How to fix WD My Passport not showing up or working on Mac?

Is your WD My Passport hard drive not showing up or working on Mac? Here you can find a list of solutions to fix the issues effectively. If it has caused data loss, download iBoysoft Data Recovery to recover data from your WD My Passport hard drive.

By Katrina | Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips, updated on March 22nd, 2021 | User rating:

Everything has flaws, even the WD My Passport for Mac drive that you used for years.

It happens frequently that:

  • WD My Passport won't show up when connecting to your Mac computer
  • WD My Passport is greyed out in Disk Utility
  • WD hard drive's light is on but not working after macOS Big Sur update
  • My Passport WD external drive won't open the password application on M1 Mac
  • Mac didn't unlock the My Passport WD drive but asking for WD Drive Unlock application
  • My Passport WD becomes encrypted or unreadable on your Mac

Either way, your important data on this drive will become inaccessible and concerns you a lot.

If the WD My Passport is not showing up on Mac desktop, Finder or Disk Utility after connecting to your Mac, how to find it and make it work? If you can't see files from WD external hard drive on Mac, how to access data? You'll get answers here.

Recover data from WD My Passport hard drive

To avoid the loss of important data, please make sure you have a backup copy of data. Without a backup? It's not necessarily the end of the world. You can at first recover lost data from the WD My Passport for Mac with professional Mac data recovery software, like iBoysoft Data Recovery Software for Mac.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is a professional data recovery software that is able to recover deleted files on Mac, recover lost data from formatted, inaccessible, corrupted, unmountable, unreadable hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, memory cards, etc.

It's compatible with macOS Big Sur 11/Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra/Sierra 10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7, on both Intel- and M1-based Macs.

Tutorial to recover data from My Passport for Mac hard drive:

  • 1. Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on Mac.
  • 2. Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.
  • Recover lost data from My Passport for Mac external hard drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac
  • 3. Select My Passport for Mac and click "Next" button to scan all data on this drive.
  • 4. Preview the searching results, choose files you need, and click "Recover" to get them back.

Troubleshoot WD My Passport not showing up on Mac issue

Usually, malfunctioned USB port or Mac computer, the broken USB cable and some hardware problems could make WD My Passport not showing up.

You can do the following basic checks before go further troubleshootings.

  • Safely remove the WD My Passport and reconnect it to the USB port. Try quickly plug and slowly plug, which sometimes just works for no reason.
  • Check whether the USB cable or USB port is bad by connecting other hard drives to this USB port or cable and see if that makes a difference.
  • Reboot your Mac computer to see if your WD My Passport drive is not showing up in Disk Utility/Finder or not.
  • Connect the WD My Passport to another Mac computer or Windows PC, which will find out if it is the incompatible file system of the drive that makes this WD My Passport undetectable.

How to fix WD My Passport not showing up on Mac issue?

If the WD My Passport for Mac still does not work or not show up on Mac after the basic checks, go ahead to try out the solutions as below to make it show up on Mac.

Solution 1: Check Finder Preferences

If your WD My Passport is not showing up in Finder and desktop, it's possible that the configuration of the Finder Preferences is stopping your WD My Passport drive showing up.

In other words, you didn't allow the connected hard drives showing up in the Finder or on the desktop.

Now, follow the guide below to set Finder Preferences and make the WD My Passport for Mac show up in Finder or on the desktop.

  • 1. Go to Finder > Preferences > General tab.
  • 2. Tick the "External disks" option to show the WD My Passport for Mac on the desktop.
  • Show WD my passport on the desktop
  • 3. Go to Sidebar tab, tick "External disks" under "Devices" to show your WD My Passport for Mac in Finder.
  • Show WD my passport in Finder

Solution 2: Check My Passport for Mac in Disk Utility

If the WD My Passport for Mac drive is still not showing up in Finder or on the desktop, you can see whether it is showing up in Disk Utility or not.

When checking WD My Passport in Disk Utility, you could have two results:

1. Your WD My Passport drive is detected and showing up in Disk Utility, but it is greyed out or not mounting.

2. Your WD hard drive is not recognized, so it's not showing up in Disk Utility at all.

Here, we'll show you solutions to case 1.

Method 1: Mount WD My Passport for Mac in Disk Utility manually

Sometimes, hard drives cannot be automatically mounted in Disk Utility, even though Mac has detected the hard drive. So it's possible that you'll see the WD My Passport for Mac drive not mounting in Disk Utility. In this situation, you can manually mount the hard drive.

  • 1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  • 2. Click "Show All Devices" in View option at the left corner of Disk Utility.
  • 3. Select your WD My Passport for Mac drive from the left sidebar and click the Mount button on the top of Disk Utility window.

Instead, you can also click on the mount icon beside the drive to mount it immediately.

Method 2: Repair WD My Passport for Mac drive with First Aid

If you can't mount the WD My Passport for Mac manually, there should be some file system problems in this drive.

But don't worry. There is a native repair tool called First Aid in your Mac computer's Disk Utility, which is able to analyze and repair basic hard drive problems especially with file systems and catalogs, extends, volume bit maps. You can follow the instructions to fix this problem.

  • 1. Go to Disk Utility.
  • 2. Select the WD My Passport for Mac.
  • 3. Click First Aid on the top of the Disk Utility window.
  • Fix WD My Passport for Mac with Fisrt Aid
  • 4. Click Done when the reparation finishes.

Solution 3: Install the Latest WD Utilities

This has been discussed a lot that Western Digital hard drives not working after Big Sur update or when connecting to an Apple Silicon M1 MacBook Air.

