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External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Windows 10: Know How To Resolve

External Hard Drives are becoming a more viable option for storing the data. With ultra-edging features like blazing fast speeds and portability, it provides users with a lot of offers. However, there are numerous problems that you may face with the external hard drive. One such problem is external hard drive not showing up Windows 10. This is very common and even after you have a proper installation, you may face this technical glitches.

Although this issue is not too hard to resolve, still the steps can be a bit tricky. However, before going to the troubleshooting part, you must be aware of the problems for which it occurs. However, we will provide you with useful tips that will benefit you. Our experts are always there at your rescue.

Probable Causes – External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Windows 10

There can be numbers of reasons behind Windows 10 not recognizing the external hard drive. But we are providing you with some of the important ones.

The first and foremost reason can be the drivers. Sometimes due to the outdated drivers, Windows 10 becomes unable to detect the external hard drive. This can also happen if the drivers are corrupted. If the adapters of your laptop or desktop are broken, in that case, it won’t accept the external hard drive.

Apart from that, if the Windows 10 is not updated to the latest version then it can also be a cause behind it. Sometimes you might also use the pirated version of Windows. Now, let’s see how you can remove the issue of External Hard Drive not showing up Windows 10.

Proficient Solutions – External Hard Drive Not Showing Up Windows 10

We have provided you with the probable causes behind external hard drive not detected in Windows 10. Now, let’s see some of the preferable solutions that you can apply to this problem. Your first option should be to update the drivers as soon as possible. Sometimes backdated drivers can be the cause why Windows 10 won’t recognize the external hard drive. You can’t solve the issue if you lack technical knowledge.

Method 1: Changing Drive Letter

You must be aware of the fact that along with the path, each drive is identified by a unique drive name. However, you might face the problem when the drive letter is conflicting with another one that is already present for another memory device. So, for this issue to remove, try and allocate another drive name to the drive and find whether it makes any differences.

So before you are going to boot the computer, make sure that you are inserting a hard drive. Shut down your computer, plug in the device, and then start it up. Remember that the first boot that takes place is not the removable device. For this, do follow this steps:


  • In the run dialog box, type in ‘diskmgmt.msc’ and press the Enter button by opening the run dialog box pressing the Windows and the R key.
  • Right-click on the drive by opening the Disk Management and select the “Change Drive Letter and Paths.”
  • From the list of options that are present, click on the Add button. Now from the hard drive, select the new drive letter. Now, at last, apply all the changes and press OK before exit.

Method 2: Changing Or Updating The USB drivers

If the USB drivers are corrupted, then it would be better if you first uninstall them. To do so, first, go to Control Panel then go to the Driver’s settings. In the driver’s list, find out the USB driver. If the driver is showing an exclamation or red mark then try to update it as soon as possible. To do so, just right click on it and select update option.

Sometimes due to the adapter issue, the external hard drive may not be visible in your Windows 10. So, if the adapter is broken, try to change it as soon as possible. On the other hand, if the disk drive is not updated then it should better if you fix it. To do so, first, go to the Computer then choose the System Properties. There you will find a taskbar on the left. Now, click the Device Manager and go to USB controller. You can now fix it from there.

Method 3: Change Portable Hard Drive Letter

Try and change the drive letter. If you face difficulties and your device is unable to find the portable hard drive even after having the latest updates, do follow these methods minutely.


  • Choose the Disk Management option by clicking the Windows key and the X key simultaneously.
  • Now, find out the location of the portable hard drive in the Disk Management. Once you locate choose the Change Drive Letter and Path option by right-clicking on the Disk Management.
  • After this, you will find a new window opens in which you will see the current letter of the portable hard drive. Choose a new letter by clicking on the Change option. Ensure that the letter you choose is not assigned to other drives.

Method 4: Run The Hardware Troubleshooter

One can take help from Hardware troubleshooter if Windows 10 does not recognize the portable hard drive. Moreover, it is not an unknown fact that Windows comes up with all type of troubleshooters. So, in order to perform the process, follow these steps:

Open the settings app by pressing the Windows and I key together. Now, enter inside the Update & Security section. From the left-hand side, select the ‘Troubleshoot’ option. Also, choose the Hardware and Device and run the troubleshooter. Now, follow each and every step that appears on the screen. Hope you resolve the problem. If not, then move on to the next process.

Method 5: Check The Cable And Try The Hard Drive On A Different PC

Often it is seen that due to unusual or damage cables the Windows cannot recognize the portable hard drive. Replace the cable after proper inspection and make sure the cable is proper. If the cable is OK, then and operate the cable by injecting it to a different PC.

Method 6: Enabling Hidden Or Empty Drives

It has been seen that some systems have the option to hide all the empty drivers by default. It is useful for those persons who use to connect a lot of hard drives. However, this can cause major problems at times.


  • Open the dialogue box by pressing the Windows and the S key simultaneously. Select ‘Run As Administrator’ by right-clicking the application.
  • There are certain commands that you must follow type in when you are in the elevated Command Prompt. Now, again type in ‘devmgmt.msc’ by opening the dialogue box.
  • Check the option ‘Show hidden devices’ by opening the device manager. After this over, search and check whether you can access the external hard drive. If there is any problem restart the device and check again whether the problem exists.

Hope the article was helpful enough to resolve the issue of external hard drive not showing up Windows 10. Even if you are not that technically proefficient you can remove the problem easily by following up the whole guide properly. We also recommend you not to try anything else as it may cause serious issues. If you have any query on the same, take help from our website and resolve the issues. In conclusion, if this article was helpful enough then leave your feedback in the comment section.