Does your Mac not recognize a USB drive? Is the USB flash drive not showing up on Mac after inserting it in the USB port? Find solutions here. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac when you want to recover data from a USB drive not recognized.

The overwhelming majority of USB flash drives you buy are going to come in one of two formats: FAT32 or NTFS. The first format, FAT32, is fully compatible with Mac OS X, though with some drawbacks. Dec 16, 2020 The APFS format is optimal for Solid State Drive such as flash drives. Hence, if you are formatting a flash drive, you should definitely choose the APFS format. Along with the flash drives, this format is also faster and more reliable for Mac hard drives. Mac OS Extended. Format to FAT32. If you have an NTFS drive you can use macOS’ Disk Utility to reformat it to FAT32. This is simple to do and means the data on your drive/USB stick can be read and written on.

Mac Won't Recognize USB, What Should You Do?

Commonly, when you insert a USB drive in the USB port on a Mac computer, the drive will soon appear on the desktop or hide in the Finder, letting you access, view, and manage data on it. Did you come across the situation that no matter how many times you try to connect the USB drive with a Mac computer, the USB drive is not showing up anywhere? Why this time Mac won't recognize a connected USB you may wonder. Though not a usual thing, the issue of an external hard drive or flash drive not showing up on Mac happens sometimes. What should you do in this circumstance? What are the effective solutions to make your USB drive show up again?

This page basically covers all the possible fixes for USB not showing up on Mac, which also applies to the similar issues of other storage devices like an external hard drive not showing up on Mac, flash drive not showing up on Mac, SD card not showing up on Mac, etc. Take a quick glance at the main content and directly jump to the part you're most interested in.

Workable SolutionsStep-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1~4. Some basic check and change settings1. Change the connection way
2. Change settings for desktop
3. Change settings for Finder
4. Check system information..Full steps
Fix 5~8. Repair corrupted USB drive1. Reset USB ports
2. Repair in Disk Utility
3. Repair with the terminal
4. Reformat USB drive..Full steps
Fix 9~10. macOS troubleshooting and manual repair1. update macOS and firmware
2. Manual repair service..Full steps

10 Fixes for USB Not Showing Up on Mac

The reasons behind the problem of a USB device not showing up are various, including the USB port is not working, USB drive corruption, virus infection, macOS faulty, etc. So, to figure out the effective solutions for your own case, you need to take time to have some basic check, exclude the irrelevant issues, identify the potential risk, and finally solve it!

Important
As losing the access to data is the most direct impact of Mac not detecting a USB drive, you might need to perform USB data recovery on Mac.

Fix 1. Change the USB-to-Mac connection way

Have you tried to restart your Mac once or twice? Before taking further measures, don't forget the most efficient way to tackle commonplace hardware glitches that arises from time to time. If this operating system restarting fails to solve the current problem, move on to check the physical connectivity issue step by step.

Step 1. Plug the USB drive out from the not working USB port and change to the other USB port. Try all the available USB ports on your Mac.

Step 2. Did you use a USB connection cable or a USB-C adapter? If yes, take the USB drive out, and directly plug it in the USB port.

Step 3. Is there the other Mac computer available to you? If yes, try to connect the USB drive to this computer. Is it showing up normally?

Step 4. For SD card owners, the common way to connect an SD card to a Mac needs a card reader. If changing the USB ports did not work, try to change a card reader for a new round of tests.

The four steps of troubleshooting a USB drive not showing up on Mac are very basic, however, quite helpful in most cases. Each step can help us exclude the issues of a bad/loose connection, a not working USB port, a lack of power, and other superficial phenomenons.

Fix 2. Change settings for Mac detecting an external hard disk on the desktop

Occasionally, your Mac has already recognized the USB flash drive but not shown it on the desktop. Thus, you should go to Finder > Preferences > General and make sure the 'External disks' option is ticked. Then you'll see the USB flash drive showing up on Mac desktop.

Fix 3. Change settings for Mac recognize an external hard disk in the Finder

Finder is the other access for us to check a connected external drive on Mac. If your flash drive or external hard drive is not showing up there, go to Finder > Preferences > Sidebar, and under Locations, you need to tick the option 'External disks'. By selecting this option, we can make sure that the connected external USB hard drive or flash drive will normally show up in the Finder.

