External Hard Drive is not Working on Mac- Guide

External Hard Drive is not Working on Mac- Guide

Sometimes, the external hard drive has some problems, and that is why it is not showing up on some systems like Mac. It is probably because of faulty connections and hard drive corruption. You should not be panic if there is an issue in your hard drive. You can fix it by checking the connections of your hard drive, settings, and other essential aspects.

Most of the people don’t know, like where they have to start fixing their hard disk drive. As I mentioned earlier, the fault doesn’t need to be in your hard drive only. It can occur even in your system settings as well. Anyway, we are here to troubleshoot the problem and fix it.

Why is the external hard disk drive is not showing up on Mac?

I had already mentioned it earlier that most of the time, it is because of faulty hard disk drive connections or corrupted hard disk drive. But, the other factors can be the reason as well for this problem.

There are so many causes that why the hard disk drive, SD card, and other removable memory devices is not showing up on the mac. It ould be due to the broken cable, port or anything. Sometimes, the hardware-software may need an update. There could be a driver issue.

The result, you plug in the external hard drive, and nothing happens. Therefore, we are coming up with the solutions, and below, we have added a cleared troubleshoot for this problem.

  1. Check the connections of the external hard disk drive.

We know that most of the hard disk drives are connected to the computer using the port, cable, and wire. That is why It is essential to check out the faulty wire and port connections.

If there is any fault in the cable or port, then the result, the hard disk drive will not show in your macbook.

You can check it by following the below steps.

Step 1: Power connections:

  • If you are using any external hard disk drive, then make sure it is correctly connected with the power socket.
  • Some hard disk drives use USB socket for content delivery. Therefore, check it out before plug in the external hard disk drive to such port that there should not be any dust, water, or anything under the USB ports.
  • You are on macbook, and I think you are aware of the Low power mode system for Mac OSX. Some external hard disk drive needs the power to show up on the system. The low power mode can be the reason that it is not showing on the system.

Step 2: Check other connections:

  • Check if the wire is perfect and not broken.
  • Try to connect your hard disk drive to any other PC or system.
  • Check out if there is any fault in your USB ports.
  1. Check if the file system of the hard drive is recognizable?

It is better to check it out. The data is in your hard drive is not corrupted, and for this, you can follow out the below steps.

There could be four different circumstances in this situation.

First: The file system is corrupted.

The file system can be damaged due to improper ejections or viruses. To repair your corrupted hard disk drive, follow these steps.

  • Launch disk utility.
  • Choose your external hard disk drive from the left side corner.
  • Check on the first aid option and click on the run.

If the mac is unable to recognize your hard disk drive or first aid failed to recover your corrupted files. So, the only option which is left is to format your hard disk drive.

Reformatting is a good option as it will also clear the caches, but the problem is it will clean up all the essential data on your hard disk drive, however, if you don’t want to lose your external hard disk drive. Therefore, you are advised to recover your data with iBoysoft Mac data recovery software.

It is one of the powerful software which is helpful in such extreme conditions. Whereever your macintosh or external hard disk drive is not recognizable by Mac or corrupted. You can use iBoysoft mac data recovery software for recovering your corrupted files from the hard disk drive. I even had added the steps for the process.


  • First, you need to download iBoysoft mac data recovery software. You can download it by clicking here. https://iboysoft.com/mac-data-recovery/free-mac-data-recovery.html
  • Install the software in your system and then scan for the lost data in your external hard disk drive.
  • Preview the results and choose the files that you want to recover from your hard disk drive.
  • After that, you can go for the formatting option to fix your corrupted hard disk drive.

Second: The external HDD is APFS Formatted.

This could be an issue if you are using the previous versions of Mac OSX. It is because the latest Mac os versions only support the APFS format.

Third: The external hard disk drive is Windows NTFS Formatted.

We know that Mac only can recognize the NTFS format but only with the read-only permission. Therefore, you may have to install some external software to use this hard disk drive on both Mac and Windows, or you have to reformat it according to the mac requirements.

Fourth: External hard drive is formatted with a non-native file system.

Other file systems like Linux EXT3 and EXT4 are not readable by Mac. Therefore, you may have to reformat it according to the Mac requirements. You can do it by using the disk utility program of Mac Os.


We know that it is relatively complicated to check out the exact issue of why your hard disk drive is not showing up on the Mac system. However, most of the people worried about data loss in the troubleshooting process, and that is why we have added perfect assistance so that the people can recover their corrupted data using iBoysoft mac data recovery software.

Also, to prevent hard disk drive from corruption. It is advised to eject it carefully and always scan for the corrupted files before injecting it into the system. Find other ways to solve external HDD not showing up problem on Mac and detailed tutorial for data recovery in this article.

Filed in: iOS

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