• external hard drive not showing up on Windows and Mac

External Hard Drive Not Recognized on Windows and Mac [Simple steps to Fix]

external hard drive not showing up on Windows and Mac

How to solve a hard disk that’s not detected in Windows?

Sometimes your USB flash drive or external hard drive may not be detected by your Windows computer.

This might be because of certain issues like corrupted partitions on the external drive, wrong file system, dead USB ports, or driver issues in Windows.

  • If your external hard drive is not recognized, initially check whether your drive is powered on.
  • If there is no issue with the power supply, open the Disk Management. You can either hold Windows + X keys together or open the Run dialog box and enter diskmgmt.msc.
  • Now the Disk Management will list all the hard drives connected to your Windows computer.
  • If you can view your hard disk, then you are ready to initialize the drive to use it again.
  • If your hard disk shows only Unallocated space, then you need to create a new partition on it.
  • Right-click anywhere on the Unallocated space.
  • Choose the option New Simple Volume.
  • Go through the instruction to create a new partition.
  • Sometimes, the drive doesn’t display Unallocated space, and still, you may not be able to view your disk. Usually, this is because of the driver letter set.
  • Now, you have to perform the below steps to change the drive letter.
  • Right-click the removable drive’s partition.
  • Select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option.
  • If the device doesn’t have a letter, click Add and choose any of the letters.
  • If it worked, click Change and try other alphabets like G or J, which is the default letter for removable drives.

After performing these steps, if the hard drive is still not detected on your Windows computer, then connect the drive to other devices and check if it is detected.

If the external hard drive is not detected on the other device as well, then the hard drive might be dead and it should be replaced.

How to solve a hard disk that’s not detected in Mac?

Like windows, Mac also sometimes faces a problem in recognizing external hard drives. To resolve the external hard drive not recognized issue, perform the few steps given below.

  • Check the USB connectivity.
  • Try to reconnect the drive to another USB port.
  • If you have another Mac laptop, try connecting the external drive to it and see whether it is working on that Mac or not.

Check the Enable option:

  • Go to the Finder.
  • Select Applications.
  • Navigate to Utilities.
  • Click on the Disk Utility.
  • In Disk Utility, to view all mountable and non-mountable drives, go to View. 
  • Click Show All Devices.

Repair the external hard drive with Disk Utility:

  • Go to the Finder.
  • Select Applications.
  • Click on Utilities.
  • To open Disk Utility, double-click on it.
  • If Disk Utility lists the external hard drive in grey, click your external hard drive from the sidebar.
  • On the top pane of your screen, click the Mount tab to mount your unmounted external hard disk.
  • Still, if you cannot connect, click the First Aid tab from the top pane and then click Run to initiate the external hard drive repair process.
  • Wait until Disk Utility repairs your external hard drive. 
  • If Disk Utility fails, it will show a message that the drive can’t be repaired and you need to back up and replace the drive.

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