External Hard Drive Not Showing Up In Windows 10

It’s easy to overlook the importance of external hard drives for your computer, but unlike RAM and storage solutions like solid-state disks, they’re always useful. Here are four reasons why you should back up all your important data on an external hard drive

how do i get windows 10 to recognize my external hard drive? ” is a question that has been asked many times. There are a few things you can try in order to fix the issue.

Since the invention of the personal computer external storage devices have evolved significantly. People were constantly striving for the quickest, lightest, and most durable memory technologies, from floppy disks and CDs to flash memories and hard drives. Hard drives are now the greatest option for huge capacity and durability, particularly after SSD drives became popular and rendered all HDD drives obsolete due to their much quicker speeds. Before we get into your external hard drive issues, it’s important that we grasp the distinctions between the two formats.

What is the difference between a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and a solid-state drive (SSD)?

Hard disk drives (HDDs) are the standard storage devices that we all use, both internally (within the computer) and externally (outside the computer) (plugged-in to the computer). They have spinning disks as well as a mechanical arm that rotates a mechanical head that reads and writes data magnetically. They can endure a long time (but this isn’t always the case; it’s pretty unexpected!) They’re also a lot less expensive than SSDs.

However, the Hard Disk of the moment is an SSD (Solid State Drive). This disk has no moving components, which is a positive thing since it eliminates mechanical problems. It is more expensive than an HDD and has a limited lifespan depending on how much data is read and written.

In general, the kind of drive you require depends on your needs, but when it comes to external drives, HDDs are no longer a smart option since moving a hard drive about with all those mechanical components inside is a horrible idea.

Why do external hard drives sometimes fail to appear?

Our is why you’ve come to this page: you’ve plugged in an external drive, but it doesn’t appear on your computer. This is very inconvenient and might be due to a variety of factors, including:

  • Hardware Problems
    • Cable is faulty.
    • The cable and the disk have a faulty connection.
    • Disk Failure (Especially the HDD ones).
    • A USB port that isn’t working properly.
  • Problems with Software
    • The disk is essentially an empty area that has to be partitioned.
    • The drive hasn’t been assigned a Letter by the computer.
    • Some power choices need to be modified since they aren’t properly set.
    • Some devices/drivers are not working properly and must be reinstalled.

If your Hard Drive used to work smoothly and still works on other devices but not on a specific computer, then I recommend that you skip to the Problems with Software directly. Also if you encounter the message saying “USB device not recognized” then please jump to this “usb device not recognized” guide to help you fix it.

To figure out if the hard disk hardware is defective or not, start with some hardware tips:

Hardware Hints I

These tips will help you recognize Hardware Problems… Please follow them one by one:

  • To begin, try changing your USB port, or better yet, all of the USB ports on your computer, to ensure that it is not a USB problem. If it isn’t, keep reading for the next suggestion.
  • Try a new cable if your cable is detachable from the hard drive: cables are delicate and easily destroyed. If a different cable n’t work Continue reading
  • Remove the cable and use an electronics spray or a dry brush to clean the port where the cable is inserted into the drive… Moisture and grime may occasionally sabotage the connection. If cleaning doesn’t work, continue reading.
  • Check for signs of damage or a shattered exterior shell on your drive; if it does, it might have caused major harm to the insides. Also, if your hard drive is an HDD, you should be able to feel the rotation of the platters when you connect it in (and the computer is on). If you don’t feel anything, it’s not working: it might be a cable/USB port problem, as previously said, but if you’ve replaced both and still don’t feel anything when the hard disk is plugged in, the drive is most likely damaged. If everything seems to be in order from the outside (and you can feel the disks vibrating if it’s an HDD), continue reading.
  • Last but not least, try connecting your hard drive to another computer. If it doesn’t appear there either, consider a more serious hardware problem.

If you followed the procedures above and discovered that your hard drive works on another computer, we know it’s a software issue with your machine. Continue reading.

II- Problems with Software

This will probably be the meat of the guide for most people. Many people treat their hardware very well and rarely have Hardware Problems. Also, Windows 10 is known for its many issues and problems and that’s what we are here for. So, I’m going to introduce a few hints to help you identify the problem as quickly as possible. Perform the following steps:

  • Choose Disk Management by right-clicking on your Start button or using the hotkey Windows logo key + X.1641805972_311_How-to-adjust-audio-balance-in-Windows-10
  • You’ll see all the storage devices attached to your computer, as well as your internal drive, which is generally referred to as Disk 0. This indicates we’ll concentrate on the other one: 1st Disk Make sure you’re just working on the one that has to be corrected by disconnecting any other Flash memory or hard disk.External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • If it reads Unallocated like this, you’ve got an issue. To discover how to assign RAM to the hard disk, go here.1642000758_119_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • If there is no unallocated indicator and the drive seems to be in good condition, but no letters have been given to it, you should read this section to assign a letter to the drive.1642000759_84_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • Otherwise, if both are satisfactory, continue reading from section 3 onwards.


1- The disk is unallocated space that must be partitioned.

