I am running a MacBook Pro Early 2015 13" on High Sierra 10.13.5, and keep getting the "X disk cannot be ejected because one or more programs might be using it" message, when apparently there is no program using that disk (not even Dropbox, Preview).

It happens sometimes when I try ejecting an external thunderbolt Drive, and always when ejecting any .sparseimages I only managed to "solve" this issue and be able to eject the disks by going into Terminal and "respringing" Finder:

killall Finder

However, I find this solution really inconvenient considering how often I use External Drives and disk images.

I would appreciate if anyone knows any other possible cause or solution, or if my solution is better than forcing the disk to eject.

Edit: After checking what processes were running, it seems there are "cloudd", "diskimage" and "QuickLookUIService" processes using a video file from the sparsedisk that are preventing me from ejecting the mounted sparseimage.



2 Answers 2


Often when a drive is plugged in Spotlight begins to index the entire drive. While this is occurring Spotlight is "using" the drive and therefore can't be ejected.

Try adding a Spotlight exception:

  1. System Preferences>Spotlight>Privacy
  2. +
  3. Select your drive
  4. Choose
  • 1
    Adding a Spotlight exception did not work for sparseimages. A little more insight: this sparse image is about 5GB and it's located in the Documents folder. I also have iCloud set up for Desktop and Documents folders. Could it be something related to iCloud syncing the sparseimage updates ?
    – pggm2r4t
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 12:36
  • 2
    @pggm2r4t Yes, but that would be using the file not the mounted disk Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 12:40

You should download the Mountain app. It gives you better control over all mounted volumes. It has been able to unmount or mount disks that I seem to have no control over. It's $6 from the developer site.. Before spending the money I would read about it at that site to ensure it does all you want.

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