I stupidly inserted my SD card today into the CD drive of my iMac. I didn't see where I was putting it in. I can't even feel the SD card by using a piece of paper in the drive.

How do I get the SD card out as I'd rather not have to pay Apple for fixing this.


You can:

  1. Get a piece of card / paper
  2. Cut it out into an L-Shape and fold the _ of the L in half
  3. Get somebody else to hold the computer up so that the CD drive is facing down
  4. Put the piece of paper into the CD drive from the top and slowly, bring it down
  5. When you reach the bottom of the drive, pull the paper out, gently and slowly.

The SD card should come out. You may have to do this a few times before it works - but it's better to try a few times than it is to pay Apple to fix this.

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  • 1
    I would just say, that when I worked for Apple, the percentage of machines that came in for foreign objects stuck in the drive that paid for a repair was far less than 3% and most were returned to the owner during the bar appointment. The ones that needed to be checked in were ones where people damaged the mechanism trying to get things out or had three or more items inside the drive - many times unbeknownst to the owner. Do try DIY to save the time of going to a store, but the cost isn't really much of a factor if you have a simple case. – bmike Jan 13 '16 at 19:07

I had a very difficult time removing the SD card I was trying to exteract from the CD slot - I was almost at the point of giving up and taking it in for a repair - I had tried the paper/cardboard method, reinforced with tape, and the cardboard started to rip, almost leaving ANOTHER piece of detritus in the slot - I then VERY carefully taped the section that was ripped and tried to remove the cardboard "L" shaped tool - it appeared to be totally stuck, and no amount of wrangling would free it. I then tried to insert to insert (additionally) the short side of a 4x6" index card about halfway in, and that allowed me to free the cardboard "L" tool. I'm guessing that it held down the "catch" that locks a CD in place, enabling me to free the stuck cardboard "L" tool.

Deciding that paper/cardboard was not going to do it, and after trying for over 30 minutes, and not wishing to risk another tear, I fashioned a similar tool out of a very thin sheet of plastic, from a plastic folder - I wanted something thin and flexible, but nothing that might rip, and leave more debris in the drive slot. I tried with this new plastic version for an additional 15 minutes or so. I was also shaking the unit ("shaken iMac syndrome"?), and mostly trying to shake it firmly down, with the slot positioned at the bottom. Still no luck, it seemed that the SD card had somehow become firmly lodged somehow within the drive. I tried some more shaking, some tapping with the heel of my hand, and fishing with the plastic "L" tool - and eventually - Mirabile Dictu! - about 1/16" of the corner of the SD card appeared. I VERY (VERY!!!) carefully pinched that corner and slid it right out. WHEW!!!

Needless to say - from here on out, I will be VERY cautious about not inadvertently inserting the SD card in the wrong slot. DOH!!!

Hope this helps someone else - be patient, keep trying - I might recommend to avoid the bent paper clip approach, so as to not cause any damage...

  • Shaking a pre-2012 iMac 27". Who are you? Popeye? – EDP Dec 2 '15 at 17:57

If it is not that far in, you can use a paper-clip, or else get a small wire, bend it so it looks like a U and use a steady hand and a torch light to find and get the SD Card out.


I would also suggest using a flashlight in combination with the above ideas. There are several things in the DVD drive that the memory card could get caught on if tipped on its side.

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protected by bmike Jan 13 '16 at 19:07

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