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Make the External Drive Detectable by Your Mac-im-1

External Hard Drive Not Showing On Mac | MacUpdate Blog

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It can be a frustrating experience when your Mac external hard drive simply fails to show up, right? No worries, with MacUpdate you can simply solve this issue.

External Hard Drive Is Not Showing On Mac: Why and How to Solve the Issue

Typically, there are several reasons why your Mac is not recognizing the external hard drive.

  • To start with,  if you’ve plugged in a flash drive or USB and it’s not showing up on your Mac at all, it could be down to a faulty cable or USB port. So, the very first thing that should be done is to check whether the drive is properly plugged in and the USB connector is not damaged. Trying to connect the hard drive to a different USB port might be a smart way to go as it could be a hardware issue.

  • Sometimes, if a disk won't boot, the issue is with macOS. The best thing to do here is to reboot your Mac. Restarting your Mac essentially clears your macOS’s memory and starts it up fresh. So, to reboot your Mac, you need to press and hold the power button and, when a dialog box appears, click the Restart or press R once a dialog box appears.

  • Moreover, it may be your old macOS version that is causing the issue. Consider updating it.

Make the External Drive Detectable by Your Mac-im-2Tip: Typically, if there’s a new macOS version available, you will see an alert sign in your Mac’s menubar. If you see an alert, go to AppStore.


Find and select Updates

Make the External Drive Detectable by Your Mac-im-3and click Update. 

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The other popular case is that your Mac is not formatted to display external drives on the desktop. In this case, your computer recognizes the device but simply doesn’t show its icon on the desktop screen. If that is your case, you will still find the drive in the left-hand column of the Finder menu under Devices. You can access your drive that way, and, in the Finder menu under Preferences select General and check External Drives so that from now on it shows up on your desktop too.

Still experiencing problems? If your Mac isn’t still automatically recognizing your external hard drive, it’s time to force it to. Let’s mount an external hard drive on your Mac:

  • Connect your hard drive

Enter in Spotlight Disk Utility

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  • Check that the external disk is listed in the left sidebar.

  • Highlight your hard drive and select Mount. It should now appear under devices in the Finder.

If the hard drive still isn’t playing ball, your next step should be trying Mac’s built-in First Aid. It is designed to verify and repair different issues related to crucially external hard drive problems, damaged files and apps, and startup issues. Follow these steps:

  • Go to System Preferences, find and select Disk Utility.

  • Highlight your external hard drive and click on First Aid.

  • Select Run to start running diagnostics and prompt Mac to automatically fix any issues.

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If First Aid is successful in repairing any faults, lucky you! Now, your hard drive can mount. If not, try the next option.

It didn’t help? Try to check System Profiler. Mac System Profiler will show you whether the external drive is physically detected by the Mac.

  1. Go the Apple Menu and choose About this Mac

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2. Click System Report.

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3. Click USB in the left menu under the Hardware category once the System Profiler opens. The volume tree structure will show both the physical disks and the partitions that you’ve set up.

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4. If the drive is still not visible, consider connecting it to another Mac to verify the issue.

If the problem still hasn’t been solved, we suggest that you rebuild the Launch Services Database with the help of OnyX. This is how you do it:

  • Go to the link, download, and install this free maintenance app.
  • Launch it and input your administrator password so that OnyX can make changes. The app may ask to verify the structure of your desk.
  • Click Continue and wait. Note that the program will be unresponsive while the process completes.
  • When OnyX is alive again, click Maintenance followed by Rebuilding.
  • Check LaunchServices and click Run Tasks at the bottom of the window. Note that Finder may become unresponsive.
  • Once done, restart your Mac.
  • Reconnect your missing drive after it reboots.

Key Considerations

If the external hard drive is not showing on your Mac, don’t worry. The most popular ways to solve this issue includes the following:

  1. Ensure that the drive is properly plugged in and the USB connector is not damaged.

  2. Reboot your Mac

  3. Update MacOS.

  4. Rebuild the Launch Services Database.

What about you, which option helped you? Happy Mac using!



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