Seagate External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Mac Title Image

When you’re asking yourself. ‘Why is my Seagate external hard drive not showing up on Mac?

When your new drive doesn’t show on your Mac Pro. Or you’ve formatted your drive and used it happily on your Mac before.

What can you do?

Seagate External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Mac Solutions

Seagate ships and sell external drives in several formats. NTFS (New Technology File System) is a format a Windows PC uses.

And ExFAT a format a Mac computer and a Windows computer both understand and can share.

Both external drive formats should show up on your Mac’s desktop. And when your drive doesn’t show up. Here are the solutions to solve your issue.

1. Check Finder Settings Or Preferences

When your Seagate external hard drive doesn’t show up on your desktop. Particularly when it’s the first time you’ve used any external hard drive on your Mac.

Then your Mac may not be set up to show your external HDD on your desktop by default.

Open up a new Finder window and check your Finder Settings (Mac OS Ventura), it’s Finder Preferences in earlier Mac OS releases.

Finder Settings

When you pick the Finder Settings. Or Preferences option, you’ll see a pop up window.

Click on the General tab.

Finder Settings Show External Disks

Look down the list of settings. And put a check mark against ”External Disks’.

And in a few seconds you’ll see your Seagate external drive icon on your Mac’s desktop.

Seagate Drive Icon

Now you’ve set up your Mac, MacBook Pro. Or MacBook Air to show your external drive on the desktop. Has this solved your showing up issue?

No? The next thing to try.

2.  Check Your Seagate’s USB Connections

When your Seagate hard drive isn’t on the desktop. And your Finder Settings or Finder Preferences is set to show it.

Is there a light on your Seagate portable external drive?

Are you sure your USB cable works?

Your cable may look perfect from the outside. But could be damaged inside.

It is shockingly common for a faulty USB cable to be the cause of a not showing up on Mac issue.

Swap out your Seagate cable for another USB cable. And see if that fixes your not showing up issues.

3. Check Your Mac’s USB Port

Your Mac OS X has software that sits listening for new connections on its USB ports. And when an external hard disk plugs in.

Then a software check runs. And following that check of the Seagate hard drive. Your drive shows up on your Mac’s desktop.

Sometimes the USB port software hangs and stops working.

Particularly if you’ve plugged in and out different types of USB devices. And one of those devices wasn’t ejected quite right.

Plug in your Seagate external hard drive into another USB port on your Mac.

Does your Seagate storage device show on your Mac’s desktop now? No?

4. Reboot Your Mac And See If A Reboot Shows Your Seagate Drive

Sometimes your Mac just needs a full shutdown. A wait of 10 seconds. Then a power on.

A full shutdown restarts the software sitting at your Mac’s USB ports. And resets your Mac’s internal registries.

When your Mac reboots. Log back in. And see if your Seagate external hard drive not showing up on Mac issue has gone.

CLICK HERE: To Read A Review On the Seagate Expansion On Mac

5. Seagate External Hard Drive Not Showing Up On Mac Quite Yet

Yes, that’s right. It could be your Seagate hard drive isn’t showing up right now. But wait a bit and it could show up.

Sounds weird?  Yes, weird but true.

Leave your Seagate drive plugged. And just wait.

Sometimes 5 minutes or longer. Could be up to an hour for a larger Seagate drive.

When you plug in an external disk drive Mac OS X runs a check on that drive.

If your Mac OS finds an issue. It then does it’s best to repair it.

And then your Seagate hard drive will show up.

When your Mac is set up to show your external drive on the desktop. And you know your USB cable is good.

Leave your Seagate external hard drive plugged in for a while.

Let your Mac run its checks and do what it can to fix your drive. Then your external drive could just show up on your Mac.

Sometimes patience is rewarded.

6.  Reset Your Mac’s NVRAM

Your Mac’s NVRAM holds certain hardware settings for your Mac. And sometimes an NVRAM reset will cause your Seagate drive to show up on your Mac.

On your Intel based Mac, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Fully shutdown your Mac.

And while you power on. Hold down the OPTION + Command + P + R keys.

Hold down all the keys at the same time.

You’ll need to wait for at least 20 or so seconds.

Wait till your Mac reboots, holding all the keys. Wait till your second start up chime. Or you see your Apple logo. Then you can let go.

Does your Seagate drive show now?

7. Check If Your Seagate External Hard Drive Shows Up On Another Mac

At this point it’s time to see if your Seagate external hard disk drive will work on another Mac.

Take your drive to another Mac and plug in. Does it show up on that other Mac?

What about on a Windows PC?

Does it show there?

If your shows up on another computer. Then you’ve the opportunity to copy your data off the drive. Just in case.

It’s an opportunity to recover data you thought lost. Once you have your files safe. Then you can deal with your USB drive on its own without worrying about your data.

Ask yourself what is the difference between that other Mac and yours. That will give you a clue about what to do next.

8. Are You Using A USB Hub To Connect Your Seagate To Your Mac?

Your USB hub could be your issue.  Test out plugging into another USB port on your hub. Does your Seagate external drive show up then?

