Box Drive Mac Not Working

Sep 14, 2021 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

Is your Mac not recognizing USB Flash drive and restricted your access to the data? Read on to know about how to find USB Flash drive and access the data on Mac.

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A USB drive has become an inevitable necessity for our modern life. This amazing electronic tool is used to store data, transfer files, and various other files. While Flash drives easily connect with Mac, sometimes it doesn't. It's a common problem with nothing serious to worry about. The article features everything you need to know if USB won't show up on Mac.

Part 1: Why Mac doesn't recognize the USB drive

You might have come across a situation where your friend has sent you photos on a Flash drive. But when you plug it in, your Mac doesn't recognize USB. While the reasons could be many, but first, it is essential that you rightly assess the situation.

So let's have a look at all the signs that indicate that your MacBook Pro not recognizing USB drive.

1. Symptoms of Mac not recognizing USB Drive

When you face such a situation where USB won't show up on Mac, you must check all your connections first. It includes if your USB Flash is perfectly attached to the system or not. You might check some internal settings, scan hardware setup, and examine the situation from every possible angle. It is an obvious confusion because you don't know the actual source of the problem.

But few signs directly imply that USB not showing up on Mac.

  • When you plug-in a Flash drive, you get a notification about the connection on your system. If you don't get the notification, it could be a sign of possible of your Mac not recognizing USB device.
  • All Macintosh operating systems are equipped with a default file manager and graphical user interface, named Finder. When you connect a USB Flash drive to a system, a message pops on the Finder. If you don't see a message, it means that Mac is not reading USB.

2. The cause of Flash Drive not showing up on Mac

There are numerous reasons could be responsible that your USB Flash drive is not showing up on Mac. Here is the list of possible factors that might be leading to the glitch.

  • Port Related Issue: A loose or broken port connection might be leading to the situation. But how to find a USB on Mac in such cases? Just gently wiggle the connection of the port. If it briefly connects with the system, you will be aware that the problem lies with the cable or the port.
  • USB Formatting issue: If the Flash drive wasn't formatted before the first use, it could lead to a USB detection problem later.
  • Driver Issue: Outdated or corrupted Flash drive could lead to USB drive not showing up on Mac.
  • Hard Drive Related issue: A minor glitch on your system's hard drives can result in Mac not detecting USB.
  • Operating system related issue: If you are not regularly updating your Mac OS, it may affect your system's ability to recognize Flash drives.

Part 2: How to fix Mac not recognizing USB Device

It is quite reasonable for various electronic components of any system to lose its integrity over time. Hence, if you come across a loose cable or imperfect alignment of the Flash drives to the port, don't be surprised!

If you want to know how to find a USB on Mac, start with an examination of different parts of the system. Just follow the steps mentioned to find the source of the problem.

Step 1: Scan USB and USB ports

Thoroughly check the USB device. If there is a broken or malfunctioned wire, you can replace it with a new one to fix the issue. Make sure you check all the different ports of your system are in working condition.

Step 2: Restart Mac or use a different Mac system

Often, Flash drive doesn't detect the Mac due to some power connectivity issues. Restart the system to see if the problem persists or not. If it does, then try connecting the Flash drive to a different Mac system. This way, you will know whether the problem lies in the Mac system or the Flash drive.

Step 3: Check Finder Preferences

Open the menu bar on your Mac computer and go to Finder. When you click on the Preference option, you will see four tabs, including general, labels, sidebar, and advanced. Click on the 'General' tab and ensure that the box next to the external disks option is ticked.

If the option is not ticked, Finder will not be able to pop up any detection of external disks or Flash drives.

You'll also see the 'External disks' option in the Sidebar option. Make sure that the option is marked there as well.

Step 4: Use Disk Utilities to Repair USB drives

If you want to know about how to find the device on Mac, you can use disk utility to fix the issues related to external drives.

Plug-in the USB device to your Mac system and select 'Initialize' from the prompt box. It will lead you to disk utility application.

As an alternative option, you can directly access utility application from Finder.

Select the 'View' tab from the utility application, and tap on the option 'Show All Devices.' Now, from the sidebar section, click on the device that was unreadable on the system. Tap on the 'First Aid' option. Now, click on the 'Repair Disk' tab and see if the issue persists.

Step 5: Re-format the USB drive

Although Flash drives are formatted by default for Windows, it's not the same case with Mac. If Mac is not detecting USB, you might have to do it manually before using it for the first time.

Follow the steps to see if that works for you.

Click on the 'Disk Utility' Interface option. Open it, and you will see a list of drives on your system.

Step 1: Select the 'USB drive' option.

Step 2: On the right side of the panel, you will see an 'Erase' tab. Click on it.

