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Fixed: USB/External Hard Drive Shows in Device Manager Not This PC

Does your USB or external hard drive appear in Device Manager/Disk Management but not in Windows Explorer/My Computer/This PC? This article will guide you to completely fix 'USB external hard drive only showing in Device Manager'.

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Table of Contents

USB/External hard drive only appears in Device Manager, how to make it show up in This PC or Windows Explorer?

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Preparation. Check it in Disk Management First, insert or connect the USB or external hard drive to your PC; check if...Full steps
Procedure 1. Recover your drive data Download EaseUS hard drive recovery software > choose the drive to scan > recover...Full steps
Procedure 2. Fix USB not showing up 1. Update or reinstall device drivers; 2. Assign a new drive letter; 3. Format or create a new volume...Full steps

"Hi guys, do you know how to make an external hard drive show up in This PC or Windows Explorer in Windows 10? I have a problem that my external USB drive shows up in Device Manager, but it doesn't display in Windows Explorer. 

I have some important files saved on the USB drive, so I need a secure way that can help me make the USB drive appear and show up on This PC without losing any data."

Are you having a similar issue on your USB or external hard drive in Windows 10, 8, or 7? Relax! Here below, you'll find a complete solution in three parts. Follow to fix "USB or external hard drive shows up in Device Manager but not explorer" error and restore all data by simple clicks.

USB, external hard drive shows in Disk Management but not in This PC.

Notice: If you have important data saved on your external hard drive or USB drive, do remember to check whether your saved data are available. If not, please use a professional files recovery tool to access and restore data from a USB or external hard drive after it shows up in Disk Management. 

You May Also Interest In: How to Fix Hard Drive Not Showing Up in Windows

Preparation. Check if USB/external hard drive detectable

When your USB storage drive is not showing up in My Computer (Windows 7), This PC (Windows 8.1/10), or File Explorer, you should first make them detectable in Disk Management. And below tips will help you make it:

Step 1. First, insert and connect the USB or external hard drive to your PC.

Step 2. Check if it appears in Disk Management or not.

Check if USB shows up in disk Management.

If not, try the below tips for help:

#1. Press Win + X keys at the same time and select Disk Management > Check out if you can see your USB or external hard drive listed as a Removable disk.

#2. Plug and insert your USB or external hard drive into a different USB port on your computer instead of using USB hubs.

#3. Power on your USB or external hard drive if it's switched off and try to connect it to a different computer.

When the USB or external hard drive appears in the Disk Management, you can first use a data recovery program to restore your files, and then take effective methods to fix the 'USB/external hard drive not show up in This PC' error.

Procedure 1. Access and extract data on USB/external hard drive

As long as your USB flash drive or external hard disk displays in the Disk Management, you can use powerful hard disk recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to access, extract and restore all data out of the device in advance.

EaseUS Flash Drive Recovery Software

Whenever you have data recovery problems, you can download and run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It can restore data from any device, including emptied Recycle Bin, formatted hard drive, lost partition, NAS, and more.

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Step-by-Step Guide:

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

This software supports you to restore data and repair undetectable flash drives or disks with simple clicks.

Video Guide to Restore Data from USB/External Hard Drive

Procedure 2. Fix 'USB/External hard drive showing in Device Manager only'

If your USB or external hard drive does not show up in Explorer on your PC, you can now follow the three fixes below to resolve this error now:

Method 1. Update or reinstall USB/external hard drive drivers

Step 1. Connect your USB or external hard drive to your PC, go to Devices Manager > Click Universal Serial Bus Controllers.

Step 2. Right-click your USB or external hard drive and click Uninstall > Unplug the drive. 

uninstall drive to make usb external hard drive show up in disk management

Step 3. Plug the USB/external hard drive back in your PC, and enter Device Manager again > Go to Universal Serial Bus Controllers.

Step 4. Click to highlight and select the USB component to be updated.

Step 5. Right-click USB and choose "Update Driver Software" from the drop-down menu.

Step 6. Follow the on-screen guide in Update Driver Software Wizard to update USB or external hard drive drivers.

Method 2. Assign external hard drive with a new drive letter to make it appear in Windows Explorer

Step 1. Press Win + X keys and click Disk Management.

Step 2. Find and right-click on your USB or external hard drive and select Change Drive Letter and Path.

Change Drive Letter to make USB or external hard drive show up in This PC.

Step 3. Click Add if the drive doesn't have a letter or assign a new letter to your drive, select a new drive letter and click OK to save all the changes. 

Method 3. Format or create a new volume on a USB/external hard drive

After this, you can then format and reset the file system on your USB or external hard drive to NTFS with tips below:

Notice: This method may erase or remove the existing data on your storage device, so please make sure that you've extracted your precious data to a secure device. If not, use EaseUS data recovery software to restore your data in advance.

Step 1. Right-click Start and select Disk Management.

Step 2. Locate and find your USB or external hard drive, right-click on it and select Format volume.

Format to reset USB or external hard drive which not appears in Windows Explorer.

Step 3. Reset the file system from FAT or RAW to NTFS, click OK to confirm, and keep all changes.

If the USB or external hard drive shows up as unallocated space on Windows 10, you can create a new volume on the disk to make it usable for saving data again:

Step 1. Press Win + X keys at the same time and select Disk Management.

Step 2. Find and right-click the unallocated space on your USB or external hard drive and select New Simple Volume.

Create new simple volume to make USB or external hard drive display in This PC.

Step 3. Recreate and set the drive file system with a new drive letter to make it detectable in This PC/Windows Explorer again.

The Bottom Line

Hope you have solved your problem after reading this post. The whole procedure to solve USB showing in Device Manager only error is to check if your USB or external hard drive is detectable in Disk Management first. Then use any of the three methods we provide to solve this problem. At last, recover your USB data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our support team - [email protected]

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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Written by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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