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How to Fix USB Not Showing Up on Mac?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • Filed to: Take Data Backup • Proven solutions

Although there are plenty of cloud storage options available, nothing can replace the convenience of an USB flash drive. USBs play an essential role in the storage and transfer of data and provide the added benefit of being able to access data anytime without the internet. They provide plenty of storage, portability, fast data transfers, and compatibility across different devices. They are easy to carry around and make it easier to transfer data from one device to another.

The most important advantage is the convenience of the Plug and Play feature it offers. But sometimes you might face the issue of an external hard drive not showing up on Mac. Overtime USB and other external hard drives can become corrupted and unreadable mainly due to the sharing across multiple devices. It can become a nightmare if you need some important data urgently but your flash drive is not showing up on the Mac. Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Here is what you need to know and do if a USB drive is not showing up on your Mac.

Part 1: Why Mac Is Not Recognizing USB?

external hard drive not showing up on mac

Following are the few reasons for a USB not showing up on Mac:

1. Port Related Issues: Port related issues are a very common reason if a usb is not mounting your Mac.

2. Flash Drive Related Issues: Flash drives have a limited number of write and erase cycles and they can fail at a certain time.

3. Insufficient Power Supply: Sometimes your Mac is unable to provide adequate power to a flash drive if you are using a USB hub connecting multiple USB drives simultaneously.

4. Outdated Firmware and Mac OS: Firmware updates are responsible for controlling the functions of hardware and that includes USB ports as well. Sometimes a failure to update the OS may keep a Mac from recognizing a USB.

5. Corrupted USB Drive: USB drives become unreadable and corrupted over time.

Part 2: Seven Proven Methods to Fix a Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Mac

1. Physical Connectivity

2. Manually Connecting the Drive

3. Restarting the Mac

4. Check Your Finder Preferences

finder preferences tab

5. Use First Aid through Disk Utilities

6. Reset the System Management Controller

7. Changing the Format of the Flash Drive

If your USB is still not showing up on Mac and the system is unable to repair it, you can change the drive format. Most of the drives are by default formatted for Windows. Windows use the NTFS file format, while Mac use HFS, Apple file system (APFS), or FAT32 formats

To reformat your device, follow the following steps

erasing the data through disk utility on mac

Part 3: Recovering Data From USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Mac With Recoverit

After formatting your device, you can lose the important data stored on the USB. Don't worry because you can use data recovery software for Mac.

Wondershare Recoverit software helps you in recovering the lost data. It also helps in restoring the corrupted data. Recoverit is a premium data recovery and restoration software that not only recovers but also repairs the corrupted data.

Some of the key features of Recoverit are as follows:

Downloading & Installation of Recoverit only takes a few minutes on Mac. After you have installed Recoverit on your Mac, connect your USB drive with Mac and launch the app

Wondershare Recoverit is easy to use that helps recover your data in only 3 steps

1. Open the Recoverit software and select the location of the flash drive you want to recover from and click start

selecting the drive to recover on recoverit

2. Recoverit will start scanning your flash drive and show you a preview of the files it scanned in the USB flash drive

Now select the files you want to recover and click the Recover button. Recoverit lets you choose a location you want to store the recovered files.

recoverit step 3 image preview and restore

Part 4: Pro Tips to Prevent Data Corruption and Loss

Here are some of the suggestion that you want to follow to avoid this situation again:


The use of USB flash drives is unavoidable in today's world. They provide a secure way to store, use, and transfer data across multiple devices. Despite so many advantages like portability, affordability, compatibility, and fast speed transfers, they do have some limitations like wearing out, transferring computer viruses, and data corruption. These issues can be annoying at times but they can be easily solved through data recovery software. Wondershare Recoverit is a lifesaver if you encounter a problem of flash drive not showing up on Mac or any kind of data loss.

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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