I've just saved a bunch of vacation photos and some confidential documents for work on my WD My Passport, but now it won't work. I've looked everywhere and tried everything, but My Passport won't show up on Mac. It's like there's nothing there. Why is My Passport for Mac not showing up? Please help me. I’m getting desperate.

We're getting messages like this all the time. WD Passport not showing up on Mac has become a common problem for MacOS users everywhere.

Don't worry – usually, there's a quick fix for this. In the next section, we will help you diagnose why WD My Passport for Mac is not working. Then, we'll introduce not one but seven effective solutions for accessing WD Passport/WD Passport Ultra on Mac.

If you are a Windows user, check the fixes for WD My Passport not showing up on Windows.

Table of Content
    1. Use a Different USB Port
    2. Test Your USB Cable and Replace
    3. Reboot Your Mac
    4. Disable Hidden Devices
    5. Reformat Your WD My Passport
    6. Repair Your WD My Passport With First Aid
    7. Use Disk Utility to Mount the Drive

Why Is My WD My Passport Not Showing Up on Mac

WD My Passport is widely regarded as one of the best external hard drives for Mac. Many users choose it for its large capacity (it can store up to 5 TB worth of files) and stay onboard because WD My Passport is a solution they can trust.

So why is My Passport hard drive not showing up on Mac, then? There are several possible reasons for this, some of them easier to fix than others:

Problem Solution
Unresponsive USB port Use a different USB port
Damaged USB cable Test and replace your USB cable
System overload Reboot your Mac
Display settings are off Disable hidden devices
The drive is incompatible Reformat your WD My Passport
The drive is broken/corrupted Repair your WD My Passport with First Aid
The driver is not mounted Mount the drive using Disk Utility

Unless there's visible physical damage on your USB cable or no power, it might take some time for you to identify the issue. There's a chance you won't know the cause until you've worked out the solution, so don't give up – but before that…

Recover and Backup Your My Passport External Drive Before Fixing

Never, ever forget to back up your data.

While you should take this as general advice that applies to all situations and devices, it's crucial to perform a backup when you start experiencing problems with your storage system. Any other way could result in terrible data loss.

So before you give any of the following repair methods a shot, recover data from your WD My Passport drive and save it to a safer location.

For this, you'll need a robust data recovery tool. Our team recommends Wondershare Recoverit, a top-of-the-class solution for keeping your data safe in 500+ different data loss scenarios.

Wondershare Recoverit
  • Recovers data from all external hard drive brands, including WD, LaCie, Samsung, SanDisk, etc.
  • Recovers lost files, photos, videos, music, emails, and other 1000+ file types safely and completely.
  • The user-friendly interface allows you to recover data in just a few clicks.
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Here's how to recover data from WD My Passwort that's not showing up on Mac Desktop or Finder:

  1. Connect WD My Passport to Mac and download and run Wondershare Recoverit.
  2. Select WD My Passport from External Drives.
    select wd my password to scan
  3. It will initiate an all-around scan.
    scan for lost files
  4. After the scan, preview your lost files and save them somewhere safe.
    preview and recover files

And that's it. Wondershare Recoverit is packed with other robust capabilities for data recovery, such as Enhanced Photo and Video Recovery and Corrupted Video Repair. If the worst happens, try to stay calm, as this app will be able to help.

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7 Ways to Fix the WD Passport Not Showing Up on Mac Issue

If your data is safe and everything else is ready, let's try to fix your WD My Passport not detected on Mac problem. These are the ten most commonly used methods for helping Mac computers recognize an indetectable WD My Passport drive.

Way 1. Use a Different USB Port

With problems like these, the most obvious solution is often the right one. So if your WD Passport is not showing on Mac, it's likely some connection problem. To fix it (or scratch this one off the list), try using another USB port.

wd my passport ultra not detected mac

Remember that some system issues and virus infections attack all USB ports on a computer. Just to be 100% certain that this isn't the case with your Mac, you should try connecting WD My Passport to another Mac – assuming you can find one.

Way 2. Test Your USB Cable and Replace

replacing usb cable for mac

No luck with switching USB ports? Perhaps it's not the port but the cable that needs to be replaced. Even though ports are usually the most vulnerable part of Mac, cables – official or not – can get worn down quickly, too, without visible damage.

