How to Fix USB Not Showing Up On Mac

USB Not Showing Up On Mac: Here's How You Can Fix It!

Many users have noticed that their USB drives are not showing up on their Mac. In this guide we will help you fix USB not showing up on mac error. Click to know more!

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Sep 21, 2020 • Filed to: USB Recovery • Proven solutions


A USB drive is an electronic device that we use frequently to store data, transfer files, listen to music, watch movies, etc. The use of USB drives is unavoidable in our modern life.

We plug the flash drive into a variety of devices like music players, TV, laptops, windows OS, mac, etc. which makes it prone to lose data or malfunction at times. Hence, USB drive malfunctions of mac can be because of an error in the USB drive or the Mac itself.

Part 1: Why Is My USB Not Showing Up On Mac?

Most of the time when you plug a flash drive on the mac, it will be notified on the desktop as well as in the Finder on the left column. But sometimes when you plug in the flash drive the device may not be displayed by the mac. There are many reasons for this and the most common one is corrupt data, in which case any important data on the disk is subjected to a risk of being lost.

You can make sure if the external USB device is set to be shown on the desktop before moving onto further methods. To do so. Go to Finder and then Preferences and then General, make sure the box beside the External Drives is ticked.

Also, make sure that the USB cables are properly plugged in and there is no loose connection.

The reasons why a flash drive will not be recognized on a Mac are:

Part 2: How To Fix The "USB Not Showing Up on Mac" Error?

Some of the simplest ways to fix the problem of unrecognized USB are:

Solution 1: Examine USB Device And USB Ports

Make sure that the USB device connected is not a broken or malfunctioning one. Also, check if all the ports available on the mac are working and updated one.

Solution 2: Restart Mac Or Use Another Mac

If the flash drive is not detected by the mac the first time. Try it again after restarting the mac. If the problem exists again, try it on another mac. By doing so you can confirm if the problem is of the mac’s or the flash drive’s

Solution 3: Examine Finder Preferences

To check Finder Preferences first, Open the Menu bar and select Finder. Then click on the Preferences option and tap on the General tab. On the window, make sure that the box beside the External Drives is ticked.

usb not showing up mac 1

usb not showing up mac 2

Also, make sure that the External Disks under Locations in the Sidebar tab is also ticked.

Solution 4: Use First Aid To Repair USB Drives

Mac allows the user to fix external drives related problems via disk utility.

First, connect the USB drive and select Initialize… from the prompt box which will lead you to the Disk Utility application. Or you can just open Disk Utility by Finder – Applications – Utility.

Select View from the Utility and tap Show all Devices. From the sidebar select the device that was unreadable on the Mac and click the First Aid option. Now select the Repair Disk tab and see if it works out.

Solution 5: Reformat The USB Drive

Flash drives by default are formatted for Windows and at times are required to be formatted by the mac before use. Let's see how that works.

Step 1: Choose Utilities

Step 2: Open the Disk Utility interface

Step 3: Select the USB drive from the list of drives shown on the window

Step 4: Select the Erase tab on the top right

Step 5: Select the format option and choose the format compatible by MAC OS

Step 6: Set a name for the USB drive and select the Erase tab at the lower right

Step 7: Confirm again and start formatting

Part 3: How To Recover Lost Data After Fixing The USB Error?

Data or files may be lost from a USB flash drive due to virus, accidental deletion, file system crash, USB formatting, etc. Like on the Windows Operating System the files on the Mac can also be recovered with the help of trusted applications available in the market like the Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac.

The Recoverit Data Recovery for Mac helps you to recover any data on the Mac including office files, graphics, Videos, Audio, Outlook, and Archive and Document files. The app has an amazing recovery rate on macOS and is one of the best and trusted apps available.

Mac hard drive recovery

Recoverit - Recover Replaced Files in 3 Steps

  • Advanced recovery of Videos
  • Restoration of files from an Emptied Trash bin
  • Restoration of data from External Devices
  • Repair of Corrupted videos
  • Restoration of data from a corrupted Mac
Download | Mac Mac Version Download | Win Windows Version

Let us have a look at how the data can be recovered using the Recoverit app on the mac.

Make sure that you have downloaded and installed the Recoverit app onto your mac. Also, connect the flash drive to one of the ports.

Step 1: Launch the Recoverit USB Data Recovery and select the USB flash drive from which the data was lost from the list. Tap start after selecting the device.

external device recovery

Step 2: The scanning process will be initiated on the USB flash drive by the Mac USB data recovery. This process will take some time to be completed.

mac scanning external media

Step 3: When the scanning is complete you will be able to view the recovered files on the results. You will be able to preview the files and select the ones that need to be recovered. After selecting the desired files click Recover.

external device recovery

Make sure that you save all the files to a safe storage location in case your data may get corrupted or lost again.


The USB flash drives are widely used to transfer as well as store important data on them. These are prone to malfunctioning and corruption of files due to its repeated use across various devices. But one need not worry as most of the problems associated with a Flash drive can be fixed easily and the important files can be recovered with the help of applications like Recoverit Data Recovery.

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Sue Wayne

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