Step 3: Now, choose a format option that is compatible with Mac OS.

Step 4: Select a name for the USB drive and click on the 'Erase' tab located at the lower bottom of the screen.

Step 5: Re-check the whole process before formatting. Once you are sure of the process, initiate format.

Part 3: How to Access Flash Drive data after detecting USB

Considering that you have followed all the steps mentioned in the article correctly, you might have find USB on Mac. It doesn't mean that you will be able to access all the data on the Flash drive as sometimes, the data gets lost in such cases.

You can still be able to access the lost data on the Flash drive using recovery tools. But we will discuss that later!

1. How to find USB Flash drive and access USB files on Mac

When you connect the USB Flash drive on the system, Mac OS will automatically read the content of the Flash drive. A window will pop-up showing the content of the drive. If you are not able to see it, you can access it through Finder.

The following steps will guide you to find the USB Flash drive and access the files on Mac.

Click on the option 'Devices' on the upper-left side of the Finder window.

If you have correctly inserted the device to the system, you will see a temporary drive icon. It will be saved by the name of your Flash drive.

To access the files of the USB Flash drive, double-click on the drive icon.

Temporary hard drive icons are white, whereas permanent drive icons are gray colored.

2. How to access hidden, deleted or lost USB data on Mac

Numerous factors contribute to the loss of data from USB Flash drives. It could be malware intrusion, system crash, USB formatting, and various other reasons. But, can you recover your data from the Flash drive? Yes, you can!

There are certain things that you need to make sure if you have lost your data. For instance, you must ensure that you don't save any new data on the same drive as it may overwrite on the lost data.

If the USB drive is recognized, but you can't open and access USB files, you can use data recovery tools to help you restore USB files.

You can use Recoverit data recovery tool for Mac that can handle various kinds of data loss scenarios. Whether it is audio, video, outlook, or graphic files, it works best to recover all your data and information.

The list of instruction will help your recover data from Recoverit app on the Mac computer. Firstly, download the Recoverit app and connect the Flash drives to one of the ports of your system.

Step 1: Launch the Recoverit app

After you launch the app on your system and select the USB Flash drive from where the data was lost in the first place. Click on the 'Start' button after selecting the device.

Step 2: Start the scanning process

As you click on the 'start' tab, it will initiate the scanning process on the USB Flash drive. It may take some time to be completed.

Step 3: Preview and recover Lost files

Once the scanning is completed, you will be able to see all the lost files in the results.

Part 4: How to Prevent Flash Drive not showing up on Mac

Even when you have fixed the issue, it can happen in the future as well. Hence, you must take some precautionary steps to prevent Flash Drive not showing up on Mac.

Update Firmware and OS

Regular updating of the firmware and operating system of your Mac works best to fix various functionality issues. Sometimes when you experience a USB not connecting to the system, a quick update may fix the issue instantly. Whether it's your internal or external drive, timely updates ensure the best performance of your system.

Avoid Imperfect Ejection of your USB Flash Drive

Often people pull out their Flash drive even when it is connected to the system. A forceful pull out can easily damage the Flash drive and could be a possible reason why your Mac not recognizing USB. You must follow a proper way of ejection of the Flash drive. Before removing the Flash drive from the port, request for a safe ejection procedure. Take it out once you get the confirmation from the system.

Reset Mac's Configuration

A faulty configuration may also lead to USB Flash drive connectivity issues. You can reset Mac’s configuration to fix the issue. Follow the steps to conduct a proper reset.

Step 1: Shutdown the system

Step 2: Disconnect all the power cables and reconnect it

Step 3: Press Shift key, Control key, and Power key at the same time and release them

Step 4: Start your Mac system

Now, check if the USB issue is solved. Also, if you come across disabled USB accessories, fix them.

Timely Maintenance of your System

As mentioned earlier, parts of your Mac system might lose its efficiency over time. A routine checkup of your Mac system at the service center can significantly help you. Moreover, it will get you to notice all the loose ports, electrical, or mechanical faults in your system.

Closing words

Your Mac not recognizing USB is a common issue that can affect your seamless experience on the system. Moreover, it can also lead to loss of data and important files.

Thanks to the Recoverit Data Recovery app, you can retrieve the lost data from the Flash drive. If you want to know how to access Flash drive on Mac, you can take the help of the steps mentioned in the article.

Video tutorial: How to Fix Pen Drive/USB Not Detected Issue?

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Command and R keys may fail to bring out the recovery mode of the Mac due to the wireless keyboard issues or wrong combinations of keys/power buttons used. Moreover, the corrupt NVRAM may also cause the error under discussion.

