Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Mac in 7 Ways [macOS Ventura Applicable]

If you got a problem with the external hard drive not showing up on Mac, you could fix the problem in different ways, such as rebooting your Mac, editing Finder preferences, repairing the external hard drive with First Aid, and so on. Besides, with the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, you can troubleshoot without data loss.

Table of Contents

Quick overview of the solutions to fixing external hard drive not showing up on Mac:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Reboot Your Mac Rebooting Mac is one of the simplest methods to fix minor data damages and show the Hard disk in Mac...Full steps
Fix 2. Edit Finder Preferences You can edit the Finder preference to show external drives on the desktop if it's not showing...Full steps
Fix 3. Repair with First Aid Go to the "Launchpad" in your dock. Type Disk Utility in the search bar. Click to explore...Full steps
Fix 4. Mount External Hard Drive Press the Command key + Space bar to bring up the Spotlight Search menu. Type disk utility...Full steps
More useful methods To solve external hard drive not showing up on Mac, you can still reformat the disk, reset NVRAM...Full steps

If you got a problem with the external hard drive not showing up on Mac, you might have struggled to fix it. Many people reported the same issue by saying that their Mac cannot recognize the external hard drive, including Seagate external hard drive not showing up

This guide covers all the troubleshooting tips to teach you. We will walk you through the reasons and fixes in detail. In addition, we will provide you a bonus tip to recover your data if your drive is corrupted or you accidentally lose your precious data.

Reasons for External Hard Drive Not Showing Up on Mac

The reasons for the unrecognized external drive can be different in different situations. This section will help you understand the most common reasons why users face this issue.

  • Drive isn't connected properly: If your external device is not accurately connected, the Mac will not recognize your external device. Ensure the hard drive is connected, and check if the USB port works faultlessly.
  • There are possibilities of a corrupted or broken hard drive causing the issue.
  • USB or HDMI cable can be the culprit: If the cable is damaged from somewhere will break the connection. If you think the cable is completely fine, you may need to try another cable because there is the possibility of internal damage that might be invisible to you.
  • Temporary issues with your Mac: In many cases, macOS starts to experience some temporary problems if the Mac has not been restarted for a long time. Sometimes, restarting your Mac gives a kick-start to the operating system and removes errors.
  • The external hard drive is unmounted or not readable on macOS.

Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Mac (7 Working Ways)

After understanding the reasons for the unrecognized external hard drive on Mac, it's time to fix this issue. Go through the section and learn different fixing methods in detail.

Fix 1. Reboot Your Mac

Rebooting your Mac is one of the simplest methods to fix minor data damages and show the hard disk in Mac. This solution has a pretty impressive success rate of fixing such initial issues in Mac. If you are dealing with the problem of the external drive not showing up Mac, follow these steps to reboot your Mac.

Click the "Apple logo" and select "Restart". You can hold the power button for a few seconds and press R when the dialog box appears. It will wipe up all the unnecessary data from the memory of macOS and give it a fresh start. Once your Mac turns on, check if the external drive is visible on the Finder. If not, you need to edit the Finder preference by using the following fix.

Fix 2. Edit Finder Preferences

When you connect an external hard drive, check if it is showing in the Finder. You will need to edit the Finder preference to show external drives on the desktop if it's not showing. Let's see how to fix this. 

Step 1. At the top of the screen, go to the "Finder" menu and click "Preferences". 

Mac Finder preferences

Step 2. Select "General", and make sure the External disk and Hard Disk are checked under the "Show these items on the desktop" tab.

choose hard disk in general

Step 3. Using the "Sidebar" tab, you can configure the Finder window's left column to display specific folders and devices. 

The solution should solve the external hard drive not showing up Mac issue. If not, go with the next solution.

Fix 3. Repair External Hard Drive with First Aid

If your Mac is not identifying the external drive, there are possibilities of having errors in the disk. You can utilize the First Aid tool to check and fix any disk problem without losing the data. It is an inbuilt Mac tool that is designed to identify disk issues and attempt the necessary fixes. Check the following steps to fix it:

Step 1. Go to the "Launchpad" in your dock. Type Disk Utility in the search bar. 

Step 2. You can see the icon for the application shown in the image below. Click to launch it.

Step 3. Click to explore the left side panel on the disk utility.

Step 4. Find and click the external hard drive that is not showing up otherwise.

Step 6. Select "First Aid" and then click on "Run". It will display a notification when the system finds an error on the hard disk.

Use First Aid for external hard drive

Step 7.  Run First Aid again if it fails to fix the issue, and wait till the process is over.

If it still does not find any error, save the data to another drive and format the disk using the coming method.

Fix 4. Mount External Hard Drive to Make It Showing on Mac

Step 1. Press the Command key + Space bar to bring up the Spotlight Search menu.

Open disk Utility

Step 2. Type disk utility and press the Return key.

Bring up disk utility on Mac

Step 3. Click the external hard drive in the left menu and "Mount" on the right top menu.

Mount external hard drive

Later, the external hard drive will automatically show up on the desktop. 