Fix 4. Check the USB drive in System Information

When you cannot find the USB drive on the desktop or in the Finder, try to look for it in the System Information section, which is usually a hidden place for average Mac users.

Step 1. Go to Applications > Utilities > System Information.

Step 2. Check if the system detects the USB drive. Click 'USB' on the left panel, and you can also check the USB flash drive information.

Fix 5. Reset USB ports on Mac to detect a USB drive

Step 1. Restart Mac computer, press the Command +Option+P+R keys until the Apple logo appears.

Step 2. Press Command+Option+Esc keys to close all applications that are not responding.

Step 3. Plug the USB which is not showing up to your Mac computer. If it doesn't show up, click Apple icon and select 'Sleep'.

Step 4. Wake up the computer after a few seconds by pressing any key.

How To Format Flash Drive On Macbook Pro 7

Step 5. Shut down the Mac, unplug the power cord, reattach it after 15 seconds.

If this doesn't work, we should suspect the corruption issue at this moment. Don't give up and try to do some repair by yourself.

Fix 6. Repair USB flash drive with First Aid if it doesn't show up

Step 1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.

  1. Step 2. Select USB flash drive on the left panel of Disk Utility, and click 'First Aid' at the top toolbar and click 'Run'. Disk Utility will repair any errors on the drive automatically.

Step 3. Select the USB drive and click 'Unmount' at the top toolbar, unplug the USB and plug it back in 10-15 seconds.

Fix 7. Check and fix errors in a not recognized USB with Terminal

Step 1. Open Terminal in Utilities, type:diskutil list and press Return.

Step 2. Find the disk number of your USB flash drive, type: diskutil info disk2 and press Return. (Replace 2 with the disk number of your USB flash drive.)

Step 3. Type: diskutil eject disk 2 and press Return.

Step 4. Type: diskutil list and press Return.When the USB disappear from the Terminal list, close the window.

Step 5. Close Terminal and open Console to inspect your drive errors.

Step 6. Click 'Errors and Faults' to check if there are any errors.

Step 7. Reconnect your USB flash drive back to Mac, if no error shows up, your USB flash drive is safe.

Fix 8. Save data and reformat the not showing USB drive

Disk reformatting basically solves many hard drive issues, including the not showing up USB, particularly the time when you are able to see the USB icon but files are not showing. USB drive showing empty makes no sense, so you have to reformat the disk and make it usable again.

Note that reformatting will erase data. As long as the data matters, you need to follow the standard procedure to ensure zero data loss. [1] Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, the professional Mac data recovery software, to perform a full USB drive data recovery. [2] Reformat the USB drive in Disk Utility.

To format the USB drive in Disk Utility:

Step 1. Go to Utilities and open Disk Utility.

Step 2. Select the not showing up USB flash drive in the Disk Utility sidebar.

Step 3. Click Erase on the top.

Step 4. Finish the necessary information (name, format, and scheme) to format the USB flash drive.

Fix 9. Update your macOS and firmware

Did your Mac's OS keep updating all the time? Chances are that your Mac won't recognize a USB drive, especially after a macOS update. This time, take a close look at the settings whether your Mac is up-to-date. Equally, firmware updates address a variety of hardware issues and the functionality of the USB ports could well be one of them. So, keep your software and firmware up to date will likely make the USB drive show up as normal again.

Fix 10. Send the USB drive to a repair center

Nowadays even the branded USB flash drives are not expensive. If you've tried all the suggested troubleshooting methods, the USB drive is still not showing up on Mac, you have to accept the truth that it's severely damaged and beyond your ability to repair it.

Mac won't recognize a badly damaged flash drive or external hard drive since there is no way to show it up, even temporarily, which makes the data recovery difficult. The last chance for you to rescue data is to send the broken USB drive to a specialized data recovery service center nearby, and let the professionals try their best. You need to prepare for the manual data recovery cost, which is noticeably higher than the software data recovery. Hence, always try the cost-effective plan of using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to scan the USB drive for the first attempt.

Step 1. Correctly connect your USB flash drive to your Mac. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. Start selecting the flash drive and click 'Scan' to let the software search lost files on it.

Step 2. After a quick scan and deep scan, all files will be presented in the left panel in the scan results.

Step 3. Select files you want to recover and click the 'Recover Now' button. Don't save the recoverable files to the USB drive itself in case of data overwriting.

