How to fix external SSD not recognized on Mac?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on November 22nd, 2018

It’s so frustrating that one of your Sandisk, Crucial, Samsung T3 external SSDs were working just fine for a long time and then suddenly stops being recognized by the Mac operating system. But this is a common problem and can happen at any time, even when you unplug the external SSD from the Mac and later on plug in the SSD again. Wondering how to fix external SSD not recognized and access the data stored on it? Go ahead to find troubleshooting solutions.

What cause external SSD not recognized on Mac?

There are various reasons leading to external SSD not mounting issue on Mac. Here we conclude four main causes as below:
Loose cable connections
Drive corruption
File system problem
Hardware problems

How to fix external SSD not recognized on Mac?

Solution 1: Check whether the external SSD is properly plugged in

The first and the foremost solution is to check whether the external SSD is properly plugged in. Firstly, assuming the cable is plugged in correctly or connecting the external SSD with a different cable. Secondly, try a different port if you get another one.

Solution 2: Reboot your Mac computer

Sometimes, Mac external SSD not mounting issue is caused by the system issues. But you easily fix them by restarting. The restarting process will clear your macOS’s memory and starts it up fresh. Simply choose the Apple menu and click Restart.

Solution 3: Check the file system of external SSD

If your external SSD is using Windows NTFS format, macOS won’t mount the drive. Be default, macOS only enables NTFS read support but disable write support. To write a NTFS drive, a free NTFS driver is needed.

Solution 4: Show external SSD in Finder or on desktop

In general, when you connect your external SSD with Mac, it can appear in Finder or on desktop. But if external disks are not set to show in Finder or on desktop, your external SSD won't show up on Mac.

Step 1: Go to Finder > Preferences >Sidebar/General tab.

Step 2: Select "External disks" under "Devices" (or "External disks" under "Show these items on the desktop"), and then your external SSD will appear.

Show external SSD in Finder

Solution 5: Check in Disk Utility

If you have no luck with solutions above, the next and necessary step is to check whether the external SSD can be found in Disk Utility. If the external SSD can be found in Disk Utility, you make sure that the drive doesn't have any hardware problems. But if you can see it listed in Disk Utility, the external SSD might be physically damaged.

Important: Recover lost data from unrecognized external SSD

Whatever the external SSD has logical or physical damages, the most important thing is to make sure you have backed up useful data. In this situation, your data stored on the SSD is so fragile and any operation will overwrite the original data, resulting in irreparable data loss. If you forget to back up, you still have a way to restore lost data with the help of professional Mac data recovery software.

As a free and professional data recovery tool, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is highly recommended to recover data from unrecognized SSD, recover data from formatted SSD, recover data from unmountable SSD, recover data from unreadable, recover data from corrupted SSD, etc. on macOS 10.14/10.13/10.12 and 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Download iBoysoft Data Recovery

Moreover, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery supports main storage devices including hard drives, external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, memory cards, etc. and multiple file formats such as documents, audios, pictures, videos, emails, etc.

Tutorial to recover data from unrecognized SSD on Mac with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 1: Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Step 2: Select the unrecognized external SSD and click "Next" to scan lost files on the drive.

Recover data from unrecognized SSD on Mac

Step 3: Preview the scanning results, choose files we need, and click "Recover" to get them back.

Step 4: Have a check to ensure we have got all lost files back.

Solution 6: Run First Aid

If your external SSD shows up in Disk Utility but not mounted, you can right click the drive and select Mount menu and then the SSD will show up on Mac. If the Mount button is grayed out or you fail to mount the external SSD, try running First Aid to verify and repair disk errors.

Step 1: Launch Disk Utility.

Step 2: Choose the grayed out external SSD from the left sidebar.

Step 3: Select the 'First Aid' tab on the top.

Repair unmountable external hard drive via First Aid

Solution 7: Fix external SSD not recognized on Mac by reformatting

This operation will remove all data on the external SSD, please make sure you have backed up useful files with iBoysoft Data Recovery.

Step 1: Launch Disk Utility.

Step 2: Select the external SSD on the left part of the window.

Step 3: Click "Erase" on the top of the Disk Utility window.

Step 4: Complete related information (name, format, scheme), then click Erase.

Solution 8: Send the external SSD to a local technician for help

If unfortunately, the external SSD can't show up in Disk Utility or the solutions above fail to fix external SSD not recognized issue, the drive might have some hardware problems. Normally, hardware problems are beyond any software's ability. But sometimes, a drive can't be recognized by Mac machines but can still be detected by some data recovery tools. In this situation, you can try iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery to see if it can recognize the drive. Then send the drive to a local technician for help or replace it with a new one.

Still have questions?

30 Days Money Back Guarantee

Transactions Protected

High success rate of recovery

Free Technical Support