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How to Erase a CD

If you're throwing out CDs after a single use, find out how to save money and the environment by reusing those discs.


  • Step 1: Check disc and disc drive Check your disc and disc drive for the letters "R-W." This stands for "rewritable," and only these discs can be erased and rewritten.
  • Step 2: Insert disc Insert the disc you want to erase into your disc drive.
  • Step 3: Locate disc in computer On a Windows PC, locate the disc in your My Computer folder and then click on the disc drive icon to select it.
  • Step 4: Find Erase CD Find the Erase CD icon in My Computer or right-click on the disc drive icon and select Erase. Click Next from the CD Writer Wizard window that pops open.
  • Step 5: Erase on a Mac Erase a CD on a Mac by opening Disk Utility in Applications, Utilities, and clicking the Erase tab. Select the disc from the list of drives on the left, and click Erase.
  • TIP: Make sure to select the device icon, not the volume icon, or else you won't be able to select erase.
  • Step 6: Wait Wait for the computer to completely erase the CD. Once finished, you can burn new data or music to the disc. Just remember that rewritable discs will deteriorate after several cycles of reuse.
  • FACT: Did you know? Over the past decade, CD sales have plummeted 45 percent, while digital music purchases continue to grow rapidly.

You Will Need

  • A rewritable disc
  • Computer with a rewritable disc drive

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