How to Fix Seagate External Drive Not Showing up on Mac

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From bad USB ports to file system corruption, there are a few possible causes for the Seagate external drive not showing up on Mac issue. Fortunately, a few quick fixes are there to solve the problem.

I am a tech enthusiast who loves trying different tech devices and solving problems. I have a Seagate Expansion drive and in the past several years I did face a few times when the drive couldn’t be detected by my Mac.

In this article, I’m going to show you several possible solutions that hopefully will help you solve the issue quickly.

Keep reading!

Problem 1: Seagate Drive Not Showing on Desktop or Disk Utility 

If your Seagate drive is working fine on other computers but isn’t detected on your Mac, the problem isn’t with your external drive. Most likely, a simple change on macOS settings will do the trick.


Usually, there are two places to locate your hard drive – the Finder and the Desktop on Mac. To enable the settings, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Open Finder, select Preferences from the menu and click on the Sidebar tab. Tick the checkbox that says External Disks. This will show make Seagate drive accessible via the Finder menu.

Step 2: On the same Finder Preferences window, go to the General tab. Tick the same option here too – External Disks. This is to make Seagate accessible on the Desktop.

That’s it. If your Seagate drive still doesn’t show up, see other fixes below.

Problem 2: Seagate External Drive Not Showing up in Disk Utility Even Though It’s Detected

This is probably due to mounting issues. To confirm, see the View option on the top of the Disk Utility window and click on Show All Devices. If you find the partition grayed out for your Seagate drive’s volume, you must manually mount the drive to make it accessible.

Possible Causes

  • Unmounted Seagate external hard drive
  • Disk errors 


Try mounting the Seagate drive manually on Mac. To do so, right-click on the Seagate external drive that appears in the left column of Disk Utility. Simply click the Mount option on the top. Then wait until the process is complete.

For disk errors, use the First Aid feature on Mac to repair the Seagate external drive. 

  1. Go to the Disk Utility via the Finder menu > Go > Utilities.
  2. Select the Seagate drive icon appearing in the left column. 
  3. Click on First Aid at the top of the same window and choose Run when prompted.
  4. Your Seagate external drive will be mounted after the repair.

If this does not work either, your last resort is to reformat the Seagate drive for Mac. Just make sure to create a backup of the data saved on the disk.

To reformat, choose the Seagate external drive on Disk Utility and click Erase on the top of the window. Select file type as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), name your drive, and schema as GUID Partition Map.

The last step is to click on the Erase button to proceed. When prompted, confirm erase. That’s it.

Problem 3: Light on Seagate Drive is ON But Drive Unrecognized in Disk Utility

It can be irritating to see your Seagate drive still doesn’t work even after trying all the above solutions. Here is another scenario: your drive seems to be detected because the light is on, but you still can’t find it under Disk Utility.

Possible Causes

  • Faulty hardware (connecting cable, port, etc)
  • Third-party applications crossing paths with Seagate external drive


To check for faulty hardware, all you have to do is try another cable, a different port, or another computer to see if the drive can be used as normal. But if you have already done that during troubleshooting Problem 1, you can skip that part.

Now restart your Mac. Many times restarting your computer can solve the problem easily. Just make sure to disconnect your external drive before rebooting the machine. 

Next, try resetting NVRAM. NVRAM refers to the non-volatile random-access memory that can hold data even after turning off the power to the memory chips. 

Simply restart your Mac and wait for the black screen to appear. Now hold down Option, Command along with P and R keys together. 

Release the keys until you listen to the start-up chime sound twice.

If this still doesn’t solve the problem, there are chances that a recently installed software is restricting the drive to show up in normal boot mode. Try starting your Mac in safe mode.

Final Tips

Always remember to eject your Seagate drive safely after use. All you have to do is, right-click on the external drive icon available on the desktop and select Eject.

If the not detected problem still persists, seek help from the manufacturer. Reach out to Seagate support for advice. 

Hope the above fixes have helped you make the Seagate drive become accessible again.

About Lorena
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Lorena holds a 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip. Her role involves editorial management from writing to editing and ensuring that the articles are informative, useful, and relevant to readers who are new to Mac.

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