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Mountain is a must-have utility for Mac laptop users who have external drives attached

I usually use my new 15-inch MacBook Pro in desktop mode (coupled with an LG UltraFine 5K) display with a couple of external solid state drives (SSD) attached. However, sometimes I want to uncouple it from these devices and use it simply as a laptop. That’s where the Mountain un-mounting software comes in handy. 

It installs as a menu-bar utility with an icon that looks akin to the Finder’s Eject button. Click the icon, and you see a list of your Mac’s internal and external volumes (the latter includes any servers to which you’re currently connected). Click the eject button next to one to immediately unmount the volume. This means no longer having to drag volumes to the trash to unmount ‘em. Yay!

The Mountain menu also lists volumes that you’ve recently connected to, with the eject icon cleverly turned upside down. You can click one of those upside-down icons to remount the associated volume.

Not enough? Okay. Mountain’s menu also contains a Unmount All And Sleep option. This un-mounts all connected volumes (except your startup drive, of course), then puts the Mac to sleep.

You can even configure keyboard shortcuts to unmount external drives, unmount and sleep, mount unmounted volumes, and mount your favorite servers. 

You can buy Mountain at the Mac App Store for $5.99, but I’d recommend purchasing it from the developers’ website: appgineers

Why? Apple has activated sandboxing on the Mac App Store. Under the sandboxing rules, appgineers can no longer release new versions of Mountain to the store. Plus, you can download a demo at the product website to try before you buy.

Besides the convenience it offers, Mountain is useful if you have issues with external drives. And it’s great for re-mounting drives that are physically connected but don’t show up in the Finder; Mountain recognizes them and can mount them. You don’t have to unplug and replug them to get them recognized and remounted.

The app’s menu starts with a list of mounted volumes categorized into groups of “internal” and “external” volumes. Clicking on a menu item will open the volume in your file manager (Finder by default). A click on the eject button next to a volume’s name will unmount the volume. A disabled eject button next to a volume indicates that Mountain prevents un-mounting of the volume. The eject icon next to a group name will unmount all volumes in the group unless un-mounting is prevented.

Whenever a volume has been successfully unmounted, Mountain will inform you using either Notification Center or Growl. In case of external volumes the notifications will tell you when it’s safe to disconnect the volume.

Mountain is one of those apps that’s so good it should be built-in to the macOS.  One suggestion for a future version of Mountain: add an indicator to show that the utility is working while it tries to unmount your drives.

Apple World Today Rating (out of 5 stars): ★★★★★

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.