(Easy Method) How do fix “External Hard Drive not recognised”

There are times when the external hard drive is not showing up on your Windows Explorer window. Windows is no stranger to the errors and drivers corruption, and we are going to help you solve the problem without the help of any extra tools.

The external hard drive not showing up error reasons could be many, but the solutions solve the problem within the Windows 10 computer. Allow us to show you how you can fix the problem without downloading the extra software.

1. Remove Corrupted Files

The Microsoft has added a new feature that allows you to clean up old files and unnecessary files that creates a lot of problems on your Windows PC. In most cases, wrongly connected drives and bad drivers can cost you errors.

By cleaning the Windows 10 PC, it will remove the bad drivers, and old junk drivers will be removed from the Windows 10 machine.

Step 1: Go to settings > system of your Windows 10 machine, and make sure this feature is available

external harddrive not recognised

le on the latest build version of the Microsoft OS.

Step 2: You have to scroll down to find “storage,” then you have to click “free up space now.”

Hard drive not recognised

Step 3: You can scan the “remove temporary files” that will remove the files that come in between your Windows PC. It will remove temporary files and also files that are related to the drivers.

Remove temporary files

Step 4: It will take a few minutes to scan the files, and then click on the “remove files,” and the Microsoft Windows will remove all files in a few minutes.

Remove files

Step 5: You have to be patient because it takes a lot of time to remove the of the Microsoft Windows 10 machine.

Remember, it will free up your C: drive, and it has a positive impact on your machine.

2. Run Troubleshooter

We have to appreciate Microsoft for adding an inbuilt tool that helps us identify the problems of our devices and hardware. Windows 10 comes with an advanced feature that allows us to scan for hardware that installed incorrectly and it also finds the problems related to the drivers.

In case, if the problem is simple, then the troubleshooter will fix it automatically, or offer verified solutions.

Step 1: Type “hardware and devices” in the search bar or Cortana.

Find and Fix Problems

Step 2: Click on the first result that takes you to the control panel.

Step 3: You have to click on “next” to proceed with the scanning.

Hardware and devices

Step 4: It takes a lot of time to scan for the bad drivers and problems because there are so many components that the troubleshooter has to go through it.

Detecting problems in hardware and devices

Step 5: It took me about five minutes to complete the scanning process, and the troubleshooter has suggested me to apply drivers updates, and it will restart my PC.

Installing drivers and updates

The Windows will scan for the components like an external hard drive, and it will fix the external hard drive not showing up the issue.

Editor’s Choice: How to Disable the Windows 10 Lock Screen Password

3. Check USB Cable

The software troubleshooter should have fixed the external hard drives. However, you should also check the USB cable that you are using to connect to the computer. USB cables are one of the least protected wires in the world because we assume that they are made of something extraordinary, and they can withstand harshness.

Step1: Check the USB cable for wear and tear.

Step2: Clean the USB cable with a dry cloth, and use a hair dryer to blow out the dust particles from the cable pins.

Step3: In case, if you have an alternative USB cable, then try to use it.

Step4: I recommend you to connect the external drive to a different USB port because the program will re-install the driver on your PC for that specific port.

In case, nothing works, then follow the next advice.

4. Corrupted Drivers

I have seen many drivers corrupt because of several reasons. An incorrectly connected device can easily corrupt a driver because it did not properly installed all related features to it.

The Windows drivers are easy to corrupt, and it usually happens when you did not remove your device safely, and it causes some damage to the external hard drive and drivers.

Step 1: Type “device manager” in the search bar and enter the first result.

Step 2: Let the window to load properly, and it takes a few moments to one minute to load all drivers.

Step 3: You will find drivers that have “unknown” tags, and you can take a quick look at the snapshot I have shared because I have a few unknown devices & drivers.

Step 4: You have two options, and the first one is to update them, but make sure to keep the Windows update turned on. The second option allows you to uninstall the unknown drivers and devices.

Hard drive not recognised

Now, updating will resolve the problem, but it takes several minutes to complete. Uninstalling the unknown drivers will remove all folders and data, then whenever you connect a new device, then the drivers will be re-installed.

Hardware not recognised

In my case, I have let the Windows update to take care of the problem, and they have resolved it.


There is no rocket science in solving the problem because you can solve it by using the methods we have shown you, and make sure to keep your USB cable is working, and your external hard drive LED indicator is on. Let us know what do you think about it in the comment section below.

Leave a Comment