Mac Not Recognizing USB – Easy Troubleshooting Steps

Mac is the range of computers made by Apple Inc. Apart from Macs, this company makes a  lot of different devices and software. Some of the devices are iPhones, iPods, iPads, etc. All of these devices have some unique features and programmes. Despite having so many good and useful features, even then you can encounter various issues while using it. One kind of problem that you can get is the Mac not recognizing USB. In the section right after this one, you will get the reasons as to why this error occurs.

Reasons For Mac Not Recognizing USB

In this section, you will get to see many reasons behind the occurrence of this error. Those reasons are given in the following points:

  • First, you can face the given issue, if the USB port is not functioning as it should.
  • Second, if there is any malicious program in your Mac, then that can hamper with the driver of the USB port.
  • Even due to corruption in the system files, you can encounter the Mac not recognizing USB issue.
  • Lastly, if the USB flash itself got damaged somehow, then also you might get this error.

Solutions To Resolve Mac Not Recognizing USB Issue

This section of the article will help you to resolve the Mac not recognizing USB device problem.

Examine Connection Between USB Port And Device

You might encounter the given issue if there is any problem in the connection between the USB port on Mac and USB device. Therefore, the only solution to solve this connection issue is to connect a different USB device and check if it is recognized by the machine. If the different USB device is working correctly, then there is no problem with your PC. This means the issue is with the USB device itself.

Even, you can put the unrecognizable USB device on to the other ports and check whether the device is working on the other ports or not. Now, if the unrecognized USB device is correctly working on other USB ports then there is an issue with that specific port.

Clear The USB Ports

Sometimes you can get this issue if the USB port gets clogged due to any debris or has some dust inside it. So, the solution to get rid of this issue is to remove the dust and debris from the ports and then insert USB flash drive and check if it is working fine or not.

Reboot Your Mac

The Mac not recognizing USB issue can occur due to some software problems. Thus, the easiest way to remove this problem is to restart the Mac. If you do this, then the driver of the USB port can be reinstalled freshly once the computer starts up. In order to restart the Mac, follow the steps below:

  • First, press the Menu button that is situated on the upper left edge of the screen.
  • From the Options list, choose ‘Restart’.
  • Then, finally click the ‘Restart’ button in the message box to affirm that you wish to reboot your Mac.


If you reset PRAM/NVRAM in your Mac, then sometimes you can resolve the given issue easily. The NVRAM actually stores information about the all the hardware of the Mac like the trackpad, mouse, keyboard, USB Ports, etc. Therefore, if you simply reset the information of NVRAM, then the default settings will be loaded instead of the specific settings. In order to reset the NVRAM, just follow these steps below:

  • First, reboot your Mac. After that, simultaneously depress the keys ‘Command + Option + P + R’ until there are a sound and a flash on the screen.
  • Before the Mac restarts, it will make a sound.

System Management Controller Update/ Reset

If you are very much sure that the Mac doesn’t recognize USB issue is not happening due to any kind of USB device or cables then the simple solution to rectify this issue to update/reset SMC. Different Mac machines have their own process to update the SMC. But in this point, the process for MacBook, MacBook Pro, and Air is provided.

  • First, turn off your Mac. Next, connect the machine to the power output.
  • Now, press the keys ‘Shift + Control + Option’ and ‘Power’ button simultaneously for a few seconds. When you see that the adapter changes its color, then the reset or update of the ‘System Management Controller’ will over.
  • At last, remove your hand from the keys and start up your Mac.

Mac Operating System Update

Almost every problem that your Mac has can be resolved if you update the Operating System in it. Therefore, in order to resolve the USB drive not recognized Mac issue the easiest solution for you is to update the OS of the system.

  • First, launch the ‘App store’ application on the Mac.
  • Next, within the application go to the toolbar and select an option ‘Updates’.
  • At last, you can choose either the option ‘Update All’ or you can update the software individually.

Ending Note

In order to solve the Mac not recognizing USB issue easily, you can only use the points that are given above. Now, if after following the above points you cannot able to solve the given problem. Then, mention your query on the comments section and we will get back to you in no time Mac not recognizing USB.

Nathaniel Villa
Nathaniel Villa