Does your Mac malfunction when you try to connect an external hard drive with it? If yes, have you ever thought of the possible reasons it might be doing so? Or have you ever tried fixing it by yourself after searching the internet for rescue tips?

If you have ever tried fixing your Mac by yourself but didn’t succeed, you need to read this guide. It will help you understand why your Mac isn’t recognizing the other device and will also help you fix this issue. Additionally, it will also educate you about recovering your data from a corrupted hard drive using iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery Software.

Connecting an External Hard Drive to Mac

The normal procedure of connecting an external hard drive to MAC involves the following basic steps:

  1. Plugging in the external hard drive to anyone of Mac’s USB ports.
  2. Detection of a new hard drive by Mac
  3. Reading and recognizing the contents of the external hard drive and its files by Mac so that it is able to display them.
  4. Display of external hard drive and its contents by MAC.

When Mac malfunctions and does not display an external hard drive with its contents in its folders, the fault lies in the failure of execution of one of these steps usually. Let’s start exploring each one of them step by step and find out how to counter the error.

Failure Due To Connection Problems

First off, you need to check whether you have plugged in your external hard drive correctly into the USB port or not. More often, it is the basic connectivity that causes the whole issue and nothing technical. Apart from checking USB port, you might as well check if your hard drive needs to be connected to any power outlet via a switch. Some hard drives need to be connected to a power source before they are plugged into a USB port.

Once you have established and secured your hard drive’s connection to your Mac both ways, your device must now be able to detect and recognize the external hard drive. However, if the problem still persists then you might want to explore other reasons why isn’t Mac recognizing your external hard drive.

Other Reasons & How To Fix Them

Other reasons why their external hard drive is unable to recognized by MacOS may include bad/wrong USB port, bad/wrong USB cable, incompatible Thunderbolt ports, and external hard drive not showing up in System Information. In addition to these, chances are that your external hard drive visibility settings are set to ‘not show up’ or probably your Mac isn’t recognizing one or more partitions of your external hard drive, whichever is your reason, here is how you can fix the error:

  1. Try changing the USB port in which you are plugging the external hard drive. Chances are maybe your USB port has gone loose, been damaged or is not meant for plugging in external hard drives. Just switch to another one and see if this works out.
  2. If that doesn’t work, try changing the USB cable you are using to connect these two devices. Also, try to mount the external hard drive slowly.
  3. Additionally, check for Thunderbolt’s compatibility. If the external hard drive is a Type C drive, try accessing it from another Mac device.
  4. In case your device went into sleep mode after your plugged in the external hard drive then detach it and plug it once again into the port.
  5. In some instances, it might be that the last time an external hard drive was ejected the process wasn’t carried out properly. Therefore, Mac is unable to read it properly now. In such cases, users will have to reboot their Mac devices and then plug in the hard drives.
  6. If all of the above tips fail, go to your System Information settings and check if the external hard drive is being recognized under the USB section. To access this section, visit System Information>System Report>Hardware>USB. If the external hard drive is not being shown here, it means that you are device hasn’t yet been detected and you need to recheck the previously mentioned steps. Alternatively, if the device is being shown here then it means that your Mac device has detected it but is still unable to show it in its folders.
  7. In this case, you need to check with your Mac’s finder settings. Often times, the external hard drives are set to not show up in the main folders in these settings. To make these settings right go to finder, then select preferences and then select sidebar. From here select locations, then external disks and then general tab.
  8. Now you must put a checkmark in the box in front of external hard drive preferences and set them to be shown in folders and on desktop.
  9. Your external hard drive must display itself by now. If it doesn’t chances are there are problems with the external hard drive itself and not Mac.
  10. In such instances, you will have to format your external hard drive to set it right. However, doing so will erase all of your past data stored in it.
  11. To safely recover data from a corrupted external hard drive you can make use of recovery software such as iBoysoft.

How Does iboysoft Data Recovery Help In Recovering Lost Data From An External Hard Drive?

iBoysoft helps in recovering lost data from damaged and unrecognizable external hard drives in the simplest and easiest ways. All users need to do is download their software and install it on their Mac devices. Connect the damaged external hard drive to the Mac and run the software. The software will detect their unrecognizable device, read files and generate preview from it. Users will have to select the ones they want to be recovered and the path where they wish them to be stored. Once done, users can now format their external hard drives without worries.


It is almost a horror for users in these times to realize that their storage devices have gone bad and their back up data has been lost. iBoysoft is really a lifesaver when it comes down to extracting data from a damaged and unrecognizable external hard drive.