You are about to transfer some important files from an external drive to your Mac, and suddenly you get the message “Disk Not Ejected Properly” The transfer fails, and you have to start all over again.

disk not ejected properly on mac

If you face this problem frequently on your Mac, it can be very frustrating. In this post, you will learn why your Mac displays the ‘Disk Not Ejected Properly’ message so that you can avoid this problem in the future.

What is “Disk not ejected properly” on Mac?

Disk not ejected properly on a Mac refers to the error message that appears when an external hard drive or USB device is disconnected from the computer without following the proper ejection process. This can lead to data corruption or loss, as well as damage to the hard drive itself. It can also cause performance issues on the computer, such as slow processing speeds and freezes. To avoid these consequences, it is important to always eject disks properly before disconnecting them from the computer.

Why Does My Mac Say Disk Not Ejected Properly and How to Fix It?

There are several reasons why you’d encounter the ‘Disk not ejected properly’ error on macOS. Let’s take a look.

Loose USB Port

A self-explanatory reason for this notification on your Mac could be the loose USB port. Frequent use of USB ports on your Mac can cause wear and tear, resulting in a loose connection. Then, when you connect an external drive to such a port, you keep getting the ‘Disk not ejected properly’ message on your Mac. If you feel that this is the case with your Mac, we recommend that you use a different port on your Mac or contact an authorized service center to have your Mac inspected and fix the problem for good.

Poor hardware quality can also cause the hard drive on your Mac not to eject properly. This problem can be caused by a defective cable or external hard drive enclosure. A damaged NVRAM or PRAM can also cause this problem. Resetting the NVRAM or PRAM can fix the problem without losing any data. More on that later.

Faulty/Incompatible USB Adapter

Many Macs these days have USB-C ports instead of the old USB-A port, and hard drives or SSDs still come with a USB-A connector. As a result, many people use a USB adapter/hub to connect an external drive to their Mac. Since it acts as a medium between your Mac and the external drive, you may also encounter problems with the adapter.

You may wonder if it’s your Mac or your external drive, but the problem lies elsewhere. The USB adapter may be faulty, defective, or incompatible with your Mac. Try using a certified or different adapter; your Mac should not receive a hard drive ejection notification.

Cable Issues (For SSD or HDD Users)

External hard drives or solid state drives (SSDs) are usually connected to your Mac via a cable. Since cables are also prone to physical abuse, they can easily get damaged and be the cause of the hard drive not ejecting properly on your Mac.

If the problem is related to the cable, try using the drive with a different cable on your Mac, and it should work fine.

Aging Hard Drive

Another reason for such a notification on your Mac could be the age of the external drive. Compared to solid-state drives, hard disk drives have moving parts, which makes their lifespan comparatively short.

If you are using an old hard drive with your Mac and wondering why you are getting errors when ejecting the drive, it could be a sign of an aging hard drive. In such cases, we recommend that you back up the contents of the hard drive and switch to a new one to ensure a smoother user experience.

Adjust Hard Disk Sleep Settings on Your Mac

Older Intel Macs (desktops & MacBooks) and the newer Apple Silicon Macs (desktops only) have the option to hibernate an external hard drive when it is not in use for an extended period of time and is plugged in. Your Mac does this to conserve power and extend the life of the hard drive. If the external hard drive is in sleep mode for an extended period of time, your Mac may notify you that you have not ejected the hard drive properly. You can change these hard drive hibernation settings in your Mac’s System Preferences.

Let us take a look at the steps to do so:

  1. Launch System Preferences on your Mac; you can do this from the Spotlight Search on your Mac.
  2. Scroll down and click on the “Energy Saver” option.
  3. On the Energy Saver page, turn on the “Put hard disks to sleep when possible” option. This should help you keep your hard drive from going to sleep.

energy saver option in system settings on mac

Improper Ejection of the Drive

Your Mac may also give you the message ‘Disk not ejected properly’ if you try to pull the drive without clicking Eject or not waiting for the disk to eject fully. To avoid this message, click Eject in the Finder, wait for the disk to eject, and then pull the drive out. If it takes longer than expected to eject the disk, you can also try ejecting a drive on your Mac by force.

To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Finder on your Mac and click the Eject button next to the drive. ejecting a drive using finder
  2. If the disk does not eject, a pop-up window will appear on the screen. Click Force Eject. disk ejection error popup on mac
  3. Click Force Eject again, and the drive will eject successfully. force ejecting a drive on mac

Check the Disk for Errors

If your Mac is experiencing the problem of “disk not ejecting properly,” it’s important to check the disk for errors to avoid data loss. Here’s how you can do this in a few simple steps:

  1. Back up your important data before proceeding to check the disk.
  2. Open Disk Utility by going to Programs > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  3. In the left pane, select the problematic hard drive that is causing the error.
  4. Click the First Aid button and then the Run button to continue.
  5. Wait for First Aid to finish scanning the disk for any errors.
  6. If there are any errors, First Aid will attempt to fix them automatically. If it cannot fix the errors, you may need to ask a professional for help.
  7. Once the scan is complete, safely eject the external drive to prevent the error from occurring again.

