Fixing WD My Passport Not Detected on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re encountering the ‘WD My Passport not showing up Mac‘ issue, it’s crucial to stop using the drive immediately.

Yes, that’s correct.

Continuing to use a malfunctioning drive can exacerbate the problem and lead to potential data loss. So, pause any further use and let’s dive into how to tackle this problem effectively.

WD My Passport external hard drive connected to a Mac

This guide will uncover the common reasons behind the ‘My passport hard drive not showing up Mac‘ dilemma and introduce you to six proven solutions. These range from simple preliminary checks to more sophisticated troubleshooting methods.

Plus, we’ll offer a tip for recovering data from your now inaccessible external drive. Stick with us to the end for all the insights!

Common Reasons Your WD Passport Drive Isn’t Detected on Mac

Here are the usual suspects behind the ‘My Passport hard drive not showing up Mac‘ issue:

  • Connection Issues: The issue might stem from using a faulty cable or port to connect your drive to your Mac. Additionally, debris lodged in the connectors can cause connection failures.
  • Corruption: Power outages, software glitches, or viruses might corrupt the drive, making it unrecognizable to your Mac.
  • Compatibility Problems: Outdated drivers or failure to properly mount the drive can lead to the ‘WD Passport not showing up Mac‘ error. Logical errors within the drive can exacerbate this problem.
  • Physical Damage: WD My Passport drives are vulnerable to moisture, scratches, and extreme temperature fluctuations, leading to damage.
  • Improper Ejection: Safely ejecting the drive is crucial; abrupt removal can cause issues.

How to Recover Data from WD Passport Drive Not Detected on Mac

Before attempting to troubleshoot the ‘WD hard disk not detected Mac‘ issue, it’s essential to secure your data.

Some of the following solutions may erase or rearrange disk sectors, rendering your data inaccessible. Utilize a third-party application like 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery for retrieving data from non-bootable, inaccessible, or crashed Mac systems efficiently.

Here’s what makes 4DDiG stand out:

  • Recovery of over 2000 file types from scenarios such as virus attacks, lost partitions, and system crashes.
  • High success rate in recovering files across a range of data loss situations on Mac.
  • Ability to recover lost, deleted, formatted, or hidden data from various Mac-compatible devices including USBs, SD cards, digital cameras, and more.
  • Fast scanning speed for quick file recovery.
  • Compatibility with M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, T2 chip, and macOS Sonoma.
  • Options to restore data from iCloud local directory, including photos, videos, contacts, notes, etc.

To recover data from your WD My Passport drive experiencing the ‘WD Passport not showing up Mac‘ error, follow these steps:

  1. Launch 4DDiG-Mac after installation and select your WD My Passport drive.
  2. Hover over the selected location and click the “Scan” icon that appears in the bottom right corner.
  3. Scanning WD My Passport with 4DDiG
  4. Allow some time for the scan to complete. Afterwards, either click on specific file types in “File View” or explore various categories such as “Lost Location” in “Tree View” to preview your files.
  5. File preview in 4DDiG
  6. Click “Recover” and choose a save location different from the drive where the files were lost to prevent overwriting and further data loss.
  7. Recovering files with 4DDiG

Troubleshooting WD My Passport Not Detected on Mac

With your data safely backed up, let’s address the issue head-on. Here are six targeted solutions to try, depending on the root cause of your problem.

1. Start with Basic Checks

It’s wise to begin with some straightforward diagnostics to pinpoint the source of the ‘WD My Passport not showing up Mac‘ problem. Often, the culprit is something as simple as a faulty USB hub, port, or cable. Addressing these can frequently get your My Passport drive recognized by your Mac.

Start with these steps:

  1. Restart Your Mac: Power off your Mac, wait for about 10 seconds, and then turn it back on. Occasionally, the drivers or firmware related to the USB port may become unresponsive. A restart can refresh the system settings, potentially resolving the ‘WD hard disk not detected Mac‘ issue if it’s related to temporary software or firmware glitches.
  2. Inspect the USB Connection: If the My Passport drive isn’t appearing on your Mac via USB, try connecting it through an externally powered USB hub. Alternatively, you can use a Type-C multi-port adapter in a different USB port on your Mac.
  3. Switch USB Cables: If the current USB cable might be faulty, substituting it with a compatible alternative could solve the problem.
  4. Try a Different Port or Computer: Sometimes, the problem lies with the port itself. Test the drive on another USB port on your Mac or on a different Mac to rule out port-related issues.
2. Make Your Drive Visible in Finder and Desktop

It’s possible the ‘WD My Passport not working on Mac‘ issue arises because the “External disks” option is not activated in “Finder” or on the “Desktop“. Ensuring this setting is enabled could be the simple fix you need.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open “Finder“, then navigate to “Preferences” and select the “General” tab.
  2. Accessing Finder Preferences
  3. In the “General” tab, tick the box for “External disks” to resolve the ‘WD hard disk not detected Mac‘ issue. This action will make your WD My Passport drive appear on your Mac’s desktop.
  4. Enabling External Disks in Finder Preferences
  5. Then, go to the “Sidebar” tab within “Preferences“.
  6. Under the “Locations” section, ensure the “External disks” option is checked. This makes your WD My Passport drive visible in “Finder“.
  7. External Disks Enabled in Finder Sidebar
3. Ensure Your Drive is Recognized in Disk Utility

