Facing Issues Mounting Your External Device to Your Mac? Read This.

It’s easier than you think.
Facing Issues Mounting Your External Device to Your Mac Read This.

Anyone who uses a desktop or a laptop always finds the need to mount an external memory device at some point or the other.

Yes, we do have the cloud and other options like the Dropbox and Drive.

However, there is an ease of using a personal hard drive to store information. 

In most cases, whether you use a Mac or a Windows PC, the external device plugs in automatically.

Once it is set up, it shows on the screen of your system.

In other words, it is as simple as plugging in and playing. 

In this article, we discuss ways to help users navigate this problem by offering real-world constructive solutions.

We also talk about some of the important fallouts of this problem: data loss, system performances and so on. 


Why does my Mac not read the External Hard Disk or Pen Drive?

Yet there are many occasions when you can have a routine problem with mounting your device on your MacBook or your iMac. 

This can be frustrating and annoying and can cost you time and effort.

If you are in the midst of compiling a last-minute presentation or transferring some important data, you can feel this problem on another level altogether. 

Reasons for the same can range from a corrupt file directory in your device to a problem USB port on your Mac.

Let us look at some of the most common and obvious ones below:


1. Is the device properly plugged or mounted in?

You might think that this is obvious, but trust us; many users are in such a hurry that they feel to check the cable many times.

External devices connect with either a USB cable or an HDMI cable.

In both instances, you need to check if they are properly mounted. 


2. Is the Cable Damaged or the USB cord?

The first thing, which starts withering away on an external device, is its connection cord.

Maybe a rat, maybe some other tensions or simply pulling it too hard can damage the cord.

You need to check for the damage as well as assess the damage to your USB port. 


3. Try Rebooting as a probable solution

For times when your Mac is not reading the external hard drive, it is best to reboot your MacOS.

This can be an error of the operating system.

Press on the power button and once the start screen comes on, press R. this will reboot the MacOS and refresh the operating system. 


4. Check whether the external device is corrupt or not

MacOS is very advanced and always protects itself by preventing exposure to corrupt files.

If the files on your hard drive are corrupt, the MacOS can automatically prevent it from showing up.

You need to run the same through an antivirus or data recovery program first. 


5. Is the external device formatted for Mac?

We all know how MacOS reads NTFS files (formatting it to a FAT32) but only to the limit of 4GB.

You can read them, but nor write them.

This is why you need to see whether the format of the external device is compatible with Mac or not.

This is something, which is common. 


What are some quick fixes to check where the problem lies?

When an external device fails to mount on our Mac, our first reaction is to panic.

This also depends on the fear that we might encounter data loss or corruption.

However, the key is to keep a simple mind and carry out some basics. 

One of the first things you should do when you encounter such an issue is to plug in the external device to another Mac system.

It does not matter if it is a MacBook or an iMac.

You can plug it and see whether it is connecting or not. 

If it connects, you will realize that the problem is not with the external device, but with the hardware or software of your own system.

If it does not connect, you will realise that your system is perfect and that the issue lies with the external device. 

Another thing, which you can do post this is connecting the external device to a PC.

If the external device starts reading on the PC, you can come to the realization that the error lies in formatting.

If it does not read in a similar fashion to the Mac, then you can conclude that the external device suffers from severe issues. 


Can the problem be because of the Settings Configuration on my Mac?

Facing Issues Mounting Your External Device to Your Mac Read This.

Yes, the problem might well be because of an altered settings configuration, which you might have mistakenly done, or the update was responsible for. 


1. Edit the Settings Preferences and look for the External Device

One of the first things you need to check for is whether your Mac is reading the external device or not.

To do this, you need to first open the ‘Finder; option on the top left and side of your Mac.

Once you click it, you will see four options- General, Tags, Sidebar and Advanced. 

You need to press on General and browse through the section on which icons to show on the desktop.

You will see options like external disks, hard disks, CDs, DVDs and iPods, along with Connected Server Options. 

Make sure to click against the external disks.

This will ensure that the external disk starts showing up on the desktop if it is being read by the system.

This will also give you peace of mind to explore the following options, in order to retrieve your data from the device. 


2. Use Disk Utility to search for the External Device

If the external device is being read but is not opening, then it means that there are some issues with the data.

In other words, you might be looking at corrupt files.

This is where Disk Utility can be a great option to explore. 

Open the Disk Utility app, by pressing on the Spotlight, followed by entering the command: CMD + Space bar.

This will open Disk Utility and show you the external hard disk on the left-hand side of the screen. 

See whether the Mac has mounted the device, or is it still in unmount.

If that is the case, then mount the device and click on it to reveal three functions: Restore, First Aid and Erase.

If the data is important and you do not want to lose it, do not click Erase or Restore.

The option you should go for is First Aid.  


3. Format the External Device to make it Mac compatible

As some of you know, almost all external devices are formatted to NTFS for Windows.

This is simply because the assumption is that they are going to be used on a PC.

On a Mac, NTFS files are readable but not writable. 

This means that you need to use the Disk Utility function to change the format of the external device in order for it to be read and written on.

Most people change the format to FAT32, which makes it compliant on both PCs and Macs. 

Make sure that you have already transferred the data to the PC before starting the formatting process.

If you have not done so, you stand a chance to lose all your pre-existing data post the format.

The following steps should be followed at all times-

  1. Transfer and save the data on a PC
  2. Run the format on the external device 
  3. Transfer the data back from the PC to the external device
  4. Plug the formatted device with the data to your Mac


Can Third-Party Apps help retrieve Data Loss or Corrupt Files from my External Device?

In the last few years, many credible software companies are trying to help people who have lost data from their external devices. 

The process is simple enough for almost everyone to do on their own.

All you need to do is purchase the Mac Data Recovery software from an industry-leading and highly rated company.

Install it on your Mac (these are licensed software manufacturers; you should not worry about). 

Click on the external device icon on the app and run the Scan function.

This will help in identifying lost or corrupt files.

Once the scan is complete the data recovery app allows you to select the data, you want to retrieve and reconstructs it to make it as good as new. 



Apple products are highly rated for their support, durability and software advancement.

You might have noticed that almost 99% of the solutions, which we offered could be done on the Mac itself. 

The only outside solution was the use of a credible third party data recover app to help you get back your lost or corrupt files.

If you ever encounter a situation where your external device is not mounting to your Mac system, you can follow this article as a guide to help you overcome the problem. 

If you are suffering from any other issues on your Mac, let us know in the comments section below.

We will try to help you as much as possible in finding a simple, cheap and effective solution. 


Also Read: Quick Ways to Find and Remove Duplicate Files on Mac

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