How To Fix Windows 10 External Hard Drive Not Showing Issue

One of the main ways of backing up data or storing data is by using an external hard drive. These drives have large capacities allowing a user to store all of their movies, music and other forms of data. It’s also quite easy to use as all you have to do is to plug it into a vacant USB port of the computer. There are however times when certain issues can occur which we will be addressing today. In this latest installment of our troubleshooting series we will tackle the Windows 10 external hard drive not showing issue.

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How To Fix Windows 10 External Hard Drive Not Showing 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 perform these additional steps.

  • Try plugging the hard drive in a different USB port.
  • Check if the USB cable of the hard drive is in working condition by plugging another cable and check again.
  • Make sure that the hard drive is not physically damaged by connecting it to another computer.

There are several factors that can cause this particular problem ranging from a faulty USB connection to a corrupted driver. Listed below are the troubleshooting steps you need to do to fix this problem.

Update the hard drive drivers

Drivers are needed in order for a hardware and software to communicate properly. If your computer has a corrupted or outdated external hard drive driver then this issue can occur which is why you will need to get the latest drivers.

  • Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • In the device manager, expand the category of storage controllers, right-click on the device and select “Update Driver”.
  • Choose 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”.
  • Choose automatically search the internet for the latest drivers against the hardware ID and let windows update automatically. 
  • Restart the computer

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

Uninstall the drivers

In case updating the drivers does ot fix the problem then you should uninstall the driver so that Windows can install the default drivers.

  • Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • In the device manager, expand the category ‘Disk drives’, right-click on the device and select “Uninstall device”.
  • You should 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 Windows 10 external hard drive not showing issue still occurs.

Change the drive letter

In case the external hard drive is conflicting with another drive using the same drive letter then you will need to perform the following steps.

  • 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 “Change” button present.
  • Select a new drive letter for your hard drive. Press OK to save changes and exit.

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

Enable Hidden or empty drives

  • Press Windows + S, type command prompt in the dialogue box, right-click on the application and select “Run as administrator”.
  • Once in elevated command prompt, execute the following command: set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
  • Press Windows + R, type “devmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • In the device manager, click on “View” and check the option “Show hidden devices”.
  • After making the changes, search and check if you can access your external hard drive. If you cannot, restart your computer and after reconnecting, check again.
  • If the issue still persists then press Windows + E to launch the File Explorer. Click on the ‘View’ tab and select Options > Change folder and search options.
  • Uncheck the option “Hide empty drives”. Press Apply to save changes and exit.
  • Restart your computer

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

Allocate New Volume to Hard Drive

If the above steps fails to fix the problem then there’s a chance that there is no volume assigned to the hard drive. Perform the steps listed below to fix this.

  • Press Windows + R, type “diskmgmt.msc” in the dialogue box and press Enter.
  • If your hard drive has not been allocated any volume, you will see a black bar 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.
  • You will be asked to set size allocations and the drive letters against your disk. In most cases, the default values are correct and you do not need to change anything. Click Next to proceed.
  • In the last window, 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 and hopefully, you will be able to access the disk drive without any problems.

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

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