How to fix WD My Passport for Mac not showing up?

By Katrina | Posted to Home > Mac Data Recovery Tips, updated on August 20th, 2021 User rating:

Summary: Here you will find 5 methods to fix WD My Passport for Mac drive not showing up or working on Mac. To avoid data loss, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac can help save your data to a safe place.

WD passport for Mac not showing up in Finder and Disk Utility

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 external hard drive light on but not working after macOS Big Sur update
  • WD My Passport drive won't open WD unlocker application on M1 Mac
  • Mac didn't unlock the WD My Passport drive but asking for the WD Drive Unlock application
  • WD My Passport Ultra 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.

Solutions for fixing WD My Passport drive not showing up on Mac

Fix 1: Do the basic checks

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

Before going further troubleshooting, do the following basic checks is very necessary.

1. Safely remove the WD My Passport and reconnect it to the USB port. Try quickly plug or slowly plug, which sometimes just works for no reason.

2. 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.

3. Reboot your Mac computer to see if your WD My Passport drive is not showing up in Disk Utility/Finder or not.

4. Connect the WD My Passport to another Mac or Windows PC, which will find out if it is the incompatible file system of the drive that makes this WD My Passport undetectable.

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

Fix 2: 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 prevents your WD My Passport drive from showing up.

In other words, you didn't allow the connected external hard drives to show 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 the Sidebar tab, tick "External disks" under "Locations" to show your WD My Passport for Mac in Finder.
  • Show WD my passport in Finder
  • 4. Go to Desktop or Finder and check if your WD My Passport is showing up. If not, download, install iBoysoft Data Recovery on your Mac and then check if your WD My Passport is detected by iBoysoft Data Recovery.
  • 5. If your WD My Passport is recognized by iBoysoft Data Recovery, follow the wizard to recover data and then format WD hard drive.
    If your WD My Passport drive is not detected by iBoysoft Data Recovery either, send WD hard drive to an expert for reparation.

Solution 3: Install the latest WD drive unlock application

Typically, if you have received a message like "You must run the WD Drive Unlock application from the WD Drive Unlock CD associated with the drive you want to unlock" and you can't open or unlock your WD drive (My Passport):

WD Drive Unlock macOS Big Sur

This has been discussed a lot that WD hard drive not working after the macOS Big Sur update or when connecting to an Apple Silicon M1 MacBook Air.

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 type the password to unlock the drive (unless you enable auto-unlock for this computer) each time:

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

Besides, you have to unlock the WD drive with your password even if you have uninstalled the WD My Passport software from your Mac.

To fix that Western Digital My Passport hard drives not working or unlock (though you know the right password) after the macOS 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 My Passport for Mac hard drive to make it work again, but at the expense of data loss. So, recovering your data with iBoysoft data recovery software in advance.

Fix 4: Check & repair drive in Disk Utility

If the WD Passport hard drive is not showing up in Finder after trying the above methods, you can see whether it is showing up in Disk Utility or not.

Usually, you could have two results:

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

Case 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.

1. Manually Mount WD My Passport for Mac in Disk Utility

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 Finder>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 the Disk Utility window.

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

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 Disk Utility, which can analyze and repair basic hard drive errors especially with file systems and catalogs, extends, volume bit maps.

To run First Aid to check the WD My Passport hard drive:

  • 1. Go to Disk Utility.
  • 2. Select the WD hard drive.
  • 3. Click First Aid on the top of the Disk Utility window and then click Run.
  • Fix WD My Passport for Mac with First Aid

After running First Aid, try to mount the WD Passport hard drive again to check if it can be mounted and accessed now.

If your WD My Passport drive cannot mounted, try next solution to recover data and then erase the drive.

Fix 5: Recover data and erase the drive

If First Aid was unable to repair the errors in the WD My Passport, it means that the file system of the WD drive has been damaged. Common, to fix the WD My Passport for Mac drive that's not showing up on Mac, you have to reformat it.

The question is, reformatting will assign a new file system but will also erase all data on this drive as well. Hence, firstly, recover data from WD drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery.

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

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

Next, you can courageously proceed to erase your WD My Passport for Mac hard drive with no fuss.

  • 1. Open 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 WD drive (such as new format, partition scheme, and so on) and click Erase.
  • erase wd my passport

Fix 6: Send your WD My Passport drive for repair

If My Passport for Mac hard drive is not showing up in Disk Utility, it means that the WD hard drive is not recognized or detected by the Mac. Very probably, your My Passport for Mac has some hardware problems. You'd better 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 drives not showing up issues are caused by unsafe ejection and sudden power outage. In order to keep 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).

Final thoughts

Actually, My Passport for Mac hard drives are just like other external hard drives, which may not show up after connecting to a Mac. This article offers a full guide to help you fix the WD drive not showing up issue in different situations. It's worth mentioning again that once this issue happens, rescue files from your WD Passport hard drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac first, or you'll face permanent data loss.

Was this article helpful?YesNo

Add your comments

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

joel

My old Mac (2010) recognizes MyPassport but my new Mac (2020) does not. It has something to do with the new Mac. Why would they do this to me?

2021-05-03 14:01:05

Katrina reply to joel:

Hello Joel! First, you should check whether the WD My Passport drive is properly plugged in. The new Mac (2020) has different ports when compared to the old Mac (2010). Your old Mac (2010) probably has Mini DisplayPort while the new Mac may have the Thunderbolt 3 /4 or USB 4 ports. If the connection is not the troublemaker, make sure your new Mac (2020) is set to show mounted external hard drives like WD My Passport hard drive. Thanks a lot!

2021-05-06 00:59:00

Smoobg

This is the 2nd brand new 'WD My Passport Ultra external HD for Mac 5TB' drive that I've tried in 3 days that will not be recognized on my 2020 iMac running Catalina 10.15.7. It doesn't show in Disk Utility or in Finder. I tried multiple usb ports and cables. The light on the HD turns on. I even tried it on my old Mac tower running El Capitan, and it didn't show in Disk Utilities or Finder. I'll have to try a different brand/make hard drive.

2021-04-28 07:31:34

Katrina reply to Smoobg:

Hi Smoobg! You say that your WD hard drive doesn't show in Disk Utility. You can try to boot your Mac into macOS Recovery mode: Hold down Command R keys when restarting your Mac. After entering into macOS Recovery, select Disk Utility and check if your WD hard drive is showing up in Disk Utility. If it shows up but not mounted, try to mount it by hand. If it not showing up in Disk Utility in macOS Recovery, your WD hard drive may have some hardware issues and need repair.

2021-05-06 01:11:01

Yannik reply to Smoobg:

If you have a Mac with the new M1 chip this is the solution: https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/29822

2021-10-19 02:42:49

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

Yannik reply to Katrina:

If you habe a Mac with the new M1 chip this is the solution: https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/29822

2021-10-19 02:41:45