Access Hard Drive Icon Not Showing On Mac

If your hard drive doesn't appear on the desktop, go to the Finder (you can select it in your dock or just click on your desktop) and select Finder Preferences (Command-Comma). Make sure the Hard Disks box is checked and it should show on your desktop. This is true as of OS X Lion (10.7) and subsequent OS X and macOS releases. Find Hard Drive On Mac; Access Hard Drive On Mac; Keeping you Mac's hard drive or SSD healthy is hugely important. By monitoring and checking your Mac hard drive's health, you can anticipate potential problems and prevent potentially catastrophic crashes. If you don’t, then just click on the Finder icon from your Mac’s Dock to bring it to the foreground. Once you’re on the same page, simply follow these steps to show all your Mac’s storage disks on the Desktop: 1) In the Menu Bar, go to Finder → Preferences. 2) When the preferences window for Finder opens up, open the General tab.


May 28, 2014 How to Fix Wrong Hard Drive Data Usage Calculation in OS X By Shujaa Imran / May 28, 2014 / Mac If you’re running OS X Lion or above, an easy approach to see some quick information about your Mac’s hardware is by selecting “About This Mac” from the Apple menu and then clicking on the “More Information” button. Mar 17, 2020 If your external hard drive not showing up in Finder but visible in Disk Utility, go to Finder window and view below the favourite list. If the drive greyed Out? Select the drive. It might visible. Restart your Mac and reconnect hard drive to Mac. Shut down your Mac and then unplug the power cord and all USB connections.

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Disk Utility User Guide

Partitioning a disk divides it into individual sections, each of which acts as a separate volume.

However, with APFS, you shouldn’t partition your disk in most cases. Instead, create multiple APFS volumes within a single partition. With the flexible space management provided by APFS, you can even install another version of macOS on an APFS volume.

Important: If you’re partitioning your internal physical disk because you want to install Windows, use Boot Camp Assistant instead. Do not use Disk Utility to remove a partition that was created using Boot Camp Assistant. Instead, use Boot Camp Assistant to remove the partition from your Mac.

Add a partition

Important: As a precaution, it’s best to back up your data before creating new partitions on your device.

  1. In the Disk Utility app on your Mac, select a volume in the sidebar, click the Partition button , then click Partition.

    Internal storage devices appear below the Internal section in the sidebar. External devices appear below the External section in the sidebar.

    When you select a volume that already has data on it, the pie chart shows a shaded area representing the amount of data on the volume and an unshaded area representing the amount of free space available for another volume. Disk Utility also shows whether the volume can be removed or resized.

    Note: If you see a small volume with an asterisk, the partition is smaller than can be represented at the correct scale in the chart.

  2. Click the Add button .

  3. Type a name for the volume in the Name field.

    For MS-DOS (FAT) and ExFAT volumes, the maximum length for the volume name is 11 characters.

  4. Click the Format pop-up menu, then choose a file system format.

  5. Enter the size or drag the resize control to increase or decrease the size of the volume.

  6. Click Apply, click Partition, then click Continue.

    Click Show Details to view the step-by-step process of creating a new volume.

  7. After the volumes are created, click Done.

After you partition a storage device, an icon for each volume appears in both the Disk Utility sidebar and the Finder sidebar.

Delete a partition

WARNING: When you delete a volume or partition, all the data on it is erased. Be sure to back up your data before you begin.

  1. In the Disk Utility app on your Mac, select a volume in the sidebar, click the Partition button , then click Partition.

  2. In the pie chart, click the partition you want to delete, then click the Delete button .

    If the Delete button is dimmed, you can’t delete the selected partition.

  3. Click Apply, then click Partition.

  4. After the volume is deleted, click Done.

Erase a partition

  1. In the Disk Utility app on your Mac, select the volume you want to erase in the sidebar.

  2. Click the Erase button , then click Erase.

    If the Erase button is dimmed, you can’t erase the selected volume.

  3. After the volume is erased, click Done.

Enlarge a partition on a storage device

If you have multiple partitions on a device and one of them is running out of space, you may be able to enlarge it without losing any of the files on it.

