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How to fix WD My Passport corrupted or unreadable issue on Mac?

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Rivers Wong

Written by

Rivers Wong
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

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Summary: Have you received the error: "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer" on Mac? Don't worry, this article will focus on how to fix WD My Passport is corrupted or unreadable on Mac. To avoid the loss of important data, you'd better recover lost data from the unreadable WD My Passport with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

unreadable external hard drive

WD My Passport external hard drive is able to work on Mac and Windows for data transferring or backup. It is popular for its auto backup feature. Moreover, in the aspect of data protection, WD My passport is better in the WD Easystore vs. My Passport comparison.

However, there are times that the WD My Passport becomes unreadable or corrupted on Mac. You may be greeted with errors like "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer", which prevents you from accessing all data stored on the drive.

The disk you inserted is not readable by this computer on Mac

It's so frustrating when you meet this issue. If you are struggling to solve this issue, you will find a collection of verified troubleshooting steps.

 Note: If you received the disk not readable error with three options: Initialize, Ignore and Eject, please don't select "Initialize". Initializing the drive will erase all of the data that is currently sitting on the drive, which makes it difficult to recover lost data.

Causes of WD My Passport not readable on Mac error

Let's at first take a look at the complaint from community.wd.com:

"My WD My Passport 2TB Portable External Hard Drive has suddenly become unreadable on my laptop (MacBook Pro Server with macOS 10.12 Sierra) and I have tried on a MacBook Pro 2011 running 10.13 High Sierra with the same results. Any suggestions to fix my unreadable WD drive?"

The good news is, even though you have been prompted with an error message, at least your WD My Passport drive is recognized. There are many reasons that can lead to a drive not being readable, but essentially this is because the internal file system is damaged. Some of the possible reasons for this error are described as follow:

  • Mac malfunctions
  • Outdated drivers
  • Faulty connections
  • Write-protected drive
  • The WD My Passport is not formatted
  • An internal file system error or bad sectors
  • Virus/malware infection to your WD My Passport
  • Incompatibility issue between your WD My Passport and Mac machine
  • Accidental interruption or removal of your WD My Passport during transferring data

How to fix WD My Passport unreadable on Mac error?

In most cases, the issue can be repaired with a simple initialize. But this operation will remove all data stored on this drive. Are there any other ways to fix WD My Passport unreadable issue on Mac? Of course, just try these solutions one by one:

Solution 1: Re-insert the WD My Passport

The first and foremost thing is to remove the WD My Passport safely from Mac and then re-plug it into the USB port properly. If the external hard drive mounts and appears on the left sidebar of Finder, then you can access the drive. However, if the WD drive still won't mount or the error persists, continue with the next method below.

Solution 2: Check the Mac computer

The next step is to check whether your Mac machine has a problem or not. Just connect a different storage device to your Mac. If this error still pops up, the problem may refer to your Mac machine, you can restart your Mac to see if everything works well. Otherwise, if you can see the other drive in Finder, the problem is associated with the previous WD My Passport.

Solution 3: Check if the WD My Passport is encrypted

The WD My Passport for Mac corrupted or readable issue can also happen if the drive is encrypted by BitLocker. By default, the Mac computers cannot recognize a BitLocker encrypted drive, which means you are unable to read or write BitLocker encrypted drive on Mac.

You can insert the drive in a PC and then turn off the BitLocker encryption so that it can be read on Mac. In addition, you can access a BitLocker encrypted drive with the help of a third party tool.

Solution 4: Update Mac drivers

Drivers enable one or more hardware devices to communicate with the computer's operating system. If drivers are out-of-date, a variety of issues will happen such as the disk not readable error. Apple handles all system and driver updates for your system. To check if any updates are available, please do the following:

Step 1: Go to Apple menu and select "App Store".

Step 2: Click on the "Updates" button located on the top pane.

Step 3: Check available updates for your system and applications.

Solution 5: Repair the WD My Passport in Disk utility

Disk Utility is a built-in used to erase, format or manage internal disks and external storage devices. The most important feature of Disk Utility is First Aid, which helps detect and repair any issue with your disk. Here is how to run First Aid on your Mac to repair the unreadable WD My Passport:

Step 1: Open Disk Utility from your /Applications/Utilities folder.

Step 2: Select the unreadable WD My Passport in the left side bar.

Step 3: Select the "First Aid" tab.

If Disk Utility tells you the disk is about to fail, back up your data and replace the disk. You can't repair the disk. Otherwise, continue to step 4.

Step 4: Click Run.

If Disk Utility reports that the disk appears to be OK or has been repaired, you're done. Otherwise, you have to back up as much of your data as possible.

Repair unreadable WD My Passport via First Aid

Solution 6: Recover lost data and erase the WD My Passport

If the error still exists, you have no choice but erase the WD My Passport. But keep in mind that you will lose all data store on this disk. If you didn't back up important data, you should get lost data back with data recovery software at first.

Step 1: Recover lost data from the unreadable WD My Password on Mac

If you are not sure which data recovery tool you can trust, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is highly recommended to recover lost data from the unreadable or corrupted WD My Passport. This Mac data recovery can scan and recover lost data from unreadable SD cards, internal Macintosh hard drives, external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc. iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac provides a complete Mac data recovery solution even if your Mac won't boot/turn on, your device is failing, inaccessible or has lost a partition.

Moreover, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac can also recover recently or permanently deleted files, recover lost data from formatted hard drives, recover lost data from unmountable hard drives, and recover lost data from inaccessible drives, etc. This software supports recovering documents, photos, videos, emails, and music files. It's fully compatible with macOS 12 Monterey/macOS 11 Big Sur/Catalina 10.15/Mojave 10.14/High Sierra 10.13/Sierra 10.12 and Mac OS X 10.11/10.10/10.9/10.8/10.7 and works fine on M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max Mac.

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

2. Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

Recover lost data from unreadable WD My Password on Mac

3. Select the unreadable WD My Passport and click "Next" to search for lost files.

Recover lost data from unreadable WD My Password on Mac

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

Recover lost data from unreadable WD My Password on Mac

5. Go over to ensure all lost files have been successfully restored.

Step 2: Erase the unreadable WD My Password in Disk Utility

After you get files off the WD My passport hard drive, you are safe to erase this external hard drive to make it work again. Reformatting will fix the unreadable error and the drive can be ready to use. Then you can copy the recovered data back.

Erase WD My Password external hard drive on Mac

Solution 7: Ask data recovery service for help

However, if the solutions above don't fix the WD My Passport unreadable issue for you, or your WD My Passport even won't show up on Mac, it's probably the drive has been physically damaged. In that case, you should send it to a local data recovery service or replace it with a new one.


Hope these solutions have helped you fix the WD My Passport corrupted or unreadable issue. If you have any question about this article, stay in touch with us for further assistance. Specifically, we'd love to hear if you have other solutions for this issue.