How to Find, Open, Show Hard Drive on Mac (Sonoma/Ventura)

Cassie Xie
Last updated: Jan 3, 2024
Summary: Learn how to find and open a hard drive on a Mac and how to show internal Mac disks or external hard drives on the Mac desktop. Some possible tips to help you fix an external hard drive not showing up are also included.

This post teaches you how to find and open an (external) hard drive on a Mac computer. If you want to show hard drives (internal or external hard disks) on the Mac desktop to quickly access files, you can also find the solution below.

show hard drive on Mac

How to Find, Open, Show Hard Drive on Mac

Step 1. Connect the Hard Drive to Mac

Connect the external hard drive to your Mac computer via USB or Thunderbolt.

To connect an external hard drive to MacBook Pro/Air, you may use a USB-C to USB adapter.

After connecting, the drive will be recognized and mounted by your Mac after a few seconds.

Step 2. Find and Open the Hard Drive on Mac

If you see an icon of the drive on the desktop, you can double-click it to open it. Otherwise, you can click the Finder icon on the Dock to open Finder.

In the sidebar of the Finder app, you can view all the devices connected to your Mac including hard disks, external hard drives, CDs/DVDs, iPhone/iPad, connected servers, etc.

Find the target external hard drive under the Locations section in the left panel. It may be displayed with its name or “Untitled” if it hasn’t been named. Click the target hard drive to open and access the files stored on it.

Step 3. Show Hard Drive on Mac Desktop

If you want to show the hard drive on your Mac desktop, you can click Finder in the menu bar and select Settings.

Under the General tab, you can tick the “Hard disks” and “External disks” options to show the internal disks and external hard disks on the desktop on Mac Ventura.

show hard drive on Mac desktop

For Mac Monterey and earlier macOS versions, you can click Finder > Preferences > General, and check the box “External disks” under “Show these items on the desktop” to display the external hard drive icon on your Mac desktop. To show your Mac hard drive on the desktop for quick access, you can also tick the “Hard disks” option.

If you want to write to NTFS drives on Mac, you can use BuhoNTFS - an easy-to-use NTFS for Mac software program.
For macOS 10.13 and above

Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing Up on Mac

If the external hard drive is not showing up on your Mac, you may try the 5 tips to fix the problem.

Tip 1. Restart your Mac. Sometimes a simple restart can help fix many issues on your computer. Click the Apple menu and click Restart. After the restart, check if the external hard drive shows on your Mac computer.

Tip 2. Improper injection and connection may cause the external hard drive not to show up on Mac. Check if the drive is connected well and remember to properly eject the external hard drive before disconnecting it to avoid data corruption. You can also change another USB cable/port or change another Mac to see if the hard drive can show on the Mac.

Related: How to Safely Eject USB from Mac to Avoid Data Corruption

Tip 3. The disk may be corrupted. You can launch Disk Utility on Mac to run First Aid to repair the corrupted disk. You can click the Spotlight Search icon to search and open Disk Utility, then select the target hard drive and click First Aid to start repairing it.

Tip 4. Convert the disk format. You can try to convert the drive to another format like convert NTFS to exFAT, FAT32, or APFS. (Related: Best Format for Mac External Hard Drive)

Tip 5. Format the hard drive. If the external hard disk can’t be repaired and you can’t access it, you may choose to reformat it. In Disk Utility, you can click the Erase button to follow the instructions to reformat the hard drive. Please note that formatting a disk will wipe all data on it. You may try some data recovery tools to try to recover data from the corrupted hard drive before formatting it.

To clean your Mac storage and free up more space, you can use BuhoCleaner – a professional Mac cleaner tool. Use this tool to clean your Mac from all aspects.


This post offers instructions for how to find and open (external) hard drives on your Mac and how to show hard drives on the Mac desktop. Some tips to fix external hard drives not showing up on Mac are also provided. Hope it helps.

Cassie has been writing about technology for her entire career life - over 5 years. She enjoys diving into how Apple products work and then breaking it down in a way anyone can understand.