To enlarge a volume, you must delete the volume that comes after it on the device, then move the end point of the volume you want to enlarge into the freed space. You can’t enlarge the last volume on a device.

WARNING: When you delete a volume or partition, all the data on it is erased. Be sure to back up your data before you begin.

  1. In the Disk Utility app on your Mac, select a volume in the sidebar, then click the Partition button .

  2. In the pie chart, select the partition you want to delete, then click the Delete button .

  3. Click Apply.

    The partition is removed, reformatted, and all free space is assigned to the previous partition.

  4. Click Done.

See alsoFile system formats available in Disk Utility on MacAdd, delete, or erase APFS volumes in Disk Utility on MacAbout Disk Utility on Mac
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Disk Drill brings deleted files back from the dead.

Most of the time, when you connect an external hard drive to your Mac’s USB port, you soon see it mount on the desktop. Apple likes to ensure these are easy to find, so they also appear in the Finder in the left-hand column under Devices, since Mac’s treat them the same way as another computer.

However, sometimes, an external hard drive doesn't show up. It’s annoying, especially when you need to transfer something right then. And besides, there can be a risk that data on the external USB pen, hard, or flash drive is corrupt, which means you can’t transfer what you need between devices at all.

Corrupt data can be one reason your Mac won't recognize an external drive, but there are other reasons too. Let’s take a look why this is happening and how you can get an external drive to appear on your Mac and get recover data to access to your documents.

How to fix an external disk drive that won't show up on a Mac

Why an external disk drive is not showing up? There could be a few reasons why a USB flash drive isn’t making an appearance.

Open an External Drive Not Showing on Mac

Get a huge set of top utilities for troubleshooting external hard drives not mounting on a Mac

Start with the basics:

  1. Check whether the drive is properly plugged in. It sounds obvious, but since this relies on a wire - either a USB cable or HDMI cable - if it’s not connected properly then it won’t appear on your desktop.
  2. Faulty cable. Assuming it’s plugged in correctly, not wobbly or loose, the cable could be at fault. Try connecting the same device with a different cable.
  3. Damaged USB or flash drive port. It could be a hardware issue with the Mac. If you’ve got another port, try connecting the device to that one.
  4. Reboot your Mac. Sometimes, if a USB disk won't boot, the cause is macOS issue. Hopefully, some data damage that can be fixed by restarting. Choose the Apple menu > Restart. Or press and hold the power button and, when a dialog box appears, click the Restart or press R. Restarting your Mac essentially clears your macOS’s memory and starts it up fresh.
  5. Incorrectly formatted drive. Not every external drive is optimized for Macs. It could be that you are trying to connect something only fit to interact with Windows devices. If you’ve got a PC or laptop, it’s worth connecting and seeing if you can access the files through another device. The best way to look for an incorrectly formatted drive is to go to
    Apple (in the top toolbar menu) > About This Mac > Storage.
    See if the external drive shows up here. For more information, go to the same menu option, then select System Report.
  6. Mac not formatted to display external drives on the desktop. It could be that your Mac already recognizes the device, but just isn’t showing its icon on the desktop screen. Even if that is the case, the drive will still appear in the left-hand column of the Finder menu under Devices. You should be able to access your drive that way, and, in the Finder menu under Preferences > General, you can check External Drives to ensure that from now on it shows up on your desktop too.
  7. Reset NVRAM. To do this, shut down or restart your Mac, switch it back on and immediately press these four keys together for at least 20 seconds: Option, Command, P, and R. It should look as though your Mac has started again; if it has, release the keys when you hear the second startup chime. Hopefully, the hard drive has shown up now.
  8. Check Apple’s Disk Utility to see if an external drive is showing up. Disk Utility is within System Preferences, or you can find it using Spotlight. If it is visible, then click the option to Mount, which should make it visible on the desktop and in the External Drives option in the Finder menu.

Unfortunately, if none of those options has worked and the external drive still isn’t visible, then it could have crashed, or be well and truly broken. But there might still be a way you can recover the data on the external drive.

How to show connected devices in Finder

  1. Go to the Finder menu and select Preferences (Cmd+comma).
  2. From General tab tick External disks to ensure that from now on it shows on the desktop.

