A flash drive is commonly used to store and transfer digital data from one computer to another. In a normal condition, your Mac detects USB drivers inserted to the ports. But for whatever reason, you might find USB not showing up on Mac. What causes this problem and how to fix it?
This issue might freak you out especially if you never come across to this situation. In fact, USB not working on Mac happens sometimes. Luckily, there are several methods to solve this problem even if you’re not a techie.
- A. Why Is USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Mac?
- B. How to Fix USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Mac
- C. Send the USB Drive to a Repair Center
A. Why Is USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Mac?
Before jumping into the solution, it is important to get to know the underlying factors of unrecognized USB flash drive. There are so many possibilities that might lead to this condition and it is necessary to investigate each reason.
While some problems can be solved without extra efforts, others can be more complex. Let’s take a closer look at possible causes why your Mac won’t recognize USB flash drive:
- Faulty USB flash drive
- USB ports not working
- Outdated USB driver
- Incorrect USB drive format
- Old operating system
- Corrupted USB firmware
- First time use of USB flash drive
Some problems above can be tackled with few tricks but others may need replacement. Since you don’t know the exact cause, it is very necessary to verify each reason. You might need to perform troubleshooting methods from the simplest to the complex one.
B. How to Fix USB Flash Drive Not Showing Up on Mac
Depending on the reasons, you can get rid of USB flash drive that is undetected on Mac. There’s a list of methods to solve this problem so you might want to give them a try. The following list is sorted by their difficulty level.
1. Check USB Device and USB Ports
Firstly, you will need to make sure that damaged USB device isn’t the reason of flash drive not working on Mac. If you have another flash drive or external hard drive, try to connect to the USB port. If it works, then you might have a broken flash drive.
Besides, it is also important to verify that your USB ports are not dirty or damaged. With the help of a flash light, you can check if there’s dust or debris buildup in the port. If it’s dirty, try to vacuum the port and plug the flash drive in.
If you don’t notice any buildup, you might connect the flash drive to another Mac computer. If it’s showing up, you can tell that there’s something wrong with your USB port.
2. Check and Modify Finder Preferences
Secondly, finder allows you to check all connected external drive. If your device is not showing up, you might need to check and modify the preferences. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to Finder and select Preferences
- Make sure you’re on the General tab then check External disks.
- Click Sidebar tab.
- Scroll down and navigate to Devices. Make sure you see External disks under Devices option.
Modifying Finder preferences is very important. When External disks option is not checked, USB drive would not appear on your Finder or desktop.
3. Reinstall or Update USB Driver
Another solution to USB not showing up on Mac is verify if your USB driver is outdated. When driver updates are available, do these steps:
- Click the Apple icon on your screen.
- After that, choose Software Update.
- If driver updates are available, proceed to download it.
When your driver is updated but the problem persists, jump to the following step.
4. Reset USB Ports on Mac to Detect a USB Drive
Next, USB ports reset could help your Mac detect a flash drive. Do the following steps to reset USB ports:
- Restart your Mac computer then press Command + Option + P + R until you see Apple logo.
- Then close applications that are not responding by pressing Command + Option + Esc.
- Plug the USB to your computer. If it’s not showing up, click Apple icon and choose Sleep.
- Press any key to wake up the computer
- Finally, shut down your computer and unplug the power cord.
- Attach it after 15 seconds and try to plug the USB.
If this doesn’t work, try another step to repair the issue.
5. Run First Aid to Repair USB Flash Drive
How to open a USB on Mac if it’s not showing up? You might run First Aid to fix the problem. This built-in feature works well to repair errors on the USB flash drive. Follow the steps below:
- Go to Applications. Choose Utilities then select Disk Utility.
- On the left panel, select a USB flash drive then click First Aid.
- Choose Run. Wait for a moment. After that, select USB drive and select Unmount.
- Unplug your USB and plug back in after 15 seconds.
If First Aid can’t help solve the problem, you might want to reformat USB flash drive.
6. Reformat USB Flash Drive
When you can see the USB icon but you can’t see the files then reformatting can be opted to solve this hard drive issue. Since it may indicate that your flash drive is corrupted, you might need to reformat the disk.
However, reformatting will erase all your data. In order to avoid data loss, you will need to recover your data before proceeding to reformatting. You can use third-party applications like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard or iBoysoft Data Recovery to keep your data safe.
C. Send the USB Drive to a Repair Center
If you have tried all the troubleshooting methods but the issue remains, your USB drive is possibly damaged. While it’s impossible to repair or recover data by yourself, you might consider sending the flash drive to a repair center.
Some repair centers offer data recovery service that will help you rescue data. The specialists will do their best to make sure your important data remains safe. You might need to prepare extra cost for this process.
A USB flash drive is a convenient device that helps you get so many things done. However, USB not showing up on Mac might happen and interrupt your activity. Luckily, there are several steps you can do to overcome this problem, from checking USB device to reformat the flash drive.