Removing a stuck CD/DVD from a MacBook

While creating my mom's new website a video DVD with a self-printed paper cover got stuck in my MacBooks internal drive.

When pressing the eject button (usually mapped on the F12 key), the disc is moved a tiny bit and pulled back inside immediately afterwards. You can probably see only a very tiny bit if it, but that part can't be caught by regular tweezers or other tools available in a typical household.
I also unsuccessfully tried some tips for removing a stuck DVD floating around the web.

The solution is quite simple:
Try to use the shutter of an old 3,5" floppy disc and bend both ends of the shutter slightly outwards, so that the disc can easily slip between.

Now you have a tool that is thin enough to go a bit deeper into you Mac's slot-in drive. Press the eject button and try to catch a tiny part of the disc with your newly build tool. You should have a fairly good grip on the disc and you can start to pull it out – slowly!

It worked and my MacBook's drive hasn't taken any damage.

This can easily ruin your disc or drive. When in doubt contact your local Apple service provider!

Did it work?
Consider donating a hot cup of coffee if this tip saved you from opening your Laptop or even bringing it to your Apple Service provider. Thanks!

A commentator (see below) suggested a method that you should try out before mine:
I tried all of the above tips without success. Then I lifted the macbook so that the smartdrive opening was facing the ground, pressed the eject button and as the drive tried to eject the DVD , I gently shock it up and down to give the DVD a little G-force. The DVD popped out!

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There are 50 Comments

Hi! I have exaclty the same problem but i can't remove it! what exactly did you insert into the cd slot? i didn't really understand. And did you push the eject button to?

Seriously, try turning it to the ground and shaking if while it's trying to eject. I was very skeptical, but was just getting so frustrated that the DVD wouldn't come out that I just shook hard, and it slid right out. I'm so freaking happy.

Well... this was interesting. I read all of the suggestions listed on this thread and what worked for me was to take a regular pair of tweezers Insert on "leg" of the tweezers where the cd is to feel it Pressed eject button Heard cd spin and grind a tad as it met tweezer leg as I tried to gently pry it upwards with the cd (of course, at this point, I didn't care what was on the cd I just wanted it out!) Then, waited for "eject" image to disappear Pressed eject again Held macbook up where cd slot is facing the floor 2 shakes and it popped out! Voila! Yeah!!!!!! No, I would dare put another cd in the slot? I can wait... thumb drives can suffice ;) A big "Thank You" to everyone for their suggestions

Wow!! You are so right. I just did what you said and it slid right out! Now Im so freaking happy!!!! THANKS!

tried to fix it for about a week now and tried shaking it when i saw this, and it came out straight away, thanks

Worked for me this way, actually makes me happy too.

my macbook permanently tried to eject the disk. every 20 seconds or so. but the cd got stuck every time and it didn't get far enough, so i couldn't grab them with my figers or normal pincers. hence I build my own ultra-thin pincers out of the shutter of an old 3,5" disk. however you have to bend the tips of your pincers outwards, otherwise the cd will only touch your and you aren't able to pull it out. wait a sec. i'll sketch it. :)

This worked for me: If you computer keeps trying to eject the CD and give the message that "there was an error in reading the CD", hit "ignore: - then keep the computer on for about 10 minutes - turn your computer upside down and hit the eject but couple times. good luck!

I had this problem the other day and tried everything including the mouse button trick to holding the computer upside down. Taking a flat, thin piece of cardboard paper (from a package of AA batteries), I slid it in the drive above the stuck CD and hit eject. Came right out.

Sliding the cardboard in worked like magic! Thanks for the tip! I had been trying to eject that darn disk for over 2 hours. It came out instantly with the cardboard. Yay!

This worked for me too. My son inserted a disk that was bent in the middle and it got stuck. Took the flat piece of cardboard from a battery pack, as suggested, and gently inserted it in above the disk. I had to work it around, left and right quite a few times. The eject button wasn't working, so I went into systems and selected the cd/dvd icon, which kind of forces the computer to keep trying to eject. While this was going on, I held the computer so that the disk drive was facing the floor. The disk came out and there was no apparent damage to the drive, as I tested it and it worked perfectly. Good advice not to stick anything metal or sharp in the drive! Be patient. If nothing works after this method, bring your macbook to your local apple retailer and they will fix:)

Wow, nice. Finally, a use for all of those floppy disks I've got in a closet somewhere. My current method has been really small tweezers, but this sounds like less of a hassle. Also - nice choice on the music. Dredg is great!

