Hard Drive Not Being Recognized Mac

Information about these and other types of Mac ports is in the specifications for your Mac:

  1. Choose Apple menu  > About This Mac, double-click your serial number, then press Command-C to copy it.
  2. Go to the Tech Specs page, click the Search Tech Specs bar, press Command-V to enter your computer's serial number, then click Search.
  3. Click the specs page for your Mac.

Apr 23, 2017 Disk utility also still shows no internal hard drive. Ran Apple Hardware Test (Hold R on startup) – This showed a passing ADP000 reference code; The next time I was in disk utility, I could finally see the internal hard drive. I verified it, ran repair, and choose it as the Startup Disk. Rebooted, and it was running good. For about another 30 minutes, came bake to a frozen screen. Force restarted and was having the same issues. Your external hard drive is not readable on Mac because it is formatted in NTFS, HFS+, or another format not supported by macOS. A loosely connected or frayed USB cable is another possible reason the external drive is not recognized by your Mac. Change the cable to fix the issue. If your external hard drive is not readable on Mac, try plugging. Final Verdict: External Hard Drive Not Showing Up on Mac. Although it can be challenging to get your hard drive to mount to Mac correctly, it is usually a solvable problem. If none of these steps worked, the issue is likely with the drive itself. When it won’t get recognized on multiple devices, try using your cables with another external HDD.

Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C)

These Mac models have Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports:

You can connect external displays and other devices that connect using a Thunderbolt 4 cable, Thunderbolt 3 cable, or USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C charge cable to charge your notebook, or a USB-C to Lightning cable to charge your iPhone or iPad. If you have a device that doesn't connect to this port, you can use an adapter to connect it.

Thunderbolt / USB 4

These Mac models have Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports:

You can connect a single external display and other devices that connect using either a Thunderbolt 3 cable or USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C charge cable to charge your notebook, or a USB-C to Lightning cable to charge your iPhone or iPad. If you have a device that doesn't connect to this port, you can use an adapter to connect it.

On iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021), the symbol appears above each Thunderbolt / USB 4 port. To connect a display, use either of the ports with the Thunderbolt symbol .

Thunderbolt 3

These Mac models have Thunderbolt 3 ports:

  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020)
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2019)
  • iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2019)
  • iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
  • iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, 2017)
  • iMac (21.5-inch, 2017)
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac Pro (2019)
  • Mac Pro (Rack, 2019)
  • Mac mini (2018)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2019)
  • MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)

Use these ports with displays and other devices that connect using either a Thunderbolt 3 cable or USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C power adapter and cable to charge your notebook computer. If you have a device that doesn't connect to this port, you can use an adapter to connect it.


If your Mac notebook or desktop computer has more than one port like this, each port supports Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C.

USB 3

These Mac models have USB 3 ports:

  • iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021) with four ports
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015)

On MacBook, use this port with displays and other devices that connect using a USB-C cable. You can also connect a USB-C power adapter and cable to charge your notebook computer. If you have a device that doesn't connect to this port, you can use an adapter to connect it.

On iMac (four-port model only), use the USB 3 ports with external devices that connect using a USB-C cable. To connect an external display, use either of the ports with the Thunderbolt symbol .

HDMI

These Mac models have an HDMI port:

  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2021
  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2012 through 2015
  • Mac mini introduced in 2010 or later
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2013 or later

Use HDMI with displays and TVs that connect using an HDMI cable.

SD card

These Mac models have an SDXC card slot:

  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2021
  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2011 through 2015
  • Mac mini introduced in 2011 through 2014
  • 13-inch MacBook Air models introduced in 2013 through 2017
  • 27-inch iMac models introduced in 2010 or later
  • 21.5-inch iMac models introduced in 2010 or later

Use the SD card slot with SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, and UHS-II media cards, such as those used by digital cameras.

Ethernet

Use Ethernet with networks and devices that connect using an Ethernet (RJ45) cable.

On some iMac models, the Ethernet port is located on the computer's power adapter. If your power adapter doesn't have an Ethernet port, you can use an Ethernet adapter.

Power

Hard

Use thepower port on your Mac notebook to connect your computer to AC power using a USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable and USB-C power adapter, MagSafe 2 power adapter, or MagSafe power adapter. Some Mac notebooks have a dedicated charging port while others use only USB-C ports to charge.

Learn more about Mac power adapters.

MagSafe 2 and MagSafe power adapters are not compatible with MagSafe 3.

Audio

Use Audio-Out — or — with headphones, speakers, and other audio-output devices that connect using an audio cable that has a 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) audio jack. On 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with Apple silicon, you can connect high-impedance headphones to the 3.5mm audio jack.

Use Audio-In with a microphone or other audio-input device that connects using an audio cable that has a 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) audio jack.

USB-A

Use these ports with devices that connect using a USB-A cable. USB ports are sometimes known by the USB specification of the port, such as USB 2 or USB 3.


Left to right: power, two Thunderbolt, USB-A, and Audio-Out.

Thunderbolt

These Mac models have Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 ports:

  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2011 through 2015
  • MacBook Air introduced in 2011 through 2017
  • Mac mini introduced in 2011 through 2014
  • iMac introduced in 2011 through 2015
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2013

Use these ports with displays and other devices that connect using a Thunderbolt cable.

Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 are not the same as Mini DisplayPort . They have the same shape, but use different symbols on the cable and port. However, this port does support Mini DisplayPort for video output, so you can use a Mini DisplayPort cable to connect a Mini DisplayPort display.

