How to fix Mac doesn't recognize external hard drive on Mojave?

Summary: External hard drive is not recognized by your Mojave Mac computer? With the assistance of iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, this page will show you how to fix unrecognizable external hard drive without data loss.

By Katrina | Posted to Mac Data Recovery, updated on April 1st, 2019

Usually, when you connect your Seagate, WD my passport, Toshiba or other external hard drive to Mac, it will quickly show up on desktop or in Finder. But sometimes your MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac doesn't recognize external hard drive on macOS Mojave, which is so frustrating as you can't access all important files in the drive. Don't worry, this page will show you how to fix unrecognizable external hard drives without losing data on macOS Mojave, let's repair this external hard drive step by step.

Table of contents
1. Have some basic checks
2. Check if the external hard drive shows up in Disk Utility

First of all: Have some basic checks

There are numbers of reasons why your Mac doesn't recognize the external hard drive on macOS Mojave, such as damaged port or cable, Mac system crash, incorrect format, file system corruption, hardware problem, etc. No matter what the reason is, you can first try to troubleshoot the unrecognizable external hard drive issue with some basic checks.

mac doesn't recognize external hard drive on Mojave

• Check the external hard drive is properly plugged in

You can re-plug this external hard drive and see if it can be recognized by your Mac computer. The reason for this is, sometimes, your Mac can't show up your external hard drive just because you improperly plug it into the port, for example, plug it into the port too fast or too slowly.

• Plug external hard drive into a different port to see whether it is working or not

You can connect your external hard drive to your Mac computer through another USB port since there is a difference between version 2.0 and version 3.0.

• Try a different USB port to make sure it's not at fault

You can check if it is a faulty connection like wobbly port and broken USB cable that makes your external hard drive unrecognizable by the Mac computer. Just read this external hard drive through another port and cable.

• Try another Mac computer to see if the external hard drive shows up in desktop

Another factor that stops your external hard drive showing up could be a malfunctioned Mac computer or incompatible file system, and you can simply connect this external hard drive to another Mac or PC.

Check if the external hard drive shows up in Disk Utility

If your external hard drive is not recognized by the Mac computer still, you can go to Disk Utility on Mojave to check whether the external hard drive shows up. By this way, you can judge that the macOS Mojave not recognizing external hard drive issue results from logical or hardware problems.

How to fix if the external hard drive can be found in Disk Utility

If your external hard drive is listed in Mojave Disk Utility, you can breathe again as the external hard drive doesn't have any tough hardware problem. Then you can check the state of the external hard drive in Disk Utility.

External hard drive is mounted in Disk Utility

If the external hard drive is mounted in Disk Utility as usual, your external hard drive is recognized by macOS Mojave actually. But why the external hard drive not showing up on the Desktop or in Finder of your macOS Mojave? Here is a way to fix the unrecognizable external hard drive error if your external hard drive not showing up macOS Mojave.

Step 1: Go to Finder > Preferences >Sidebar.

Step 2:Select "External disks" under "Devices" to show your external hard drive in the Finder sidebar.

show external hard drive in Finder

Step 3: Shift to General tab.

Step 4: Check "External disks" under "Show these items on the desktop" and your connected external hard drive will appear in Finder and on the desktop.

show external hard drive on the desktop

External hard drive is unmounted in Disk Utility

If the external hard drive is unmounted in Disk Utility, the drive might have some file system corruptions. But don't be panic when you hear "corruption", you still have many ways to fix Mac not recognizing external hard drive on Mojave.

Solution 1: Mount external hard drive manually

  1. Open Disk Utility.
  2. Right click the external hard drive from the left sidebar and then click the Mount button.

Solution 2: Repair unmountable external hard drive via First Aid

  1. Launch Disk Utility.
  2. Choose the grayed out external hard drive.
  3. Select First Aid in the top center and click Run.

Run First Aid to repair external hard drive

Solution 3: Fix the unrecognizable external hard drive on Mojave by reformatting

If First Aid is unable to fix Mac not recognizing external hard drive issue on Mojave, the file system of the external hard drive might be seriously corrupted. The only way to fix this unrecognizable external hard drive is to reformat it. But before this operation, you should have a backup of important data because reformatting will erase your data on this external hard drive. Forgot to back up? iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery can help you recover all lost data from this unmountable external hard drive on macOS Mojave.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is the best APFS data recovery software that can recover deleted/lost data from encrypted, formatted, inaccessible, corrupted, unmountable, unreadable APFS external hard drive, hard drive, USB flash drive, SD card, memory card, etc. in macOS Mojave 10.14/10.13 High Sierra. It also supports file systems HFS, HFS+, exFAT, FAT32.

Step 1: Recover lost data from unmountable external hard drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

1. Download and install iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on Mac.

2. Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Recover lost data from unmountable external hard drive on macOS Mojave

3. Select the unmountable external hard drive and click "Next" button to scan all lost data.

4. Preview the searching results, choose files we need, and click "Recover" to get them back.

preview lost data on the unmountable external hard drive on macOS Mojave

Step 2: Reformat the unmountable external hard drive

1. Launch Disk Utility.

2. Select the unmountable external hard drive on the left part of the window.

3. Click the Erase on the top of the Disk Utility window.

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

Scenario 1:How to fix if the external hard drive is not shown in Disk Utility?

If external hard drive not showing up in Disk Utility, unfortunately, your external hard drives has hardware problems that none of software can solve it. You'd better send the external hard drive to a local data recovery company as soon as possible.

Katrina

Katrina is a data recovery expert @iBoysoft who loves to help readers solve various data recovery problems.

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