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chris4565

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 22, 2018
1,009
481
Hi,

After copying a bunch of files onto my Samsung T5 I now can't eject it properly. When I try to do so I get the message that one or multiple program(s) is/are using the drive and that it can't be ejected. I never had this problem before with this drive.

I have no windows open.

What could cause this issue and what should I do now?

Note: I'm on 10.15.1.

Thanks and best wishes
Chris

Edit: The only thing that was different with the copying this time compared to previous times (where I could eject the drive properly) is that this time I copied a folder from iCloud which was partially downloaded to my PC. So the rest got downloaded automatically before copying.
 
Last edited:

IowaLynn

macrumors 68020
Feb 22, 2015
2,145
588
Not what you want to hear or to be helpful but same discussion was going on in October that’s worth looking at.
 

chris4565

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 22, 2018
1,009
481
Found an Apple Support article regarding this issue and they said one should first try to log out and back in and that indeed was the solution for me.
 
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chrfr

macrumors G5
Jul 11, 2009
13,510
7,005
This has been a thing with external drives on Macs for years and years. Sometimes there's indexing of files or other background processes happening that isn't immediately obvious. You can always just shut down the computer if the Mac won't eventually eject the drive.
 
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Peadogie

macrumors regular
Aug 4, 2019
223
145
Georgia, USA
This has been a thing with external drives on Macs for years and years. Sometimes there's indexing of files or other background processes happening that isn't immediately obvious. You can always just shut down the computer if the Mac won't eventually eject the drive.
Yep, I remember it happening at least back to Jaguar.
 
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hawkeye_a

macrumors 68000
Jun 27, 2016
1,637
4,381
This started happening to one of my external USB drives (Western Digital). It only happens in Catalina and not on an older version of MacOS. I tried repairing the external drive with diskutil on the old Mac, but it didnt fix the issue.

I'm getting annoyed at having to login/logout of Catalina to be able to unplug the external drive. Anyone found a solution?
 
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Babmo

macrumors newbie
Feb 13, 2019
18
7
You can try Sloth, it’s free. Select the external drive, it will show the files that are in use by some background process. Kill the process and the drive should be able to eject. Annoying still, but less than having to log out or restart. Apple should implement automatic killing of the background process if you choose to force eject, but hey, we get new emojis so we shouldn’t complain about silly productivity stuff.
 
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petterihiisila

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2010
404
304
Finland
Go to terminal, run:
lsof | grep T5

Replace T5 with (a part of) whatever your drive name is. No spaces, and uppercase/lowercase counts.

That tells you, which processes are accessing the drive. If it’s Spotlight indexing (md-something), then you can’t do anything, but it should be done within a few hours/days. If it’s something else, quit or kill that program/process.

kill -TERM 1234

or

kill -9 1234

Replace 1234 with the process id (pid) of the app that has the file open. TERM means normal quit, and -9 does a force quit. Use -9 with caution, changes to the open file won’t be saved.

If it scrolls past too fast, this lets you watch it page by page:

lsof | grep T5 | more

Explanation:

“lsof” - lists all open files, then given to
“grep T5” - filters for “T5”, then given to
“more”, which displays the result page by page, and you can use the space bar to proceed

The inability to eject is quite common, especially if you dump photo libraries into it, or any files that macOS could be updating in the background. If any file is open, it won’t eject. So, you need to find those apps/processes that have open files on that drive.
 

tommiy

macrumors 6502
Dec 11, 2015
394
125
I used to have similar issues every now and then with my samsung until i updated the firmware. Now it does not exhibit this problem on Catalina.
 
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