One of the issues reported by many Mac OS X users in Apple support communities consists of their external hard drive not showing up on Mac – neither in disk utility nor in devices. This problem persisted even after the update of OSX Yosemite, Sierra or High Sierra.

external hard drive not showing up mac

We are presenting you with a few solutions that will help you fix this problem easily on your Mac.

1. Show the Drive Icon on the Desktop

show external drives on mac

  1. Open “Settings” -> Go to “Finder Preferences”.
  2. Choose External in “Show these items on the desktop” below the General tab.

2. Inspect the USB Hub

If you are using USB Hub to connect external hard drive with Mac, inspect the USB hub first.

3. Verify Disc from Disk Utility

hard drive not showing up mac

Choose the external drive placed in the left sidebar from “Disk Utility”. Select “verify disc” so it sorts out small errors.

4. Check Disk with Disk Utility

Check Disk Utility to see if your external USB drive has greyed out and not mounted.

  1. Attach another external drive to your computer to see if your computer recognizes this one or not.
  2. Eject correctly from the Finder window list.
  3. Next, reopen your computer and mount the external drive.

5. Manually Enter the Disk Path in Finder

flash drive not showing up mac

  1.  Open “Go to Folder” from the Finder menu.
  2. Enter the external drive path that shows up under Disk Utility. Ex: /Volumes/mydisk

6. Check if the Drive is Visible

In case your drive does not appear in Finder but shows up in Disk Utility, here is what you can do.

Open the Finder window and check under the favorite list. If your drive appears faded, select the drive. It may become visible afterwards.

7. Reboot your Mac and Reconnect the Disk


external disk not recognized mac

Turn off your Mac.

  1. Disconnect the power cable.
  2. Disconnect all the USB connections.
  3. Wait for a few minutes before plugging in again.
  4. Switch on your MacBook Pro or iMac.
  5. Connect the external drive to your USB port. Go to Finder and check your drive.

8. Install Onyx app

You can install Onyx app and run the program. It is a support freeware. Or you can also run Kext Utility app and then restart your computer.

9. Install Paragon NTFS App for Mac

You might face this issue due to the unsupported format of your drive. In that case:

  1. Install Paragon NTFS for Mac OS.
  2. Reboot your computer and see if the issue has been resolved.

mac not recognizing external hard drive

If none of the methods above are working, there is still something that you can do.

  • Get fresh MacOS installed on your computer.
  • Get your Windows computer connected to seagate external drive or WD passport. Remove the partition and reconnect to MacBook Pro.

Read Also: How to Factory Reset MacBook Pro

It is hoped that with the solutions above, you will most likely be able to solve the issue of your external hard drive not showing up on Mac.

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Stephan Popov
When iDevice users experience problems with the iOS software or unlocking, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. My passion is providing answers to your problems. I help iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users by recommending fixes for common iOS bugs and tools that improves your experience. I conduct in-depth research for every topic i cover on this blog, to ensure that I cover everything Apple users need to troubleshoot their issues. When not writing for UnlockBoot, i enjoy swimming in my backyard pool. P.S. i prefers the Maldives for holidays. Connect with me on Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter.