Clear all

macOS Catalina  



I have a collection of CDs, DVDs that I'd like to erase and either reuse or give away.  For whatever reason I'm not able to erase them.  I've followed many instructions however the word 'erase' always tends to be greyed out.

Hopefully someone can guide me? 


2 Answers

Are you certain your discs are rewritable? Optical discs do not normally get erased. Only if they are CD-RW, DVD-RW, or DVD+RW is this possible. All other discs are write-once.

Thanks ever so much .. you hit it 'bang on'. The discs are only CD-R
I'll use them for a DIY project. Again, thanks!



Insert you optical disc

open terminal

enter the following command to find out if the disc is erasable.

drutil discinfo

If you see a zero

erasable: 0

then you know that the disc inserted can not be erased.

If you see a one then you can erase it.

If you enter drutil in the terminal and hit enter (to see help) you will find the word erase.

It reads:

erase          Erases -RW media in either quick or full mode.
                   drutil erase (quick | full)


So if you use the drutil discinfo command and find a few erasable discs you can bulk erase them.


bulkerase type

                Starts bulk erase mode, in which the drive will continually

                erase inserted -RW media, eject it, and prompt for another

                disc until terminated.


                Types of erase:

                quick    Performs a quick erase, doing the minimal amount of

                         work to make the disc appear blank. This operation

                         typically takes only a minute or two.


                full     Performs a complete erase, erasing every block on the

                         disk. This operation is slow (on the order of 30 min-

                         utes) to complete.


So the command to bulk erase would be

drutil bulkerase quick


drutil bulkerase full

depending on your requirements.


If the discs don't contain personal information consider contacting Jason Scott of, he will gladly accept them and move all the data to otherwise please dispose them in a way that doesn't harm the environment.


Hope this helps


This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by Alex Santos

Thanks Alex .. I love to learn and after following the first line of your instruction I realize that the CD is erasable 0

If the result is 0, then the CD is NOT erasable.