By following these steps, you can easily diagnose and fix any errors on your hard drive that are causing the “disk not ejecting properly” problem on your Mac.

Reset SMC on Mac

Follow these steps to reset the System Management Controller (SMC) on a Mac and resolve the “Disk does not eject properly” issue:

  1. Turn off your Mac completely.
  2. Press and hold Ctrl + Option + the left Shift key on your keyboard for about ten seconds.
  3. Turn on your Mac.

Note that SMC is only available on Intel Macs and not on M1 or M2 (Apple Silicon) Macs. If you reset the SMC, you can fix the irregularly appearing warning and other low-level settings on your Mac.

Reset NVRAM on Mac

NVRAM is a small area of memory on a Mac that stores system-related settings. It controls the configuration of peripherals and other important system components.

To reset NVRAM on a Mac, first shut down the computer. Then press and hold the Option + Command + P + R keys for 20 seconds and turn on the Mac. Release the keys when you hear the second startup chime or see the Apple logo appear and disappear twice (on T2-based Macs).

It is important that you perform each step carefully to avoid damaging the system. Resetting the NVRAM can fix the problem of the disk not ejecting properly on a Mac, as a damaged NVRAM or PRAM can cause this error.

Reformat the external hard drive

If you are facing the “Disk Not Ejected Properly” issue on your Mac, it might indicate that your external hard drive is corrupted. In this case, reformatting the external hard drive using Disk Utility can help resolve the issue. However, reformatting will erase all the data on the drive, so it’s essential to back up your data before proceeding.

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Backup your data from the external hard drive.
  2. Open Disk Utility from Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  3. Select the corrupt external storage drive from the sidebar, then click the Erase tab.
  4. Specify the Name, Format, and Scheme of the storage drive, then click the Erase button.
  5. Choose “GUID Partition Map” from the Scheme pop-up menu.
  6. Select a file system format and enter a name for the drive. The recommended file format is exFAT, which is compatible with both MacOS and Windows.
    reformat disk
  7. If your disk drive offers additional security features, click on Security Options. Select how many times you want to write over the erased data, then click OK.
  8. Finally, click on Erase and select Done.

Potential macOS Bug

macOS is also prone to bugs. If you have taken all precautions and still get disk eject errors on your Mac, it is likely that macOS has a bug. Usually, Apple fixes a bug with a new update. In such cases, you should try updating your Mac.

Let us take a look at the simple steps to follow:

  1. Open your Mac’s System Preferences and click General.system settings on mac
  2. Now click on Software Update.general system settings on mac
  3. Let your Mac check for updates. If updates are available, download and install them on your update settings on mac

Preventing Disk Ejection Errors on Mac

It’s annoying when you get an error message to eject the disk while you’re trying to work on your Mac in peace. Most of the time, we try to repair the external hard drive or update macOS.

However, sometimes the reasons are very trivial, and we don’t notice them, such as a broken cable, a loose connector, or an incompatible USB adapter. It’s always better to check your Mac and its accessories, as this can help you find the cause of a problem with your Mac before bringing it to Apple Care.

We hope the above reasons and solutions will help you fix the disk ejection problem on your Mac.

FAQs about “Disk Not Ejected Properly” on Mac

loader image

If you receive the "Disk Not Ejected Properly" error message on your Mac, it is important to fix the error immediately to avoid possible data loss. Ignoring this error can cause the disk read/write process to stop abruptly, leaving data on your system. Also, improperly ejecting the external disk may result in the loss of some of your data, which can be frustrating and costly. To prevent this, always use the proper method to eject the disk after use and never disconnect the drive directly. Safely removing the disk will ensure that the data transfer is completed and saved to prevent data loss.

To prevent the "Disk Not Ejected Properly" error on your Mac, follow these simple steps:

  1. Always eject external drives properly: Before you disconnect an external drive from your Mac, you must eject it properly. You can do this by clicking the eject icon next to the drive's name in the Finder sidebar or by holding down the Ctrl key or right-clicking the drive and selecting "Eject" from the menu.
  2. Check the connections: Make sure all cables and connectors are tight and secure. Loose connections may cause the error message to be displayed.
  3. Reset the power saving settings: If the error occurs frequently, try resetting the power saving settings on your Mac. Go to System Preferences > Power Saving and click the "Restore Default Settings" button.
  4. Run First Aid: Use Disk Utility to run First Aid on your external hard drive to check for and fix errors.
  5. Update macOS: Keep your Mac's operating system up to date to ensure it runs smoothly and error-free.

By following these simple steps, you can prevent the "Disk Not Ejected Properly" error message from showing up on your Mac. Remember to always eject external drives properly and maintain your Mac and external drives well.

Failure to properly eject an external hard drive from a Mac can result in potential consequences such as hard drive corruption, file system corruption, partition loss, and data loss. This can be caused by human error, a drive running in the background, logical corruption, or accidental self-ejection due to faulty cables, connectors, or power supply. It is important to practice safe ejection of the drive to avoid these problems and perform First Aid to check and fix any errors on the external hard drive.

Was this article helpful?