Fix: Windows 10 Does Not Recognize Portable Hard Drive

By: Ivan Jenic
3 minute read

Portable hard drives are always useful if you’re moving big files, or if you simply need to backup your files. However, it seems that some users are complaining that Windows 10 does not recognize portable hard drive, so let’s see if there’s a way to fix that.

Windows 10 Does Not Recognize Portable Hard Drive

What to do if Windows 10 Does Not Recognize Portable Hard Drive

Solution 1 – Update your drivers

In most cases Windows 10 should automatically recognize your portable hard drive, but sometimes it can happen that Windows 10 doesn’t have drivers for your portable hard drive, but you can fix that by following these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager. You can open it by pressing Windows Key + R and typing devmgmt.msc.
  2. Locate Disk drives section and expand it.
  3. Check if any of the listed devices has a yellow exclamation mark next to it. If there is an exclamation mark next to your device this means that there might be a driver issue.
  4. Right click the device and choose Update Driver.
  5. If updating the driver doesn’t help you might want to Uninstall your driver and allow Windows 10 to install its default driver.

We also recommend this third-party tool (100% safe and tested by us) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.

In addition, you might want to check manufacturer’s website for latest drivers.

Solution 2 – Change portable hard drive letter / Format your portable hard drive

If you already have the latest drivers, and your computer still isn’t able to recognize the portable hard drive, you can try and change the drive letter of the portable hard drive. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Type disk management in the Search bar and choose Disk Management from the results.
  2. Locate your portable hard drive in Disk Management and right click it.
  3. Choose Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  4. New window will appear showing you the current letter of your portable hard drive.
  5. Click Change and choose a new letter for it. Make sure that you choose the letter that you won’t assign to another drive.
  6. You’ll be presented with a dialog confirming that you wish to change the letter of the drive. Select Yes to change the drive letter.

If Disk Management shows your portable hard drive filled with unallocated space you might want to format your portable hard drive. Formating a drive will delete all files from it, so make sure that you backup important files first.

To format the portable hard drive do the following:

  1. Open Disk Management.
  2. Locate your portable hard drive and right click it.
  3. Enter the label for your hard drive, choose File system type.
  4. Press OK and wait until your portable hard drive is formated.

If you’re still having issues with your hardware or you simply want to avoid them for the future, we recommend you to download this tool (100% safe and tested by us) to fix various PC problems, such as hardware failure, but also file loss and malware.

We also have to mention that if your hard drive is formatted using Linux or Mac with ext4 or HFS Plus File system type you won’t be able to access it on Windows 10 until you format it on Windows. If you have any comments, or questions, just reach for the comments section below.

Read Also: Fix Error Code 0x80248014 Problems in Windows 10

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