The Right Way to Remove an External USB Storage Drive From a Mac – How to

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Dec 2, 2016
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Here’s how you can safely remove an external USB storage drive or SD card from your Mac the right way.

Don’t Yank That External Drive From Your Mac, Eject it Safely Every Single Time

If you are always in a rush then you have probably developed the wonderful habit of yanking a USB drive or SD card straight out from your Mac’s USB port without properly ejecting it using macOS. While this may not cause any ‘obvious’ harm to your external storage medium in a lot of cases, but you never know when your negligence might cost you quite a bit of disappointment. So, the next time you are in a rush, take out 5 seconds to properly eject that USB drive or SD card from your Mac by following one of two ways that are available to the user by default.

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Method 1 – Right Click & Eject

This is the simplest method you can follow. Simply right click on the drive on your desktop and click on the Eject button. If your USB drive or SD card is in use, macOS will inform you about it. If the drive disappears after clicking Eject, you can safely remove it from your computer as well.

Simple wasn’t it?

Method 2 – Drag & Drop to Trash

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Click and hold on the storage icon on the desktop and drag it to the Trash icon in the Dock. You’ll notice Trash has transformed into an Eject icon once you do that. And no, this will not delete anything off your drive. Until or unless you are dragging individual files on Trash. This method will simply eject the drive so you can remove it safely from the USB port.

Wrap Up

It’s always a good idea to safely eject a USB drive or an SD card regardless you are using a Mac, PC, dishwasher, etc. At the end of the day you might not see a giant hole in your drive or anything, but losing or damaging a few files just because you were in a hurry is simply not worth it in any way.

It literally doesn’t take more than 5 seconds to follow either one of the two methods outlined above. The first one is my personal favorite though, since you don’t have to slide your mouse on the table like a snow sledge just to remove a USB drive. But obviously, the final choice which method suits you best is yours.

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