely.

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