Western Digital For Mac

Summary: This post shows how to access a WD hard drive that's not recognized by Mac. To avoid data loss when fixing the unrecognized WD external hard drive, you can recover lost data from the WD hard drive for free with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

  • Equipped with USB-C™ technology, the My Passport™ Ultra for Mac portable drive offers an easy way to expand your storage. Its modern metal design complements your Mac, and out of the box, it’s formatted for macOS and Time Machine compatibility. And with up to 5TB1 of storage and a 3-year limited warranty, you get storage to rely on for years to come.
  • Install WD My Cloud App for Mac: Open the App Store and search for My Cloud. Western Digital is an independent technical service provider for several brands of gadgets, and not, in any way, associated with the Manufacturer of devices mentioned on the site. All the images, trademarks, and symbols indicated in the site are solely intended for.

Just like Seagate external hard drive not recognized on Mac, WD hard drive not recognized is a question frequently asked by Mac users in Apple related forums. It happens to WD My passport, WD My Book, WD Elements and Easystore, etc.

Western Digital today introduced new My Passport and My Passport for Mac hard drives, which are equipped with up to 5TB of storage. The drives are the slimmest 5TB options in the WD brand.

If you are one of those who are wondering:

  • Why Mac won't recognize my WD hard drive?
  • How can I make the WD hard drive detected and work on Mac again?
  • Can I fix this issue without losing my important data?

You are in the right place for a solution!

First, See How Mac Recognizes a WD External Hard Drive

The process of Mac recognizing an external hard drive is a little complicated even though you can't see it. Specifically, when you plug a WD hard drive into a Mac computer, macOS would be notified. Then macOS will call all related hardware and software to read, recognize, and show this hard drive on the Desktop and in Finder, so that finally you can access your data on the drive on your Mac computer.

So, we usually simplify this process in 4 steps:

  1. The WD hard drive is supplied with power, so that Mac can detect this storage device.
  2. macOS reads partition information of the WD hard drive.
  3. macOS recognizes the file system of each volume.
  4. Users access data on the WD hard drive.

However, if any part of this process goes wrong, hard drive problems like Mac won't recognize your WD hard drive would occur. As a consequence, you can't access, copy, write to or transfer data stored on it.

Now, Follow the Guide to Fix WD hard drive not recognized issue on Mac

So, based on the process of Mac recognizing a WD hard drive, we need a thorough check to know which part makes the WD hard drive not working on Mac, and then fix it.

1. Try Quick fixes when WD hard drive is not recognized by Mac

Western Digital For Mac 4tb

A proper connection is the most basic condition that Mac can access the WD hard drive. Or else the external hard drive would not even show up in Disk Utility. When your Mac can't recognize an external hard drive, you can always do the following quick fixes at the very beginning.

  • Make sure the WD hard drive is externally plugged into a wall outlet if it's a WD desktop hard drive like WD Elements Desktop and My Cloud.
  • Connect the WD hard drive directly to the computer and do not use a USB Hub.
  • Try a different USB cable and port for power and data supply, especially if the My Passport external hard drive is not showing up in Disk Utility.
  • Try a different USB-C adapter to connect the WD hard drive if your Mac only has the Thunderbolt 3 port.
  • Try to connect the WD hard drive with a different Mac computer to check if the WD hard drive can be recognized on that Mac.
  • Try to plug the WD hard drive in to a Windows PC to check if the file system of the WD hard drive is not compatible with Mac.

The WD hard drive lights on but is not recognized by Mac still?

Wait! Do you allow your Mac to show the recognized WD hard drive in the Finder and Desktop?

2. Show the WD hard drive in the Finder and Desktop

Sometimes, you think WD hard drive is not recognized by Mac because the WD external hard drive isn't showing up on Mac, neither in Finder nor on the desktop. However, the fact is that the WD hard drive is detected by macOS but it is not set to show up on Mac.

In this case, you can show the WD hard drive by changing the preferences:

Step 1: Go to Finder > Preferences > General, make sure the 'External disks' option is ticked. This will make the recognized WD hard drive show up on the Desktop.

Step 2: Select Sidebar tab on the top, make sure the 'External disks' option under Locations is also ticked.

The WD hard drive is not working on Mac still?

