We believe you when you say you kept the hard drive safe. Yet, it was compromised the last time you used it. Now your data is lost, and you stare at the computer screen in disbelief about what to do next. Thankfully, there are numerous procedures to recover data from external hard drive mac. However, let us first learn what is damaging the external hard drive you faithfully love:

  • Unintentional formatting of the portable hard drive.
  • Malware or a virus
  • Physical harm to the hard drive and its internal components
  • The lost partition procedure was unsuccessful.
  • System failure or system corruption
  • Forcefully connecting or disconnecting the hard drive to the computer.
  • Shutting down the computer abruptly 

Now we answer the biggest question on your mind, How to recover files from external hard drive mac?

Part 1: Can Data Be Recovered from An External Hard Drive?

If you are wondering if you can recover data from external hard drive mac, it is near possible. However, it is not a reality for every document. Whenever a user deletes a file on a mac, it is still in the system. The same logic applies to deleting files from Trash too. Unfortunately, the file is lost when new data overwrite it.

Therefore, we insist on reading the article on recovering files from external hard drive mac. Lastly, don’t forget to save all the crucial documents on the compromised hard drive.

Unfortunately, mac can also suffer from logical damage. The data or files become corrupted from abrupt power disconnection. Therefore, the user must learn to restore external hard drive mac, which employs fragmented data to re-compose the original file. The same procedure applies to formatting a hard drive and recovering essential documents.

External hard drive recovery mac gets complicated when the hardware is physically damaged. Therefore, the computer requires professional assistance. Here are a few steps on how to recover files from external hard drive mac that will save you time and money.

Part 2: Recovering Files from External Hard Drive on Mac

External hard drives are growing popular because they are cost-efficient. In addition, they are portable and work fast too. Unfortunately, sometimes they hiccup and become compromised. Here is how you can recover lost data due to software or mechanical issues.

Solution 1: Get back data from reinstalling the Driver

The components on your Operating System use drivers to function. In other words, if the driver is malfunctioning, so will the external hard drive. It could be one of the reasons for faulty functionality. However, reinstalling a driver will ensure that the external hard drive runs smoothly

  • Launch Run using Windows Key + R combination. Search the driver using the devmgmt.msc command. Click enter.
  • Broaden the options to search for the hard disks. We also suggest looking in the Portable sections for the answer you seek.
  • Right-click on the accurate hard disk drive and choose “Uninstall device.”
  • After closing the Device Manager window, restart your computer immediately
  • Upon Launching, the computer will automatically reinstall the driver. 

Solution 2: External hard drive recovery by previous cloud backup

You can also use the Time Machine/Cloud option to recover files from external hard drive mac. It is one of the easiest ways to recover important files that does not compromise the computer’s internal security:

  • Use the menu bar to open the Time Machine. 
  • Find the files you wish to restore. You can use the space bar to browse the files.
  • Once you decide on the file or its version, choose the “Cloud” to snapshot it. The snapshot works even when the hard disk is not connected to your computer. 
  • Choose “Restore” to…restore the files which you accidentally lost. 

Solution 3: Use reliable third-party data recovery software to recover

When you don’t find the data files in the backup means you need to run a data recovery tool to recover the external hard drive Mac. Therefore, we recommend using the unique data recovery software Tenorshare 4DDiG on the market, It is an excellent and credible file recovery platform for Mac. It will restore files at any time within a few minutes. It also works equally best for external and internal computer storage devices. 

Here are some of its outstanding features:

  • Supports recovery of 1000 or more file types including documents, videos, images, audio and more from external hard drives on your Mac.
  • Supports Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba and many other external hard drive brands
  • Supports macOS Monterey, macOS BigSur 11.0, macOS 10.15 and lower
  • Supports data recovery from laptop or Mac, internal or external drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, etc.
  • No need to turn off SIP to recover data.
  • 100% secure, no technical knowledge required.

Here is how to recover data from an external hard drive mac using Tenorshare 4DDiG.

Step 1: Greet Tenorshare 4DDiG

Download and install Tenorshare 4DDiG on your Mac OS. Launch the software and select the hard drive whose files you wish to restore. Select the files individually if you wish. Click on “Scan.”


