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Fixed: WD My Passport Ultra Not Showing Up/Detected

Is your WD My Passport external hard drive not showing up, not detected, or unrecognized on your PC? Follow this guide, you'll fix the WD passport not showing up error and make it work again.

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Updated by Cici on Oct 18, 2023
Written by Brithny

WD My Passport Ultra not showing up

When your WD My Passport Ultra hard drive or external hard drive is not showing up, you can neither access nor use the drive on your computer.

But don't worry. Follow this guide; you'll learn the causes and fixes to the WD Passport Ultra external hard drive not showing up errors on your own:

⚙️Complex Level Low, Beginners
⏱️Duration 3-5 minutes
💻Applies to Fix WD My Passport Ultra not detected errors
🧩Preparations Windows PC, WD My Passport, USB cable, EaseUS Partition Master

Stage 1. Check the State of the WD External Hard Disk

Stage 2. Fix WD My Passport External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Error


It can be annoying if your WD My Passport can't be detected in a Windows PC, which set many users in trouble. There is a real case:

"WD My passport is not showing up in File Explorer. Hi all, I have been given my friend's Western Digital My passport as it has stopped showing up in file explorer. What should I do to fix this issue?" - Reddit

Fortunately, EaseUS gives 6 efficient fixes to you in this article. There are two stages you need to go through to fix "WD My Passport not detected" error. First, let's go to check the state of your WD external hard disk so that you can find the best fix for your error.

Part 1. Check The State of WD External Hard Disk in Disk Management

Connect the WD external hard drive to your computer via the USB cable. Follow steps here to check the state of your WD external hard drive in Disk Management:

Step 1. Press Windows + R keys, type diskmgmt.msc in the Run box, and click "OK".

Open Disk Management

Step 2. In Disk Management, locate and check the state of your WD external hard drive.

Part 2. Fix WD My Passport External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Error

Check the state of your not showing up or not detected WD My Passport Ultra external hard drive and refer to the right fix to make your drive work normally again. Among the 6 fixes, Fix 1 and Fix 2 usually work well when making the hard drive detected because bad sectors and file system corruption are the common causes. Hence, if you make sure your device has no hardware errors, go to Fix 1 and Fix 2 to try. 

Fix 1. Check and Fix Corrupted File System/Bad Sector on Not Detected WD Disk

Applies to: Fix WD passport external hard drive not showing up due to file system error or bad sectors.

If the system files are corrupted or the WD device contains bad sectors, Windows disk management may detect it as "*Others" or RAW. Your computer may not even able to detect it from File Explorer.

EaseUS partition manager software with its Check File System feature can help. As long as your Disk Management can detect it, you can apply this tool to fix the corrupted file system and bad sectors on WD hard drive.

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Follow to see how to fix corrupted system files and bad sectors on WD device:

After this, you can check the drive. If your files were missing, move to Part 3 and apply reliable data recovery software to bring back all your WD external hard drive data.

Fix 2. Add New Drive Letter to Make WD Passport External Hard Drive Showing Up

Applies to: Fix WD passport external hard drive not showing up due to the drive letter confliction.

If your WD displays as "New Volume" with no drive letter in Disk Management, it won't show up in File Explorer. Don't worry.

You can change or add a new drive letter so to make WD passport detectable and accessible again in Windows PC:

Step 1. Press Win + R keys, type diskmgmt.msc in the Run dialog, click "OK" to open Disk Management.

Step 2. Right-click on WD drive which fails to show up and choose "Change Drive Letter and Paths...".

Change WD device driver letter.

Step 3. Click "Add", set a new drive letter to assign to the WD external drive, and click "OK".

If the WD drive has already been assigned with a letter, click "Change" to choose another letter for it. After this, restart your PC and check if you can visit the WD external hard drive in Windows File Explorer. When you can view your drive, you can also use File Explorer or other methods to format it. If you are interested in this, click the link below:

related articles

How to Format WD My Passport Windows 10 [4 Easy Ways]

If you have a WD My Passport drive but don't know how to format it using Windows 10, don't worry and continue reading this article. In this article, we're going to show you how to format WD My Passport Windows 10 with four quick and easy solutions. 

format wd passport

Fix 3. Plug WD My Passport Halfway-in-USB

This method is more like a temporary solution. According to a user's feedback on a forum, in this "bizarre way", his computer successfully recognized the external hard drive. Here's how to do it.