Mini DisplayPort

These Mac models have Mini DisplayPort:

  • MacBook Pro introduced in late 2008 through 2010
  • MacBook Air introduced in late 2008 through 2010
  • Mac mini introduced in 2009 and 2010
  • iMac introduced in 2009 and 2010
  • Mac Pro introduced in 2009 through 2012

Use this port with displays that connect using a Mini DisplayPort cable.

Mini DisplayPort is not the same as Thunderbolt or Thunderbolt 2 . They have the same shape, but use different symbols on the cable and port.

FireWire

Use FireWire with devices that connect using a FireWire 400 or FireWire 800 cable.

Learn more

Whenever you plug in an external hard drive to your Mac computer, it should show on the desktop or Finder. If you are unable to mount the drive or external hard drive not recognized on Mac, this might be an indication of a hard drive being corrupt or faulty.

What if you have your important data on the external hard disk? how would you fix corruption and recover data from the external hard disk?

This issue could be the result of an unsafe external hard drive ejection, virus attack, system crash, file system corruption and some hardware problems, etc.

This blog provides you a clear insight on different methods to solve external hard disk not recognized on Mac issues.

Case 1: Mac external hard drive is showing up in Disk Utility

Case 2: External hard drive is not showing up on Mac disk utility

Let us start with the first scenario that is the external hard drive is not recognized on Mac but it is mounted in Disk Utility.

Scenario 1: Mac not recognizing the external hard drive

If Mac external hard drive is not mounting on a desktop or in Finder . The next step is to verify the state of the external hard drive in Disk Utility.

macOS Utility is part of the built-in recovery system of your Mac, from which you can boot into Mac and use its utilities (Disk Utility) to repair certain logical errors of the hard drive.

Note: You can make use of all the below-mentioned methods to solve external hard drive not recognized on Mac if and only if it is mounted in Disk utility.

Solution 1: The external hard drive shows up in Disk Utility

Step 1: Go to Finder > Preferences > Sidebar/General tab.

Step 2: Select Device < External disks(or you can find external disks under Show these items on the desktop).

Note: This is the easiest method to make an external hard drive mount on Mac. However, there are chances when Finder stops responding. n such cases, you need to fix the Finder problem and continue with the steps.

If there are any logical errors or corruption in the disk, an external hard disk won’t be recognized on Mac. You can try fixing external hard drive not recognized on Mac with First Aid in Disk utility.

Solution 2: The external hard drive not mounting on Mac

The issue that Mac doesn’t recognize the external hard drive could be fixed with Disk Utility under Mac Recovery Mode.

Step 1:Restart your Mac and immediately press and hold Command + R keys to get into Recovery Mode, release the keys when you see the Apple logo.

Step 2: Select Disk Utility in macOS/Mac OS X Utilities and click Continue

Step 3: Select the external hard drive mounted and run First Aid to check and repair errors in this drive.

What if you have accidentally deleted the Mac HD in disk utility? Do not worry, click on the given link to fix the issue and recover the data from the Mac drive.

However, if you are unable to recognize the external hard drive on Mac even after performing all the above-mentioned methods, this might be due to severe corruption in the drive. This can be easily solved by reformatting explained in the next solution.

Solution 3: Fix Mac not recognizing external hard drive by reformatting

Note: Reformatting will erase all your data stored on the drive. If you have any important files on the external hard drive, you need to restore data before reformatting. You can recover data using a safe and secure hard drive recovery tool.

Before you face a hard situation of data loss from your external drive use SFWare hard drive recovery tool. The tool is explicitly designed to recover data from all data loss situations from external hard drive including formatting or corruption on the drive. It supports APFS, HFS, HFS+, exFAT, FAT32 file system drives on all versions of macOS.

Once you are ensured all your important data is recovered from external hard drive, try fixing Mac doesn’t recognize external hard drive by reformatting.

Step 1: Launch Disk Utility

Step 2: Select the Mac not recognized external hard drive from the left part of the window

Step 3: Click the Erase on the top of the Disk Utility window

Step 4: Complete the related information like name, format, scheme, then click Erase

Reformatting will surely help you in mounting the external hard drive on Mac if it is mounted in Disk Utility or starts displaying an error Disk Utility can’t repair this disk. What if the external hard drive is not showing up on Mac in disk utility?

Hard Drive Not Being Recognized Mac

Scenario 2: External hard drive not showing up in Mac Disk Utility

Let us start with some basic tests to make sure the external hard drive is connected securely.

Some initial tests to make your external hard disk recognizable on Mac

  • Check whether the external hard drive is properly plugged in.
  • Assuming the hard drive is properly plugged in and an external hard drive is still not mounted on Mac try using a different USB cable and port to ensure that they are not at fault.
  • See if you can access the external hard drive on another Mac computer
  • Try resetting NVRAM by restarting your Mac. Press Option, Command, P and R keys together for 20 seconds. Leave the keys if Mac has started again normally and you hear the second startup sound.

Performing these basic tests should make your external hard drive recognized by Mac. If you are still unable to mount the external hard drive on Mac or Disk utility the drive might have serious hardware problems that cannot be fixed with the above-mentioned methods. It is recommended to fix your hard drive with the help of a local hard drive technician.

Macbook Pro External Hard Drive

Conclusion

It is always rewarding to have back up of data as you never know when you might encounter data loss. However, there are few manual methods that can help you regain access to your external hard drive that is not recognized on Mac. This article also provides you a way out to recover data from the external hard drives if you fail to mount your external hard drive on Mac.

SFWare hard drive recovery tool that supports recovery from all kinds of external hard drives including Seagate, Samsung, WD, Transcend, Toshiba and other external drives.

If you were successful in fixing external hard drive not recognized on Mac issue with the help of this article, do let us know in the comment section below.