In the Sidebar tab you can choose which folders and devices will be shown in the left-hand column of the Finder window.

How to add cloud storages to Finder

You can also mount cloud storage as local drive on your Mac. By connecting Google Drive, Dropbox, or Amazon to your computer, you get more space for securely accessing and sharing files. For your ease, add cloud drives to Finder with CloudMounter app, so that you keep them close at hand. You can read detailed instructions on managing cloud storage as local drives here.

Repair the failed external drives with First Aid

If your drive is having problems, you can try to fix them yourself with First Aid and therefore get access to your files. First Aid tool will check the disk for errors and then attempt a repair as needed. It helps to verify and repair a range of issues related to startup HD and external drive problems. If you are able to fix the hard drive or SSD in your Mac (or an external drive) using Disk Utility you will hopefully be able to recover your files.

To run Fist Aid on an external hard drive:

  1. Open Disk Utility. You can searching for it using Spotlight Search or via Finder > Application > Utility
  2. Check on your external hard drive, click the First Aid tab and select Run to start running diagnostics.

Mac Os X Hard Drive Not Showing In Disk Utility Windows 10

If First Aid successful in fixing errors, the external drive should be available to mount. If the utility unable to repair issues, your drive truly is broken or formatted using a file system that the Mac cannot read - in this way we suggest you follow the next steps to recover data from a damaged disk drive.

How to recover data from a crashed drive

Thankfully, there is an app for that. Disk Drill is the world’s premier data recovery software for Mac OS X. Powerful enough to retrieve long-lost, mistakenly deleted files from Macs, external hard drives and USB drives and camera cards.

Get a file recovery app

Change Hard Drive Icon Mac

With Setapp you get a pack of professional tools for file recovery and Mac maintenance.

An easy way to recover lost files on an external hard drive

Providing you already have Disk Drill Pro version, which you can get automatically by downloading from Setapp:

  1. Connect your drive to the Mac.
  2. Quit all other applications on the Mac, especially those that may be trying to access the external drive (e.g. iPhoto, Words)
  3. Launch Disk Drill.
  4. Click on the external drive that you are trying to recover files from. If it has partitions, you will see all of them. If, however, you still don’t see any volume to the external drive then you may need to try some of the steps above again or read the Disk Drill Scanning FAQs.
  5. To avoid the external drive being accessed during the recovery process, click Extras next to the drive or drive partition or file, then select Remount Volume As Read Only. A padlock will appear, protecting the drive during the process.
  6. Now click Rebuild (or Recover) next to the file(s) you are trying to recover. Once the scan is finished - it may take some time if the files are large - a list of files will appeal.
  7. Next, click Mount Found Items as Disk button on the bottom-left below the scan results.
  8. Disk Drill “strongly suggest saving the files to a different drive than the one you are trying to recover files from. Saving to the same drive substantially lowers your chances of recovery.”
  9. A drive icon will appear, which once you double click will give you the option to open the files as you would do before they were lost. Drag them to another location, such as your desktop or a folder on your Mac.
  10. Open the files to ensure they have been recovered properly and safely eject the external drive.

Disk Drill does have other ways to recover lost files but assuming there aren’t complications, this method is the most effective. Disk Drill Pro recovery app is available from Setapp, along with dozens of Mac apps that will make your life easier. Never have to worry about a crashed or corrupted external drive again.

A few more tips on getting your files back

  1. Macs and third-party apps that look after Macs, such as Disk Drill and iStat Menus come with a S.M.A.R.T. (also known as Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) status monitor. If a SMART check reports errors, then it could mean the hard drive is at risk of failing completely. Within Disk Utility and Disk Drill, there are several solutions for this: Repair Disk Permissions and Repair Disk. If neither work, it’s recommended that you backup all of the data from the disk, erase, then run a SMART check again. The external hard drive should show up as Verified.
  2. Partitions can get lost within hard drives, temporarily hiding all of the information contained within. Disk Drill can help to identify and restore this information.
  3. Within Disk Drill, you can restore data when a hard drive is damaged or add formatting, which is also something Disk Utility can help with.
  4. CleanMyMac, another useful app available from Setapp, can help you identify external hard drive errors and repair them. It is an essential tool worth trying when you’re having external hard drive difficulties.