Step 1. Plug the USB cable halfway through any one of your computer's USB ports. 

Step 2. Wait for the WD hard drive to show up in File Explorer.

Step 3. When you see your hard drive, push the USB completely into the USB port. 

It might be unreasonable, but quite a lot of people solved their problem with this trick. Have a try on it!

Fix 4. Try a Different USB Cable/Port or PC 

When your WD hard drive neither shows up in File Explorer nor Disk Management, you can try to change the USB cable, try another USB port, or a new PC to see if the drive can be read or not.

Step 1. Switch a USB port/cable and replug it to your computer.

If the drive can be read via new a USB cable or on a new PC, then the drive is working fine. The problem is with the USB cable.

Step 2. Reconnect the WD drive via a new USB hub or to a new PC.

  • If the WD Passport drive shows up, it is the damaged USB hub that stops WD from showing up.
  • If the WD passport is not detected either on your current or the new PC, replace the WD drive with a new one.

Fix 5. Update WD External Device Driver & Reinstall BUS Controllers

When the WD Passport drive is not working, it might be caused by the outdated device drivers. So the best way is to update its driver via the following three paths:

#1. Download and Install WD Device Driver:

Step 1. Connect the problematic WD external hard drive to your PC.

Step 2. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Device Manager".

Step 3. Find and expand Disk Drivers, Portable Devices, Universal Serial USB Controllers, or Other devices.

See if the WD external hard drive is shown as an "Unknown" device.

Step 4. Right-click on Unknown or not working WD external hard drive, select "Properties".

Step 5. Go to the Details tab, set Property to "Hardware Ids".

Step 6. Right-click the top Value and click "Copy".

Update WD device driver.

Step 7. Paste it into a browser and search for the correct device driver.

Step 8. Find and download the correct WD device driver and install it on your PC.

After this, restart your computer. And everything shall work fine with your WD My Passport Ultra drive.

#2. Update WD Device Driver from Device Manager:

Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Device Manager".

Step 2. Expand Device Manager and right-click the WD My Passport Ultra drive.

Step 3. Select "Update driver".

Update WD device driver

Step 4. Select "Search automatically for updated driver software", wait for the process to complete.

#3. Uninstall/Reinstall USB Controllers

When the Universal USB Bus Controllers are outdated, it may also stop your WD passport from being detected or showing up. So you can try to uninstall and reinstall USB controllers:

Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select "Device Manager".

Step 2. Expand Universal Serial Bus controllers, right-click on USB controllers of the WD drive, and select "Uninstall device".

Reinstall WD USB controllers to make it work again.

Repeat to uninstall each USB controller one by one.

Step 3. Restart the computer and Windows will automatically reinstall the USB controllers of your WD drive.

After this, you shall be able to visit and access saved data on your WD Passport Ultra drive normally by then. 

If the WD external hard drive is still not showing up in both File Explorer and Disk Management after trying all these solutions, send your drive for repair as shown in Fix 3.

Fix 6. Send "Unknown" & Not Detected WD External Hard Disk for Repair

If your WD external hard drive displays as "Unknown" in disk management, the last thing you can try is to send the disk for repair. 

You have two options for this issue:

  • Option 1. Beyond the Warranty: Send WD external disk for repair in a local repair center
  • Option 2. Within the Warranty: Send WD external disk back to its manufacturer

Is this section helpful? If you indeed solve your problem using these ways, share this article to help more.


Part 3. Get Data Off WD External Disk and Format It to Work Again

If your WD hard drive shows up and you can access the disk again. Take the last guide in this part to fully protect your files and make the WD external hard drive viable for saving and editing data again.

#1. Get Data Off WD External Hard Drive

Here are two ways that you can fully get files from your WD external hard drive:

  1. 1. Open and copy data from your WD hard drive to another storage device as a backup.
  2. 2. Recover lost files from WD drive with EaseUS file recovery software.

