Troubleshooting Guide: External Hard Drive Not Recognized on MacBook

Is your MacBook not showing your external hard drive? Dive into this comprehensive guide on resolving the external hard drive recognition issue on a MacBook. I’ll walk you through potential solutions and tips to help you regain access to your files quickly and effectively.

Effective Methods to Fix an Unrecognized External Hard Drive on MacBook

It’s not uncommon for Mac users to encounter an issue where their external hard drive isn’t recognized by the MacBook. Whether due to corrupted system settings or other glitches, this can be a frustrating experience, especially when you need access to important data. In this guide, we’ll explore various troubleshooting steps to address and resolve the ‘External Hard Drive Not Showing Up on MacBook’ issue.

Step-by-Step Solutions for Unrecognized External Hard Drives

1. Modify Finder Preferences

Occasionally, the Finder’s settings may prevent external hard drives from appearing on your desktop. Here’s a quick fix:

  • Launch a Finder window.
  • Navigate to Finder Preferences > General.
  • Ensure the External disks option is checked to display the drives on the desktop.

2. Manually Mount the External Hard Drive

  • Open System Preferences > Disk Utility.
  • Locate your external hard drive in the sidebar.
  • Select the drive and click Mount to make it visible in the Finder.

3. Utilize First Aid for Drive Repairs

  • In Disk Utility, highlight your external hard drive.
  • Click on First Aid and then Run, allowing your MacBook to diagnose and fix any detectable issues automatically.

4. Fix Disk Permissions with CleanMyMac X

If you are faced with permission issues, follow these steps:

  • Install and launch CleanMyMac X (an Apple-certified app).
  • Select Maintenance from the left sidebar.
  • Tick the Repair Disk Permissions option.
  • Hit Run to start the process.

5. Uninstall Conflicting Applications

Sometimes, recently installed apps may cause conflicts:

  • Open CleanMyMac X and select Uninstaller.
  • Click on Show All Apps and target any suspicious applications.
  • Choose Uninstall to remove the app.


If you’ve followed these steps without success, it may be time to consult with a professional or visit an Apple Store. Remember, your data is valuable, and taking measured steps towards a solution is the key to protecting it.


Q: What should I do first if my external hard drive is not recognized by my MacBook?

A: Start by checking the Finder preferences to ensure external drives are set to display on the desktop.

Q: How can I prevent future issues with external hard drives not being recognized on my MacBook?

A: Regularly maintain your MacBook’s system and peripherals by updating software, verifying disk permissions, and safely ejecting external drives when not in use.

These steps should aid in retaining the usefulness and readability of your article while updating product names and maintaining current SEO practices.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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