Typically, you'll receive a similar message as follows and you can't open or unlock your WD drive (My Passport):

WD Drive Unlock macOS Big Sur

If you have used WD Utilities or have created a secure password to keep others from accessing the files on the drive, you have to password unlock the drive (unless you enable auto unlock for this computer) each time you:

  1. Shut down or restart your Mac
  2. You disconnect and reconnect the WD My Passport
  3. Mac wakes up from sleep mode

And you have to unlock it with password though you have uninstalled the WD My Passport software from your Mac.

To fix that Western Digital My Passport hard drives not working or unlock (only if you know the right password) after Big Sur update, simply download, update, and install the latest WD Discovery Utilities for macOS 11 Big Sur.

If unfortunately,you can't remember the password, you can only reformat the WD drive (My Passport for Mac) to make it work again, at the expense of data loss.

Solution 4: Erase My Passport for Mac

If First Aid was unable to repair the errors in the WD My Passport, meaning the disk file system has been damaged, which is quite common, then you have to fix the WD My Passport for Mac not showing up on Mac problem by reformatting.

The situation is, reformatting will assign a new file system but will erase all your data on this drive as well.

After recovering data from this drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, you can now courageously proceed to erase your WD My Passport for Mac drive with no fuss.

  • 1. Go to Disk Utility.
  • 2. Select the WD My Passport for Mac drive in the left sidebar.
  • 3. Click Erase on the top of the Disk Utility window.
  • 4. Complete the information for your drive (such as new format, partition scheme, and so on) and click Erase.
  • erase wd my passport

What to do if the WD My Passport drive is not recognized/detected?

If My Passport for Mac hard drive is not showing up in Disk Utility at all, it means the WD hard drive is not recognized. Very probably, your My Passport for Mac may have some hardware problems. It's better to send it to a local reparation center.

Understanding why My Passport drive not showing up on Mac

Sometimes, an external hard drive not showing up on Mac just because the USB cable or the USB port on your Mac is bad. In addition, the following reasons may also lead to WD My Passport for Mac not showing up or not working.

  • Recent macOS update issue
  • System failure
  • Virus infection
  • Motherboard issue
  • WD My Passport drive damage or corruption

Bonus Maintenance Tips for WD My Passport drives for Mac

Apparently, most hard drive not showing up issues are caused by unsafe ejection and sudden power outrage. In order to maintain your WD My Passport for Mac in good condition, you should pay attention to:

  • Make sure that your WD My Passport doesn't become physically damaged.
  • Always safely and properly eject the WD My Passport for Mac drive after using it.
  • Don't just unplug the USB cable, on the contrary, unmount your drive by right-clicking (control-click) on the icon on the Desktop or in the Finder and choose Eject.
  • Properly use WD software like WD Drive Utilities, WD Backup software ( to back up important files to your My Passport drive), and WD Discovery ( to organize and share your files to the My Passport drive to backup your online social life).

Was this article helpful?YesNo

Add your comments

We'll never share your email with anyone else.
Captcha

dave robern

WD is not showing in my disk utility.. So how is this good, where is a link for downloading software?

2021-04-10 20:40:08

Katrina reply to dave robern:

Hi Dave! If your WD is not showing up in Disk Utility, the WD drive probably has hardware issues. Up to now, no data recovery software can recover data from a drive that has hardware issues. You need to send it for a professional repair.

2021-04-11 19:55:42

Michael Sozonov

disk utility can see it, shows the total volume but not what's used. never had a password on it or anything. when I. use WD utility and run diagnostic it passes it with no issues, however I still can not open/access files on it, it's not showing in the left bar even after following instructions and using a different cable or computer doesn't help, maybe I should try a windows computer?

2021-04-07 17:45:47

Katrina reply to Michael Sozonov:

Hi Michael! Sorry for your trouble. If your WD My Passport for Mac drive shows up in Disk Utility, click the View button > Show Sidebar > Show All Devices on the top left corner of the Disk Utility window. Then, you'll see the drive and all the volumes on it. And you say it shows the total volume but not what's used, check if the drive is grey-out and not mounted. If yes, click the Mount button on the top of the Disk Utility window to mount it. If still can't access the files on the drive, you should recover data from it with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac and then erase the drive. Get more details from our "Erase My Passport for Mac" part in this post. Hope I can help you, thanks!

2021-04-11 20:11:47

Howard Ellegant

From the minute I tried to install WD MyPassport 1tb SSD it has been nothing but a pain in the ass!. I was trying to use it as a Time Machine backup disc. My Macbook Pro with High Sierra would not recognize it and MyPassport would not show on the desktop. I tried everything I could for hours. Finally read online about deleting the WD software I downloaded. That worked. BUT I decided I did not like MyPassport at all. I bought a LaCie 2tb HDD. It mounted and was recognized in minutes. Now I am trying to wipe the MyPassport so I can return it without any of my data. Back to square one. Mac won't recognize it. After and hour so far I cannot do anything with Disk utilities to mount it or even erase it! MyPassport won't mount and won't show on desk top. I did manage to start the erase process but no progress is showing in the progress bar. Still a REALLY BIG BIG pain in the butt. I will never recommend a WD product to anyone!

2021-04-07 11:03:27

Katrina reply to Howard Ellegant:

Hi Howard! Sometimes after you plug the WD MyPassport drive, you need to mount it by hand in Disk Utility. Then, your macOS can recognize it. And the reason why you can't start the erase process but no process is showing in the process bar, one is there are too many files on it and it needs a long time to finish the erasure process, the other is you deleted the downloaded WD software makes some trouble. It is suggested that recover your files from the WD drive first, and install the latest WD utilities, and then erase it. You can get details from this post.

2021-04-11 20:26:47