When you acquire a new hard disk, this may happen. Because it doesn’t have any partitions, an unallocated space implies your drive isn’t ready to transport data or interface with your computer. It has open space, however it isn’t part of any division. As a result, it’s critical to build your first partition before using it… Let’s get started:

2- The computer hasn’t assigned the disk a letter on its own.

Any attached storage device is usually assigned a letter by your computer. However, this is not always the case, and some devices are unable to get their letters, resulting in their not appearing on your desktop. The instructions below will demonstrate how to assign a letter to the hard drive:

  • Choose Disk Management by right-clicking on your Start button or using the hotkey Windows logo key + X.1641805972_311_How-to-adjust-audio-balance-in-Windows-10
  • As you can see, the drive is listed, but it does not have an assigned letter like the others. To change the drive letter and paths, right-click on it and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths…1642000760_26_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • Let’s go ahead and hit the Add button.1642000761_474_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • Select a letter from the list and click Ok in this box.1642000762_138_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • Everything is now in order; the letter is present, and the drive displays in the This PC window.

3- Some power choices need to be modified since they aren’t properly set.

In case of power saving or low battery, a component of your power plan is responsible for suspending USB ports (in a laptop). As a result, I’ll go through a few setup adjustments that could help:

  • In your Control Panel go to Power Options.1642000763_992_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • Change plan settings next to any plan (do this for the one you’re using or for all of them to ensure the issue doesn’t happen again).1642000764_447_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • Select Change advanced power settings from the drop-down menu.1642000765_324_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • Expand USB Settings and then USB Selective Suspension. In the event of a laptop, you’ll also need to change the status from Enabled to Disabled under Plugged in and On Battery. If you’re using your battery, this will use a bit extra power, but if it solves your problem, you should leave it alone. Don’t forget to click OK at the end.1642000765_363_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10

If the preceding options didn’t work, this final one might:

4- Some devices/drivers are not working properly and must be reinstalled.

To begin, we’ll restore the hard drive:

  • Using a USB connection, connect the hard drive to your computer.
  • Select Device Manager by right-clicking on your start button or pressing the Windows logo key + X.1642000766_592_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • Expand Disk drives and choose Uninstall device from the right-click menu on the external drive. Make sure you’re removing the correct one by plugging it in and out to watch which hard drive goes away and returns.1642000768_847_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • All you have to do now is click Uninstall. Now disconnect your USB cord and reattach your hard disk to test whether it works.1642000768_95_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10

The Universal Serial Bus Controllers are another kind of driver that might be creating the issue. If the preceding step does not resolve the problem, you should:

  • Uninstall any suspicious devices by right-clicking on them in the Universal Serial Bus Controllers (you may do this for all devices, no concerns). 1642000769_872_External-Hard-Drive-Not-Showing-Up-In-Windows-10
  • Restart your computer, and all connected devices will be reinstalled immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I do if my Seagate external hard disk isn’t working?

Seagate’s external hard drives, in particular, have been noted to have major issues by certain customers. That’s because, for some reason, Seagate’s unique drivers have some strange quirks. If you possess one of this brand’s many external hard drive versions, you may attempt a few different remedies.

  • On the computer, try a different USB port.
  • If the present cable is damaged, replace it with a new one.
  • Connect the drive to a different computer and see if it helps.
  • Check to see whether the drive’s light is turned on. (If the light is off, the power adapter is not plugged in.)
  • Attempt to use a different power outlet. (Desktop Hard Disk Drives)

If none of these suggestions work, try reinstalling the Seagate driver. This may also fail at times, in which case you will need to contact their customer service

Is it true that Seagate hard drives fail?

Unfortunately, one of the most well-known hard drive manufacturers has a significant failure rate; else, people wouldn’t be asking this issue as often. The failure rate for several Seagate drives was atrocious in 2014, ranging from 9.5 percent on select 1.5TB drives to 23.5 percent on the old 7200.11 series to a staggering 43.1 percent on the Seagate 7200.14 drive family of 3TB devices.

Last Thoughts

We hope that the solutions presented in this post will be beneficial to you. If not, don’t hesitate to contact the company’s Customer Service for assistance, particularly if the drive is still under warranty.

Do you have any further suggestions that we haven’t mentioned? Then please write a remark in the box below. If you were able to solve your problem as a result of this post, we would welcome it if you could share it with others. Thank you very much!

The “external hard drive not showing up windows 11 ” is a problem that many users have faced. The solution to this issue is simple, just go into your Computer settings and check the box next to “Show hidden devices.”

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix my external hard drive not showing up or detected Windows 10?

A: One of the most common issues users run into is that Windows 10 does not recognize their external hard drive. This issue typically occurs because there are several different reasons why this happens, and a few steps you can follow to fix it.

Why cant I open my external hard drive on Windows 10?

A: This is a question that does not have an answer.

How do I enable an external hard drive in Windows 10?

A: The easiest way to enable an external hard drive is by using Disk Management. This can be done through the Control Panel > System and Security (Windows 10) or PC settings > Storage devices.

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