Well, it seems that Mac really can't recognize the WD hard drive. We need to take advantage of some tools for further check.

3. Update incompatible WD Apps with WD Discovery for Mac

WD Discovery is a desktop software for Mac and Windows for delivering WD software, updates and notifications for WD external hard drives.

When WD hard drive is not recognized, you can download WD Discovery for Mac to update WD Drive Utilities, WD Security, WD Backup, etc. Possibly, your Mac doesn't recognize the WD hard drive because the WD software is not compatible with your macOS.

4. Check if the WD hard drive is password locked

If you are using WD hard drives like My Book Drive and it is not recognized by Mac now, you can check if the hard drive is password protected. macOS can't read the partition information and mount the volumes if the WD hard drive is password locked. You can download and install WD Security to unlock the WD hard drive if a password has been set to protect the hard drive.

The WD hard drive is not encrypted? Then the reason for Mac not recognizing the WD hard drive is that macOS fails to access the partition and file system information. It could be a problem when WD external hard drive used on PS4 extended drive but not recognized.

5. Repair the unrecognized WD hard drive in Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a built-in disk management and repair tool on Mac computers. When a WD hard drive is not recognized or not working due to inner disk errors, you can try to repair the unrecognizable WD hard drive with Disk Utility.

Tips: Before you try to repair the unrecognized WD hard drive in Disk Utility, if the WD hard drive shows up in Disk Utility but not mounted, you can select the Mount option first then the WD hard drive will be mounted on the Desktop.

Step 1: Go to Applications > Disk Utility.

Step 2: Click 'View' and choose 'Show All Devices'.

Step 3: Select the unrecognized WD hard drive from the sidebar.

Step 4: Click on First Aid on the top. Wait while First Aid verifying and fixing possible errors of the WD hard drive.

If First Aid can't repair the external hard drive, or Disk Utility doesn't recognize the volumes of the drive, probably, the WD hard drive could be corrupted caused by bad sectors.

6. Use WD Drive Utilities when WD hard drives not working on Mac

WD Drive Utilities for Mac is a specialized utility for WD hard drives to run drive diagnostics (fix potential drive failures, slow disk performance, and bad sectors), Manage RAID configuration (For RAID supported models), Erase and format WD hard drives, etc.

If a WD hard drive won't work normally on a Mac due to bad sectors or other parameter errors, you can download WD Drive Utilities for Mac to have a diagnosis of what happens to your hard drive.

Step 1: Install WD Drive Utilities on your Mac and then launch it.

Step 2: Plug the unrecognizable WD hard drive into the Mac.

Step 3: Click on 'Diagnose' and choose 'Run Quick Drive Test' to check the WD drive completely.

7. Fix the unrecognized WD hard drive by reformatting

If the unrecognizable WD hard drive can't be repaired by WD Drive Utilities, the file system of the WD hard drive might be seriously damaged or corrupted. In this case, you have to reformat or erase this WD hard drive. Before that, it's necessary to recover lost data from unrecognized WD hard drive with free hard drive data recovery software for Mac, like iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, to avoid data loss.

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is professional in external hard drive data recovery on Mac. It supports Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, Samsung, and hard drives of other manufacturers. This data recovery software can recover lost data when hard drive is unrecognized, unmountable, unreadable, corrupted on Mac. Besides, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac can recover lost data from Macintosh hard drive, USB drives, Pen drives, SD cards, memory cards, CF cards as well as other storage devices.

Tutorial to recover lost data from unrecognizable WD hard drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac

Step 1. Download, install, and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac.

To recover your important photos, videos, music, documents, emails from this unrecognizable WD hard drive, you can free download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on your Mac.

Step 2. Scan for lost data on the WD hard drive.

When the data recovery software is launched, you will see your unrecognizable WD hard drive in the interface. You need to select this corrupted WD hard drive and then click the 'Scan' button to scan for data on this drive.

Step 3. Preview and recover files.

When WD hard drive is corrupted, you can't access your data on this drive. But you can use iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to preview the data on the drive, which will help you make sure your files are not corrupted before you finally click 'Recover' to recover them.

