Mac devices have USB ports for external disk drives. This allows users to transfer files from a Mac device to a Removable Storage Device and vice versa. However, there are cases of an external hard drive not showing up on Mac. This is something that concerns most people because their files are at stake. When a Mac device fails to recognize and show a hard disk drive that is currently plugged in, it can mean that something is wrong with either both devices. Most cases are caused by the USB hard drive being corrupted. The most efficient way to fix this is to reformat the external hard disk. This can fix the problem of the drive not showing up on Mac, but will delete all the files stored in return. Read on to know other ways to fix the problem of Mac doesn’t recognize external hard drive and a way to restore the files from a Removable Disk Drive.
Plug in the USB Cable Properly
Sometimes the cause of the problem is very simple, people tend to oversight it. Maybe the reason why the Mac doesn’t recognize external hard drive is because the USB cable is not properly connected. Start with the basic, make sure to check the USB cable if it is connected properly. If the problem is still present even though the cable is plugged in properly, then the problem could be the USB cable itself. Consider using a different cable to connect the Drive to the Mac device.
Check the Hardware of the Mac Device
Another thing to consider is that the USB port might be damaged or is dead. To check if it’s working, try plugging in a different USB device to the said port, and if it reads the device, then it’s working. On the other hand, if it did not read the device, then the port is not working. Try using other USB ports to connect the USB Drive.
Restart the Mac Device
One thing you can also try, is to restart the Mac device. Sometimes the device is busy with other applications and programs that it fails to recognize the USB drive. By restarting the Mac device, its process center will be refreshed and maybe will be able to boot the Hard Disk Drive.
The Disk Drive Format is WrongUnlike Windows, Mac can’t read some formats of removable disk drives. Maybe the reason why the hard drive is not showing is because it was not meant to be read by Mac in the first place. To check if the drive you have is compatible with your Mac Device, you can follow the steps below.
Step1 Open the Apple toolbarFrom the desktop, navigate and click the Apple icon at the upper left part of the screen.
Step2 Click the About this Mac optionFrom the list of options on the toolbar, select the “About this Mac” option.
Step3 Check if the USB device is listed on the deviceUnder the “About this Mac” option, click the “Storage” section and check if the Removable Disk Drive is showing up.
Mac Doesn't Have the Storage Icon on the DesktopSometimes the Mac device has successfully recognized the Storage device, but it did not show the icon on the desktop. That is why most people get the idea that their Mac device does not recognize their USB device. To show the storage icon on the desktop, follow these steps.
Step1 Go to the Preferences windowClick the “Finder” menu and search for the “Preferences” option.
Step2 Check the External Drives optionUnder “Preferences,” click “General” and under that option, tick the checkbox of “External Drives.”
Reset the NVRAM of the Mac device
This is one of the go to solutions for most Mac users. NVRAM is where the important information about the device is stored. Most of the time resetting the NVRAM is enough to fix the issue of Mac’s devices. To do this, you will need to restart the Mac device and on the boot up screen, press these keys together: “Option + Command + P + R.” Press these keys until the second startup sound and by that time, the hard disk has appeared.
Use Disk Utility window
Another way to see if the external hard drive is connected is by going to the Disk Utility window. This window shows the hard drives that are mounted on the device. To go to this window, just click the “System Preference” option or search for it on “Spotlight”.
Additional Way to Recognize Hard Drives on Mac
There are other ways to make the Mac device recognize the Hard disk drive. The methods above are all effective depending on the situation they were used. To give out more options, here are other ways to troubleshoot your Mac device.
1. Check the Format of the USB Device
Most USB devices are well suited for Windows because they are NTFS or FAT32 format by default. However, Mac is different because it can’t read these formats. This reason can cause the hard drive not to show up on Mac’s devices. To make it read the hard drive, format it to APFS or exFAT for the Mac device to be able to read it.
2. Use the Mac Terminal
Terminal is a built in command line tool for Mac. It is used mostly by advanced users because it is command based and can be intimidating for beginners. This tool can perform many functions. One of them is locating the Hard Drive that the system is not showing. Here are the steps on how to use the Terminal to show the USB Hard Drive.
Step1 Launch the TerminalGo to the Utilities section which is under the “Application” window. Launch Terminal from there and enter the command “diskutil list.”
Step2 Look for the Drive sectorFrom the list of information that will appear, look for the “/dev/disk_” section and write down the succeeding information.
Step3 Enter the Second CommandAfter writing the other information, enter these commands “diskutil info disk” and the drive letter or number assigned to the Hard Drive.
Step4 Safely Eject the Hard DriveFrom the terminal, type in “diskutil eject disk” followed by the number or letter assigned by the system. Plug out the USB drive and Plug it again to finish the process.
Way to Fix a Broken Hard drive
For Hard Drives that suffered from an error, there is a chance to fix them by using the “First Aid” option of Mac. This is located under the Disk Utility window and can be accessed from the “Spotlight.” Below are the steps on how to use “First aid”.
Step1 Open First Aid from Disk UtilityOpen Disk Utility by searching on “Spotlight”.
Step2 Run First Aid on Hard DriveOn the Disk Utility window, select the Hard Drive that needs to be fixed and select the “First Aid” option and click “Run” to start the process.
Recover Files From Unrecognized Hard DriveIf you prefer to reformat the HDD but hate to lose the files stored in it, you can go ahead and use a recovery tool to restore the files that were deleted from the process. Acethinker Disk Recovery is the perfect tool to use when the need arises. It’s a compact tool that can restore files fast and efficiently because of its powerful system. Below are the steps on how to use Acethinker Disk.
Step1 Get the installer and set it up on your MacDownload the installer of Acethinker Disk Recovery from the buttons below and install it on your Mac device.
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Step2 Launch the Program and Start the RecoveryOpen the tool once installation is complete. On the home screen, select the type of files that needs to be recovered and click “Next.”
Step3 Scan the External Hard DriveOn the next screen, select the Drive where the files were originally stored and click “Next” to initiate the scan.
Step4 Recover the Files From the Hard DriveOnce the scan is complete, the list of files deleted from the Drive will appear. Select the files you need and click “Recover” to save the files again.