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External Hard Drive Not Mounting on Mac? Your Fixes Are Here

Tracy King

Sep 16, 2021 to NTFS for Mac

0 Views 0 min read

External hard drive not mounting on Mac may result in access denied, disk not showing/not recognized, etc., errors. This page lists the causes of external hard drive not mounting and shows you how to fix Mac unable to mount external hard drive error successfully. With this error on your Mac? No worries. 

Follow us and learn how to get rid of this issue, making external hard drive mounting and working on Mac again without losing any data.

Error: External Hard Drive Not Mounting on Mac (Monterey, Catalina, Big Sur)

When your external hard drives, USB flash drives, or even other types of storage devices are not mounting on Mac computers, the devices will come with one or some similar symptoms as listed here.


  • Not recognized.
  • Not detected on.
  • Not showing up.
  • Access is denied, the drive becomes not accessible.
  • The external hard drive shows up in Disk Utility but won't mount...

What are the causes that block your external hard drive from mounting on a Mac computer? Let's find out the reasons.

Causes: Why Is My Mac Not Mounting External Hard Drive

Accordingly, it could be any one of the listed factors that prevened your Mac not mounting external hard dives:

  • Problematic connection - USB port, cable were broken, unusable, or low power supply.
  • Internal errors - file system error, outdated drivers, unknown errors, etc.
  • File system of the external hard drive is not supported by Mac.
  • External hard dive is unmounted or not correctly mounted on Mac.
  • External hard drive is plugged by mistake.

Solutions: How to Fix An External Hard Drive Won't Mount Error on Mac

To fix this issue, we connected 4 practical solutions that you can follow the tricks one by one to make sure that Mac can mount an external hard drive and you can make use of the device successfully:

  1. #1. Remount External Disk in Disk Utility
  2. #2. Mount and Enable External Hard Drive via EaseUS NTFS for Mac
  3. #3. Run First Aid in Disk Utility
  4. #4. Format Unsupported External Hard Drive in Disk Utility

Dos and Don'ts Tips Before Fixing Mac Not Mounting External Hard Drive Error

Before you start, here are some pre-operation tips that we highly suggest you follow first.


  • Reconnect external hard drive, switch USB port, cable, or even Mac computer.
  • Check if the external hard drive is enabled in Finder Preference:

Finder > Preference > See if Enteral disks is enabled. If not, check "External disks".

Enable external hard drive in Mac Preference settings


  • If the external hard drive contains essential data, don't format it directly.
  • Also, to avoid data loss issues, don't run First Aid at first.

Method 1. Remount External Disk in Disk Utility

Disk Utility enables you to mount and unmount external storage devices within a few clicks. The process is easy that you can follow to remount your external disk on Mac now:

Step 1. Connect your external hard drive into Mac correctly.

Step 2. Press "command" key + Space bar to open Spotlight Search.

Open Spotlight search

Step 3. Type "disk utility" and press the return key. 

Open Disk Utility

Step 4. Click your external hard drive on the left pane, and click "Mount" at the top menu.

Mount external hard drive on Mac

Wait for the process to complete, then close Disk Utility and see if you can access the external hard drive on Mac.

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How to Copy Files from Mac to NTFS External Hard Drive?

Don't worry if your external hard drive is in NTFS format, you can follow this link to Copy Files from Mac to External Hard Drive NTFS. 

Connect and copy files from mac to external hard drive

Method 2. 1-Click to Mount and Enable External Hard Drive via EaseUS NTFS for Mac

According to some Mac users, they can't see the Mount option available in Disk Utility, don't worry. You can directly fix this issue by turning to third-party software like EaseUS NTFS for Mac.

With this software, you can simply mount the external hard drive and even enable write support on Mac if the disk is in NTFS format. Let's see how to make your Mac mount an external hard drive in one click. 

1-Click to Mount & Enable NTFS Write Support for NTS External Disk

If the external hard drive is in NTFS format, it'll show as Read-Only on Mac. To obtain full control of your external drive, you can directly apply EaseUS NTFS for Mac for help:

Step 1. Launch and activate EaseUS NTFS for Mac. Click "I already have a license" to unlock this software.

Activate EaseUS NTFS for Mac

Step 2. Connect an NTFS drive to Mac, EaseUS NTFS for Mac will automatically detect the device. Select your drive and you'll see it's now marked as 'Read-only". Click "Enable Writable" to add read and write rights to the drive.

enable writable write to NTFS drive

Step 3. When the state of NTFS drives turns into "Writable", click "Open". NTFS for Mac will open the NTFS drive on Mac.

Make changes to saved files on NTFS drive

Step 4. Now, you can check, read, write, and even modify saved data on the NTFS device.

Read,write, open, and modify files on NTFS drives

Now the drive is mounted and writable, you are free to modify, correct, copy, and even move files in your external hard drive on Mac.

If Method 1 and Method 2 don't resolve the issue, run Mac data recovery software to get out of the disk data in advance. 
Then, follow Method 3 and Method 4 for help. 

Method 3. Run First Aid in Disk Utility

When you re-mounted the external hard drive to Mac but it turned out the drive is still not accessible, it could be some internal errors. In this case, you'll need to run First Aid to repair the disk to work again.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to Mac correctly.

Step 2. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Double-click "Disk Utility". 

Open disk utility

Step 3. Select the external hard drive on the left menu, then click "First Aid" on the top menu > "Run". 

And click "Done" when the repairing process completes.

Run fix aid

Once done, safely eject the external hard drive and restart the Mac computer. Then plug the external hard drive into Mac, you should be able to use the disk by then.

Method 4. Format External Hard Drive in Disk Utility with a Mac-Supported Format

In some mere cases, it could result in an external disk not mounting on Mac when the disk is with a macOS unsupported file system. 

If it's NTFS, you can enable NTFS on Mac using EaseUS NTFS for Mac. But if the disk is with other unknown formats, you can format it to a Mac supported format in Disk Utility with the steps here:

Step 1. Connect external hard disk to Mac and open Disk Utility.

Step 2. Select the external hard drive and click "Erase" at the top menu.

Select and format external hard drive

Step 3. Select a macOS-supported file system, like "MS-DOS (FAT)", "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)", etc., and click "Erase". 

Select new file system for external hard drive

Once done, close Disk Utility, safely eject the external hard drive and reconnect to Mac. Then, the disk is mounting properly on Mac.

External Hard Drive Not Mounting on Mac Is Fixable, Go and Make It Work Now

When an external hard drive or internal hard drive is not mounting on Mac, it won't be showing up. To fix this issue, we suggest that you should first check its connection to Mac.

Then, follow the four solutions as recommended above. Among these methods, EaseUS NTFS for Mac offers a 1-click option that you can mount and enable external hard disk immediately. If you tend to use Mac solutions, try other three Mac built-in features for help.

When you are having the same error on a USB flash drive, SD card, or even internal HDD/SSD on Mac, just stay calm and follow the fixes one by one. You can make the device mount on Mac and work again.