iMac: Inserting and ejecting CD-ROM discs from a tray loading drive

Follow these instructions to work with the computer's built-in CD-ROM drive.

Click here for information on inserting and ejecting CD-ROM discs from an iMac with a slot-loading drive.

Tip: Keep the drive tray closed except when loading discs. This prevents dust from getting inside the mechanism. Also be sure to keep discs free of dust and grease.

Important: Don't touch the lens in the tray.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Inserting a Disc

  1. Press the Open button on the front panel of the CD-ROM drive and the tray will partially open, as shown here.

  2. Pull the tray all the way open.
  3. With the disc label facing up, place the hole of the disc over the center spindle on the tray.
  4. Press down until you feel the disc snap into place. The CD-ROM drive has small locks on the spindle that securely hold the disc in place.
    When inserting a disc over these locks, you may need to apply additional pressure.

    If the disc is not flat, it might catch when the tray is closed and possibly damage the disc.
  5. Gently push the tray in to close it.

Ejecting a Disc

To eject a disc, follow these instructions.


  1. Quit all application programs running from the disc.
  2. While in the Finder, select the disc's icon and drag it to the Trash.

    You can also eject a disc from the drive by selecting the disc's icon. Then choose Put Away from the File menu, or choose Eject from the Special menu.
  3. Pull the tray all the way open.
  4. Remove the disc carefully by snapping it off the center spindle.
  5. Gently push the tray in to close it.


If you can see the disc's icon on the desktop, pushing the drive's Open button will not open the tray.

If you can't eject a disc

If the standard methods of ejecting a disc do not work (or the computer is shut down), you can eject the disc manually.


  1. Locate the small hole next to the Open button on the outside of the CD-ROM drive tray.
  2. Carefully insert the end of a large straightened paper clip into the hole, as shown here.

  3. Push firmly until the tray opens.
  4. Pull the tray out, remove the disc, then push the tray in to close it. If issues arise while using your CD-ROM drive, refer to either the Emergency Handbook or Mac Help for additional troubleshooting steps.
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