WD Elements Not Showing In Disk Utility Title Image

A WD Elements drive works outstandingly well on a Mac. It’s Windows PC formatted direct from Western Digital.

But what if you want to format it for your MacBook Pro. MacBook Air or M1 Mac.

Or partition your Elements WD hard drive. And it doesn’t turn up in Disk Utility.

What then?

Or you forgot to eject it from your Mac. Your Elements hard drive has your important data on it.

You want to run the Apple Disk Utility First Aid app to repair.

But now you face the dread of your WD Elements not showing up in Disk Utility.

Read on. This article will take you through what to do.

WD Elements Not Showing In Disk Utility

When your Elements external hard drive isn’t showing up in Disk Utility. The question is.

Is it just in Disk Utility? Or is your Mac issue, your Elements WD external drive doesn’t appear on your Mac at all?

Here are the things to run through when your Elements drive won’t come up in Disk Utility. Later on in the post you’ll find the steps to go through when your Elements hard drive doesn’t show on your Mac.

1. Set Disk Utility To Show All Devices.

The first thing to do is to ensure that your Mac Disk Utility is showing you all devices.

Open Disk Utility. Application folder > Utilities > Disk Utility.

Along the top of your Disk Utility window. Click View. And from the menu click on Show All Devices.

Disk Utility Show All Devices
Disk Utility Show All Devices

Then Disk Utility, your Mac’s disk management app. Will show you the detail you need to see on your Elements external drive to start fixing. And have your Elements external hdd show in Disk Utility.

Look in the sidebar of Mac Disk Utility. You’ll find your Elements hard drive under the ‘External’ heading.

You want to see two levels. You may need to click on the arrow to the left of your Elements drive to expand the list.

WD Elements Disk Utility Showing 1st Level

This is what you want to see.

WD Elements Disk Utility Both Levels

CLICK HERE: To Read A Review On WD Elements On Mac

2. Manually Mount Your Elements WD External Hard Drive.

Now that you have your Elements hard drive showing both levels. You can manually mount your drive by clicking on the eject symbols to the right of your external drive.

This picture shows where.

WD Elements Disk Utility Eject Symbol On Levels

Click on each eject symbol in turn to mount and unmount your drive. Try both levels till your drive mounts and you see your Elements hard drive icon on your Mac’s desktop.

If that doesn’t work for you then.

Click on your external hard drive on the 2nd level and click on the mount tab across the window of Disk Utility. Wait a few seconds.

It’s important to wait several seconds. Then see if Disk Utility mounts your Elements external disk.

Does the Mount tab turn to Unmount? If it does your Elements hard drive is now mounted. And showing up in Disk Utility.

If it doesn’t try clicking your Elements drive at the first level and click the mount tab.

WD Elements Disk Utility Mount Across Top Of Window

Wait a few seconds between each attempt to mount or unmount your external hard drive. To give Disk Utility time to work.

3. Use Terminal To Mount Your Elements WD Drive.

Terminal is another device manager app on your Mac.

It’s a more technical way of going about mounting your Elements hard drive. Because you need to type in command line instructions.

You’ll find Terminal inside your Applications folder > Utilities folder > Terminal.

Start Terminal.

On the command line type: diskutil list

Then return.

WD Elements Disk Util List

Terminal will then show you a list of all the drives your Mac can see.

You’ll see the name of your unmounted Elements external hard disk in the list.

In this image the external hard drive is called Elements.

Note your drives identifier. It’s the name under the identifier column against your drive’s name.

Then type: diskutil mount identifier

In the image the identifier is disk2s1.

You type in diskutil mount. Followed by your Mac’s identifier of your Elements WD drive.

WD Element Type In Identifier

Then press return.

WD Element Mounted In Terminal

Your Mac should then mount your drive. And you should see it on your desktop and in Disk Utility. 

4. Is Your WD Software Causing Your Elements Drive Not Show Up In Disk Utility?

When your Elements external hard drive doesn’t show up on Disk Utility. Ask yourself if you’ve loaded WD Discovery software on your Mac.

If you have. Then double check the version of that software is compatible with your MacOS.

Have you upgraded your version of Mac OS X recently? Or loaded on a new piece of application software onto your Mac computer.

Then check your versions of WD Discovery. Along with WD Drive Utilities and WD Security.

It’s common for a Mac OS upgrade to result in WD Elements not showing up on Disk Utility. Or some clash with an application you’ve recently loaded.

And it can cause your Elements drive not to appear in Disk Utility.

Check Western Digital’s site for a copy. You can use this link here to check.

There is often a delay between the latest releases of Mac OSX and the new versions of the WD software coming out. This was seen on the Big Sur upgrade, and again on the Monterey release.

And really much of the services provided by this software you can do using native Mac OS utilities. Try de-installing the software and see if your Disk Utility Mac issues go away.

5. Run Disk Utility First Aid On Your Elements.

After you’ve mounted your Elements external hard drive. It’s a good time to run First Aid on your Elements drive.

It could be that your Elements Mac partition is corrupted. Or you have bad sectors on your Elements drive causing it not to mount automatically in Disk Utility.

Running First Aid is easy to do. It’s an option in Disk Utility.

Click on your Elements external hard drive at the top level. Where it appears under External.

Then look across the top of your Disk Utility window. And click on the First Aid tab.

Disk Utility Pick First Aid
WD Elements Run First Aid

If First Aid gives you an error the first time it runs. Then just run it again.

You can also eject your WD drive in Disk Utility. Plug into another port on your Mac and try to run First Aid again.

When Your Elements External Hard Drive Doesn’t Show In Disk Utility Or On Your Mac

Here are the things to run through and check.

1. Is Your USB Cable Broken?

It’s very common for a failed USB cable to cause your Elements external hard drive to not show in Disk Utility. Or on your Mac. Even if your USB cable looks good. Try another you know works to rule that out.

2. Try Another USB Adaptor.

Are you using a USB C adaptor for your modern Mac? To convert the USB A port on the Elements cable to USB C. Test using another adaptor. Cause you never know this could be your issue.

3. Plug Your Elements Drive Into Another USB Port.

Your Mac’s USB Port software can hang. And cause your Elements hard disk not to show in Disk Utility or on your Mac. Try another USB port on your Mac to rule that out.

4. Shutdown And Reboot Your Mac.

A full shutdown and then power on of your Mac resets several Mac OS x registers. Tried everything else up till now?

Then shut down your Mac. Wait at least 10 seconds. Then power on. Log in and see if your Elements drive now works in Disk Utility.

5. Do An NVRAM Reset.

Your Mac’s NVRAM holds certain hardware settings. And sometimes it needs a reset. To do this. Shutdown your Mac. And on Power on.

Hold down the OPTION + Command + P + R keys.

All at the same time. Wait for at least 20 seconds.

Wait while your Mac reboots. Holding the keys till the second start up chime. Or your Apple logo comes up.

In Closing

And by now your WD Elements should show up in Disk Utility and you can format. Or run Disk Utility First Aid to repair your drive’s file system.

If your drive still hasn’t shown up and your files are very important to you. Then you’re maybe at the point of looking for the services of a data recovery company. Or using data recovery software across your Elements drive to recover files.

Unfortunately, hard drives do fail. And the best insurance against this is to have another drive as a copy of the drive with your important files on.

So, if one drive fails you can recover data from the other.

While you’re here. Do check out our other related articles on the site.

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