Note that, if you lost some valuable files during the process, don't worry. Professional file recovery software can scan and bring back your files in 3 steps:

Step 1. Choose and scan the external hard drive

  • Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery on your PC or laptop. 
  • Connect the external hard drive to your computer.
  • Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and choose the external drive from External drives list. Then, click scan for lost data. 
select external hard drive

Step 2. Check the scan results

  • EaseUS data recovery software will immediately scan the selected drive for all data, including deleted, corrupted, and existing data.
  • You can use the Filter feature to quickly locate the files of one kind, such as Pictures, Word, Excel, PDF, videos, emails, etc.
scan external hard drive

Step 3. Preview and recover data

  • Double-clicking a file from the scanned results to preview.
  • Choose the files you want and click "Recover".
  • Select a different drive to save the recovered files instead of the original one. 
preview and recover data

Remember to save the recovered files to another secure location and then move to the next guide to format your WD My Passport external hard drive to usable again.

#2. Format WD External Hard Drive to Usable 

Here, you may also let EaseUS Partition Master help. It's easy and efficient in formatting a disk:

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Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 1

Step 2. Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 2

Step 3. In the Warning window, click "Yes" to continue.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 4

After this, you can save the data back to your WD external hard drive again. Some of you may also want to learn what causes the wd external hard drive not showing up on the computer. Continue reading and check it out.

Why Is My WD Passport Not Showing Up?

We consulted many experienced users and IT professionals, and we concluded the causes below. Check out why is your WD Passport Ultra external not showing up:

  1. 1. A faulty USB port/cable, or a damaged USB hub on PC
  2. 2. Corrupted file system or bad sectors makes WD drive unreadable
  3. 3. No drive letter is assigned to WD Passport drive
  4. 4. WD drive driver is out of date
  5. 5. Universal USB controllers drivers are outdated

These causes may also lead to some of your other devices malfunctioning, such as:

So how to fix these errors and make your WD Passport Ultra external hard drive show up on PC again? Follow through the tutorials below to get rid of this issue immediately.

Make Your WD External Hard Drive Show Up and Work Now

On this page, we explained why is WD My Passport Ultra external hard drive not showing up on Windows PC and provided 6 practical fixes for you to follow and make the drive show up again.

As a beginner, we suggest that you follow the whole guide one by one. These fixes also work to resolve the same issue on all brands of external hard drive, internal hard drive, USB, or SD card.

Now, it's your turn. Take steps to fix your not showing up WD external hard drive and make it work again without losing any data.

People Also Ask

For further issues related to the WD passport, check the questions and answers below. You'll get a satisfying answer:

1. WD My Passport not showing up on Mac

If you are having a similar issue that WD My Passport external or internal hard drive not showing up on Mac, you can try the following tips as listed here for help: (Some are similar as shown on this page)

  1. #1. Reconnect WD Passport to Mac
  2. #2. Change WD Passport drive letter
  3. #3. Remount WD Passport to Mac
  4. #4. Update WD Passport drive driver
  5. #5. Format WD My Passport on Mac

2. How to use WD Passport on Windows 10?

For a new WD Passport: Connect Passport to Windows 10 PC > Open Disk Management and Initialize Disk > Create a New Partition on WD Passport drive.

For a used WD Passport: Connect it to Windows 10 > Open it in File Explorer to use it. If you need more space, delete some useless files on it to free up space.

3. Why is my external hard drive not showing up?

Accordingly, many reasons may cause your external hard drive not showing up. Here is a list of major reasons:

  • The external hard drive is not connected to the PC correctly
  • Faulty USB cable or USB hub
  • External hard drive is not initialized
  • External hard drive is doesn't contain a volume
  • External hard drive has no drive letter
  • External hard drive contains file system error, bad sectors, or virus

For a resolution, follow External/Internal Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows 10/8/7. 

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About the Author

Updated by Cici

Cici is the junior editor of the writing team of EaseUS. She accepted the systematic training on computers at EaseUS for over one year. Now, she wrote a lot of professional articles to help people resolve the issues of hard drive corruption, computer boot errors, and disk partition problems.

Read full bio

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 favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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