Or take your USB hub out of the equation and plug your Seagate drive directly into your Mac.

If your Seagate external disk shows up. Then you know your hub caused your problems.

9. Are You Using Seagate Technology’s ToolKit Software?

It’s worth checking the version of Mac OS X you’re running. Versus the version of the Seagate Toolkit disk management software.

You may have recently upgraded and there isn’t a version of the software that works on your Mac OS X version.

Or there is bug and you need to wait for a compatible version to come out.

Also, double check your software versions if you’re using NTFS driver software on your Mac. To keep your drive in its NTFS guise. And not have to reformat your NTFS external drive.

It could be a compatibility issue with your Mac OS causing your Seagate drive not to show up.

Generally, I’d recommend that on a Mac you use the standard software that’s part of your Mac operating system to use your Seagate external hard drive.  Your Mac’s operating system software is always compatible with your Mac.

10.  Seagate Drive Not Showing Up Mac – Mount Manually

The next thing to do when your external hard drive won’t show up. It to use your Mac disk management software – Disk Utility.

And mount the drive yourself. It’s pretty easy to do.

Start Disk Utility from your Applications Folder > Utilities. You’ll find Disk Utility inside the Utilities folder.

Start up Disk Utility and it’ll open a Disk Utility window. Then set Disk Utility to show all devices.

Seagate Disk Utility View

At the top of your Disk Utility screen look for the view option. And from that menu pick the option to show all devices.

You may need to click on the arrow to the left hand side of your Seagate external hard drive to expand the list.

Seagate Click At Top Level

Look for the eject symbol by each of your Seagate drive’s entry on the expanded list.

Seagate Disk Utility Eject Buttons

Then click on each eject symbol. Wait a few seconds. And check to see if manually mounting makes your Seagate drive show up on your desktop.

If that doesn’t work.

Next click on each of the entries for your Seagate drive in turn. Then click on the Mount button. The Mount button is in the button bar at the top of your open disk utility window.

Seagate Disk Utility Mount

That’s another way of mounting your hard drive so it shows up on your Mac.

11. Run Disk Utility First Aid

Use solution 10 above, to mount your drive in Disk Utility. Then run First Aid on your drive.

First Aid is part of the Disk Utility application on your Mac. It runs a check for errors on your Seagate external drive.

As long as your drive is in Mac OS Extended, APFS (Apple File System). Or ExFAT format you can run Disk Utility First Aid on your hard drive.

First Aid will check your drive’s partition map for errors. For bad sectors on your drive and repair those.

Run First Aid so your Seagate hard drive shows up the next time on your Mac.

To run First Aid. –

Click on your Seagate hard drive where you first see it under the External heading. Then click on the First Aid button in Disk Utility’s button bar.

Disk Utility Pick First Aid

If First Aid doesn’t run the first time you try it. Eject your drive. Put your Seagate drive on another USB port on your Mac and run it again.

12. Seagate External Hard Drive Files Not Showing Up Mac

There could be an error on your drive where your files are all there on the drive. But are hidden.

Ask your Mac to show you hidden files.

Open up a Terminal Window.

Application > Utilities > Terminal.

Type in:

defaults write appleshowallfiles YES


And then see if the files on your Seagate external hard drive show up.

13. Check Your Seagate Drives Formatting

When you’re having odd problems with your ExFAT Seagate drive. Sometime it shows up and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s worth checking your drives format.

I’ve had an ExFAT Seagate drive ship not quite in the right format to use right away on a Mac.

ExFAT is a file system format that is shareable between a Mac and a Windows computer.  But a Mac needs a drive formatted with a GUID Partition Map. Not a Master Boot Record.

You can check on this in Disk Utility.  Plug in your Seagate external hard drive. Start up your Mac’s disk management software Disk Utility.

Click on your drive.

Seagate Partition Map Master Boot Record

If your drive shows ExFAT and Master Boot Record for its Partition Map. Then the only thing is to copy off your files somewhere safe. Reformat the drive. Copy your files back on.

You can find out how at the post here. How To Format A Seagate Hard Drive For Mac.

Then your Seagate external hard drive should behave more consistently.

After Doing Everything On The List Your Seagate Drive Not Showing Up On Your Mac?

Or any Mac. Or PC?

It may be your Seagate storage device has failed.

And now you need to consider data recovery.  There are Data Recovery Services companies.

Indeed, Seagate Technology runs their own data recovery services, to recover data from their external drives.

You can also look at running data recovery software on your Mac.

Both these options come with a cost. And only you can weigh up if the cost to recover files is worth it to you.

There’s no guarantee with any of these services.

After you’ve finished with this drive crisis. Then consider buying yourself an extra Seagate hard disk drive.


To keep and have copy of your other Seagate hard disk drive. The drive with your important files on.

In Closing

Thank you for reading right up to the end of this post. I hope you’ve now happily got your Seagate Technology external drive showing up on your Mac.

While you’re here…. Why not check out our other Seagate related articles?

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