Recover Deleted Data
1.1 Recover Deleted Photos
1.2 Recover Deleted Videos
1.3 Recover Deleted Phone Numbers
1.4 Recover Deleted Texts
1.5 Recover Deleted Audio Files
1.6 Recover Deleted Call Log

How Do I Fix USB Flash Drive Not Showing up on Mac? Here Are Updated 10 Solutions

How do I get my Mac to recognize my USB? I insert a SanDisk Cruzer Glide USB Flash drive into my Mac, and wait for about 3 minutes, and it does not show up. Till now, my Mac is still failing to read it.

Similar to a hard disc, USB flash drive can also be used to store and transfer photos, movies, music, documents, and more. More pleasantly, it is easier because it is portable to help to carry files among computer, camera, and mobile phone.

However, the experience where you are trying to insert a USB flash drive into Mac, and find it does not show up, bothers many of you.

Why is USB flash drive not showing up on Mac?

How to read/recognize/access your USB flash drive on Mac?

That's what we shall uncover.

Flash Drive Not Showing up on Mac

Flash Drive Usb Not Showing up Mac

Part 1. Why is USB flash drive not showing up on Mac?

The reason why USB flash drive is not recognized by Mac is various.

Here we summarize most of them:

There may be other unknown reasons for USB flash drive not accessible on Mac.

Though the reasons are various, you could still follow the universal solutions below to fix this problem. No cost and you can do it by yourself.

Part 2. How to recognize not showing up USB flash drive on Mac?

Fix 1. Check USB flash drive and USB port Fix 2. Check Mac power Fix 3. Restart Mac Fix 4. Reset SMC Fix 5. Check Finder Preferences
Fix 6. Check Disk Utility Fix 7. Discharge Static Electricity Fix 8. Manage the Manual Connections Fix 9. Update Mac Fix 10. Format USB Flash Drive

Fix 1. Check USB flash drive and USB port

Of nothing comes nothing.

If your USB flash drive is damaged, then it is not possible to show up on Mac.

Similarly, the problematic USB port on Mac also fails to recognize your USB flash drive.

Check them firstly.

> Disconnect your USB flash drive and reconnect it.

> Insert your USB flash drive into another USB port on this Mac.

> Change another one computer to insert USB flash drive.

> Update the USB driver.

Fix 2. Check Mac power

Your USB flash drive device may be not accessible to Mac due to the insufficient power.

If you use a bus-powered USB hub and get multiple devices connected at the same time, then your Mac may not supply the enough power.

For fixing it, just connect your USB flash drive to USB post on Mac directly.

Fix 3. Restart Mac

Like fixing any iPhone issues, restarting the device may also work sometimes.

Here, you could try to disconnect your USB flash drive and restart your Mac, and then reconnect it to see if it shows up successfully.

Restart Mac

Still not work? Move on the next fix.

Fix 4. Reset SMC (System Management Controller)

Step 1 Shut down your Mac, and unplug your power adapter.

Step 2 Press Shift + Control + Option and Power button at the same time for 10 seconds.

Note: For MacBook Pro with Touch ID, the Power button is the Touch ID button.

Step 3 After 10 seconds, release all of them, and reconnect your Mac to the power adapter.

Step 4 Press the Power button again to restart your Mac.

Reset SMC

Fix 5. Check Finder Preferences

If you disable "External disks" on Mac, then no USB flash drive or other external drive can be detected by Mac.

Have you disabled the settings? Check it.

Step 1 Go to "Finder" at the top of the screen of your Mac, and choose "Preferences" option from the drop down list.

Step 2 Navigate the "General" tab to make sure "External disks" option is enabled. If not, just tick it.

External disks

Step 3 Switch to "Sidebar" tab, making sure "External disks" option is ticked under "Devices".

External disks

Now, reconnect your USB flash drive to Mac to see if you can use it normally.

If you find Finder responds slowly or keeps crashing, you can check the post to trobleshoot Finder not responding.

Fix 6. Check Disk Utility

If Mac can detect your USB flash drive, but get some difficulties in accessing data within it, you can turn to Disk Utility for help.

Step 1 Locate "Applications" > "Utilities" > "Disk Utility".

Step 2 Select your USB external flash drive from the left sidebar > Choose "First Aid" and then it takes minutes to repair the error.

If you find your USB flash drive not detected in Disk Utility, just select the mount option which should mount that disk.

Then you can see if your USB flash drive appears on Mac.

Check Disk Utility

Fix 7. Discharge Static Electricity

Static electricity on Mac may disrupt the appearance of USB flash drive.

So just discharge it.

Step 1 Unplug all the USB flash drive devices and turn off your Mac.

Step 2 Remove the battery, and press the Power button for 5-6 times to release the static electricity of the motherboard completely.

Step 3 Restart your Mac and plug your USB flash drive again to see if the problem has been fixed.