Tutorial to reformatting WD hard drive that is not recognized by Mac

1. Go to Disk Utility and select the unrecognized WD hard drive from the sidebar.

2. Click on Erase on the top.

3. Follow the instructions to finish the reformatting process.

After reformatting WD hard drive process finished, you will hopefully see the WD hard drive recognized and showing up on Mac correctly.

However, if the external hard drive is not showing up in Disk Utility at all, the great chance is that the WD hard drive is physically broken. As a result, Mac can't read and recognize it. In this case, we advise you to check if the serial number of the WD hard drive is still in warranty so that you can ask for a repair or replacement service.

WD provides no-limited warranty unless your WD hard drive was purchased from an authorized distributor or authorized reseller like Amazon. So, if your WD hard drive is dead for disk corruption, please free free to contact their support team for warranty status review and product replacement.


In the issue of WD hard drive not recognized, be it on Mac or Windows, data rescue should come first. This is also important when USB flash drives, SD card, or other external hard drives that are not showing up on Mac.

You can recover data from the unrecognized hard drive with free data recovery software like iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac. Then, you can fix the error in different ways without worrying about data loss.

Summary :

When talking about storage manufacturers, you must have heard of Seagate and Western Digital. What the differences between the two companies’ storage devices? Who makes the most reliable hard drives? If you don't know, this article from MiniTool will show you the answers.

Quick Navigation :

Most of you have heard of Seagate and Western Digital, but how much do you really know about them? Before I show you the comparison of Seagate vs Western Digital from several aspects, I’d like to show you some basic information about the two companies. Now let’s have a look together.

About Seagate

Seagate Technology PLC is an American data storage company. It was founded in 1978 as Shugart technology. Since 2010, the company has been incorporated in Dublin, Ireland, with its operating headquarters in Cupertino, California, USA.

In 1980, Seagate developed the first 5.25-inch hard disk drive (HDD). In the 1980s, they became the main suppliers of microcomputers. Today, Seagate and its competitor Western Digital dominate the hard disk market. And their main products include Desktop HDD, Laptop HDD, Enterprise HDD, Archive HDD, SSD and so on.

Western digital discovery for mac

The growth of Seagate was largely achieved by acquiring competitors. In 1989, Seagate acquired the Control Data Corporation’s Imprimis division which is devoted to making HDD products. In 1996, Seagate acquired Conner Peripherals. Then Seagate acquired Maxtor in 2006 and Samsung's hard disk business in 2011.

Now, Seagate is a global leader in data storage solutions. It develops amazing storage products that enable home and business users around the world to create, share and save their most critical data.

About Western Digital

Western Digital Corporation, also known as Western Digital and WD, is a famous American computer hard disk manufacturer and provider of various data storage solutions. It develops, manufactures and provides storage devices, data center systems, and cloud storage services to solve the evolving needs of the information technology industry.

Western Digital has a long history in the electronic industry. The company was founded by Alvin B. Phillips in 1970 and was headquartered in Irvine, California. Now they have moved its headquarters to San Jose, California.

Like Seagate, Western Digital becomes one of the manufacturers of large computer hard disks, which is the result of successful acquisition of other enterprises. In March 2012, Western Digital acquired HGST (Hitachi Global Storage Technologies). The acquisition had a great influence on the hard disk industry, as it made WD become the world's largest hard disk manufacturer after the acquisition.

In May 2016, Western Digital acquired the storage chip manufacturer SanDisk. In August 2017, Western Digital acquired cloud storage provider Upthere to build better cloud storage features. In September 2017, Western Digital acquired Tegile Systems, a flash storage array manufacturer.

Now the main hard disk manufacturers are only WD and Seagate, indicating that the hard disk industry has entered the era of oligarchy. And many users will compare the two brands when choosing a storage device such as SSD, HDD. So today, I will show you the differences of Seagate vs Western Digital on storage devices.

Seagate vs Western Digital HDD

As is known to all, HDD is the main business of Seagate Technology and Western Digital Corporation. What's the difference between their HDD products? The following will give you a comparison of Seagate vs Western Digital HDD, which introduces the differences on reliability, speed, capacity of the two HDD brands.


When you want to upgrade hard drive, choosing a high-performance and reliable hard drive is essential. Any drive you buy today will fail eventually, but the more reliable your drive is, the longer you should be able to use it. So the reliability is an essential factor.