Dec 16, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

'I am thinking about selling my Mac and it has personal data on it. How do I format my Mac High Sierra? What should I do to make it entirely new? '

There are various reasons why people would try to format Mac. Maybe you are selling it or maybe you just want to empty up space. Whatever the reason is, the in-built Disk Utility is the only thing you need to carry out the task. But if you intend to use it afterward, you must gather up some additional information about the Mac file format too.

The biggest decision you have to make before you format Mac is to choose the right file format. Once you pick the right format for your needs, you can move on to how to format a Mac guide. Go through this article and you will know everything you should regarding formatting Mac safely.

Part 1. Overview of Formatting Mac

Formatting means deleting, erasing, or wiping out the existing data from a drive. This is done to make space for new data on the storage media. Formatting means erasing data on a drive while keeping the same format. You must have come across forums where people ask how to format NTFS on Mac. Typically, reformatting involves changing the NTFS or exFAT format to MacOS Extended format or APFS format as they are more compatible with Apple systems.

1. Reasons for Formatting Your Mac

The reasons which lead to formatting the Mac hard drive are listed below:

  • When you are giving your Mac away.
  • If you want to change the format of the disk such as Windows to Mac format.
  • When the drive can't be read by Mac.
  • When you are trying to resolve a disk error or working issue which can't be repaired.
  • If the macOS installer doesn't see the disk or can't install it properly.
  • If the macOS installer states that you can't install the volume as it is a part of Apple RAID.

2. Benefits of Mac Formatting

Despite the reason for formatting, there are various benefits of carrying out the task too. The advantages of formatting the Mac hard drive include:

  • It will prevent unexpected system crashes and extend the file of storage media.
  • It will improve hard drive performance.
  • It will prevent data theft as all the important data is deleted without leaving a trace.
  • Formatting also fixes glitches and software conflicts in the system.

When you are about to format Mac hard drive, it is vital that you have a complete understanding of the Mac file system format too.

How Do I Format A Usb Drive On A Macbook Pro

3. When to Format or Reformat Mac?

Under normal situations, you only format Mac as the intention is to wipe away the data and files from Mac. It is a low-level formatting process that only involves erasing the data on the system. It doesn't overwrite the existing data or remove it completely. The traces of the data are still left even after formatting.

But when you change a file format system of a drive, it is called reformatting. The process is accompanied by the deletion of data on the drive as the format changes, the files saved on the drive becomes irrelevant. As you reformat MacBook Pro or any other version, a partition map is created on the selected drive and an appropriate file system is applied which works with Mac such as OS X Extended (Journaled) file system. It is considered as a high-level formatting process.

So, you only need to decide whether you want to use the drive for other data or simply want to free up space on the drive. Once you understand the difference, it will be easier to decide whether you prefer to reformat Mac or simple formatting.

Related: Further, read and get to know the methods to format the USB drive on Mac.

Part 2. How to Format Mac in 3 Ways?

We have gathered up a list of methods on how to reformat/format Mac without any hassle. You can use any of the listed methods according to your requirements.

How do i format a usb drive on a macbook pro

1. Reinstall Your Mac OS:

It is very well-known that reinstalling the Operating System deletes every data and setting on the system. Luckily, you can install the Mac OS from the Apple server or the recovery partition in your drive whenever you want. This will format HDD on Mac and you will be able to use it as new.

  1. Reboot your Mac and while it is starting up the press and hold the Command + R keys until you see the Apple logo on the screen.
  2. A macOS utility window will pop-up on the screen and you will see several options on the screen. You obviously want to format Mac HDD; therefore, you will have to choose the Disk Utility option first.
  3. When the Disk Utility window opens up, click on the Erase tab and make sure that the format is compatible with the system. Then hit the Erase button at the bottom and wait while the drive is cleaned.
  4. Now quit Disk Utility and get back to the OS X utility screen. Click on the Reinstall macOS option and install the OS from the Apple server or a bootable disk you have.
  5. Enter the Apple ID is required and wait while the OS is reinstalled on your system.

Now, you can set up Mac once again as you want. The main advantage of using this method is that you can wipe the drive securely and restore the original version of macOS from the internet. Plus, you get to install the latest compatible macOS on your system.

2. Erase Mac Hard Drive

When you erase a hard drive, you basically format NTFS on Mac and change the format to a compatible one like AFPS or Mac OS X Extended (Journaled).

