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How to WD Elements Not Showing up Mac [2024🔥]

Resolve your WD Elements not showing up Mac error with this guide. Here are 8 easy methods for troubleshooting and fixing connectivity problems on your Mac.


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Updated by Cici on Jan 16, 2024
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Storing personal photos or important files securely can be a tricky task. A huge amount of data can be dealt with without making your device run out of storage. And here is where external hard drives like WD Elements come in handy. With a portable design and fast performance, they are popular among consumers. 

However, even with its excellent functions and specifications, sometimes you might encounter issues like WD Elements not showing up on Mac. If you are in such a situation, follow this guide for step-by-step solutions and have a seamless experience next time. 

How to Fix WD Elements Not Showing up on Mac?

The simple solution is to find the source of the issue and work it out from there. But before that, let us first understand how to fix it. The following are some of the solutions that will help you solve this issue effectively, and these methods are also suitable for other WD hard drive issues, such as WD My Passport Not Showing on Mac.

On the other hand, if you continue to face a similar problem even after the fixes mentioned below, check it with a professional repair service. 

Way 1. Reset the USB Port

One of the common reasons could be that your USB port or cable might be damaged. In the case of your USB port, first try connecting it with another port. Even after this, try resetting the port if the WD Elements are not showing up on Mac. 

To reset the USB Port, you can either click on the Restart button or try to reboot your Mac. You can also use an app like Terminal to skip the whole restarting process. For that, follow the steps below: 

Step 1. Open the Terminal app by pressing Command + Space Bar and searching 'Terminal.' 

find mac terminal

Step 2. Once the Terminal window opens, type in the command: sudo kextunload IOUSBMassStorageClass.kext, and press Enter. 

Step 3. You will be asked to type in the admin password and press Enter again, and you should have reset the USB ports. 

Way 2. Turn on the "Show" Option

Sometimes, the WD Elements might be hidden due to settings on Finder. Change this, and you will be good to go.

Step 1. On your Mac, click on Finder and select Preferences

Step 2. On the General tab, select External disks from the items shown on the desktop. This will help you to find the WD external hard drive from your desktop. 

select the external disks

Way 3. Check If WD Is NTFS Formatted

NTFS is a file format for HDD, SDD, or flash drives. However, it isn't generally supported on Mac. You can check if the WD hard drive is mounted with NTFS. Mounting means making your drive visible on both the Finder and desktop to access it. You can check this by opening the Disk Utility and checking whether WD Elements is listed within the options. 

If your drive isn't visible, then you need to mount your drive on your Mac. To do so, download a tool called EaseUS NTFS For Mac and use the Mount NTFS feature. Just follow the steps below, and you'll be able to use your drive again:

Step 1. Launch EaseUS NTFS for Mac on Mac computer, and click "I already have a license" to enter your code for unlocking the software.

Unlock EaseUS NTFS for Mac

Step 2. Connect your NTFS external storage device to Mac, and let EaseUS NTFS for Mac to detect it. Once it detects your drive, select the drive and click "Mount".

Mount NTFS drive on Mac

After this, EaseUS NTFS for Mac will mount this drive on Mac and you shall be able to open and view its content. 

Way 4. Reformat WD Elements Hard Drive

Another solution is to reformat the WD Elements hard drive. You can use EaseUS NTFS for Mac again. Along with many useful features, it also lets you reformat your hard drive easily.

It also helps you read, write, mount, and unmount NTFS drives on Macs. EaseUs NTFS for Mac has a simple interface, and you can format your drive just by installing it on your Mac and using the Format tool.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS NTFS for Mac on your Mac, click "I already have a license" and enter your code to activate this software.

activate NTFS For Mac

Step 2. Connect the target external hard disk to your Mac, locate it and choose "Erase" to move on.

click erase

Step 3. In the Format box, select the "APFS" option in the scroll down menu as the new file system.

select APFS

Step 4. Hit on the "Erase" button to confirm the format action and erase all data stored on this external storage device.

click erase

Way 5. Mount the WD Elements Drive on Disk Utility

Mounting your external hard drive is necessary to make it compatible with your operating system. To do this, you have to use the Disk Utility tool. Here's how to do this: 

Step 1. From the search bar, click on Applications and select Utilities.

Step 2. Click on View from Disk Utility and select Show All Devices from the left side.

mount wd element

Step 3. This will show the list of the available options. Select the WD external hard drive and click on Mount. And that's it.  

Way 6. Run First Aid

If your external hard drives get damaged or corrupted by any means, it can be rectified by in-built tools on your Mac. One such tool is First Aid, which can help you understand the problem with your WD hard drive. Here are the steps that you can follow: 

Step 1. From Disk Utility, select WD external hard drive. 

Step 2. On top, you can find the First Aid button. Click on the button, and a dialogue box should appear.

run first aid

Step 3. Select the option Run to identify and fix all the issues regarding your external hard drive. 

Way 7. Update WD Firmware

The problem of WD Elements not showing up on Mac can also be eliminated by updating your hard drive regularly. This can be done in a few simple steps as follows:

Step 1. On your browser, go to the Western Digital website. 

Step 2. From the top panel, select Support and then Downloads. Now, scroll below and download the available updated drivers for Mac.

update wd firmware

This will also protect your device and help to solve most bugs and issues of your hard disk drive. 

Way 8. Reset the Mac's SMC

If neither of the above options works, you can try resetting your device's System Management Controller (SMC). If the issue is due to SMC, it could slow down your system and not show your WD drive on your Mac. Here is what you can do to rectify this issue: 

Method 1. Quick Reset

Step 1. Press and hold the Power button and wait for a few seconds. Your Mac should restart, and the SMC will be reset.

Method 2. Hard Reset SMC

Step 1. If the first method doesn't work, power off the device again. Press the Shift, Alt, and Control keys and hold for a few seconds.

Step 2. Now, press the Power button and hold it for a few seconds. Hold all four keys together for a few seconds and then restart the device. 

Why Are WD Elements Not Showing Up on Mac? 

The common reasons discussed in the above session are the cause for WD elements not being visible on your Mac. That said, here is a summary of those problems and the helpful solutions for the same:

Reasons Descriptions Solutions
Physical Connection Error with the USB port or cable
Permissions Your OS is hiding the drive due to some permission issues
Compatibility Issues NTFS formatted drives are not automatically shown on Macs
Corrupted Drive Your drive might be corrupted and may need a quick format
Drive Not Mounted The WD Elements drive might not have been mounted properly
Operating System Error You might face some random bugs or OS issues

Follow and try the simple steps for each solution and get a better experience with a WD hard drive while using a Mac. Share this guide with your friends and family so they won't face a similar issue. 



Facing a technical issue is often time-consuming and frustrating. However, following a few simple steps, you can tackle the issue of WD Elements not showing up on Mac.

Using tools such as EaseUs NTFS for Mac can also greatly help you. The quickest solution is to mount your drive and restart your Mac. 

FAQs About WD Elements Not Showing Up on Mac 

Here are some recurring questions users have on the same topic. If you still have any other doubts, refer below for further clarity. 

1. How do I find my WD external hard drive on my Mac? 

You can try any of the following methods discussed in this guide for solving this issue. 

  • Reset the USB Ports
  • Restart your device
  • Turn on the 'Show' option
  • Mount or format the drive
  • Reset the Mac's SMC

2. Why is my WD element not detected on my Mac? 

This could be due to problems such as damaged drives, incorrect formats, operating systems, or file system errors.

3. How do you fix the WD hard drive not showing up in Disk Utility? 

On the Disk Utility, select the Show All Devices option from the View tab to make the WD hard drive visible.  For more ways, follow the tutorial.