Fix Disk Not Ejected Properly on Mac

Top 11 Ways to Fix ‘Disk Not Ejected Properly’ Keeps Popping Up on Mac 2024

Connecting external devices to your Mac is a routine matter. You may want to plug in an external SSD or even something like a Raspberry Pi for programming. Once you access the drive, the instinct is to unplug the cable connected to the device. And if you do this without ejecting the disc, there is a high chance that the 'Disc not ejected properly' error will pop up on your Mac.

The "disk not ejected properly" message usually appears when an external drive is disconnected from the computer without safely ejecting it. However, some users have reported problems with drives randomly ejecting after updating macOS. Most reports indicate that the problem occurs after the computer goes to sleep.

There are a few other examples that can cause random ejection of an external drive:

Faulty external drive cable

Faulty external desktop drive power supply

Faulty computer USB or Thunderbolt port

External drive is failing

Issues related to macOS updates or the update process

Quick Fix 

Test the external drive using a different cable

Try a different power supply (external desktop drive)

Connect to a different USB or Thunderbolt port on your computer

Diagnose your external drive by running First Aid. Click here for instructions

Reset NVRA or PRAM on your Mac

In fact, the unnecessary error message is so annoying that it can hinder the use of your computer. Now, that's definitely not what you want when working on something important. However (d) shall not be excluded. We are going to list several solutions if your Mac says 'Disk not ejected properly'.

Let's start with why the error occurs followed by the most powerful solutions and some other solutions you can try if the popular ones don't work.

Why does the 'Disk not ejected correctly' error occur?

After using an external device with your Mac, the best practice is to eject the device before disconnecting it. This prevents any data loss or damage to the external device. So, macOS warns you when you disconnect a device without ejecting it.

As pointed out by some users on StackExchange, the error tends to recur primarily for non-storage devices. Sometimes, you may face problems accessing an open app or program connected device.

Regardless of the source of the problem, this guide will help you stop the "Disk not properly ejected" message popping up repeatedly.

How to fix a disc not ejected on your Mac

1. Plug the device into a different port

Sometimes, a USB port on your Mac can stop working for various reasons. Whether it's a hardware fault with the port or something to do with an external device fried in the port, the possibilities are many. To rule out a problem with a specific USB port, try connecting your device to a different port on your Mac.

If the port is faulty, connecting your device to a different port should clear the error.

2. Check the cable connecting to the device

If your port is fine, the next thing to check is the cable connecting to the device. If you plug in a hard drive or an SSD, chances are the cable is faulty. Switch to a new cable and check if the connection is stable.


An unstable connection due to a faulty cable can also cause slow transfer speeds. If your device is connected via a USB-C cable, try using your Mac's charging cable to connect the device.

3. Change the power saving settings

This is a popular method for solving any problems with external devices disconnecting from your Mac. Here's how to change the power settings.

Step 1: Click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of the app. Select System Settings (or System Preferences).

Step 2: Navigate to the Display section in the left pane.

Step 3: Click on the Advanced button. You can find it in the bottom-right corner.

Step 4: Turn off the toggle next to 'Prevent automatic sleep on power adapter when display is off'.

4. Run Disk Utility First Aid

macOS has a built-in tool to identify and fix potential problems with an attached drive. Here's how you can run the diagnostic tool to use the first aid feature.

Step 1: Open Finder on your Mac. Click the Go button above the menu bar.

Step 2: Select the Utilities option.

Step 3: Double click on Disk Utility. This will launch the app.

Step 4: Select the connected drive using the left pane. Then, click the First Aid button on the toolbar.

5. Make sure your Mac has enough battery

Your Mac supplies power to any external device plugged into it through the USB port. So, to provide this power, your computer first needs enough battery power. And your Mac can't power other USB devices if it's running low on battery.

Connect your Mac to a power outlet if the battery is very low, and then try connecting an external device It should ideally stop coming out.

6. Prevent your Mac from going to sleep

Whenever your Mac goes to sleep, external devices may be disconnected. And the next time you launch it, you will see the output message. So, prevent your Mac from going to sleep if you're transferring files or you want your external devices to stay connected.

7. Connect your device without a dongle

With legacy ports gone on recent Macs, using a dongle has become a necessity. But, there could also be an issue related to your accessory compatibility with the dongle. Some external accessories or drives may not work well with an external dongle and connect directly to your Mac's USB-C port.

If your accessory supports a connection via USB-C port, try connecting directly without a dongle or adapter. This will ensure that your connection will not be interrupted and the disk will not be ejected repeatedly.

8. Reset the SMC

The System Management Controller (SMC) is responsible for activities related to power, fans, batteries and other hardware such as ports. If you find that some of the above-mentioned components of your MacBook are not working properly, resetting the SMC can help bring them back to normal.

Follow the steps below to accomplish this

Step 1: Turn off your MacBook and wait for about 10 seconds.

Step 2: Next, simultaneously tap and hold the Shift key (on the right side of your keyboard) + Option key (on the left side of your keyboard) + Control key (on the left side of your keyboard). Hold them for 7 seconds.

Step 3: Without releasing the three keys (in step #2), tap and hold the Power button.

Hold these four keys (Right Shift + Option + Control + Power Button) for about 7 seconds. Your Mac will turn on for a few seconds and shut down again in the process.

Step 4: Finally, release the four keys after 7 seconds and tap on the Power button.

9. Reset the NVRAM

If resetting the SMC doesn't work, resetting the NVRAM may resolve the issue with devices disconnecting from the USB-C port. Here's how to reset non-volatile random-access memory (NVRAM) or parameter random-access memory (PRAM) to factory defaults.

Note: You cannot reset PRAM on M-series Macs. This only applies to Intel-based Macs.

Step 1: Shut down your Mac.

Step 2: Press the Power button and immediately hold Option + Command + P + R on your keyboard. Do not release them or you will have to repeat the procedure.

Step 3: Hold down the four (4) buttons for about 15 seconds until your Mac restarts.

Step 4: Release the keys when the Apple logo appears.

10. Format the drive

If you're having trouble with an external hard disk or SSD behaving erratically, you can format the drive and see if the issue persists. Formatting is also recommended if you are trying to use a drive that uses an unsupported partition.

macOS lets you format a drive using your Mac's Disk Utility. Once formatted, try to connect the device again to see if the eject disk error still pops up

11. Update to the latest version of macOS

Some macOS versions may have strange problems. It's possible that the current version of macOS you're using is causing problems with the 'disk not ejected correctly' error. So, update your Mac to the latest version of macOS to iron out any software bugs Here's how to do it.

Step 1: Click on the Apple logo in the top-left part of your screen. Select System Settings or System Preferences, depending on your version of macOS.

Step 2: Navigate to the General section.

Step 3: Go to the Software Update tab. Your Mac will now search for updates to install

If there is an available update, press the Update button and wait for it to install.

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