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How Do I Find Out What Program(s) Is/are Using an External Drive?

When I tried to eject an external hard drive, a dialogue box popped up saying it wasn’t ejected because one or more programs may be using it. I’ve tried closing apps, and logging out and back in again. Still get same message when trying to eject. Is there a way to see what’s using it?

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do I Find Out What Program(s) Is/are Using an External Drive?”

    8 years ago

    You can do it, but you'll need to use the Terminal. The command is:
    lsof | grep /Volumes/X
    Replace X with the name of your external drive. This will take a while to run, but then you should get a list of files that are open and the apps that are using them. It could be that the "app" using the file is a system process, not an actual application that you are using.

    8 years ago

    That doesn't work for me, lsof as above does not show anything using the external drive. I could force eject it, but I am trying to find out the root cause. I have nothing running, lsof | grep "part of drive name" doesn't find it, either, and I tested my syntax by finding other open files by partial names.
    This has gotten really bad in the Macs I use as the OS X versions progress. Continuing to look for a cause.

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