Western Digital is the hard drive manufacturer that many users prefer for traditional platter drives. Many people have been using WD hard drives for years. And they assume WD hard drives have terrific reliability with very low failure rate.

However, according to a study from BackBlaze, it shows that Western Digital’s drives were overall the least reliable among HGST, Seagate, Toshiba, and Western Digital. Is that true? Well, hard disk drive failures vary by brand, model, and capacity. These numbers are found only when the manufacturer is considered regardless of the model and capacity. So these numbers are not 100% percent accurate.

After searching on the internet, you will find many people hold the opinion that Western Digital’s hard drives are more reliable than that of Seagate. And many users report that Western Digital HDDs fail less than any from Seagate.

Whatever the reliability, you may occasionally encounter WD or Seagate hard drive failure as not all hard drives are created equal. You can have drive failure from any manufacturer. So, no matter what drive you are using, the best way to protect your valuable data is to make a backup.

Are you looking for a free backup software? The partition manager MiniTool Partition Wizard is able to backup partition or backup disk in just a few clicks.


As for the HDD speed, I see such an analogy on the Internet: Seagate and the Western Digital are like two people of completely different character. Seagate is a young man in pursuit of superior performance. While the Western Digital is more like an old man with rich experience who does not pursue speed but pursue the reliability.

What does this mean? It means that Seagate's hard disk speed will be faster than that of the Western Digital. But despite of the faster read-write speed, its failure rate is also higher than that of the Western Digital.

The read-write speed of Western Digital HDDs is a little slower compared with Seagate, but it is more suitable for storage due to its good stability and durability.

In conclusion, Seagate hard disk drives are generally fast, fluent in reading and writing, and generally light. The HDD of Western Digital is relatively stable with low hard drive failure rate.

If you want to test their read write speed, a free disk benchmarking tool is recommended – MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition, which can help you test hard drive sequential and random read/write speeds. If you want to perform Seagate/Western Digital HDD benchmark, download one now.

Easiest guide for free hard drive/SSD speed test in Windows 10/8/7. Utilize best free disk benchmark software for Windows (10) to test hard drive, SSD, external hard drive speed for free.


When talking about capacity, Western Digital impressed us, as it was the first one who introduced 2TB SATA hard drives to us. And its capacity of hard drives is ever increasing. In October 2017, Western Digital shipped the world’s first 14 TB HDD, the helium-filled HGST Ultrastar Hs14.

As for Seagate, it has desktop-class drives with a capacity up to 10TB. And the capacity of this drive is not the largest. Its internal hard drive Seagate BarraCuda’s Pro version has a capacity of 14TB, which enables you to store more games, movies, and music than ever before.

Both Western Digital and Seagate can satisfy your need on hard drive capacity. In this case, when picking up a hard drive from the two companies, you can focus on other critical factors such as price, performance, reliability and so on.

Seagate vs Western Digital SSD

Both Western Digital and Seagate were initially reluctant to invest in SSDs, but now they all offer speedy solid-state drives.

In the new NVMe series, Firecuda 510 is the one that makes Seagate stand out in the competition. Western Digital Black 3D NVME is not as fast as Firecuda 510, but its price is higher.

Seagate is currently leading the way in larger internal storage and speed competition, although the gap is small. Western Digital still has a place in the middle and low-end market.

Seagate vs Western Digital External Storage

External storage is important and necessary for users who want to backup internal drives. The following will show you three kinds of external storages.

Portable Drive

Both Seagate and Western Digital offer pocket external hard drives with different capacities and connectivity. Among those external drives, Western Digital's My Passport series and Seagate's Backup Plus portable drives are popular. If you are considering purchasing an external hard drive, the following Seagate/Western Digital is worth buying.

  • Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2 TB
  • WD 3 TB My Passport Wireless Pro
  • WD My Passport Ultra 4 TB

This article will show you the specifications, excellent features of the gaming dirve WD My Passport X 2TB Portable Hard Drive. Check out this post now.

Desktop Drive

If you are a photo or video editor, or a movie buff, a portable drive may not satisfy you, as you will need several terabytes of space to store large media collections. In this case, you can consider a desktop-class drive.

