Updated: 02/07/2022 by Computer Hope
Desktop CD-ROM trayLaptop CD-ROM tray

A tray is a thin plastic disc holder that allows a CD (compact disc), DVD (digital versatile disc), or Blu-ray disc to be inserted into the computer. The first picture is an example of what the traditional CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory) tray looks like in a desktop computer.

The bottom image shows an example of a laptop CD-ROM drive tray. Unlike the desktop CD-ROM tray, this tray is more flimsy because it's thinner and is missing the right portion of the tray.


A disc tray is also sometimes called a drawer and coffee cup holder (slang) after someone improperly used the tray to hold a cup of coffee.

How to eject the disc tray

To eject the disc tray from the drive, press the eject button on the front of the drive. To put the tray back into the drive, push the front of the CD-ROM tray, and it automatically goes back into the CD-ROM drive.

For laptop users, the disc tray is ejected by pressing the eject button. To put the tray back in, push the tray back into the drive.


It is also possible to eject the disc tray using software. For example, in Microsoft Windows, you can open My Computer, right-click the drive, and choose the Eject option. If you're on a desktop, you can also repeat the steps to have the tray go back into the computer once ejected.

Other types of CD-ROM

Not all computers with a CD-ROM or other disc drive use a tray. Below are other types of disc drives.

Missing disc drive tray

Not all desktop computers and laptop computers have disc drives. Check the owner's manual for your computer if you are unsure if it contains an optical disc drive.

For desktop computers without a disc drive with an available drive bay, a disc drive can be installed into the computer. For laptop users who do not have a disc drive, you can get an external USB (universal serial bus) disc drive to add a disc drive to your computer.

CD terms, Eject