Fix External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Windows 10&11

Last Updated: September 20th, 2022By Categories: File/Data Recovery
Easy Fixes for External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Windows 10&11

An external hard drive is such a good container for data. It serves as a perfect gadget for data backup, transfer, and storage as it has a large capacity, won’t cause any storage burden to computers, and is convenient to carry as well as connect.

But you can only taste its sweetness when the external hard drive is detected by your computer. You cannot import or export data when you cannot find the gadget’s icon on your Windows disk management or File Explorer list.

You can’t find the target, you can’t shoot. Simple as that. So, to shoot – import or export data to/from your external hard drive, you need to ensure the external hard drive shows up on your computer. And that’s what we are going to do here, to help you fix the error and get your external hard drive to show up on the Windows 10 or 11 computer.

Read on and find the perfect solution to get rid of the error.

Discussion: Why is My External Hard Drive not Showing Up

To all the people that suffer from this error, you may be curious about the reasons why your external drive is not showing when it works normally a few whiles ago.

Well, there’re actually a lot of reasons for this error. It may result from a faulty error – your hard drive is having physical damage. Also, something may be wrong with your computer. It can be the USB port, the drives to analyze the external hard drive, and more.

It’s pretty hard to figure out the reason when you’re not a professional. So, instead of wondering why, let’s try all the methods one by one to make your hard drive show up on your PC again.

Method 1: Try a Different USB Port or Computer

There are chances that the result is coming from an inadequate USB port especially if your external hard drive is using a USB 3.0 port.

Most USB devices shipped out recently are installed with the USB 3.0 system which is superior to USB 2.0. For old USB 2.0 devices and ports, sometimes, they’re unable to power up the USB 3.0 devices and even cannot recognize them especially when your external drive is a big device like a WD My Book, Seagate FireCuda Gaming Hub.

As a result, your external drive is not recognized on your computer.

To fix this, it’s pretty easy. Try another USB port to connect the external drive. If all the ports on your computer are USB 2.0, apply to a recent computer with USB 3.0 ports.

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Method 2:  Restart the Computer and Reconnect the External Hard Drive

Your computer will have glitches every day, which you may never know. All computers have the ability to fix some small errors by themselves. However, sometimes, there are some errors that cannot be fixed easily by the computer system. As a result, you experience that error while using the computer.

In this case, your external hard drive is not showing up. To fix this, you just need to restart your computer. Since every restart is to clear up caches and bugs on your computer, like a self-clean. In most cases, this will work and you can see the access to the external hard drive again.

Method 3: Update the Related Drivers on your Computer

A computer detects and manages an external hard drive with the support of some drivers. Once any of the related drivers are outdated, bugged, or insufficient, your computer will simply fail to detect the external hard drive.

To fix it, you need to update or even reinstall the drivers on your computer. Follow these:

Step 1: Launch Device Manager

On Windows 11 or 10, search for Device Manager or right-click on Start. Launch Device Manager on your PC.

Easy Fixes for External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Windows 10&11

Step 2: Update the Drivers

On the window, locate Disk drives, click on it and find the name of your external hard drive there. If you can find it, right-click and choose to Update Driver.

Choose Search automatically for drivers and your PC will update the driver by itself.

However, if your driver is already the latest version, choose to Uninstall driver. Plug out the external drive. Plug it in after the uninstallation is complete. Your PC will download an applicable driver automatically to use the external drive.

Easy Fixes for External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Windows 10&11

Choose Search automatically for drivers and your PC will update the driver by itself.

However, if your driver is already the latest version, choose to Uninstall driver. Plug out the external drive. Plug it in after the uninstallation is complete. Your PC will download an applicable driver automatically to use the external drive.

Easy Fixes for External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Windows 10&11

echoshare Data Recovery

Recover deleted, corrupted, or lost data from any device

√ Supports Video, Audio, Document, Image, Email, Archive

√ Covers USB drives, hard drive, Android & Camera SD Card

√ Compatible with NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, EXT

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Mac Download
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Method 4: Run Windows Troubleshooter

You can find a built-in troubleshoot program on the Windows system. With that, you can try to fix the “external hard drive not showing up” error without figuring out why and how.

Follow this to activate the Windows Troubleshoot and fix the error:

Step 1: Launch the Troubleshoot

Hit Windows Logo and R keys to activate the Run window. Enter “nsconfig” and click OK to launch the System Configuration window.

