Solved: USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up On Mac

Brithny updated on Feb 21, 2020 to Mac File Recovery | How-to Articles


When your USB flash drive doesn't show up on Mac, the causes are various, including USB port issue, USB drive corruption or internal errors. Effective solutions toward this problem are available in two parts on this page: 1. Fix 'USB isn't showing up' issue; 2. Restore files with EaseUS Mac data recovery software if the USB flash drive becomes inaccessible. Check out and follow to repair your USB flash drive to function normally again.

If your external hard drive, flash drive, or SD card, etc. devices are not showing up on Mac, don't worry. This page covers two parts of effective solutions to resolve USB flash drive not showing up on Mac issue. Follow through this page to get rid of this issue on your device without losing any data now:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Part 1. Fix Not Showing USB 1. Make Mac detect USB; 2. Check Finder Preference; 3. Repair USB; 4. Fix USB errors...Full steps
Part 2. Restore Lost USB Data Connect USB to Mac > Run EaseUS Mac data recovery software > Scan and restore lost data on USB...Full steps

"Hi, I have tried a number of ways to connect my USB drive to my Mac but none have worked. My Mac just doesn't show any signal of the drive. I have important files on the drive and additionally would like to use USB on my Mac in the future. Please help me to get the missing USB flash drive to show up. Thanks in advance!"

Part 1. Fix USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Mac

We collected several fixes for you to try and make your USB flash drive detected by Mac computer.

Fix 1. Make Mac computer detect the USB

Step 1: Go to Applications > Utilities > System Information.

Make Mac detect the USB flash drive.

Step 2: Check if the system detects the USB drive.

Step 3: Click "USB" on the left panel, and check the USB flash drive information.

Check USB information

If you don't see your USB drive listed here, unplug it, disconnecting the drive, and plug it into another USB port or a new external USB hub.

Reconnect USB to make it show up on Mac

Step 4: Reset USB ports on Mac:

  1. 1. Restart Mac computer, press the Command +Option+P+R keys until the Apple logo appears.
  2. 2. Press Command+Option+Esc keys to close all applications that are not responding.
  3. 3. Plug the USB which is not showing up to your Mac computer. If it doesn't show up, click Apple icon and select "Sleep".
  4. 4. Wake up the computer after a few seconds by pressing any key.
  5. 5. Shut down the Mac, unplug the power cord, reattach it after 15 seconds.

If this doesn't work, move on to try the following options. 

Fix 2. Check the Finder Preference

Step 1: Click "Finder" and select "Preference".

Step 2: Go to the "Genernal" tab, under "Show these items on desktop", make sure External disks is checked.

Make USB show up on Mac.

Step 3: Click on "Sidebar",check "External disks" is checked under "Devices".

Enable Mac to display USB.

Fix 3. Repair USB flash drive with First Aid if it doesn't show up

Step 1: Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.

Repair USB error.

  1. Step 2: Select USB flash drive on the left panel of Disk Utility, and click "First Aid" at the top toolbar and click "Run".
  2. Disk Utility will repair any errors on the drive automatically.

Check and repair errors on USB.

Step 3: Select the USB drive and click "Unmount" at the top toolbar, unplug the USB and plug it back in 10-15 seconds.

Unmount and mount USB to make it show up.

Fix 4. Check and fix errors in USB with Terminal

Step 1: Open Terminal in Utilities, type: diskutil list and press Return.

Check and fix errors on USB.

Step 2: Find the disk number of your USB flash drive, type: diskutil info disk2 and press Return. (Replace 2 with the disk number of your USB flash drive.)

List USB.

Step 3: Type: diskutil eject disk 2 and press Return.

Step 4: Type: diskutil list and press Return.When the USB disappear from the Terminal list, close the window.

Step 5: Close Terminal and open Console to inspect your drive errors.

Step 6: Click "Errors and Faults" to check if there are any errors.

Check if USB contains errors.

  1. Reconnect your USB flash drive back to Mac, if now error shows up, your USB flash drive is safe.

After that, your USB will be detected and work again after the operations above. There, you can open the USB, check and use all existing files on the drive again.

Notice: Mostly, when USB flash drive cannot be detected by Mac computer, data on the USB flash drive may not be able to survive from this disaster. Also, some of the above solutions (Fix 3 and Fix 4) may also cause file loss when you apply to fix this error without awareness. For example, USB drive becomes inaccessible or files disappear.

If you are having file loss issue on the USB flash drive, follow Part 2 and you'll find a perfect data recovery resolution on USB flash drive.

Part 2. Restore Data from USB Flash Drive

If Mac computer can read the USB drive but is unable to open the drive or the device got formatted, the data is still recoverable. You can search free Mac data recovery software online and test each recommended tool for a try.

Or, you can also catch a time-saving option here - to apply EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Free Edition for an aid. This tool recovers photos, videos, documents, and music from your Mac hard drive and external storage devices in only three steps.

Step 1. Correctly connect your USB flash drive to your Mac. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. Start selecting the flash drive and click Scan to let the software search lost files on it.

select the flash drive where data lost and click scan

Step 2. After quick scan and deep scan, all files will be presented in the left pane in the scan results.

scan lost data on the flash drive

Step 3. Select files you want to recover and click Recover Now button. Don't save the recoverable files to the USB drive itself in case of data overwriting.

click recover now button to recover lost flash drive data on your Mac

If you still have problems, feel free to contact us and ask for further assistance by emailing us:

You can also refer to How-to page on EaseUS and find more solutions.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

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"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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