How to fix USB flash drive showing up in Disk Utility but not in Finder?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on Febuary 20th, 2019

For some reasons, my USB memory stick won't show up under the Finder Devices but shows in disk utility. I updated the preferences for Finder for devices and it still doesn't show up. I have very important family pictures on my flash drive that I do not want to lose, can anyone help me?

Many macOS users reported that they are unable to open and use the USB flash drives. When they plug in their USB flash drive, the drive will not show up on Desktop and Finder but it shows up in Disk Utility. If you are fed up with the same situation, you don't have to go crazy as nothing has happened to your files within the USB flash drive. All of those files will still keep intact on the storage device. But you can't access them for some reasons.

Troubleshoot USB flash drive showing up in Disk Utility but not in Finder

Solution 1: Access the USB flash drive in /Volumes/ folder

The /Volumes/ folder will show all connected and mounted volumes on Mac. Launch Finder and in the menu bar, select Go > "Go to Folder…" and type the USB flash drive path what appears under Disk Utility (Ex: /Volumes/mydisk) and hit Enter. Then you will see a folder with all mounted drives and disk images. If you can find the USB flash drive here, try accessing it.

Solution 2: Show USB flash drive in Finder

If your USB flash drive is still not showing up in Finder, you might not set to show external disks in Finder preference. Follow these steps below to set:

Go to Finder > Preferences > Sidebar and make sure the "External disks" under "Locations" is ticked. Then the USB flash drive will appear in Finder.

Show USB flash drive in Finder

Solution 3: Mount the USB flash drive

If the USB flash drive continues not to show up in Finder but shows up in Disk Utility, the drive may be unmounted. Lucky for you, you can easily mount it in Disk Utility. Open Disk Utility, highlight the USB flash drive from the left sidebar, and then click the "Mount" button.

Solution 4: Check the USB flash drive for errors

First Aid can be used to check minor errors on hard disks and repair them if necessary. Try the following steps to repair the USB flash drive:

Step 1: Open Disk Utility.

Step 2: Highlight the grayed out USB flash drive.

Step 3: Select First Aid in the top center and select Run to perform hard disk diagnostics and fix any issues.

Repair the USB flash drives via First Aid

Solution 5: Reformat the USB flash drive

If First Aid fails on the USB flash drive, the drive may be badly corrupted and you have to wipe it clean. Didn't back up any data? You can apply a professional data recovery tool to recover lost data firstly. Here recommend a free USB drive data recovery - iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Step 1: Recover data from USB flash drive that is not showing up in Finder

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery can help you recover lost data from USB flash drives that is not showing up in Finder on macOS Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/Sierra 10.12/10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

Besides, this program can also recover data from USB flash drives, no matter how you lose data, such as unmounted, unreadable, formatted, corrupted, inaccessible issues. Moreover, it also works on internal hard drives, external hard drives, SD cards, memory cards, CF cards, etc. It supports data recovery from more than 500+ file formats including photos, documents, videos, audios, and emails.

Follow the guidance below to recover data from USB flash drive that is not showing up in Finder:

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

2. Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Recover data from USB flash drive that is not showing up in Finder

3. Select the USB flash drive and click "Next" button to scan for all the lost data.

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

Step 2: Reformat the USB flash drive

5. Launch Disk Utility.

6. Select the USB flash drive from the left sidebar of the window.

7. Click the Erase button on the top of the Disk Utility window.

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

Other methods to fix external hard drive showing up in Disk Utility but not in Finder

  • > Restart your Mac computer and try connecting the USB flash drive again.
  • > Update your Mac to the newest macOS and try again.
  • > Sometimes this issue happens because the USB is formatted with Microsoft's NTFS filesystem, which macOS doesn't support by default. Fortunately, you can download a free NTFS driver to read and write to NTFS drives.


If a USB flash drive is showing up in Disk Utility but not in Finder, you can try out our guidelines above to fix it. To avoid data loss, the best way is to back up your data and keep it updated all the time. Finally, you can use the free Mac Data Recovery software - iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, helping you recover data from unmounted, corrupted, inaccessible USB flash drives.

If you have any question or know any other solutions to fix this issue, just feel free to tell us via email.

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