Verify whether your Mac recognizes the drive’s hardware details in “System Information.” Follow these steps:

  1. Go to “Applications“, open “Utilities“, and select “System Information“. This utility provides a detailed overview of your Mac’s hardware, including connected devices. Your external drive’s crucial hardware information may still be detectable here, even if the drive itself isn’t fully operational.
  2. Navigating to System Information on Mac
  3. Click on “USB” from the list to view your WD My Passport drive’s details. If the drive appears here but not in Disk Utility, it’s possible that macOS’s repair features have temporarily hidden the drive from view while attempting to fix any detected issues.
  4. Checking USB Devices in System Information
  5. Next, navigate back to “Applications“, open “Utilities“, and launch “Activity Monitor“.
  6. Opening Activity Monitor
    Viewing Activity Monitor Processes
  7. In Activity Monitor, search for a process named “fsck_hfs” (or “fsck_exfat” for exFAT formatted drives). Highlight it, then click the “X” button and select “Force Quit“. This action can help if macOS has been trying to repair the drive in the background, causing it not to appear in Disk Utility.
  8. Forcing Quit of fsck Process
4. Use First Aid in Disk Utility

Encountering the ‘My Passport hard drive not showing up Mac‘ error, despite Disk Utility not listing your drive but macOS recognizing it? You can attempt to manually mount the drive by selecting “Mount” in the top menu of “Disk Utility“. If mounting doesn’t resolve the issue, the problem may stem from corruption or filesystem discrepancies.

For such situations, Disk Utility’s “First Aid” feature is your go-to solution.

This tool is designed to diagnose and mend fundamental hard drive issues, with a focus on volume bitmaps, catalog files, extensions, and filesystem integrity.

To use “First Aid” for rectifying the ‘Western Digital Passport not showing up Mac‘ issue, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to “Applications“, open “Utilities“, and select “Disk Utility“.
  2. Opening Disk Utility on Mac
  3. Select your WD My Passport drive, click on “First Aid” in the top menu, and then press “Run“. First Aid will commence the error-fixing process on its own.
  4. Using First Aid on WD My Passport Drive
5. Update macOS to Enhance Disk Compatibility

On Macs running macOS 10.12 or earlier, compatibility issues can lead to the ‘My Passport hard drive not showing up Mac‘ error, particularly if the WD drive is formatted with APFS (Apple File System).

To overcome this, it’s crucial to update your macOS drivers. Doing so ensures that your Mac can properly communicate with the latest file systems and firmware of external drives.

Since macOS doesn’t offer a separate driver update feature, you’ll need to update your entire operating system to address the ‘Western Digital Passport not showing up Mac‘ issue effectively. Follow these steps:

  1. Click the “Apple” logo at the top right corner of your screen, then select “System Preferences“.
  2. Find and open “Software Update“. Your Mac will search for the latest macOS updates. Follow the on-screen instructions to update your system.
  3. Checking for macOS Software Updates
6. Format Your WD My Passport Drive for Mac Compatibility

If all the above methods haven’t resolved the ‘WD My Passport not working on Mac‘ issue, the problem may be due to an incompatible file system format.

In this scenario, formatting the drive to a Mac-compatible file system is necessary. Proceed with caution, as formatting will erase all data on the drive. Ensure you’ve backed up any important files beforehand.

Here’s how to format your drive:

  1. Go to “Applications“, open “Utilities“, and select “Disk Utility“.
  2. Select your WD My Passport Drive, click on “Erase” in the top menu, choose a name for your drive and the desired format when prompted, and then click “Erase” to confirm the formatting process.
  3. Formatting WD My Passport Drive in Disk Utility


How can I make my WD Passport compatible with my Mac?

The WD My Passport drive is formatted with the NTFS file system by default, which is optimized for Windows. To use it on a Mac, you’ll need to reformat it to the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system for full compatibility.

Can the My Passport hard drive be used with a Mac?

Yes, the WD My Passport drive is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems. For Mac usage, you should format it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Alternatively, Western Digital provides an HFS+ driver for Windows 10 and later, allowing you to read and write to the My Passport Ultra for Mac without reformatting.


With a clear understanding of the six solutions for the ‘WD My Passport not showing up on Mac‘ issue tailored to its various causes, you are now well-prepared to address it. Remember, safeguarding your files is paramount, so prioritize data recovery before attempting these solutions to avoid accidental data loss.

For data recovery, the 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery tool is highly recommended. Its user-friendly interface, high success rate, and versatility in recovering data from inaccessible, unbootable, and crashed systems have made it a go-to solution for users globally.