  1. Reboot the Mac and press Command + R keys during startup until you hear a chime. Wait as the OS X utility window appears on the screen.
  2. Switch to the Erase tab and select the volume which you want to erase. If you have no partition, then select the main hard drive.
  3. Choose the format as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and ensure that the GUID Partition Map Scheme is used.
  4. You can choose whether you want the fastest erase or most secure erase under the Erase Free Space option. Drag the slider according to your preference and hit the Ok button.
  5. Finally, click on the Erase button and the Disk Utility will erase the entire drive in a while.

When you use this method to format Mac, so are only erasing the data and files on the system without making any changes in the OS.

3. Wipe Mac SSD

When you are trying to wipe the Mac Solid State Drive, you need to remember that the Mac SSD is the best-integrated circuit you can get your hands on. As it uses flash memory, the information is retained on the drive more firmly than other Storage Media. Therefore, you will have to use the Cryptographic-Erase instead of standard erase for Mac SSD to format Mac disc.

  1. While rebooting your Mac, press and hold the Command + R keys to enter the Recovery mode. You will see an Apple icon or hear a chime when you enter the Recovery mode.
Related: Go there and get more approaches to booting Mac into Recovery Mode.
  1. When the OS X utility window appears on the screen, choose the Disk Utility option.
  2. In the Disk Utility window, specify the drive that you want to delete and click on the Erase option.
  3. Select the Mac OS Extended (Encrypted) format under the format list. Then press the Erase button and set a password for the encrypted partition. Make sure that you use an easy password as you are most likely to need it soon enough.
  4. Let the drive get erased and turn into an encrypted format. Once the process finishes, again access the Disk Utility and change the format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  5. When you press the Erase button, open the Security option in the pop-up window and you will see the secure erase option. The level of erasing determines the security, i.e. 35 Pass Erase is the most secure option.
  6. Finally, press the Ok button and proceed with the wiping process.

The main advantage of using this method is that will blank the slate securely. There will be no data left on the SSD whatsoever.

Video Tutorial on How to Format a USB Flash Drive on Mac

Part 3. How to Recover Formatted Data on Mac?

When you are trying to format Mac windows, it is obvious that you are going to lose some important files. But there is no need to panic; we can deal with loss using Recoverit Data Recovery software for Mac. This tool is specially designed to retrieve the lost data on your system.

Recoverit - The Best Mac Formatted Recovery Software

  • Recover various data on Mac or Mac-connected devices.
  • Scan and preview the files before you recover the data.

After you learn how to format Mac, it is important that you know how you can get the files back on your Mac. Here is the guide you need to follow:

Step 1: Select a location

Run the program and specify a location from where the files were deleted. In case you don't know where the files were located, choose the 'I can't find my partition' and hit the Start button.

Step 2: Scan the location

The software will scan the drive and display the results on the screen sorted out according to their format. You can also pause the scan at any time.

Step 3: Preview and Recover

Vpn torrent client. Select the files that you want to recover and have a preview of the files. You can perform a selective recovery of the files, select as many as you want, and hit the Recover button at the bottom of the interface.

In this way, you can easily get your documents that were disappeared back on Mac. In case if the quick scan was not able to fulfill your requirements, then you can do a deep scan as well. Recoverit would extract data from your Mac's storage. While the deep scan would take more time than the first scan, the results would also be far better.

Part 4. Tips for Formatting a Mac

The long-time users know that NTFS or exFAT format on Mac are not compatible. These formats are more suitable for Windows users. Hence, unless you want to transfer the files from Windows to Mac, it is advised to not use these formats on Mac. Here are some other tips related to formatting Mac that will come in handy:

  • The Erase option in the Disk Utility with OS X El Capitan and later performs formatting of a drive and erasing of volume under the same name. So, you can use the Erase command for both tasks.
  • Make sure that you create a backup of the data already present on the drive as you might end up losing it permanently.
  • Choose between the format APFS or Mac OS Extended format carefully.
  • To find out the current format of the drive, you can look into the System Information. The file system column on the Storage sidebar displays the current file format.
  • It is advised not to change the built-in APFS-format into Mac OS Extended under any situation.

Conclusion

In this article, you almost learned everything on how to format HDD on Mac. You can choose the method as per your requirements. And if somehow you end up losing some important files, Recoverit is here to help you as it can recover data from the formatted hard drive. So, if your friends, family, or close ones need help with formatting Mac, forward the guide to help them.

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