There, click on the Tools tab. Select Windows Troubleshooting from the list and click Launch.

Easy Fixes for External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Windows 10&11

Step 2: Fix the error

Ont the Troubleshooter interface hit Advanced and tick Apply repairs automatically so that Windows will fix the error when it detects one.

Click Next to run a system scan. Once it’s done, a report will be shown. Check that out and see if there’s an error or not. If there’s one, check the details and see whether it’s fixed or not.

Easy Fixes for External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Windows 10&11

Method 5: Change the Settings on Disk Management

Is your external hard drive not showing up on only the File Explorer? Well, if this is the case, you can try to modify the settings on Disk Management – the program on the Windows system that’s designed for all the hard drive storage.

When you can find the target external drive on the list of Disk Management, follow these:

First of all, right-click on Start and choose Disk Management to launch this. Next, try these modifications:

Easy Fixes for External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Windows 10&11

1. Rename your external drive

Whenever a new device is plugged into your Windows computer, it will assign a name or we say a letter to it, like G:// or H://. However, this may not work all the time, there’re chances that your system won’t name the new device. Therefore, your external drive is not showing on File Explorer.

To enable it, simply locate your external hard drive on the Disk Management screen. Right-click on it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.

On the new window, click Add. Browse and choose a letter for your external hard drive and click OK to complete.

Easy Fixes for External Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up on Windows 10&11

2. Format the external hard drive

Apart from physical damage, your external drive might suffer from some logical issues that make it unreadable by other devices. When this is the case, the best solution is to format the external drive. By doing so, whatever error it is will be gone completely.

However, formatting will also erase all the data on the drive too. So, do a backup or apply to other methods.

On the Disk Management screen, right-click on the target drive and choose Format from the pop-up menu. Choose to Perform a quick format and click OK to start.

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Method 6: Recover Data from An External Hard Drive That’s Not Showing Up

When an external hard drive is not showing up on your computer, you can still recover the data from it. File Explorer is not the only tool that you can copy data from it.

To recover data from this external hard drive, get echoshare Data Recovery on your computer.

PC Data Recovery Main Interface

As a professional data recovery tool, echoshare Data Recovery can help you extract or recover data from an external hard drive, be it a normal, formatted, or unrecognized one. Your external drive is not showing up? Easy, plug it in, and let’s recover.

What data can you recover with this program? A lot. Image, video, audio, document, archive, and other file types, be it a rare or popular format, are all supported. Let it scan your external drive and you can find all the data you need there.

In a nutshell, with echshare Data Recovery, you’re able to get whatever data you want from your external hard drive when it’s not showing up. Apart from the external hard drive, it can detect and analyze data on so many other devices including a computer hard drive, USB stick, and SD card. Therefore, if you lose or delete any data from any of these devices, plug it into your PC and start the recovery with echoshare!

echoshare Data Recovery

Recover deleted, corrupted, or lost data from any device

√ Supports Video, Audio, Document, Image, Email, Archive

√ Covers USB drives, hard drive, Android & Camera SD Card

√ Compatible with NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, EXT

Win Download
Mac Download
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Method 7: Test for Physical Damage

When none of the above methods get you out of trouble, well, consider sending the external hard drive to a repair center. After all, we’ve tried almost all the applicable methods to adjust and fix all the related settings and devices.

FAQs

This is a very complex question to answer. Based on our experience, we suggest you try the program by yourself. It offers a free version that you can recover up to 500MB of data for free. So, test it and see if it can really deliver the data you want.

On Amazon, App Store, and Microsoft Store, we’ve found so many reviews complaining about it. They said Disk Drill will put “Recoverable” labels on the deleted data and pretend like it can recover all the deleted data. However, when they really start the recovery, all they get is some useless data they don’t need.

But every coin has two sides. We’ve also found some positive comments phrasing it too. So, instead of reading people’s comments, maybe you should give it a go. Test it by yourself.

Yes, you can download and install Disk Drill on any macOS device. Note that it offers an iOS version as well. So, you can also download the iOS app on your iPhone,

If you notice constant lags or bring up a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) on your PC, then your RAM could be damaged or dying.

When a computer CPU is damaged, you will not see the usual boot-up process. Instead, you will hear the fan turn on the disk drive running with a black screen.

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