How to eject a USB drive from a MacBook

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How to eject a USB drive from a MacBook? USBs offer a great way to store precious memories and larger files that may slow your MacBook down. Like everything with Apple, you will notice it is a smooth, sleek process. On top of that, there is more than one way to eject a USB drive correctly.

Regardless of those people who tell you to just pull your USB drive out, this isn’t recommended. Let’s look at why you should take a moment to discover how to eject USB from Mac properly.

Do I really need to eject a USB drive before removing it?

The simple answer is yes! And we will give you three very good reasons for doing so. You should never force eject external hard drive on Mac.

You may corrupt your data

When you insert a USB there is a massive amount of data transfer. The same can be said for any action you carry out while it is inserted. When you eject a USB first, you are stopping that data transfer and therefore data won’t be corrupted when you take it out.

You can damage the logical file system

A USB has cells that store internal drive data and not ejecting it can destroy these cells. If this happens, you might not be able to access the data that you have saved to your USB.

You can lose data

It’s a bit of a hassle having to try and restore USBs that have been removed without ejecting them. In some cases, you might not even be able to recover the data and you will have lost the file for good.

This might not be the end of the world for music and movies, but it’s pretty heartbreaking for photos and your home videos.

How to eject a USB drive from a MacBook

It’s a personal preference as to which method you choose. Neither is faster or does a better job so really it’s about which is easier for you.


When you right-click on your USB drive from the desktop, a window will open in the same way it does with any other file. The second option will safely eject your USB.

How to eject a USB drive from a MacBook

Quick tip, you can also use this window to rename your USB which is very handy if you have various different ones.

From Finder

Click anywhere on your desktop so that Finder appears in the top left-hand corner. Choose “File” and “New Finder Window”.

How to eject a USB drive from a MacBook

Under “Locations”, you will see all of the USB drives or hard drives that are connected to your MacBook. Choose the name of the one you want to eject and click on the eject button to the right of the name.

How to eject a USB drive from a MacBook

Drag and drop

For those who love to drag and drop, you can select your USB on the desktop and drag it straight into the bin on the right-hand side of your dock.

How to eject a USB drive from a MacBook

Use the shortcut

Make sure your USB is highlighted by clicking on it once. You can either go to “File” and click on Eject “your USB name” or you can press Command + E together.

How to eject a USB drive from a MacBook

How do I know if my USB has been ejected correctly?

If your USB has a light indicator it will flash when you carry out any action. This could be adding or removing files, or inserting and ejecting.

Using either of the four methods above will cause the light to flash and when it stops, you know it is safe to remove it. You will also notice that your USB icon will have disappeared from the desktop and/or the sidebar in your Finder window.

Wrap Up

Learning how to safely remove USB from Mac is incredibly useful and it is the same process for all other hard disks or storage devices you want to connect to your MacBook.

External hard drives and USBs are a great way to store important documents, images, and videos that you don’t want to take up storage space on your Mac.

It only takes seconds to eject a USB drive correctly and safely. Trust us, it will take a lot longer to try and recover data lost by just pulling your USB drive out.