External Drive Not Showing Up on Windows? Here’s the Fix!
Have you just connected an external hard drive to your Windows 10 laptop only to see… nothing? For some reason, the hard drive isn’t showing up and your Windows isn’t recognizing it. This is a fairly common problem. Luckily, it’s quite easy to fix.
Why Doesn’t Windows Recognize the External Drive?
Most of the time, Windows won’t see your external hard drive if:
- The hard drive is not properly formatted
- You’re using the wrong file system
- The device driver is missing, outdated or corrupted
- Your USB cable and/or USB post is broken
Let’s have a look at what you can do to fix the problem and make sure Windows recognizes your external HDD.
Fix 1: Reconnect the Hard Drive
The first think you should do if Windows is failing to detect your external HDD is disconnect it and try connecting it using a different USB port. Chances are one of your USB ports is not working properly and that’s causing the problem. If using a different USB port doesn’t work, try using a different USB cable to connect the hard drive, as cables can be faulty too.
Rebooting your PC and trying to connect the drive again often helps if the problem was caused by a temporary glitch.
Fix 2: Update or reinstall the device driver
If the previous fix didn’t work, it’s time to check the device driver for your USB hard drive. Updating or reinstalling it often fixes the problem. To update your device driver, do the following:
- Right-click on the Start menu button and select Device Manager.
- Find the external HDD on the list by expanding Universal Serial Bus controllers. Check if there’s a yellow exclamation mark next to the driver.
- Right-click on the device name and select “Update Driver Software”. If you see any “Unknown devices”, update the drivers for them too.
- Click on “Search automatically for updated driver software” and then follow the prompts to finish the process.
Fix 3: Check the external drive with the Disk Management utility
If your external HDD has errors and a corrupted file system, using the Disk Management tool will help you to see what the problem is.
- Press Windows key + R, type diskmgmt.msc and click OK to open the Disk Management tool.
- If your drive is not listed there, then the disk you’re trying to use might be damaged beyond repair.
- If you see the drive under to the removable devices section as Unallocated space, then you’ll need to create a new partition on it.
- Right-click anywhere on the Unallocated space, select New Simple Volume and go through the wizard to create a new partition.
You might also want to try to assign a different drive letter to the drive using the Disk Management tool.
We hope that these tips helped you to fix the problem with your external drive not showing up on Windows.