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How to Fix External Hard Drive Not Recognized on Mac

How to Fix External Hard Drive Not Recognized on Mac

If you’re having trouble accessing files on your external hard drive, it might be due to a compatibility issue between your Mac and the drive. In this article, we’ll show you how to fix that so you can get back to using your hard drive again.

Check USB Cable and Connections

If your external hard drive is not recognized on your Mac, the first thing you should do is check the USB cable and connections. Make sure that the cable is plugged into the correct port on your computer and that it is snugly connected to both the drive and your Mac.

If everything looks good with the cable and connections, the next step is to restart your computer. Sometimes all it takes is a reboot to get your Mac to recognize an external hard drive.

If your external hard drive still isn’t showing up after you’ve checked the cable and restarted your computer, there may be an issue with the drive itself. Try plugging it into another computer to see if it’s recognized there. If not, then it’s likely that the drive is defective and you will need to get a new one from a Mac repair center.

Check Disk Utility

If you’re having issues with your external hard drive not being recognized on your Mac, one thing you can try is to run a check using Disk Utility. This tool can help identify any problems with the drive that may be causing the issue. To use Disk Utility:

1. Open Disk Utility (you can find this in the Utilities folder in your Applications folder).
2. Select your external hard drive from the list of drives on the left.
3. Click on the First Aid tab.
4. Click on the Verify button. Disk Utility will now scan your external hard drive and check for any problems.
5. If any errors are found, you can try to repair them by clicking on the Repair button.

Hopefully, running a check using Disk Utility will fix your problem and you’ll be able to access your external hard drive again.

Check System Preferences

If you’re still having trouble getting your external hard drive recognized on your Mac, the next thing to check is your System Preferences. Go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences,” then click on the “Security & Privacy” icon. On the “General” tab, you should see an option near the bottom that says “Allow applications downloaded from:” with a pop-up menu next to it.

If this option is set to “Mac App Store and identified developers,” that’s likely the problem. Change it to “Anywhere,” then try using your external hard drive again. This setting does mean that you’ll be able to run any software on your Mac, so if you’re not comfortable with that, you can change it back after you’ve gotten your external hard drive working.


If you’re having trouble getting your external hard drive recognized on Mac, don’t worry — there are a few things you can try to fix the issue. First, check to make sure that the hard drive is properly plugged in and that it’s turned on. If that doesn’t work, try unplugging and replugging it into a different port. You may also need to update your Mac’s operating system or format the hard drive. If none of these solutions work, you may need to take your computer to an authorized Apple service provider for further diagnosis.

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