The issue arises when the user tries to use the recovery mode of his Mac but the system starts in the normal mode. The issue is not limited to a particular model and year of Mac.

Before starting the troubleshooting process to force Mac into the recovery mode, make sure there is no firmware password in place, if so, then remove the password as you will not be able to use the recovery options if the firmware password is in place. Moreover, the recovery options are only available to the Lion macOS or above, so, make sure your system is at least Lino macOS, otherwise, perform a clean install of the macOS by using a DVD or USB drive.

Additionally, it will be better to use a Mac keyboard during the troubleshooting process. Moreover, power off your system and then power it on (not a simple restart) to check if the issue is of a temporary nature. Also, make sure the keyboard of your system is working fine. If you are trying to factory reset the Mac by using a Windows keyboard, then try different keys to perform the recovery if the usual Windows + R keys are not working.

Solution 1: Switch to a Wired Keyboard

Mac users usually use Bluetooth or a wireless keyboard with macOS. But sometimes wireless/Bluetooth keyboard light shows on very late during the boot process and thus the keys are not pressed in-time which may result in the error under discussion. In this case, switching to a wired keyboard may solve the problem.

  1. Power off the Mac and disconnect the wireless keyboard from it.
  2. Now connect the wired keyboard and power on Mac.
  3. Wait for the system to power on completely and then power it off.
  4. Now power on the system and check if you can boot into the recovery mode using the Command & R keys.

Solution 2: Reset NVRAM to the Defaults

NVRAM is responsible for many processes during the startup of your system. You may encounter the error under discussion if the NVRAM of your system is corrupt. In this scenario, resetting the NVRAM to the defaults may solve the problem. This method may not apply to all users.

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  1. Power on your Mac and then close all the applications.
  2. Now launch Finder and open Utilities.
  3. Now open Terminal and then enter the following command:
  4. Now press the Enter key and then key-in your password.
  5. Then enter the following in the Terminal:
  6. Now press the Enter key and the system will restart.
  7. Wait till the system is powered on and then power it off.
  8. Now power on the system and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 3: Try Different Combinations of Power On Buttons and Command + R Keys

You may encounter the issue at hand if the keys and the power-on buttons sequence to go to the recovery mode is different than the one you are trying to use. In this case, trying the combinations mentioned below may solve the problem.

Perform Multiple Taps on the Keys

  1. Power on your Mac and double-tap the Command + R keys (when the startup sound is heard) to check if the issue is resolved.
  2. If not, power off the Mac.
  3. Now power on the system and repeatedlypress the required keys till the system boots into the recovery mode.

Press and hold the Command + R Keys

  1. Power off your Mac.
  2. Then press the switch on the wireless keyboard to power it off.
  3. Now power on the keyboard and then immediately power on the Mac.
  4. Now quickly hold the Command + R keys and check if the recovery options are shown.

Press the Keys After the Green Light Flashes

  1. Power off your system.
  2. Now power on the system and press the required keys (after the green light flashes). Then check if you can boot into the recovery mode.

Hold the Keys and Power Buttons

  1. Power off the Mac.
  2. Now, press and hold the power button of your system, Command and R keys for about 6 seconds.
  3. Now release the power button of your system while keeping hold of the said keys and check if you can boot into the recovery mode.

Press the Keys Before Powering on the System

  1. Power off your Mac. Now press the Command + R keys and then hit the power key of your keyboard.
  2. Quickly, power on the Mac and hit the power key of your keyboard again to check if the issue is resolved.

Press the Keys After NumLock Flash

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  1. Power off the Mac. Power on the Mac after a while and wait until NumLock flashes. Then press the desired keys and check if you can boot into the recovery options.

Solution 4: Clean Install the macOS

If the recovery partition is not preset or installed, then you may fail to boot into the recovery mode using the Command + R keys. In this case, you may have to clean install the macOS to wipe the Mac without the recovery mode by using an external media (like a DVD or a USB device). You can confirm if the recovery partition is present by running the following command to launch the Disk Utility in the Terminal:

If the recovery partition is not there, then follow the steps below to clean install the macOS.

  1. Insert the installation disk into the DVD drive of your system.
  2. Now restart your system and then press the C key during the boot process.
  3. Then on the second page of the installation, where the pull-down menu appears, select the Utilities Menu and then either try to perform a repair of your system or reformat it to get rid of the issue.

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If you have recently switched your SSD or HDD, then the older disk might have the recovery disk. And if that disk is available, then use that disk to perform the recovery operation.

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If nothing has helped you so far, try to perform an Internet recovery (Command + Option + R keys) of your system (plug your system directly to the router). If the issue persists, then visit the Apple store for advanced troubleshooting.