How to Fix SSD Not Showing Up on Mac (Support SanDisk/SamSung SSD)

The hard drives not showing up issue happens when you unplug the external SSD from Mac and again plug in the SSD later. How can you fix SSD not showing up on the Mac issue? You will find the solution down below. During the process, run EaseUS Mac data recovery software to restore SSD data.

Table of Contents

SanDisk External SSD Does Not Show Up on Mac Desktop

"A SanDisk extreme SSD (external) is supposed to work with Windows and Mac computers. However, connecting it to my MacBook Pro (Nov 2017, USB-c) the navigation bar shows a "non-local drive". It is not accessible as standard drives, which are visible on the desktop.

Strangely, the SanDisk drive works nicely with a MacBook and an iMac, both equipped with USB-A-type connectors. Any suggestion to have the SSD operational using USB-c is highly appreciated." - from Apple Community

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Check the USB Connection Connect the SSD with a different USB and check if the cable is working...Full steps
2. Restart Your Mac and Reconnect Mac external SSD not showing issues are caused by the system issues...Full steps
3. Mount SSD in Disk Utility Go to System Preferences > Disk Utility. Make sure that the external disk...Full steps
4. Repair SSD Errors Launch Disk Utility > Select the grayed-out SSD located at the left...Full steps
5. Repair SSD Use Terminal Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities. Double-click on Terminal...Full steps
6. Format Unrecognized SSD Launch Disk Utility. Select the SSD on the top left side. Click on "Erase"...Full steps

Why Is SSD Not Showing Up on Mac

SSD not showing up on Mac, whether it's new or used, is prone to happen for some reason. A person bought a Samsung 840 EVO drive to upgrade, but the laptop doesn't detect the drive. The same issue can occur with SanDisk and Crucial as well. SSD not showing up on your Mac can happen for some following possible problems:

  • Connection Issue: The most common reason for SSD not showing up on Mac is the connecting cables of your SSD may be loose, worn, or damaged. Connection issues can be solved very quickly.
  • USB Port issue: Another reason can be a faulty USB port. If your USB Port is not working, your SSD will not show up.
  • MacOS problem: If the reasons above are not applicable in your case, then checking your macOS problem is necessary.
  • SSD Problem: Though it is not such a common reason, it can also happen that your SSD is broken or corrupted, and for that, it's not working and not showing up.

6 Fixes for SSD Not Showing or Detected by Mac

Most of the time, you can fix your SSD connection or recognition problems by yourself. Usually, the data is unaffected while fixing the SSD connection or recognition problem. However, SSD data can sometimes be endangered because of some troubleshooting processes. To avoid that, you must first back up your unrecognized external storage. In this case, if you don't have any backup at hand, you need to find a reliable and capable Mac data recovery program to scan and export essential data.

The following solutions will help you to fix the SSD not showing up issue.

Fix 1. Check If the USB Connection Is Loose

Step 1. Connect the SSD with a different USB and check if the cable is working.

Step 2. Check the compatibility of your adapter by checking whether your SSD is using SATA I, II, or Ill.

Step 3. Try to use a different SATA USB adapter, and make sure that it works in a different drive.

Step 4. If it's a C-type drive, try to connect the SSD to your Mac directly.

If your unrecognized SSD is a Samsung T5/T3 SSD, and "System Extension Blocked" and "No Samsung Portable SSD is connected" messages are showing to you, then go to System Preferences, then click on Security & Privacy. After that, choose Allow button next to the message: System software from developer "Samsung Electronics" was blocked from loading.

Fix 2. Restart Your Mac and Reconnect Again to Make SSD Show Up

Mac external SSD not showing the system issues cause issues. But it can be fixed by restarting your Mac. Restarting the Mac will refresh its Operating system's memory and give it a fresh start, which works when the USB port is busy. Simply choose the "Apple menu" > "Restart".

Restart your Mac

Fix 3. Mount SSD in Disk Utility to Make It Detected

When SSD is not showing up on Mac, first check if the SSD is found in Disk Utility. If it can be found in Disk Utility, make sure that the drive does not have any hardware problems, and you can mount and repair the SSD in Disk Utility. But the SSD might be physically damaged if you can't find it listed in Disk Utility.

Step 1. Go to System Preferences > Disk Utility.

Step 2. Make sure that the external disk is listed in the left sidebar.