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Get a huge set of top apps for keeping your Mac in shape. Best utilities in one pack, give it a go!

Alternative ways to recover data from an external hard drive

Reset the System Management Controller (SMC) if your Mac shuts down when you plug in an external hard drive. Then use a different port to connect the external hard drive. If you’ve got a battery that you can’t remove:

  • Shut down and unplug the power adapter
  • Press Shift-Control-Option and the power button at the same time. Do this for 10 seconds
  • Release all keys
  • Plug the power adapter back in and switch your Mac back on

For Macs with removable batteries, you need to switch them off, remove the battery, then press and hold the power button for 5 seconds. After that, put the battery back in, plug in the power adapter and switch the power on again.

What’s your file format? One reason your Mac isn’t recognizing the hard drive is the file format. Windows uses NTFS file formats, while Macs, up until the introduction of Sierra, have used HFS+. Now, Apple has introduced the Apple File System (APFS) for newer operating systems. It is possible to format a hard drive so it can be read on Mac and Windows computers, providing you format using exFAT. However, if you’re having problems accessing the files and the issue is due to formatting, you will need to connect it to a device it can be read on, and then format the files correctly for the computer you are going to use it on next.

How to make Ext2/Ext3 drives readable on Mac

The common issue is Ext2- and Ext3-formatted drives are not readable on macOS. There are two ways to access such external drives on your Mac – via Linux OS or FUSE system. The easiest would be installing Linux to a secondary drive or virtual machine.

If you go with Linux installation, dual boot your Mac with Linux on another drive and use FAT32 as a transfer intermediary. If you don’t have a drive to install Linux to, use virtual machine as an interface for it. Transferring can be done the same way – with FAT32, or via network.

Another option for reading Ext2/Ext3 disks is mounting disk with Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE). Basically, it works as an extra interface enabling file system access via specially installed modules. Here’s how to mount drives with FUSE:

  1. Install FUSE for macOS or MacFUSE as well as fuse-ext2 module.
  2. Use the following Terminal command to enable Disk Utility’s debug menu and see all partitions: defaults write DUDebugMenuEnabled 1
  3. Attach your Ext2/Ext3 drive and locate the device name via Disk Utility.
  4. In your user account, create a folder to be used as a mount point.
  5. Use the following Terminal command to mount the drive as read-only: fuse-ext2 /dev/disk2s2 /Volumes/mountpoint
  6. For write support, use the command: fuse-ext2 -o force /dev/disk2s2 /Volumes/mountpoint

And that’s not the only case where Terminal helps you access external drive.

Employ the handy all-powerful Terminal, which always comes forward with solutions for difficult problems. Especially if System Information does recognize the USB or hard drive, but continues to hide it from you, disconnect the drive and try to find it using the Terminal, which you can find in Applications > Utilities.

Mac Os X External Hard Drive Not Showing In Disk Utility

  • Once in the Terminal, type in the command diskutil list
  • A list with information about volumes and drives should appear
  • Look for a section labelled /dev/disk_ (external, physical)
  • Make a note of the whole line after the word disk
  • Now put the following command into the Terminal diskutil info disk followed by the number or digits assigned to that disk
  • Now you should see detailed information about the drive, therefore confirming that your Mac can and does recognize it
  • Eject using the Terminal by entering the command diskutil eject disk followed by the number or digits assigned to that disk
  • Physically remove the disk from you Mac
  • Plug it back in and your Mac should recognize it

Console is also reliable when it comes to solving tricky problems, although it isn’t always that easy to use. You can find Console under Applications > Utilities > Console. Console shows if an external drive or any error is detected under the Errors and Faults tab. If no errors show up, then the problem is not caused by the device.

To sum up, there are lots of potential solutions for a Mac not reading an external hard drive. If we were to pick one, Disk Drill seems to be the most well-rounded, offering plenty of customizations and power in an easy-to-use interface. Disk Drill Pro recovery app is available via Setapp, along with 150+ Mac apps that strive to make your life much much easier. At the very least, you’ll never have to worry about a crashed or corrupted external drive ever again.

