How to Access an External Drive that’s not Mounting on a Mac

To access data from external drive, you usually connect it to your system to access files. Here, we are considering external drive connected to Mac device. So, usually when you plug in an external hard drive to your Mac USB port, you will see it mount on the desktop or you can even view in Finder in the left-hand column under Devices. But, what if your external drive not mounting? This situation makes you worried when you need to access data on the drive.

Well, to provide solve this issue follow the steps below:

  1. Initially, make sure your Mac is set to show mounted drives on the desktop. For this, go to Finder > Preferences > General and make sure that it is checked beside External Drives.
  2. Ensure whether the drive is plugged in properly as it may be one of the reason if the drive doesn’t mount.
  3. Try using different USB cable to check whether it fixes the issue
  4. Check whether if there is a problem with your USB port by plugging into another USB port.
  5. Try to plug in your external drive to another Mac to ensure whether if you can access the drive there.
  6. Check Apple’s Disk Utility program to see if you can see the drive there. To check this, open Spotlight (Cmd + Space bar) and start typing Disk Utility, then press enter to open the program. Just look in the list on the left, if the hard drive appears there
  7. If find your hard drive in Disk Utility check underneath it for a volume, if it’s there then click on it and select Mount. If your Mac has already mounted the drive, then the option Unmount will be displayed instead.
  8. If there is no volume listed on your Mac, then you cannot access the drive then the Mount option will be greyed out.
  9. Here you have First Aid, Erase and Restore.
  • First Aid – Checks the disk for errors and repairs the disk if necessary.
  • Restore- This option lets you to erase the contents of the drive and even replaces that with volume from another drive.
  • Erase- This feature deletes all the data stored on the drive which cannot be restored.
  1. To run First Aid, click the “First Aid” tab and select Run. If the Mac finds errors, you could fix you may see the option to “Repair Disk.”
  2. If you Mac is unable to repair the disk then that drive is either formatted using a file system that the Mac cannot read, or it is broken.
  3. If you think your hard drive has been formatted and you need to access the data on the drive, then connect your drive to a computer and copy the data before moving further.
  4. If you don’t need the data present on the hard drive, then click on Erase and it will reformat the hard drive.

While performing these methods, make sure that your external drive doesn’t get damaged. For this, right-click on the icon on the Desktop or in the Finder and choose Eject. However, most of the drive issues occur when the disk is removed without ejecting it properly. While performing the steps as mentioned above if you come across data loss then make use of professional data recovery tool as designed by Remo. This tool scans each and every sector of your external drive to recover data from external hard drive won’t mount Mac in few simple steps. This application provides demo version, so you can make use this to evaluate the recovery results and later you can purchase this application to save the recovered files. Also, restores data from various file systems such as FAT16, Fat32, ExFAT, HFS+ and HFSX.