How To Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Windows 10 Issue

External hard drives are a great way to share files or make a backup copy of your data. It’s also quite easy to use as all you need to do is to connect it to the USB port of your Windows 10 computer and its good to go. There are however times when certain issues can occur when using an external hard drive. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the external hard drive not showing up Windows 10 issue.

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How To Fix External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Windows 10 Issue

Before performing any of the recommended troubleshooting steps listed below it’s best to restart your computer first. This action refreshes the operating system and remove any corrupt temporary data that could be causing the problem.

You should also try to do the following basic troubleshooting steps:

  • Try plugging the hard drive in a different USB port.
  • Check if the USB cable of the hard drive is in working condition. Try replacing this with a different cable.
  • Make sure that the hard drive is not physically damaged. 
  • Make sure that the USB port of your computer is working by plugging in another device to it.

Update the hard drive driver

If the hard drive driver of your computer is corrupted or outdated then this problem can occur. To check if this is what’s causing the problem you will have to update the drivers.

  • Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • Expand the category of storage controllers, right-click on the device and select “Update Driver”.
  • You can automatically search the internet for the latest drivers against the hardware ID and let windows update automatically. 
  • Once you have updated the storage controllers, expand the category of ‘Disk Drives’, right-click on your external drive and press “Update Driver”.
  • Restart your computer.

Check if the external hard drive not showing up Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Uninstall the hard drive drivers

To make sure that any corrupted driver files get completely removed from your computer you can uninstall the hard drive drivers then install it again.

  • Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • Expand the category “Disk drives”, right-click on the device and select “Uninstall device”.
  • Expand the category ‘Universal Serial Bus controller’, right-click on the device and select “Uninstall device”.
  • After you done uninstalling the hardware, right-click on any empty space on the device manager and select “Scan for hardware changes”. The hardware will be automatically detected and the default drivers will be installed.
  • Restart your computer 

Check if the external hard drive not showing up Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Try changing drive letter

To avoid the possibility of the external hard drive conflicting with another drive you should try changing its drive letter.

  • Press Windows + R, type “diskmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • Once in disk management, right-click on your drive and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths”.
  • Click on the “Add” button present at the list of options present. If your drive already has a name, click on “Change” instead of “Add”. 
  • Select a new drive letter for your hard drive. Press OK to save changes and exit.

Check if the external hard drive not showing up Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Enable Hidden or Empty Drives

If the hard drive you are connecting to your computer is empty and the option to hide empty drive of the computer is enabled then this might be what’s causing the problem.

  • Press Windows + S, type command prompt in the dialogue box, right-click on the application and select “Run as administrator”.
  • In the command prompt, type set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1 then press enter
  • Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • Once in the device manager, click on ‘View’ and check the option “Show hidden devices”.
  • Restart your computer 

Check if the external hard drive not showing up Windows 10 issue still occurs.

Allocate New Volume to Hard Drive

If you are trying to connect a new external hard drive to your computer then you will need to allocate a new volume to this drive.

  • Press Windows + R, type “diskmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • If your hard drive has not been allocated any volume the bar will be black with an unallocated tag present. Right-click on the tab and select “New Simple Volume”.
  • A new wizard will appear on the screen. Click Next to proceed with the allocation.
  • Set size allocations and the drive letters of your disk. In most cases, the default values are correct and you do not need to change anything. Click Next to proceed.
  • You will be able to choose the type of drive. It is recommended to keep the default values and press Next.
  • After you finish the wizard, the drive will be allocated properly.

Check if the external hard drive not showing up Windows 10 issue still occurs.

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