How to Solve the “External Hard Drive Not Showing up Mac” Error Message

Updated on April 7, 2021 | Blog   | No Comments  

Overview of External Hard Drive Not Showing up Mac in Details

“External Hard Drive Not Showing Up on Mac” is a very common problem experienced by most of us. Most of the time, you can resolve the problem on your own within 15 – 20 minutes. VikMajra team has found 100% working methods to resolve the problem after putting in hours of research. Moreover, if the data is lost or deleted, you can also recover it from the external hard drive with the help of VikMajra Mac data recovery mentioned in the article.

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When you plug in an external drive to Mac’s USB port, it appears on the desktop. It can also be found in Finder. But, if the external drive doesn’t show up on Mac, it is possible that it hasn’t been formatted appropriately, is at fault, or got corrupted.

List of Key Reasons Why External Drive is Not Showing up on Apple Mac Computer

Here are a few reasons why External Hard Drive is not showing up on Mac.

  • USB connectivity issue
  • Partition map damage
  • Not setting a preference in the Mac device
  • Hard drive damage
  • Device incompatibility

List of Solutions to Resolve the External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Error on Mac and Recover Mac Data

In case you are encountering such a problem, we will help you out. In this article, we are going to discuss the methods that can be applied when the external hard drive doesn’t show up on Mac.

#1)Edit Your Preferences

There is an easy fix for mounting the external hard drive on the Mac device. Try out the steps given below to ensure that the Mac device is set to show the mounted hard drive on the desktop. 

1.1)Open “Finder” and click on its menu that’s present at the top of the screen. 

1.2)Next, select ‘Preference’. Under this option, you will find ‘General’. Click on this and check that there is a tick beside External Drive.

In case everything as it should be and the problem still persists, you can move on to the next method. 

#2)Check the USB Connectivity

The external hard drive might not be showing up on the desktop because it has not been connected to the Mac’s USB port. To fix this, try out the following steps. 

2.1)Reconnect the hard drive to another or the same compatible USB port.

2.2)In case that doesn’t solve the problem, change the USB connect and reconnect.

2.3)If there’s another Mac device, connect the external drive to that.

#3)Check the Cable

You might have already checked the port, but the cable can also be faulty. One of the primary reasons a hard drive doesn’t mount is the drive isn’t getting enough power. In case the hard drive is powered through a USB-A cable, check if the drive is getting enough power. 

In case you are using an older Mac version, you need a USB cable that splits into 2 USB connectors that have to be connected to Mac for supplying power to the drive. Also, it’s necessary to ensure that the drive doesn’t have an external power supply. 

Check if the cables are functioning adequately. You can use a different cable with the drive to check if that solves the problem. Similarly, if you are using a USB port through a hub, check if that is what is causing the problem.

The Mac port needs to be checked, too. So, try to plug into a different port. In case you have just one plug, just plug another device to check if it is working.

#4)Use Disk Utility for Accessing the Drive

In case the disk is faulty, use the Disk Utility program by Apple to open the disk and fix the problem. 

Here are the instructions to follow.  

4.1)First, find “Disk Utility“. Do this by opening Spotlight, that by pressing “cmd + Spacebar“, and then typing Disk Utility. Press ‘Enter’ to open it. 

4.2)Check the column on the left-hand side to check if the hard drive is listed there. 

4.3)In case you find the hard drive in the Disk Utility, check underneath to learn about its volume. If this is shown, click on it and then just select ‘Mount’. In case the Mac is already mounted, you will find the option, ‘Unmount’. (In case no volume is listed, Mac can’t access the drive. So, the ‘Mount’ option will appear grey in color.)

4.4.)The options at hand are ‘Erase’, ‘First Aid’, and ‘Restore’. First Aid is going to check the disk for probable errors. Thereafter, it repairs the disk if required. Choose this option to solve the problem.

The ‘Restore’ function will delete the drive contents and replace it with data from somewhere else. The ‘Erase’ function will delete data that’s stored on the hard disk drive (HDD). In case you require the data on the drive, don’t select ‘Restore’ or ‘Erase’. 

4.5)Click on ‘First Aid’ and on the option ‘Run’.

4.6)In case after running this, Mac finds errors, it can be fixed. Just use the ‘Repair Disk’ option.

#5)Update Mac with Latest Operating System

Update macOS for solving the subtle problems of external drive connections. Nevertheless, prior to that, back up the Macintosh HD. Use the Time Machine to do so. It is to prevent data loss.

Check if the Time Machine is connected to Mac. Go to ‘Time Machine’ and then click on the option ‘Back-Up Now’. Once the backup has been created, follow the steps given below to update macOS.

5.1)Go to Apple Menu and then to the option ‘System Preferences’.

5.2)Under the ‘System Preferences’ window, click on the option ‘Software Update’.

5.3)In case an update is available, click on the option ‘Update Now’.

5.4)Next, click on ‘Download and Restart’. Now, you will have to wait for the update to be complete.

#6)Use Terminal to Repair External Hard Drive

If Disk Utility is unable to repair your external hard drive, use the Mac Terminal application for mounting and repairing the affecting drive. 

Here are instructions to repair it using Terminal.

6.1)Open ‘Finder’, click on ‘Applications’, and then click on ‘Utilities’. Double click on the option ‘Terminal’ for launching it.

6.2)Type diskutil list at the command line and click on ‘Return’. Remember disk# of the external hard drive.

6.3)Now, type diskutil mountDisk /dev/disk# and click on ‘Return’.

6.4)Type on diskutil repairVolume /dev/disk# and click on ‘Return’.

6.5)As soon as the repair process is complete, go to ‘Terminal’ and then click on ‘Quit Terminal’.

#7)Use VikMajra Mac Data Recovery Software

If all the above methods are not working or your data is lost after the drive shows up, the best solution is to use a mac data recovery software. It will help you to recover the files quickly and all your data will be back in the external hard drive. It’s a very simple process. Simply download the software and use it for Mac data recovery purposes.

Final Words

We hope your external hard drive is now showing up after using the above methods. But in case, your data is lost or deleted from the external hard drive, just use Mac Data Recovery Software. With this, you will be able to solve your problem in no time and recover the data within a few minutes. The software is available for free download too. It comes with unique and top-class features.

About The Author

Poonam Yadav

Poonam Yadav is an expert technical writer and editor with over 10+ years of experience. She has deep knowledge about Software, IT Companies, Tutorials on Different Topics. She loves to explore new technology and DIY tools.

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