Mac have a reputation for being the robust and stable systems offered by Apple. Not using the third-party hardware and software guarantees that there is minimal scope for problems or issues, with their products. Mac owners proud themselves of being a part of the esteemed community of Apple product users. The smooth running of hardware and applications adds to the overall productivity. But at times you may not be able to fix the error of external hard drive not showing up on mac.

There are few things as solid as an Apple Mac, however occasionally comes the time when a mac user is faced with some issues. And these can take up a whole lot of time trying to get around the problem and finding a solution. One of this happens to be the external drive not showing up on MAC.

Change hard drive icon mac

Here we are offering you some possible causes of the problem and solutions on how to fix external hard drive not showing up on mac issue. Let’s go through them one by one. Using external hard drives for storing data is very common practice.

It is good for keeping backups or accessing data on the move. It is also economical without having to expand internal hard drive when you have an external hard drive handy. You connect it with a USB and have it appear on the finder. If for some reason it doesn’t show up in finder you can check it in the Utilities.

See Also : 8 Best Free and Paid Virtualization Software


  • 1 3 Ways to Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing Up on Mac

3 Ways to Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing Up on Mac

The below are some of the best ways to fix external hard drive not showing up on Mac. So without any delay, let’s have a look at them.


Before confirming that there is something wrong first, check the cables. See if the USB cable is in good condition and is connected correctly. Change the cable with a spare if you need to. Check if the external hard drive is fully charged or if it needs power.

If you are using the USB port through a hub, check if the hub is working correctly. Also, check the USB slot of your Mac by plugging another device to see if it is working.

Even rebooting your mac may also help in case if there is some background application running. Just to be sure if there is a problem with the drive, connect it to a different computer, and if it still doesn’t work, then it confirms that it needs fixing.

Depending on what you may find going through the basic steps, it could be the problem with the system or the drive. If none of these steps work, try the next option.

Check if your Mac is set to show connected devices on the screen. Click on Finder, and go to Preference. In the dialogue box, click on the General tab. And there make sure that the ‘External Disks’ checkbox is checked.

Once checked it would show up on the desktop and the Finder menu. Not having this checked could also be the reason that your External Hard Drive is not showing up on the screen.

See Also : 5 Ways to Recover Deleted Files on Mac Recover from Emptied Trash

Format the External hard drive

See if the drive is formatted entirely, if not maybe you need to format the drive. Sometimes your mac may not be able to identify or reformat the disk because it may be formatted in a different file system, which the mac is unable to read.

Check if it is formatted in the windows system, by plugging it in a windows machine. If it appears there, you can save your data in the windows system and empty your external hard drive, for it to be reformatted to a mac system.

Some hard drive may be formatted to be able to read by both windows and mac systems, using exFat or FAT32 formats. Most probably this will fix external hard drive not showing up on mac error.

Run First Aid

This method is our last way to fix external hard drive not showing up on mac.

Try running the first aid by clicking on the ‘First – Aid’ tab. Mac may find some error in the disk which you may fix by clicking the option repair disk.

If the external drive is empty, or if you do not need the data in the drive you can just erase and reformat the drive or restore if you need the data.

In the future, be mindful of when you are removing the drive. Don’t just unplug the USB, without first unmounting it properly. To unmount right-click on the External Drive icon and click eject, and then unplug the USB cable.

We hope you found some of these options helpful and were able to fix the issue with your External Hard Drive not showing up on the desktop or finder.

See Also : 4 Ways to Fix Malwarebytes Won’t Open Error {Latest}

Mac systems are not known to give the many problems to their users and are quite self-sufficient. Do not take any shortcuts in running or unplugging your devices.

Access Files On Hard Drive

Some processes may take longer time than the other. A lot of trouble that happens also depends on our handling of the system or trying to use incompatible devices. Keep your devices fully charged, and your USB ports and Hubs working correctly and be patient using your machines. Hope it solves external hard drive not showing up on mac issue.


We hope these three ways to fix external hard drive not showing up on MAC helped you to resolve your problem. However, if the problem pertains, then try contacting the Apple support for reference. Do not forget to visit us for more guides and article.

Access Hard Drive Icon Not Showing On Mac

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