8 Workable Methods to Fix Mac Not Recognizing USB [Ultimate Guide]

Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by Yulia Ilina

What should you do if your Mac not recognizing a USB drive? Is it possible to recover lost or corrupted data? Once you have connected a USB drive to the port of your MacBook, the USB is not showing up in the Finder of your Mac. Here is the ultimate guide for fixing the problem and retrieving the data from the USB drive on Mac easily.

Fix Mac Not Recognizing USB

Part 1: The Ultimate Method to Fix USB Not Showing Up on Mac

Should you fix the Mac not recognizing the USB before recovering the lost data? No. Besides some basic processes, such as starting the Mac, checking the port of the Mac, and others, you’d better use professional data recovery for Mac to get back the deleted files beforehand. If you replace the data on the USB drive, you’ll never get back the files.

When you need to have a higher success rate, Data Recovery for Mac is the all-in-one solution to fix USB not showing up on Mac and retrieve the lost or corrupted files. It enables you to recover photos, videos, documents, emails, and others. Moreover, it has advanced algorithms to recover files due to hard drive problems, accidental deletion, crashed computers, and more.

1. Retrieve the lost data from USB drives and flash drives that cannot detect.

2. Support photos, videos, documents, email, ZIP files, audio files, and more.

3. Detect the corrupted USB, fix USBs not showing up, and retrieve lost files.

4. Provide a high success rate to retrieve the files from USB not showing up.

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Step 1: Once you have installed Data Recovery for Mac, you can launch the program and choose the Mac Data Recovery option. After that, you should connect the USB drive to the MacBook. The program will detect the USB drive with advanced algorithms.

Mac Data Recovery

Step 2: Open the Applications folder and go to the Utilities app. Select the System Information option and scroll down to choose the Software option to disable the System Integrity Protection option on your MacBook if you use data recovery for the first time.

System Integrity Protection Disabled

Step 3: Check the desired file formats, such as images, audio, video, email, documents, and others. You also can tick the Check all file type option. After that, you can choose the detected USB that not showing up on your Mac before clicking the Scan button.

Scan Mac

Step 4: After the scanning is complete, you can check the recovered data listed in the window. Search for the desired files via the file name or the path before clicking the Recover button. Moreover, you can also use the deep scan mode to retrieve the files from your USB.

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Part 2: 8 Workable Methods to Fix Mac Not Recognizing USB

Method 1: Check the USB Cable and Port of the Mac

Just have another check for the USB cable, the connected port of the Mac, as well as the power supply, you can solve most problems related to Mac not recognizing the USB drive with the step.

Step 1: Connect the USB drive to another cable of the port. Of course, you can also switch to another port to find out whether it works. You can also clean the USB drive and port before another check.

Step 2: Make sure your MacBook has enough power supply. Just leave the USB drive connected to your Mac for a short period before another action. An improper ejection will damage the data as well.

Port of Mac

Method 2: Show External Disks in Mac Desktop

Check whether your Mac has disabled the display of your USB drive with the External disks option. When your USB not showing up on your Mac, you can tick the External disks option to solve the problem.

Step 1: Go to Finder and choose the Settings option in the macOS Ventura. As for the previous version, you can choose the Preferences option to switch the settings.

Step 2: Select the General tab and make sure the External disks option is checked. After that, you check whether you can open the connected USB drive on your MacBook now.

External Disks Settings Mac

Note: Besides the General tab, you can also enable the External disks option in the Sidebar tab. It will fix the problem that the USB not opening in Finder of your MacBook. Here is the detailed process.

Method 3: Change the Drive File System

Because Mac only supports APFS (Apple File System), Mac OS Extended, MS-DOC (FAT), and exFAT file system, if the USB drive has some files from your Windows with NTFS or Linux with ext3, you have to reformat the device and change to a compatible format.

Step 1: Open Finder on your MacBook and go to the Applications folder. After that, you can choose the Utilities app and launch the Disk Utility app to change the drive file system of the USB drive.

Step 2: Select the USB drive that cannot open on your Mac from the list of available storage devices. Click the Erase button in the top menu to remove the original USB drive.

Step 3: Provide a description of the USB flash drive and change the format settings if you want to. After that, you can click the Erase button before you have another check for the files.

Disk Utilities Mac

Method 4: Fix USB with Mac’s First Aid

Just like the name of the feature, First Aid is the built-in repair function that comes with your Mac for all errors. When your USB not showing up on the Mac, you can also use the feature to recover the connection and find the USB driver on your Mac.

Step 1: Open Finder on your MacBook and go to the Applications option. You can choose the Utilities app from the list and choose the Disk Utility button to manage the connected USB drive.

Step 2: Select the USB flash drive on the left panel of the Disk Utility window. Click the First Aid menu in the toolbar at the top. After that, you can select the Run button in the pop-up box.

Step 3: Select the USB that cannot show up on Mac again and choose the Unmount button. After that, you can unplug the USB and plug it back in for 5-10 seconds to check whether it works.

First Aid Mac

Method 5: Fix USB Not Recognized on Mac with Terminal

When you have some basic knowledge about the command line, Terminal is the desired choice to fix Mac not recognizing the USB. It enables you to fix the errors and faults of your USB drive, which can make sure the connected USB drive is safe.

Step 1: Open the Terminal app in Utilities, you can type the diskutil list and press the Return button to run the command. After that, you can find the disk number of your USB flash drive.

Step 2: To replace the new with the disk number of your USB flash drive by typing the diskutil info disknew and pressing the Return button. Enter the diskutil eject disknew command to eject the USB flash drive.

Step 3: After that, you can enter the diskutil list command to check if it works to fix the USB not showing up on Mac. Close Terminal and open Console to inspect your drive errors.

Command Line Mac

Method 6: Check the USB Drive in System Information

If you can't find the USB drive on your desktop on in the Finder app, you can check whether it is available in the System Information app. The information seems off when the USB is corrupted or fake.

Step 1: Go to the Finder menu and choose the Applications folder. You can open the Utilities app and select the System Information icon to check the information on the USB drive.

Step 2: Select the USB menu on the left panel. Find the USB drive on the left side of the user interface. Then you can check the USB drive information on the right side to find the status.

USB Port of System Information Mac

Method 7: Reset SMC on Mac

Resetting your macOS configuration is another complicated but efficient way to fix the USB not showing up on Mac. Because the system configuration may have an impact on a USB, when you reset SMC, there are some possibilities that you can fix the problem.

Step 1: Turn off your Mac. Just long press the Power button and wait for 15 seconds to reboot your Mac. After that, you can press and hold the Control + Option + Shift keys to get into the SMC mode.

Step 2: Release all the keys at the same time. You need to press and hold all keys at the same time and then wait for about 5 seconds. You can restart your Mac to find out whether the USB not showing up on your Mac is fixed.

Reset MSC Mac


If your USB flash drive is not working properly, then it can cause problems in your work and life. That's why you need to find the right solution to help it work properly. This article gives you 8 workable solutions. You can try the above methods to solve your problem. When you need to retrieve lost files during the process, data recovery is the best choice.

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