From time-to-time, removable media (including CDs & DVDs) can refuse to eject via the normal Mac OS X methods -- pressing the keyboard eject key or F12 as is applicable; using the Command-E keyboard combination; selecting the item in the Finder and clicking the Eject button next to its name; dragging the item to the trash.

A number of methods can be applied to help coax media out of an optical drive in such a situation. Before applying these methods, note that busy discs (either startup discs or discs with an open file) should not be ejected and will not eject using any of the aforementioned standard processes. As such, be patient with a disc that will not eject immediately. Sometimes a disc continues to be identified as busy for several seconds after any contained files are not in use, and waiting a few moments then re-attempting the ejection is successful.

Six easy methods to remove a stuck CD/DVD:
  1. Hold down the mouse button at startup. In some cases holding down a connected mouse button at startup will cause a misbehaving optical drive to eject its media.

    Unfortunately, this method will not work if you are using a Bluetooth keyboard.

    If you are using a portable, see Apple Portables: Tips for inserting discs into the disc drive which includes information about how to eject an optical disc at startup.
  2. Open iTunes and use the eject icon. Depending on your version of iTunes, this icon may be found in the lower right corner of the window or in the Library column on the left.

  3. Use Disk Utility. In Disk Utility, simply select the volume you want to unmount and click the Eject icon.

  4. Enabling an Eject menu. You can enable another means of ejecting discs by opening the folder System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras and double-clicking the file "Eject.menu". An eject icon will appear in the menubar that can be used to close and open selected optical drives.

  5. PPC Macs Only! Boot into Open Firmware and eject. Follow the steps listed in: PowerPC-based Macintosh: How to eject a disc when other options don't work.

  6. If the disc is blank, open the Finder. In the sidebar you’ll see a Burn button next to your blank disc. Click on the Burn button. That will bring up the Burn dialog. Now, on the left side of the Burn dialog is the eject button. Click on that.
Before moving on to more difficult or expensive methods, you might try these first as they work about 99% of the time.

For additional information, see these links:
Ejecting a CD or DVD when all else fails
Mac 101: Eject button in the menu bar
Power Mac G4: How to Open the CD/DVD Tray
iMac: If you can't eject a CD or DVD or open the drive tray
Eject a stuck CD/DVD from a MacBook Pro SuperDrive


Written by Pendragon with contributions from alternaut, artie505, cyn, dianne, dkmarsh, jchuzi and joemikeb in How to eject removable media.
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