Tips to Fix Mac Doesn’t Recognize External Hard Drive on MacBook Pro/ MBA/ iMac Pro

Last Updated on Jul 23, 2020

Usually, when we connect the external drive to Mac, it shows up quickly on the desktop. But when you don’t find the external drive on the desktop, then it is frustrating cause you can’t copy or post anything on your Mac internal drive. We all have some important stuff like backups, documents, movies, and many more things stored in the external drive. However when you find that your Mac doesn’t recognize external hard drive then different thoughts come in mind like the drive is corrupted or crashed. Sometimes Drive not appear on the desktop, then you should check for a disk in the left frame of finder Windows and under the ‘’Devices’’ heading.

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Even if you have an external drive that contains corrupted data, then Mac won’t recognize the external drive on macOS Big Sur, macOS Catalina, macOS Mojave. Before judging the exact reason, we will try to solutions and fix this issue.

Mac Doesn’t Recognize External Hard Drive anymore and why your Mac is not mounting or won’t detect specific popular brand drives including Seagate, wd, Toshiba, Iomega, Lacie, and exfat. Don’t worry, Apply my task, I’m sure that you will get rid of on this issue. Our, this article got many thanks from our readers so hope you will get success too. Let’s dive into it to know the correct problems and its solution!

Hold, before getting started the tutorial, keep in mind that Apple Mac Computer and Apple notebook including (MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook), etc. need the hard drive that must be formatted with a file system so you Mac can support. Usually, a tech-savvy guy knows that the formatting drive erases all of the data on it. In case, your hard drive is pre-formatted as NTFS then your macOS can only read data from it, not write any files and data of it.   

Solutions to fix Mac Doesn’t Recognize External Hard Drive on Mojave

Are you sure the port is correct for the hard drive? If it isn’t found the right slot, then try giving useful clues.

How to Show Connected Devices in Finder

If the MacBook’s internal settings are set up hide the externally connected devices, then there is no way you can access the External Drive from the Finder option. Verify the settings to show the connected devices in Finder.

  1. Launch Finder.
  2. Click on Finder on the top menu bar and choose Preferences.
  3. Select the General
  4. Make sure the External disks option is enabled.
  5. Also, click on the Sidebar tab and choose the items that you want to access from the Finder Sidebar.

Recommended Tip: Reset NVRAM

Turn off the Mac, and restart it, at the same time press and hold the Option + Command + P + R, for at least 20 seconds. If your Mac sounds Startup Chime, then release all the keys when you hear the second startup chime.

Solution 1: Faulty USB Cable of your hard drive

Before trying any other solution, you must look on cable (in the most case USB cable) which you are using while connecting the external hard drive to the Mac. If the wire has defected, then Mac won’t recognize the external hard drive on Mojave. Plug the USB cable correctly, or you can try to connect the external drive using another USB cable.

Hint: if your hard drive comes with a Thunderbolt or FireWire cable, then please find the right port to plug your external hard drive. Otherwise, get an adapter in case of don’t have a port on your Mac.

Solution 2: Damaged Port [Due to broken USB port on a MacBook Pro]

When we roughly use the USB port of Mac and connect and disconnect so many times in a day can result in a damaged port. So this can be considered as a hardware issue. Try connecting the external drive to another USB port.

Solution 3: Incorrectly formatted USB drive

I would like to remind you that Mac uses a different format. So if you are trying to connect the same Windows formatted drive, then Mac won’t show the external hard drive on macOS Big Sur.

Connect the same drive with another Windows PC and check if your hard drive is showing their or not. If it is showing on Windows, then change the format that is compatible with macOS.

Solution 4: Restart Your Apple Mac

Evergreen way to fix any weird issue is to reboot the system and give a fresh start to the system. However, after restarting the Mac hopefully, your problem will get fixed.

  • Step #1: Go to the “Apple” Menu
  • Step #2. Click on “Restart” the Mac.

You can also restart your Mac using the Command line.

Solution 5: Mac is not formatted to show external drives

It could be possible that Mac successfully recognizes the external drive, but it is not showing on the desktop of Mac. To cross verify and enable Mac to show external drives on the desktop you have to follow the steps,

  • Step #1: Go to Finder” menu and click on “Preferences.”
  • Step #2: There check the box near “External disks.”

Solution 6: Check Apple’s Disk Utility

Apple Mac Disk Utility keeps the record of how much storage is used, and unused along with it also shows externally connected drives. If you found any external hard drive on the Disk Utility, then Mount the drive. [You can check all running Apps on your Mac]

  • Step #1: Click on the “Apple” menu and open “System Preferences.”
  • Step #2: Select “Disk Utility.”
  • Step #3: If you see your connected external hard drive on the list then click on “Option” and Mount the drive.

Solution 7: Check Power of your Hard disk

Some of the external hard drives required separate power connections so if you have powered Mac hard drive then you make sure that the drive has enough power. For this, you may need a dual USB cable.

If none of the above solutions work for you then it might be possible that external hard drive is crashed or damaged.

Solution 8: You consider Replacing your Drive

Test your Drive on another Mac or Windows computer, and if it is not showing on there too then, your hard drive fails, and this the time to buy a new one. If you hard drive new and its under warranty or guaranty, then please contact a particular seller or company.

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Wrap up:

If unluckily, your Mac is old or even in new Mac the hardware Port frailer, then what next? Apple Store? Yes, you should go to your nearest Apple Authorized service center and ask them your problem regarding Mac doesn’t mount the external hard drive. Hope they will guide you honestly. Stay in touch with us for further assistance.

Useful Source related to this Article may help you a lot

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

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