How Do I Make My Mac Recognize External SSD?

Summary: In this blog, we’ll share a couple of DIY methods to make your Mac recognize your external SSD. We’ll cover the following methods:

1. Verify external SSD connection
2Repair external SSD by using Disk Utility
3Repair external SSD by using Terminal
4Recover external SSD data by using a data recovery tool

Download the free-to-try Mac data recovery tool to rescue data from an unrecognized external SSD.

Mac hard drive Recovery

Hi friends, yesterday, I abruptly removed my Samsung T5 external SSD that was connected to my MacBook Pro. Later, when I reconnected the SSD, my MacBook failed to recognize it. I think the SSD is not mounting. It contains important data that I don’t want to lose. Please suggest any way to make my Mac recognize the external SSD and access its stored data. Thanks.

Sometimes, your Mac may not recognize an external SSD and may throw disk unreadable error as shown below.

SSD doesn’t recognizes on Mac

Common factors that make an SSD not recognizable on Mac:

  • Loose USB cable connection
  • SSD file system corruption
  • Unsafe SSD ejection
  • SSD controller chip damage

A recognized Mac external SSD allows you to perform various tasks on Mac with great ease. For instance, you can use the SSD to transfer data to and from your Mac, clone Macintosh HD, restore data to Mac, and so forth. But, what if an external SSD does not get recognized by your Mac. You can’t access your data from the external SSD any longer. Now, what to do next? How to make Mac recognize external SSD or recover the data stored on it?

The next section describes several DIY methods to fix unrecognized SSD and recover data from it.

1.  Verify External SSD Connection

The most common method to fix the unrecognized external SSD issue on Mac is to check the USB connection. In this case, the connecting cables of your SSD may be loose, damaged, or worn out. So, ensure that the SSD connectivity is perfect. You can also try connecting the SSD to a different USB port on Mac or reconnect it to another Mac.

2.  Repair External SSD by Using Disk Utility

When your external storage drive turns corrupt, your Mac may not recognize the drive. You can use Disk Utility to mount and repair your unrecognized external SSD. Steps are as follows:

  1. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  2. Double-click Disk Utility to launch it.
  3. Select your external SSD from the left pane.
  4. Click Mount to mount your unmounted SSD.
  5. Click the First Aid tab from the top pane, then click Run.
  6. Wait till Disk Utility repairs your corrupt SSD.

Watch the video to repair start-up SSD on Mac

3.  Repair External SSD by Using Terminal

If Disk Utility can’t fix the external SSD, you can use Terminal to mount and repair it. Steps are as follows:

  1. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  2. Double-click Terminal to launch it.
  3. At the command prompt, type diskutil list, then hit Return. Note disk# of the external SSD.
  4. Type diskutil mountDisk /dev/disk#, then hit Return.
  5. Type diskutil repairVolume /dev/disk#, then hit Return.
  6. When the repair process is completed, go to Terminal > Quit Terminal.

4.  Recover External SSD Data by Using Data Recovery Tool

In case none of the above troubleshooting methods works, you can use Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac to recover your data from an unrecognized external SSD. Mac SSD recovery through the data recovery software is risk-free, time-saving, and in some cases, the only option for SSD recovery. Steps are as follows:

Step 1: Download and install the free trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac.

free mac data recovery

Step 2: Connect the unrecognized external SSD. Launch the downloaded software.

Step 3: On the Select What To Recover screen, select the required file types, then click Next.

Select what to recover

Step 4: On the Recover From the screen, select your unrecognized SSD, and press Scan.

Select the loaction

Step 5: Let the application to complete the scan. Preview recoverable files from the SSD.

Preview the image

Step 6: Click Recover and save SSD files to a location of your choice.

Recover the files

Note: The trial version of Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac allows free external SSD scan and free file preview. To save the recoverable files from an unrecognized SSD, you will need to activate the complete version of the software. Check the activation link for more information

How does the software work on an unrecognized Mac SSD?

Read Case StudyWhooping 94% data recovered from unmounted external drive on MacBook


We hope the blog helped you make your Mac recognized the external SSD. The listed causes of an unrecognized SSD also helped you in pinpointing any issues with the SSD. If you have successfully recognized your SSD on Mac, do share with us in comments.

And, if you are losing hope to get back your SSD files, then don’t hesitate to recover the SSD with Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac. This software supports all major brands of SSD (including Samsung, Sony, and WD) formatted with APFS or HFS file system.

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