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Erasing a CD-RW or DVD-RW

TMO Quick Tip - Erasing a CD-RW or DVD-RW

by , 7:30 AM EDT, June 21st, 2006

Every Mac made today can burn CD and CD-RW (rewritable CDs) discs, and if your Mac has a SuperDrive, you can burn DVD and DVD-RW discs, too. The problem with reusing a rewritable CD or DVD is that Apple didn't exactly make it easy to figure out.

If you want to erase a CD-RW or DVD-RW so that you can reuse it for other data, here's what to do:

  • Place the CD-RW or DVD-RW you want to erase into your Mac.
  • If there are any files you want to keep that are on the disc, be sure to copy them to your hard drive.
  • Launch Disk Utility. It's in Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  • Select the CD or DVD you want to erase in the column on the left.
  • Click the Erase tab. The Quick Erase box is checked by default. Using Quick Erase to prepare the disc for reuse takes less time.
  • Click the Erase button to erase the disc.


Use Disk Utility to erase rewritable CDs and DVDs.

Once a CD-RW or DVD-RW is erased, you can use it again just like a new disc. Keep in mind that rewritable discs have a limited life. It's probably not a good idea to use them for long term file archiving, and you should never erase and reuse them more than about 100 times.


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