How to fix WD external hard drive not working/showing up Mac?

Posted by Katrina to Mac Data Recovery on January 24th, 2019

It seems that my WD 1TB external hard drive cannot be recognized on my MacBook but the light is on. The flashlight of WD external hard drive continuously blinking when I connect the drive with USB cable. When I connect the drive to a new USB cable, it still not working and nothing is detected. Do you know how to make the WD external hard drive to show up and work again?

In general, when you plug in an WD or Seagate external hard drive to your Mac’s USB port, you will see it mount on the desktop or in the Finder. There are times when you desperately need to access some data stored on the drive, but it fails to mount. If you have the similar problem with WD external hard drive not working/showing up on Mac, don’t worry! Just follow the quick fixes and effective methods as below.

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Quick fixes for WD external hard drive not working/showing up on Mac

Let’s check all the basics first to save time, money and hassle in the long run.

  • 1. Check whether the WD external hard drive is connected properly.
  • 2. Change USB port/cable to detect WD external hard drive.
  • 3. Reboot your Mac to make sure there is no open program or app stopping the drive being detected.
  • 4. Try connecting the WD external hard drive to another computer to see if it works.

How to fix WD external hard drive not working/showing up on Mac?

After doing all these basic checks, if the WD external hard drive still not working/showing up on your Mac computer, you can try out the following solutions.

Solution 1: Show the WD external hard drives on the desktop

First, make sure your Mac is set to display the icons of all external disks on desktop. Go to Finder > Preferences > General tab and select "External disks". Then the WD external hard drive will appear on the desktop.

Show external hard drive on the desktop

Solution 2: Check whether the WD external hard drive shows up in Disk Utility

To make sure whether your WD external hard drive is recognized by Macs, you can go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility and check if the WD external hard drive can be found in the left-side list.

Scenario 1: The WD external hard drive shows up in Disk Utility.

If you can find the WD external hard drive showing up in Disk Utility, congratulations! Your WD external hard drive doesn't have any hardware. It only has some logical issues that the system fails to mount it. May the following steps would help.

a. Mount the WD external hard drive manually.

First of all, you can try manually mount the drive in Disk Utility. Right click the WD external hard drive from the left sidebar and then click the Mount button.

b. Repair the WD external hard drive via First Aid.

If you are unable to mount the WD external hard drive, please try running the First Aid through Disk Utility. To do this, choose the grayed out external hard drive from the left sidebar, click on First Aid Tab on the top and select Run.

Repair unmountable external hard drives via First Aid

c. Reformat the external hard drive that does not showing up in macOS Mojave.

If First Aid failed on the external hard drive, the file system of the drive may be seriously corrupted. So, you have to reformat it to make it re-usable. However, reformatting will erase all data on the drive. If you didn't have any backup, you should recover data from the unmountable external hard drive with a professional data recovery tool.

d. Use free data recovery tool to recover data

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is one of the best free data recovery software that can recover data from unmountable, unreadable, inaccessible, formatted external hard drives, hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, SD cards, etc. on macOS Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7.

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

2. Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Recover data from unmountable WD external hard drive

3. Select the WD unmountable external hard 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.

Scenario 2: The WD external hard drive doesn't show up in Disk Utility.

If the WD external hard drive isn't showing up in Disk Utility, unfortunately, your external hard drive may be physically damaged and you have to send it to a local technician for help or replace it with a new one.

Still have questions?