Fix 8. Manage the Manual Connections

Generally speaking, while you connect your USB flash drive to Mac, it will connect it automatically. However, when your USB flash drive device does not show up on Mac, you can consider manually connecting.

Step 1 Go to "Application" > "Utility" > "Device" and click it to tick "Ask me what to do".


Step 2 Switch to "Device" menu and select "External Devices".


Then just plug your USB flash drive into Mac to see if it can show up on Mac.

Fix 9. Update Mac

An old macOS may be the reason why USB flash drive is not appearing on Mac.

The solution is very easy, and you just need to update your Mac firmware.

By the way, it is also a good habit to update your Mac.

Just careful to update Mac, because failure update may lead data loss on Mac. So just develop another good habit to backup Mac.

Fix 10. Format USB Flash Drive

Whether your USB flash drive cannot be mounted or recognized in Disk Utility, or it can be read, but cannot write data, you should know that your USB flash drive gets disk format problem.

For fixing it, you just need to format your USB flash drive.

Before you format your USB flash drive, you should know that not all USB flash formats are accepted by Mac.

Check the following table to see what different USB flash drive format work differently on Windows and Mac.

Mac (10.6.4 or earlier) Read only
Mac (10.6.4 or later) Read only
Windows XP ×
Windows 7/8/10 Read-only with Boot Camp

What's more, FAT 32 gets 4GB limit for max file size and 8 GB max partition size, and others get no limits. So ExFAT is undoubtedly the ideal option.

Now, let's see how to format the USN flash drive not showing up on Mac.

Step 1 Plug your USB flash drive to Mac, and launch Disk Utility meanwhile.

Step 2 Click the USB flash drive in the left sidebar, and choose "Erase" on the right panel.

Step 3 Select "ExFAT" in the "Format" dropdown menu and type the name of your USB flash drive.

Step 4 Click "Erase" button to start to format it.

After the process is done, you will find this problem has been solved.


Part 3. Tips of unreadable USB flash drive on Mac

Precautions on USB flash drive can efficiently stop the not showing up problem.

Here, we gather the tips to help you avoid the problem next time.

1. Eject USB flash drive safely

> Every time you want to exit your USB flash drive, do remember to eject it safely.

> Right-click your external drive on Mac, and choose "Eject".

> Alternatively, you could find the Eject icon below "Device" section of Finder's sidebar.

2. Gently unplug your USB flash drive

> Frequent use of the USB flash drive may damage this external drive and make it loose. You should gently disconnect it from your computer when you want to exit it. Do not brutally.

3. Make USB flash drive clean

Another reason for your Mac not recognizing external drives is a dirty. So you had better put the USB flash drive into a box to protect it from dirt.

4. Recover data from formatted USB flash drive

The last solution in part 2 will format your USB flash drive, and it will also wipe all data within it. Though you have successfully fixed an unreadable flash drive on a Mac, you also lost your data.



Not complicated guide, but only Aiseesoft Data Recovery is enough with simple 3 steps.

Aiseesoft Data Recovery is the professional USB flash drive data retrieval software for Windows and Mac. Even if your USB drive is formatted, it can quickly and safely scan and recover all data.

Aiseesoft Data Recovery

Data Recovery
  • Recover data USB flash drive formatted, crashed, damaged, etc.
  • Recover photos, videos, audio, documents, and more from USB drive.
  • Support USB drive from SanDisk, Toshiba, Samsung, SSK, Kingston, etc.
  • Work on Windows 10/8/7 and Mac.

Step 1 Free download this data recovery software on your computer. It highly supports Windows and Mac. Install and run it immediately. Here we take Mac as the example. Meanwhile, insert the formatted USB flash drive to your Mac.

In the main interface, select and click "Mac Data Recovery".

Mac Data Recovery

Note: For Mac running Mac OS X El Capitan or later, you need to disable System Integrity Protection firstly for using Data Recovery on your Mac.

Step 2 In the main interface, you need to select the data types and disk drive for scanning.

For data types, you are capable of selecting images, audio, video, email, documents and other data.

As for the drive, you just need to tick your USB flash drive.

Click "Scan" to start a quick scan on your Mac.


Step 3 After the scan is complete, you will find the scan result sorted by Type List or Path List.

View the details in the right panel by clicking the data type or path list from the left sidebar.

After confirming the data you want to recover, click "Recover" button to restore the lost data from formatted USB drive to your Mac.



In this page, we focus on the problem that USB flash drive is not showing up on Mac. We explain the reasons and gather the full 10 solutions to help solve it. Last but not least, we also recommend some tips, so that you will not suffer from such issue.

Has your problem solved with the solutions above?

If yes, do not share it with more people in need.

If not, tell your situations, and let's solve it together.

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May 22, 2019 20:30 / Updated by to Recover Mac Data

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