Step 3. Highlight your hard drive and select Mount. It should now appear under Devices in the Finder.

Mount Disk on Mac

If this SSD has been used on other computers for some time and now it's not showing up by macOS, the file system of the SSD is either corrupted or unsupported; you need to recover lost data from this SSD and reformat the drive.

If SSD is new and it is not showing up, you can't see the partitions of the SSD in Disk Utility, but you receive a message "the disk you inserted was not readable by this computer". In this case, ensure you do not have any data on this drive and then initialize it in Disk Utility by erasing it.

Note: Mac Operating System will not mount the drive in writable mode if your SSD uses Windows NTFS format. You can download an NTFS for Mac tool to write to an NTFS drive.

Fix 4. Repair SSD Errors with First Aid to Fix SanDisk SSD Not Detected

If the SSD is mounted but still not showing up on your Mac, some hardware errors might occur. In this situation, you can use a Mac built-in feature - First Aid, to self-troubleshooting the SSD error. Here are the detailed steps of how to use First Aid:

Step 1. Launch Disk Utility.

Step 2. Select the grayed-out SSD located at the left sidebar.

Step 3. Hit the "First Aid" on the top.

Running First Aid

Fix 5. Advanced Repair SSD by Using Terminal

When Disk Utility fails to repair your SSD, try Terminal commands to fix this problem. Here are the steps you can try.

Step 1. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities.

Step 2. Double-click on Terminal to launch the application.

Step 3. At the command, type diskutil list > hit Return. Note the identifier of the SSD.

Step 4. Type diskutil verifyVolume SSD_ID> hit Return.

Use SSD identifier if your SSD is startup disk. Otherwise, type the SSD identifier as noted previously. If no error appears, SSD repair cannot help. But if your Mac drive is corrupted and needs to be fixed, type in diskutil repairVolume SSD_ID and hit Return.

Fix 6. Format Unrecognized SSD on Mac

If you have tried all the fixes above and still have not worked. There is a last resort you can try, which is to format your SSD. But formatting the SSD would erase all data on it, so please ensure you have backed up or recovered all valuable files before formatting.

Step 1. Launch Disk Utility.

Step 2. Select the SSD on the top left side.

Step 3. Click on "Erase".

Step 4. Complete the related information and click Erase.

Erase SSD on Mac

How to Recover Data from Formatted SSD on Mac?

As mentioned before, formatting a disk on Mac can bring a total data loss to you. If you don't get the chance to back up the SSD, what else can you do to get back your data? Here is one chance to apply data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

What does the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac do for you?

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is a reliable data recovery software that works to scan and recover lost or deleted files from a hard drive, external drive, fusion drive, USB, camera, memory card, or other storage devices. It only needs three simple steps for every user to scan and recover lost data. Moreover, if you have damaged images or videos, this tool automatically repairs them during the scanning process.

After all, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac is worth trying. Download the software from the button below, and follow the guide to see how to recover your lost data.

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

Note: Data recovery chances on a Trim-on SSD can be significantly reduced. It's due to the Trim technology that tries to improve SSD usage and performance.


You may have fixed the SSD not showing up on Mac error. If you still have problems, you can watch this video to fix MacBook SSD not detected error.

  • 00:43 Enabling External Disks in Finder
  • 01:36 Formatting the Drive to Work in macOS
  • 04:38 Do You Need To Eject Your External Drive?

External SSD Not Showing Up Mac FAQs

Here are some related questions. You can read them one by one to get additional help.

1. How to fix SSD not showing up on Windows 10?

To fix SSD not showing up on Windows 11/10:

  • Case 1. Drive Letter Missing
  • Case 2. SSD Not Initialized
  • Case 3. Unsupported File
  • Case 4. SSD Driver Issue

2. M.2 not recognized; how to fix it?

To fix M.2 SSD not recognized:

  • Re-install M.2
  • Enable M.2 SSD in BIOS
  • Set M.2 SSD as Boot Drive...

3. Why is my SanDisk SSD not showing up?

Here are the reasons why your SanDisk SSD is not detected on Mac:

  • The driver is out-dated
  • The SSD is uninitialized
  • Incorrect drive letter or corrupted file system

4. How to fix Mac external hard drive read only error?

Mac external hard drive read only fixes:

  • Reformat External Hard Drive
  • Ignore Permissions
  • Repair Drive Errors

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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 Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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