I had a paper stickered DVD stuck in the smartdrive. Sounds weird but the following worked for me. I tried all of the above tips without success. Then I lifted the macbook so that the smartdrive opening was facing the ground, pressed the eject button and as the drive tried to eject the DVD , I gently shock it up and down to give the DVD a little G-force. The DVD popped out!

You are a genius! All of the other options made me tense (which means, I didn't try them) but this worked first try. Thank you so much!!

With all respect .When the disk is stuck in Mac book the eject key is not highlighted in the Disk Utility nor in the file eject or anywhere else press. I CANNOT FOLLOW the above tricks when there is nothing to press

Every MacBook has an eject button on the keyboard. On the far upper right.

This works great. I made the mistake of thinking a mini cd would work in the drive. (Probably a stupid idea to begin with.) The Macbook never thought there was a cd in the drive, thus wouldn't even try to eject the disc. The shakey shakey shakey technique had it out in 30 seconds. Thanks!

Outstanding. Like you I made the mistake of putting a mini CD in the drive. See you are not the only one with stupid ideas. And had exactly the same symptoms. Tried the shake technique, out popped the CD, first shake! Thank you very much, I had visions of having to take it into the local Apple shop to get the CD out. However, there should be a warning with the MacBook to only put standard size CDs in the slot, or did I miss that too?

You are AWESomE! I don't know how you figured this out, but I am indebted. Now, how do I prevent it from happening again?

I used a seam ripper (sewing tool for ripping out stitches). I stuck it in the into the cd slot about a half inch from the center. When I could feel the stuck disk, I stuck the point of the ripper a little ways into the disk and could drag it out a little. Very carefully. Did this a few more times, then could reach the disk with a pair of tweezers. This worked when nothing else had taken care of it.

I found another way, but it might be risky. I used two small rulers, stick it at both sides the left and the right, and slowly (carefully) pushed the ruler in and pushed it out a little. I do not know why, but after that, I took out the ruler, turned on my computer, and my macbook just ejected it! (Automatically) I do not know if it is safe or not, but my macbook still can read disk and things.

Brilliant! The shutter worked like a charm - on a flat-panel imac, no less! The last time this happened (we have a couple hundred 20" iMacs), Apple told me I was out of luck, and we ended up destroying the optical drive (squeezed it sideways, bending the frame until it gave up the disc) to get the media back. Fortunately, it was under warranty, and the onsite tech did the honors. I prefer this method! ;) Thanks! - Jay Duff, Franklin Park, IL

I've had a stuck dvd for 3 days. Everytime I started up the computer, you could hear the dvd player trying to work, but then it would just stop. Also, the dvd was NOT showing up as being in there (eg, on the desktop or menu bar). The solution that worked was turning the Macbook Pro upside down, and pushing eject. The dvd came right out. Thanks for the help!!!

I had a similar problem and had no luck with all the tips listed here. Then I used a crochet (for crocheting, size 1) to pull the DVD out. I had to wait for the computer to try to eject the disk a lift the part that normally holds onto the center of the disk so I could insert the crochet instead. Then I just pulled (hard) and it eventually came out. The reader seems to be fine, but I don't dare trying the DVD again as it is a bit bent.

Another great way to remove CD/DVD's from a MacBook is to use two plastic cards (like credit cards without stamped text on it), slide both cards in carefully, press both cards as near the slot as possible and pull backwards. This will at least wotk for the new MacBook.. /David

After trying everything on the list, I sued the two non-embossed plastic cards, stuck them in deep and pulled them out slowly whicle holding ightly together and it worked. To my surprise along with the disc came out a six-inch rubbery string of some kind and two adhesive bar-code stickers. Obviously this is what was preventing the disc from sliding out. I recently had a new drive installed overseas and I'm guessing the mac doctor left a few unnecessary items inside. But cd, dvd and all function works fine. Thanks! Pete

Thank You very much. The 'mechanical' trick of using a good old floppy shutter WORKED perfectly. A near perfect 'tweezer'. I used it on a brandnew Macbook Pro 13" bought in August '09. DVD and drive survived without any damages. Worrisome though that Apple did not consider making any provisions to remove a stuck disc manually. Pressing mouse buttons while re-booting does not do anything really and one walks away feeling helpless and silly. Obviously any drive can get a hick-up - especially Mac's, just google it... Bye.

