It’s so frustrating when you’ve happily used your Elements external drive for months. You’ve some key files on your drive.
Then today you’ve plugged it into your Mac. MacBook Pro. Or MacBook Air and it won’t mount.
What to do now?
Read on for the steps to take when your Elements external HDD isn’t mounting on your Mac. And solve your Elements Mac issue.
WD Elements Not Mounting Mac – Using For The First Time
Your Mac operating system quickly mounts a plugged in external drive. But it won’t be visible on your Mac’s desktop if this is the first time you’ve ever used an external hard drive.
And that may lead you to thinking your Elements WD external hard drive isn’t mounted.
It’s worth checking this setting anyway. As you may have accidentally turned this off.
To resolve this issue.
1. Set Up Finder Settings or Preferences.
Set Finder Settings (from Mac OS Ventura). It’s Preferences on earlier Mac OS releases. Set it to show your Elements external drive on your Mac’s desktop.
Open a new finder window.
Look across the top of your Mac computer’s screen. Pick Finder Settings or Preferences.
Next a pop up window opens.
In that window you click on the General tab.
Look down the options. You want to see the option for ‘External Disks’. Put a check mark against that option.
Wait a few seconds.
You then should see the Elements icon for your drive on the desktop. And your WD external hard drive is then mounted.
Your Elements drive will have its own name under its icon.
Double click on your hard drive’s icon to open up a Finder window on your drive.
How To Solve WD Elements Hard Drive Not Mounting On Mac
You’ve used your WD Elements external drive for quite a while. And you’ve got some important files on there. And now it’s not mounting on your Mac.
Here are some tests to do to solve the issue.
1. Push And Well Seat Your Cable Into Your Mac.
Check your cable is well seated into your Mac’s USB port. And firmly into your Elements USB drive.
It’s often the simplest things that trip you up.
2. Try Another USB Cable.
The next most often seen issue is a faulty USB cable. USB cables fail surprisingly often. Even if it looks great on the outside. It can be broken and intermittently connecting on the inside.
Put a cable you know works on your Elements drive and into your Mac and see if that resolves your mounting issue.
CLICK HERE: To Read A Review On WD Elements On Mac
3. Try Another USB Adaptor.
Are you using a USB A to USB C adaptor on your USB cable to connect to your Mac? Swap in another one you know works and see if your Elements hard drive mounts.
4. Direct Connect To Your Mac’s USB.
Using your Elements WD hard drive on a USB hub? It could be the hub causing your issue. Try another port on the hub. If that doesn’t work then plug your Elements external drive direct into your Mac. Then see if your WD external hard drive mounts.
5. Try Another Port On Your Mac.
Plug your Elements USB drive into another USB port on your Mac.
Mac OS X has software sitting and waiting on the USB ports of your Mac.
After plugging in and out many USB devices. And no full reboot of your Mac that software can tie up. And hang and just not recognize your Elements storage device when you plug it in.
Plug your Elements hard drive into another USB port. And see if that solves your WD Elements 25a1 media not mounting on Mac.
6. Plug In Your Elements External Hard Drive And Wait 5 Minutes.
What? I hear you say.
Yes. Plug in and just wait.
When you plug in an external disk. Your Mac computer sees it’s there. And then runs checks on the drive.
If your Mac detects something wrong with your Elements external hard disk. It will do its best at that stage to see what it can do to read the external drive.
Wait 5 minutes or longer. It could take up to an hour. And your WD drive may mount.
If it does. Then open Disk Utility and run a First Aid check on your external hard drive. To ensure all is well.
Don’t know how to do that? More on First Aid later.
7. Close Down All Your Applications.
It’s very possible that an application you’re running has every USB port on your Mac tied up. Close them all down. And see if your Elements external hard drive mounts.
8. Fully Shutdown Then Reboot Your Mac.
Plug out your Elements external HDD.
Then do a full shutdown of your Mac. Wait 10 seconds after you’ve switched off your Mac. This gives a chance for your Mac’s hardware registries to reset. Then power on your Mac.
When your Mac has powered up. Log in. Plug in your WD external drive. And see if your Elements external disk mounts then.
9. SMC Then NVRAM Reset.
This the next thing to do after you’ve done a simple shutdown and power on of your Mac. And your Elements WD external drive’s not mounting on your Mac.
Click to go through and read this Apple article here. To reset your SMC. This is for Intel based Mac’s only.
Then click the link here to reset your NVRAM or PRAM.
Elements hard drive mounted?
Not yet … read on.
