Unless you’ve been substantially fortunate you’ve probably seen the infernal dialogue box saying something on the lines of - The disk wasn’t ejected because one or more programs may be using it, even when you know no apps are using it, coz you stopped all the damn apps!

Having come across this shit way too often, I decided to dig through it and fix the issue once and for all. We can find which processes are using the external disk using lsof.

Running this command to find processes using a specific mounted volume:

sudo lsof | grep -v "/System/Volumes" | grep -i -e "/Volumes" -e COMMAND

You’ll probably see something like this:


So turns out the error pops because Spotlight is trying to index all the files in the external volumes 😐

Now there a bunch of processes with spotlight in their names, so the best way to kill all these pesky annoyances at once is to run:

sudo killall Spotlight

Re-run the lsof command to confirm that no processes are using the mounted volumes.

Et voilà!