Step 2: Scan and Preview via Tenorshare 4DDiG 

Tenorshare 4DDiG will begin scanning the drive. Do not worry if the analysis takes too long. Tenorshare 4DDiG will present active and deleted files. You can open and preview them.


Step 3:  Recover Data Using Tenorshare 4DDiG

Select the files you wish to restore and click “Recover.” You can enter a custom destination to save them. Fair warning, do not use the exact location as the original corrupted file.


Solution 4: Retrieve data using the Windows System file checker

The latest upgrades offer a built-in feature to recover files on your computer. Even though the steps seem complicated, they are very straightforward.

  • Upgrade the computer to the latest OS version. 
  • Launch the command prompt. Right-click on the utility and choose “Run it as administrator.” Select “Yes” to proceed.
  • Copy and paste the following command: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth before pressing Enter. Note the spaces and format.
  • Input the command sfc /scannow before pressing enter. It would be best if you let the operation complete successfully first.
  • Type the command “exit” after verification is complete. Lastly, hit enter on the keyboard

Solution 5: Recover data from the hard drive via the command “CHKDSK”

You can restore an external hard drive mac using the CHKDSK command. The procedure does not require expert knowledge and will give significant insight into the hard drive composition. The step works even if you are using an external hard drive. Here is how to use the CHKDSK prompt:

  • Type cmd in the start menu. Click on Command Prompt. However, run it as an administrator.
  • Type chkdsk X:/f in the prompt window. Let X denote the external hard drive. You can assess the name from Fire Explorer after opening this PC.
  • Thirdly, let the CHKDSK command run. The operation is dependent on the external hard drive’s size.
  • Close the command box when the scan is complete. Restart the computer and see if the drive is working. Otherwise, move to the next step.

Solution 6: Restore lost data from antivirus software

If you have attempted all the suggestions above and can still not perform an external hard drive recovery mac, it may be time to look for antivirus software. You can contact a professional or search for the best software. However, limit your options to the antiviruses that work in your country/region. It will keep the shipping costs minimum and ensure prompt customer service too.

Antivirus software has different features that facilitate external hard drive recovery on mac. Furthermore, they are credible too. However, the success rate also factors in the cost. Other factors influencing recovery cost are the number of files, duration, and technical compatibilities.

Therefore, we suggest browsing the market extensively before picking antivirus software. Read the customer reviews, guarantees, and service portfolio. In addition, please familiarize yourself with their expertise too. Once you approve the features it offers, complete the transaction. and install the best antivirus software to recover files from an external hard drive mac. 

Bonus Tips: Points to Keep in Mind to Avoid Data Loss from an External Hard Drive

Before we conclude, let us present a few additional secrets to avoid losing files overall. As a result, you will complete the project on time and eliminate the headache of learning how to recover data from external hard drive mac:

  • Firstly, keep a backup of the essential files. Consequently, you will not lose progress even if the external hard drive is corrupted. You can save at equal intervals to maintain a backup.
  • Do not eject and connect the external disk drives too often. It will harm the ports and the cable. Thus, compromising the drive and the contents therein.
  • Safely eject the file from the menu instead of pulling the cable. Do not abruptly disconnect the drive while it is transferring data.
  • In addition, do not frequently format the drive either. Keep the step as minimum as possible.
  • Foremost, keep the data in a safe place, away from heat and humidity. It will prevent physically damaging the external hard drive.
  • Use antivirus software to transfer files. Malware can corrupt documents very easily. Therefore, make “scan and transfer” your ultimate rule.
  • Do not act hastily when deleting files. You can review the content or keep the files in folders based on priority or usage frequency. 


Losing data on a portable disk drive is not uncommon. Understandably, accidents occur. However, the real challenge is recovering the lost files. We are hopeful you found the above six options to recover data from external hard drive mac helpful. You can pick the best method according to your circumstances.

Tenorshare 4DDiG is a credible file recovery platform. It will restore deleted or lost files from portable hard drives on your Mac computer. You can free download it to learn more about its features and recovery processes. Tenorshare 4DDiG is trusted by global users and the tech community so download it today.