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

By Katrina | Posted to Mac Data Recovery Tips, updated on July 27th, 2020 |

Summary: WD My Passport for Mac is not showing up Mac? Follow the tutorial in this article to fix WD My Passport not working issue and recover data from unrecognized WD My Passport.

Everything has flaws. At times, WD My Passport won't show up when you connect it to your Mac computer, the WD My Passport is greyed out in Disk Utility, or WD hard drive's light is on but not working. Even worse, it may become unreadable on your Mac. In either way, your important data on this drive will become inaccessible.

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.

Table of contents
1. Troubleshoot WD My Passport not showing up on Mac issue
2. How to fix My Passport not showing up on Mac issue?
3. What to do if My Passport drive is not recognized?
4. Understanding why My Passport drive not showing up on Mac
5. Bonus tips

Troubleshoot WD My Passport not showing up on Mac issue

As mentioned above, malfunctioned USB port or Mac computer, the broken USB cable and some hardware problems can also make WD My Passport not showing up. You can do some basic checks to troubleshoot whether this issue is resulted from those factors.

1. Safely remove the WD My Passport and reconnect it to the USB port. Try quickly plug and slowly plug, sometimes it 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 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.

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

Step 2: Tick the "External disks" option to show the WD My Passport for Mac on the desktop.

Show WD my passport on the desktop

Step 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:

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.

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.

Step 1: Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 2: Click "Show All Devices" in View option at the left corner of Disk Utility.

Step 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.

Step 1: Go to Disk Utility.

Step 2: Select the WD My Passport for Mac.

Step 3: Click First Aid on the top of the Disk Utility window.

Fix WD My Passport for Mac with Fisrt Aid

Step 4: Click Done when the reparation finishes.

Solution 3: Erase/Reformat My Passport for Mac

If First Aid was unable to fix the errors in the WD My Passport, which is quite common, the file system of this drive could be seriously corrupted and 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 your data on this drive as well. 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 for Mac.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is free hard drive data recovery software for Mac 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 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.

Recover lost data from My Passport for Mac with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on Mac.

Step 2: Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

Recover lost data from My Passport for Mac external hard drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Step 3: Select My Passport for Mac and click "Next" button to scan all data on this drive.

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

Reformat My Passport for Mac in Disk Utility

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

Step 1: Go to Disk Utility.

Step 2: Select the WD My Passport for Mac drive in the left sidebar.

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

Step 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).