How to fix WD hard drive not recognized on Mac without losing data?

Posted by Molly to Mac Data Recovery on September 18th, 2018

Summary: This article will show you how to fix WD hard drive not recognized on Mac error without losing data, and to recover data from the unrecognized WD hard drive with free data recovery software – iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Just like Seagate external hard drive not recognized on Mac, Western Digital hard drive not recognized on Mac is another frequently asked question in Apple related forums. Normally, when a WD hard drive is plugged in to a Mac computer, it should be recognized and shown up on the Desktop and in Finder. But sometimes, there might be some errors that prevent Macs to recognize the drive. Consequently, you can't access, copy, write to or transfer data stored on it.

How to fix the unrecognized WD hard drive on Mac without losing data? Can you recover data from the unrecognized WD hard drive? Keep reading.

Quick fixes of WD hard drive not recognized on Mac error

If your Mac can't recognize an external hard drive, you can always do such quick fixes as below.

1. Check if the WD hard drive is properly plugged in.
2. Try a different USB cable and port to check if it's the USB cable/port issue.
3. Try to connect the WD hard drive with a different Mac computer to check if the WD hard drive can be recognized on that Mac.
4. Try to plug the WD hard drive in to a PC to check if the file system of the WD hard drive is not compatible with Mac.

How to fix WD hard drive not recognized on Mac error without losing data?

Case 1: WD hard drive is showing up in Disk Utility.

Most of the time, when users say WD hard drive not being recognized on Mac, they mean the WD external hard drive isn't showing up in the Finder or on the Desktop, but it is showing up in Disk Utility. In this case, you can fix the unrecognized WD hard drive in these ways.

Method 1: Show WD hard drive in the Finder and Desktop.

Step 1: Go to Finder > Preferences > General, make sure the "External disks" option is ticked. This will make the WD hard drive show up on the Desktop.

Step 2: Select Sidebar tab on the top, make sure the "External disks" option under Locations is also ticked.

Method 2: Fix the unrecognized WD hard drive with Disk Utility.

If the WD hard drive shows up in Disk Utility but not mounted, select the Mount option then the WD hard drive will be mounted on the Desktop.

However, if there's no volume of WD hard drive listed in the sidebar, the Mount option will be greyed out. Then you can make use of First Aid in Disk Utility to fix the error.

Step 1: Go to Applications > Disk Utility.

Step 2: Select the unrecognized WD hard drive from the sidebar.

Step 3: Click on First Aid on the top. Wait while First Aid verifying and fixing possible errors of the WD hard drive.

Method 3: Fix the unrecognized WD hard drive by reformatting.

If WD hard drive is not mounting in Disk Utility, and Disk Utility failed to fix WD hard drive, you have to reformat or erase this WD hard drive. Before that, it's necessary to recover data from unrecognized WD hard drive with free hard drive data recovery software for Mac, like iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is professional in external hard drive data recovery on Mac for free. It's able to recover data from unrecognized, unmountable, unreadable, inaccessible external hard drives, including Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, etc. Besides, it also supports recovering photos, videos, music, documents, emails from USB drives, Pen drives, SD cards, memory cards, CF cards as well as other external storage devices.

Tutorial to fix WD hard drive not recognized error with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery

Step 1: Recover data from unrecognized WD hard drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

1. Download and install iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

2. Launch iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Recover data from unrecognized WD hard drive

3. Select the unrecognized WD hard drive and click "Next" button to scan all lost data.

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

Step 2: Fix WD hard drive not recognized error by reformatting.

1. Go to Disk Utility and select the unrecognized WD hard drive from the sidebar.

2. Click on Erase on the top.

3. Follow the instructions to finish the reformatting process.

After reformatting WD hard drive process finished, you will hopefully see the WD hard drive recognized and showing up on Mac correctly.

Case 2: WD hard drive is not recognized and not showing up in Disk Utility.

If the WD external hard drive is not showing up in Disk Utility, it's either formatted with a file format that Mac can't recognize, or the worst, broken physically. For the former situation, you can try to format it following the steps above. For the latter, you have to send it to an expert for reparation or replace it with a new one.

Conclusion: Whenever a WD hard drive being unrecognized on Mac, data rescue should come first. After recovering data from the unrecognized hard drive with free data recovery software like iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery, you can then try to fix the error in different ways without worrying about data loss. Besides, iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery also helps recovering data when USB flash drive not showing up on Mac, Toshiba external hard drive not showing up on Mac, etc.

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