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The disk was't ejected because one or more programs may be using it?

I attempted to eject my Time Machine backup disk but got this message, "The disk "Backups" wasn't ejected because one or more programs may be using it." I then tried to unmount it but it also failed with the message "Failed to unmount "Backups" because it is currently in use by Finder." Running First Aid to repair the disk returnd the error, "The repair cannot be performed because one or more volumes are mounted.: (-69565)." I don't think there are programs using the drive, not any that I know of. How do I eject this Time Machine backup disk?

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Jenny Zeng

Jenny Zeng

Answered on Wednesday, November 22, 2023

As the error "The disk wasn't ejected because one or more programs may be using it" suggested, your Time Machine backup disk is still accessed by some background processes or programs, even though you're not actively using it. 

You can quit all the programs that may be using your drive and retry ejecting it. If you still can't eject it, you can run the following command in Terminal to learn the processes that are preventing your disk from being unmounted or ejected. Note that you need to replace yourdiskname with the actual name of your Time Machine backup disk.

sudo lsof | grep /Volumes/yourdiskname

It will return the processes that are currently using your drive, which are likely Spotlight processes like mds or mds_store. If you're not in a hurry, you can wait for the indexing process to complete.

As far as I know, that's how many users who can't eject their external drives because of running processes chose to do and eventually ejected it successfully.

If you've waited long, you can stop these processes from running in Activity Monitor. (Select the process > click the ⤬ button > select Quit.)

If that doesn't work, try the following solutions to eject your Time Machine backup disk.

Try force ejecting: Press and hold the Option key while clicking the Eject button in Finder. This should force the disk to unmount and eject.

Use Terminal: If force ejecting doesn't work, you can try using Terminal to unmount and eject the disk. Open Terminal and type "diskutil list" to get a list of all connected disks. Find the disk you want to eject and note its identifier (e.g., /dev/disk2). Then type "sudo diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2" to unmount the disk, followed by "sudo diskutil eject /dev/disk2" to eject it.

Shut down your Mac: Turn off your Mac, then unplug your Time Machine backup disk.

For more details, read this guide: How to Safely/Force Eject External Hard Drive on Mac?


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