Recover Files Disappeared from External Hard Drive Mac with 4 Ways

Have you ever encountered the 'files disappeared from an external hard drive Mac' error? This article will provide 4 proven ways to recover them, so find your desired solutions and guidance here!

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Have you ever been frustrated by data inexplicably missing from your Mac's external hard drive? You're not alone. It might be upsetting when data unexpectedly disappears from your Mac's external hard disk.

As technology users, we understand the anguish this may bring. Hence, we've listed four surefire strategies for finding and recovering those misplaced data. Users can rely on solutions ranging from powerful software such as EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro to Disk Utilities for Mac.

Read this data recovery guide thoroughly as we provide insights and step-by-step guidelines to ensure you easily regain access to files that disappeared from an external hard drive on a Mac. Let's delve into the details!

Fix 1. Recover Files Disappeared from an External Hard Drive On a Mac Using Software

Discovering that files are not showing up on the external hard drive on a Mac might be upsetting. Fortunately, we provide a dependable solution to recover files that suddenly disappear.

The easiest and most effective way is to use professional data recovery software EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. This innovative program has a powerful data scanning capability that allows it to discover hidden, formatted, or disappeared files on your external hard disk, assuring a high success rate in external hard drive recovery.

Download this powerful file recovery software and refer to the instructions below to find the complete processes and unlock the potential of this recovery software.

Step 1. Search for lost files

Correctly connect your external hard drive to your Mac. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, and select the external hard drive. Then, click "Search for lost files" to find lost/deleted files on your external devices.

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your external hard drive to avoid further data loss. After backing up the external hard drive, the software can recover data from your external hard drive's backup, and you can remove the external hard drive and use it again.

select the external hard drive and click Search for lost files

Step 2. Filter and find lost files

After the scan, all file types will be presented in the left panel. Select the file type to find wanted files on your external devices.

scan for lost files on external hard drives

Step 3. Preview and recover

Click the file and preview it. Then, select the files you want to recover and click the "Recover" button. You can save your data to local and cloud drives.

recover lost files on external hard drives

If this article helps, share it on social media to help others learn how to recover files that disappeared from an external hard drive.


Fix 2. Restore Disappeared Files from an External Hard Drive with Mac Trash

When data inexplicably disappears from an external hard drive on your Mac, a simple yet efficient solution is to check the Trash bin. To potentially retrieve your missing files, follow these steps:

Step 1. On your Mac's desktop, click the Trash icon.

open Trash

Step 2. Search the trash for the missing files. If any files are discovered, right-click them and select "Put Back".

Click Put Back in Trash bin

Step 3. After recovering data from the trash, examine your external hard disk. The recovered files should have been restored to their original places.

Remember that files transferred to the trash remain there until they are cleared. This procedure is most useful if you mistakenly deleted files in the trash. If this does not fix the problem, look into other options for recovering deleted files from an external hard drive on a Mac.

Fix 3. Show Files Disappeared on an External Hard Drive in Mac Finder

Files on your external hard drive may not be permanently deleted; they may simply be hidden. Follow these procedures in Finder to recover these missing files:

Step 1. Open the Finder program on your Mac.

Step 2. From the left sidebar, locate and tick the external hard disk option.

turn on External disks

Step 3. Press the "Command + Shift +. " Keys and release in a few seconds to show hidden files on an external hard drive. Your disappeared files will be revealed on the right side of the screen in grey color, and you can open them easily.

You may be able to restore lost data by discovering hidden files. If this procedure doesn't work, consider additional options for rescuing data that have vanished from an external hard drive on your Mac.

If your Mac runs the macOS Sonoma version, your downloaded files may disappear for unknown reasons, as reported by many Mac users. In this case, the article below can help you solve the problem; take a look!

Sonoma download files are all hidden

Sonoma Download Files Are All Hidden, How to Unhide Files on macOS Sonoma

Are your Sonoma download files all hidden? Don't worry! This article will introduce 3 effective ways to fix this error. Read more >>

Fix 4. Use First Aid to Repair the External Hard Drive on a Mac

Sometimes, the file disappears from your Macbook due to a corrupted external hard drive and not due to the operating system's fault. If your external hard drive is potentially corrupted, the built-in Disk Utility's First Aid tool may aid in fixing the external hard drive. The errors that can be repaired via Disk Utility include system crashes, files disappearing, and external drives functioning abnormally.

Here are the steps to repair the external hard drive via Disk Utility:

Step 1. Start "Disk Utility" on your Mac. You may locate it in the "Applications > Utilities" folder or by searching for it in Spotlight.

open Disk Utility

Step 2. Select your external hard drive from the list of drives on the left.

Step 3. In the top toolbar, click the "First Aid" button.

click First Aid

Step 4. To check for problems, select "Run" or "Verify Disk". If faults are found, choose "Repair Disk".

run First Aid

Step 5. Allow Disk Utility to finish verifying and repairing the disk. This may take some time, depending on the size of the drive and the degree of the problems. Check your external hard disk when the process is finished to see if the deleted files have been recovered.

Disk Utility's First Aid feature may frequently resolve small difficulties with the external hard drive, perhaps fixing the missing data problem. If this procedure does not produce the desired results, try the alternative options for recovering lost data on your Mac that have been described.


For Mac users, missing data on an external hard drive may be a stressful scenario. This article has described four tried-and-true ways for recovering lost data, ranging from complex software solutions to built-in system capabilities. Consider downloading EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro for a complete recovery solution with a user-friendly interface and powerful scanning capabilities.

By combining these strategies, users can improve their chances of successfully restoring lost files and protecting the integrity of their external hard drives. Download our data recovery software today for a dependable and practical data retrieval experience.

Files Disappeared from External Hard Drive Mac FAQs

If you're facing the distressing situation of files disappearing from your external hard drive on a Mac, you might have questions. Let's address some common concerns:

1. Why did my files disappear from my external hard drive?

Files might disappear due to unintentional deletion, hidden settings, or external disk damage. These conditions may make files appear elusive, but you may easily retrieve them with our approaches.

2. Why can't I see my files on my external hard drive Mac?

Hidden files, system faults, or corruption can cause invisible files. Changing settings or utilizing recovery tools may be beneficial.

3. How do I restore files from an external hard drive on a Mac?

Use reputable data recovery software such as EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro to scan and recover deleted files from your external hard drive, making restoring your Mac easy and efficient.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is a senior editor and data recovery specialist of EaseUS. He mainly writes articles and how-to tips about data recovery on PC and Mac. He has handled 10,000+ data recovery cases and is good at data recovery of NTFS, FAT (FAT32 and ExFAT) file systems, and RAID structure reorganization.

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Written by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her game experience on Facebook or Twitter.

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