Fix 5. Format External Hard Drive with Disk Utility

If you formatted the external drive earlier on another device, the MacOS might be unable to recognize it. You will need to format the drive to make it Mac-friendly, and the system will identify it without any issues. Here are the steps to properly format your external drive on Mac:

Step 1. Plug in the hard drive, then open Disk Utility from the Launchpad. Or Press CMD and Spacebar together and type Disk Utility.

Step 2. Select the external drive from the left-side panel that you want to format.

Step 3. Click the "Erase" Tab.

erase Mac disk

Step 4. From the drop-down menu, choose any MacOS-compatible format.

erase Mac disk in Disk Utility

Select the drive format compatible with the Mac.

Step 5. Select the "Erase" option, and macOS will format the selected drive.

erase disk on Mac

Fix 6. Reset NVRAM

The external drive not showing up issue should be fixed after the successful format. If not, the problem may exist in the nonvolatile random-access memory (NVRAM). The local setting of your Mac is stored on NVRAM, which can create bugs, and as a result, the system does not recognize the external drive. This method will help you to reset these settings by following the steps below.

Step 1. On the top of the screen, click the Apple logo and select "Restart".

Step 2. Press and hold the keyboard's Command + Option + P + R keys to boot up the system. 

Step 3. It will lead your Mac to restart again. Release all the keys when the Apple logo appears on the screen or when you hear the shutdown sound. 

Step 4. Wait until it boots up. 

Note: If you are using a new generation of Mac, you will not need to restart it. Hold all the keys for 30 seconds, and the NVRAM will reset automatically. Check this post to learn how to reset NVRAM/PRAM on your MacBook Pro/Air. 

Fix 7. Use Terminal to Troubleshoot

Using the Terminal app is a final fix for all non-tech-savvy users because they tend to find it complicated. In addition, most users find it a bit tricky to use. However, it can certainly fix the problem, and using the app is not that challenging. You can solve the external hard drive not showing up on the Mac issue by using the given commands and following the steps carefully. Let's do it together:

Step 1. Go to Launchpad, type Terminal, and click to open it. 

Mac terminal

Step 2. Type the following command line and hit Enter to execute it.

diskutil list

Step 3. You will see the list of connected s storage drives to your system. Search the external drive that the Mac is not recognizing, or type /dev/disk* (external, physical) and press Enter. 

Note: (*) is the identifying number of the disk.

Step 4. Paste the following command, and replace * with the identifying number of the disk.  

diskutil info disk* 

If the system successfully recognizes the disk, it will display the information on the screen. 

Step 5. Use the following command to eject the drive in order to avoid data loss.

diskutil eject disk*

Step 6. Check if the drive disappeared from the list, then remove it from the USB port of your Mac. 

Step 7. Close the Terminal and plug in the external drive to mount a new connection.

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Data from a Formatted or Corrupted External Hard Drive

If you have applied all the steps and cannot fix the issue, your drive may be damaged. As we have already mentioned, Mac does not recognize the external drive if you have formatted it using any other operating system. At these points, you will need to recover data from the corrupted external hard drive. 

The most convenient method to recover data from a formatted or corrupted hard drive is using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. This powerful tool is designed to help users recover lost data on macOS, including the latest macOS Ventura. It is a professional data recovery software that provides progressive and intelligent data-restoring solutions in any situation or condition of the storage drive. 

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac has an evident user interface to make it an easy-to-use data recovery program. It efficiently unformats the storage drive to get your lost data back. It scans the hard drive to access the formatted data quickly and effectively. This tool stands out with effortless functionality and never fails to rescue files in any way.

In fact, it takes just a few seconds to operate and apply the efficient data recovery algorithm of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover deleted files on Mac. When you get the results, you can choose the files you want to save and what you don't need. Here are the easy steps to follow:

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.

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

Final Thoughts

This article saved you from struggling to fix your external hard drive not showing up Mac problem. In addition, if you accidentally lost your data during the fixing process, we recommend you utilize the most advanced features of the EaseUS Mac data recovery software to restore lost data on Mac. 

More FAQs About External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Mac

All the possible reasons and solutions are mentioned in this article. However, if you still have further questions, please follow this FAQs section.

1. Why is my external hard drive not showing up in the disk utility?

If your external hard drive is not showing up in the Disk Utility, go to the View tab and choose Show All Devices. If it is still not showing up, the drive might be physically damaged, and you will need to replace it.

2. How to fix an external hard drive not detected on macOS Monterey?

Choose Preferences from the Finder menu at the top of the screen. Go to General. Ensure that the External disks option is checked. Next, click Sidebar and ensure the External disks checkbox is selected.

3. What do I do if my external hard drive is not recognized on Mac?

In the search bar, type System Preferences, then open Disk Utility. Click the Sidebar and check that the external disk is selected. Click the checkbox of the hard drive, and select Mount. 

4. How do I revive a dead hard drive?

Double-check all cables and connections before trying to revive a dead hard drive. After this, try to find the cause of the hard drive failure. Apply the solution based on whether there is physical damage, logical damage, malware, etc.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and loves various electronic products.

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