10. Are You Running WD’s Disk Management Software?
Do you run WD Discovery or WD Drive Utilities on your Mac?
Or WD Security software?
It’s very common for this software to cause a mounting on Mac issue.
Like when you upgrade your MacOS and forget to check your WD software is compatible.
Then you find your drive won’t mount.
And really most of the features provided by the Western Digital software are standard in Mac OS. Or other software.
This software can also clash with other applications you run on your Mac.
You can use this link here to check software versions direct on the Western Digital site.
And while we’re on the subject. Are you running NTFS drive software on your Mac? So, you can keep your Elements hard drive NTFS formatted. And run it on your Mac.
Check the software versions. And be sure you’re running a compatible version for your Mac operating system.
11. Take Your Elements Hard Drive to Another Mac.
Or even to a Windows PC if it’s NTFS formatted.
When you plug it into that other Mac. Does it mount happily on that Mac?
What’s the difference between your Mac and this Mac?
When you work out the similarities and the differences. This is your clue to why it’s not mounting on your Mac.
If your external hard drive shows up on another Mac you can copy your files off.
At that point you can deal with your Elements hard drive without worrying about your data. Or lost data.
12. Your WD Elements Not Mounting And Wont Erase Mac
Open Disk Utility. Disk Utility is your Mac’s disk management software. You’ll can start Disk Utility from a spotlight search. Or go to Applications Folder > Utilities > Disk Utility.
Set Disk Utility to show you all devices.
From the Disk Utility menu on your Mac click on View. Then pick the option to show all devices.
Then look down the sidebar of your Disk Utility window.
And under the ‘External’ heading you’ll find your Elements drive.
Click on the arrow next to your Elements external hard disk so you can see all the levels in Disk Utility.
At each drive level you’ll see an eject symbol.
The picture shows where. Click on each eject symbol in turn. Wait several seconds to see if your Elements external hard drive unmounts. Then mounts.
If that doesn’t work. Next click on each level in turn. Then click the Mount button in the button bar at the top of your Disk Utility pop up window.
That also manually mounts your drive. Wait a few seconds for your Elements drive to mount.
Don’t be put off. If it doesn’t work the first time.
Plug into another USB port on your Mac. Click mount and unmount on the levels.
Now your Elements drive should be mounted and you can erase your drive.
If you find you’re getting an error on Erasing your drive.
Be sure you’ve clicked on your Elements hard drive at the top level. Where it appears right under the External heading. Or you’ll get an error in Disk Utility on Erase.
Or plug your Elements external hard drive into another port on your Mac and try again.
When Your Elements Drive Mounts Run First Aid
After you’ve successfully mounted your Elements hard drive. Run First Aid.
First Aid will check over your Elements drive. Fixing partition information, any bad sectors it finds. Plus, fix any file system errors on your external hard drive.
This ensures your Elements drive is fine before you start using it again.
First Aid is part of Disk Utility. And you’ll find it on the button bar at the top of your Disk Utility pop up window.
Click on your drive at the top level. Just under the External heading. Then click First Aid.
Sometimes First Aid doesn’t run the first time you try it. Don’t give up try again.
Eject your drive. Plug into another port on your Mac and try First Aid again.
After You’ve Tried Everything On The List.
You’re at the stage where you’ve tried everything on the list. A few times. And your Elements external drive won’t mount.
You may have a failed drive.
Then consider using a Data Recovery software firm. Or buying Data Recovery software.
Both these data recovery options are going to cost money. And there’s no guarantee you’ll get your lost data back.
The very best insurance against your external hard drive not mounting. Is to keep a copy of your important files on more than one Elements drive.
And by now fingers cross you’ve your Elements external hard drive mounted on your Mac. And you’re using your drive just how you want. Relieved that you’ve got your files back.
While you’re here why not take a look at the other Elements related articles on this site.
Format WD Elements For Mac, 7 Quick Steps
Format WD Elements for Mac and PC Have your Drive for Both
[Rectify] WD Elements External Hard Drive Not Working Mac
[Remedy] WD Elements Not Showing In Disk Utility
[Solving] WD My Passport For Mac Not Mounting Problems
[Solve This Quick] WD Elements Not Showing Up On Mac
About Simon Irons
As an admin I spend my day helping folks with their Mac issues. From the guy at work, through to unofficial 911 support for family and friends. I swear they have me on speed dial.
For fun I like testing out and playing with new stuff. I think Apple make the best products on the planet.
In my spare time I like to fish and play around with boats.