Way 3. Reboot Your Mac

Even Mac computers get tired when you keep them busy for extended periods. If you've been running multiple applications simultaneously, you should try giving your system room to breathe. Reboot it or turn it off and on again.

Way 4. Disable Hidden Devices

Mac computers can hide external devices, thus ensuring a smooth, uninterrupted user experience. You don't need to see your mouse and keyboard on the screen whenever you open your Mac. Unfortunately, this setting isn't selective.

If you accidentally enable hidden devices and forget about it, all your external devices will remain hidden – including your WD My Passport.

When My Passport doesn't show up on Mac, it's worth revisiting this setting and seeing whether or not there's something in the hidden file.

  1. Go to your Mac's Finder > Preferences.
  2. Click on General at the top of the window.
  3. The External Disks option should be checked.
    change finder preferences on mac
  4. Now, select Sidebar at the top of the window.
  5. Find Locations and check External Disks.
    disable hidden devices on mac

If your Mac still won't show My Passport, you're looking at another type of issue. Perhaps the drive is broken, corrupted, or infected with a virus.

Here's what to do next.

Way 5. Reformat Your WD My Passport

You might think of reformatting as a last resort, but there are situations where it can't be avoided. For example, one of the reasons why WD My Passport is not showing up on your Mac could be due to incompatibility issues. Allow us to explain:

Mac systems primarily support HFS+ and APFS file systems. If your WD My Passport was previously formatted using NTFS or another file system that is not natively supported by MacOS, your Mac will have a hard time reading and accessing it.

You can solve this issue by reformatting the drive to a Mac-compatible file system, such as HFS+, APFS, or exFAT. After you do this, your Mac will be able to recognize, mount, and access the drive, thus resolving the issue of it not showing up.

It's of crucial importance to note that formatting your WD Passport for Mac will erase all data stored on it. To save your files from getting wiped out, remember to back them up before reformatting your WD My Passport. Otherwise, all your data will be erased.

Here's how to reformat your WD My Passport on Mac:

  1. Go to Disk Utility and choose WD My Passport from the sidebar on the left.
  2. At the top of the Disk Utility window, click on the Erase button to reformat it.
    erase an external device on mac
  3. Pick a new name for your WD Passport drive and select the new format.
    reformat wd my passport on mac

A friendly reminder – In case you've reformatted your WD My Passport without backing up all your data first, you can use Wondershare Recoverit to recover data from a formatted hard drive on Mac. That, too, is a simple process that requires no technical knowledge.

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Way 6. Repair Your WD My Passport With First Aid

Mac comes with a useful tool called First Aid that plays an important role in diagnosing and repairing various disk and file system issues. When a Mac detects an inconsistency or corruption, First Aid tries to fix it. But you can also run your own First Aid scan.

First Aid is especially useful when you can't mount WD My Passport from Disk Utility, which points out a drive issue. After scanning the drive's file system, catalog extend, and volume bit maps, First Aid should be able to help you repair all minor problems.

Find First Aid in Disk Utility and follow these steps:

  1. Choose WD My Passport in Disk Utility.
    locate wd passport in disk utility
  2. Click on the First Aid button on top of the window and hit Run.
    repair wd passport with first aid

Way 7. Use Disk Utility to Mount the Drive

Normally, disk mounting is an automatic process. Your Mac should initiate mounting upon its first contact with WD My Passport as soon as you plug the external hard drive into a Mac's USB port. Unfortunately, sometimes, this just doesn't happen.

Because Macs can't always detect and access a new external device automatically, Disk Utility allows you to mount the disk manually. However, this repair method is possible only if WD My Passport is visible on the left-hand-side menu of your Disk Utility.

If the WD Passport is there, follow these instructions:

  1. Access the Finder menu and choose Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
    locate utilities on mac
  2. After opening Disk Utility, click on Show All Devices in the left sidebar.
    show all devices in disk utility
  3. There, you should see your WD Passport external drive. Click to open.
  4. Look at the top of the window for the Mount button and click on it.
    mount an external device on mac

When everything else fails, reformatting and manually mounting an unresponsive external drive on a Mac computer should do the trick. If this doesn't help either, we recommend taking your Mac and WD My Passport to a licensed technician.


Hopefully, you've fixed your My Passport for Mac not showing up problem with all your data intact. If you had to reformat WD My Passport without any backup, you should still be able to get your files back with Wondershare Recoverit.

Theo Lucia
Theo Lucia Apr 15, 24
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