If you want to choose a desktop-class drive, WD My Book Duo Desktop drive is a good choice. The desktop drive has up to 28TB capacity in RAID 0 or RAID 1 configurations. As for Seagate, they can provide 10TB of storage from a single-drive Backup Plus Hub or Expansion Desktop.

Both desktop drives have mass storage for photos, videos, music and document backups. However, if you want to do 4K or even 8K video editing, or backup other massive media collection, Western Digital is your best choice.

NAS Devices

NAS devices seem to be an afterthought for Seagate. Why? Because Western Digital offers the My Cloud Pro and Expert lines in up to 40 TB but Seagate currently does not have a first-party NAS server. Instead, they choose to produce NAS-designed drives, with the IronWolf range in up to 14TB.

Nowadays, My Cloud offers build-in support for Plex Media Server. This organizes your library and allows streaming to any enabled device - smartphones, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 and more, which is very convenient. While Seagate drives can be merged into NAS servers and used in the same way, they do not have high-capacity servers with similar capabilities.

In this case, Western Digital is your best choice when you want to choose wireless storage products or use cloud storage.

The Best Disk Cloning Software for Seagate/Western Digital

After reading this post, you should know the pros and cons of Western Digital vs Seagate in terms of storage. Both of them are very good HDD brands. If you need to upgrade your HDD/SSD or backup your disk to an external device, you need to utilize a piece of disk cloning software. And MiniTool Partition Wizard can be your best choice.

MiniTool Partition Wizard is a reputable partition manager & disk cloning software. It can help you to migrate OS to SSD/HD, backup disk or partition, move/resize partition, convert MBR disk to GPT, and convert FAT to NTFS and so on. All of these operations can be performed with extremely simple procedures, so you don't need to worry about how to use.

And the following will show you the detailed steps on how to upgrade SSD/HDD without data loss or backup hard drive with the help of MiniTool Partition Wizard. Note that if you want to backup system related partitions or upgrade system disk, MiniTool Parition Wizard Pro Ultimate is required. After connecting the target disk to your computer, you can follow the steps below:

Step 1. Get MiniTool Partition Wizard by clicking the following button. Install it on your computer, launch it and get the main interface.

Step 2. Select the disk you want to copy and choose Copy Disk from the left panel.

Step 3. Select a target disk to copy content to and click Next. When you click Next, it will remind you all the data on the target disk will be deleted, click OK if there are no important files on the target disk.

Step 4. Review the changes you are going to make and click Next to go on.

Step 5. Read the note about how to boot from the destination drive. Then click Finish.

Step 6. At last, click Apply to allow the pending operations.

You see, it is very convenient to upgrade SSD or HDD with MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate. With only a few clicks, all the files on the old drive will be transferred to the new one. If you need to backup hard drive or upgrade HDD to SSD, try using the best disk cloning software MiniTool Partition Wizard now.

Bottom Line

Now, do you have a better understanding of Seagate vs Western Digital on storage? If you have different opinion on Seagate vs Western Digital external hard drive, SSD, cloud storage and other aspects, please don't hesitate to share it with us.

If you have encountered any issue when using MiniTool Partition Wizard, you can leave a message on the following comment zone and we will reply as soon as possible. If you need any help when using MiniTool software, you may contact us via [email protected].

Western Digital For Mac Troubleshooting

Seagate vs Western Digital FAQ

Western Digital is not Seagate. Seagate and Western Digital (WD) are both well-known American computer hard disk manufacturers and data storage solution providers. They are two giants that dominate the hard disk market. Western Digital does not belong to Seagate, and vice versa.
Many users report that Western Digital HDDs are more reliable than Seagate hard drives. But, regardless of reliability, you may occasionally encounter WD or Seagate hard disk drive failure because there are many factors that can cause disk failure. (Here Are 6 Signs Indicating Hard Drive Failure, Check out Now)

Wd For Mac

As one of the global leader in data storage field, Seagate is a very good and reliable hard disk brand. Now the products of Seagate technology mainly includes Desktop/Laptop HDD, Enterprise HDD, Archive HDD, SSD and so on.

My Passport For Mac

Seagate acquired Samsung's hard disk business in the year of 2011, so Seagate is not owned by Samsung. On the contrary, Samsung's HDD business is owned by Seagate.