Fix “The disk wasn’t ejected because one or more programs may be using it” on macOS

If you’ve ever plugged in an external hard drive or memory stick only to find that it won’t eject properly, it’s not your fault. This problem happens to many Mac users and can be fixed with a simple Force Quit command.

The disk wasn’t ejected because one or more programs may be using it

If your Mac displays this error, it means that one or more programs may be using the disk.

You can try to close any programs on your Mac that might be open at this time by clicking on their respective icons in your dock and selecting “Quit” from their application menus. Then restart your computer and try again.

For most people, the disk isn’t actually in use. You might have an app open that used it earlier, or a background process might be accessing it for some administrative reason like Time Machine backup or Spotlight indexing.

Step 1: Force Eject

When you get this error message, you can try to close it entirely by clicking on the “Force Eject…” option.

If that still doesn’t work, we will move on to the next step.

Step 2: Force Quit the App

On your macOS, open the Force Quit window. This is where you can force close any running applications on your Mac computer.

To force your Mac to eject the disk:

  1. Open Activity Monitor > Look for Finder.
  2. Force quit Finder.
  3. Open Finder again and eject your disk.

Here’s a shortcut for Force Quit: Option + Command + Escape (press all buttons simultaneously).

With the tips above, you should be able to fix the “The disk wasn’t ejected because one or more programs may be using it” error message on your Mac. If you still have problems ejecting a disk, then it’s time to contact Apple Support.

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