FIX: Hard drive not appearing in File Explorer

Vladimir Popescu
by Vladimir Popescu
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Hard drive not appearing in file explorer - hard-drive

A great number of users have searched for answers online regarding their hard-drive not appearing in file explorer. If you find yourself in the same category, then you’re in luck today.

Expanding your computer hard-drive using external drives is very common and necessary these days. As the complexity and ability-set of software and games grow with time, their size also grows exponentially.

This is the reason for which it can be extremely frustrating to have your external HDD ready to be used, and for your Windows 10 computer to not recognize it.

In today’s fix article we will dive into the best methods to apply in this situation to get your HDD recognized by Windows 10 and start using it normally. Read on to find out more details.

Here’s how to deal with your hard drive not appearing in File Explorer on Windows 10

1. Run Hardware and Devices troubleshooter

hard-drive - Hard drive not appearing in file explorer

  1. Click the Cortana search box ->  type in Control Panel -> choose the first option from the top.
  2. Inside the Control Panel window -> choose Troubleshooting.
  3. Click View all from the left-side menu.
  4. Choose the Hardware and devices option -> click the Advanced option -> check the Apply repairs automatically option.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup and fix any problems.

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2. Check if HDD is recognized in Device Manager

desktops with mug - Hard drive not appearing in file explorer

  1. Press Win+X on your keyboard -> select Device Manager.
  2. Inside the Device Manager window -> find the HDD (it may be found in Other Devices section).
  3. If you see a yellow exclamation mark next to it -> right-click it -> choose Update Driver -> Search automatically for the best driver online.
  4. Wait for the process to complete and install any found drivers.

3. Use Disk Management

laptop on desk with notepad - Hard drive not appearing in file explorer
Note: Please make sure not to change any settings inside Disk Management other than the ones specified in this method. Doing so might result in your PC not working properly.

  1. Press Win+R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type in diskmgmt.msc -> press Enter.
  3. Find your hard drive in the list of volumes (usually named Unknown and has unallocated space).
  4. Right-click on the name portion of the table -> select Initialize Disk.
  5. Choose whether you want your HDD to be bootable (MBR) or used as a storage device (GPT) -> click Ok.
  6. Right-click the same disk, but on the HDD size -> choose New Simple Volume.
  7. Choose how much space you want to allocate -> follow the on-screen instructions to set up the volume, and choose NTFS in the Format Partition window.


In today’s guide, we explored the best methods to fix the issue caused by your hard drive not appearing in File Explorer. Dealing with this issue is extremely important, as having enough space on your PC is crucial in today’s age.

Please feel free to let us know if you found this article helpful by using the comment section below.


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