You are lucky that the twiser and floppy disk bit could take the cd out. Where the disc image does not appear on the screen . None of the "ejest" command in any programme would work either. There is step by step pictural instruction on the internet"'Repairing Jammed Optical Drivers"(in google) which allow you to eventually open the driver, take the disc out and, put everything back together again. Appart from that apple charge you £75 to look at it. And £200 to replace the driver.

Wow! I was trying to get a cd out of the drive for two hours and when i tried this.... Poof! I could pull it right out! Thanks a lot!

Me too! Awesome relief. I have a three year old who just put the clear protector disc in the drive, and the drive wouldn't even recognize it. I just about tore into the little guy, even though he didn't realize that it wasn't the same as the other cd's. I thought I would do some looking to see if there's something, and I stumbled on this post. Bless you, bless you, bless you!!!

Thanks very much - worked for me.. the superdrive was busted anyway, as it didn't seem to grab the disc, but anyway got the disc out using your method of the floppy disk part.

If you can hear the drive trying unsuccessfully to eject the disk then the problem is more likely to be mechanical caused by a paper disc sticker increasing the thickness of the CD or the friction. I followed another thread and solution - pressing eject and physically turning the imac over so that the drive opening was pointing towards the floor and then shaking it downwards. The downward momentum helped eject the disk. Take care though- dropping the imac could prove rather expensive!

None of these worked for me with a Stickered CD. Managed to do it by slightly prizing open the CD slot on my white Macbook. Just enough movement 0.5mm to allow the disk to free itself and now all is right with the world.

Thank you so much!! The thin cardboard trip worked perfectly!! It had to be on the underside of the DVD though but it came right out!! You're awesome!

Put a business card into the slot, under the CD, so that the Cd is on top of the card and then press comes out easily !!

I've had a cd stuck in my black MacBook for a while. I tried the credit card method and the vertical shaking method to no vail. The floppy clip worked after a couple trails, thanks! Ironically I used an old installer floppy from a Color Style Writer to get an installer Cd from Lexmark out :-)

None of these methods worked for me, but I did discover something that finally let the disk emerge from the bowls of the drive: Take a fine blade screwdriver, like the second largest from a common jewelers screwdriver set found in most computer tool kits. Insert the blade into the slot about 1/3 of the way from either side, then twist to about a 45 degree angle. Press Eject. The disk should emerge, as the screwdriver just kept the dust shield open. No ruined drive, no ruined disk. Just joy and happiness!

Wow. OK, now this is the life saver. I tried the credit card, the business card, the sticky notes, the card with tape on it, turning the damn thing upside down and tapping on it and shaking the machine, eject button, restart/mouse button, drutil eject command in terminal and FINALLY I found this screwdriver technique which actually worked. AMAZING. Thank you so much. Like a moron, I shoved the same DVD back in the drive to see if I could get it out again and the screwdriver technique worked immediately. Gary, you rule.

Pointed the mofo to the ground, hit eject and shook. Worked, haha! Woohoo!

I think the biggest flaw in this solution is the casual assumption that for some reason you have a 3.5 floppy lying around.

I tried many of things listed and i came across the one that said hold eject at start up and it totally worked !

THANK YOU, Thank You, thank you!!!!! I had 2 CD's stuck in my drive :( I slid a thick pice of paper (mail ad) in the drive, tuned my laptop so slot was facing down... I hit eject... shook my laptop....and NOTHING. So I pulled the paper out AND the CD's came out too!!!! THANKS

As someone said, lift the machine up and face the CD side toward the ground. Let gravity assist getting the disc out.

I didn't have any 3.5 floppy's around so I tried the 2nd method and viola! Pointed drive opening towards the ground, shook it a bit and it peeked out enough to where I could grab the DVD out. TYVM!