Skip to content

Why is my external hard drive showing up twice on Mac?

  • by
  • 5 min read
Photo: Yasin Hasan / Shutterstock.com

Photo: Yasin Hasan / Shutterstock.com

For Mac users, external hard drives are a convenient solution for expanding storage, backing up important files, and carrying data on the go. However, there can be moments of frustration when you connect your external hard drive and see two of them on your desktop or in Finder.

In this article, we have discussed the causes of the external hard drives showing up twice on Mac and a few ways to help you fix the issue.


Causes of the external hard drives showing up twice on the Mac issue

Below, we have discussed the reasons that might be causing the external hard drives to show up twice on the Mac issue.

  • Temporary glitches.
  • Corrupted launch service database.
  • Something’s wrong with the drive.

Also read: How to eject a USB from Mac?


How to fix the issue?

If you see two hard drives on your, we have explained a few methods to help you fix the issue.

Restart the device

Restarting your Mac can often resolve temporary software glitches or conflicts that may be causing the issue. If the problem persists after the restart, you can then try some of the other troubleshooting methods.


Ensure that all drives are unmounted

Check all the drives connected to your Mac, and then remove the drives you don’t need. To check the list of drives and unmount them, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open Finder, click the Applications option in the sidebar, and then click on the Utilities folder.

Step 2: Double-click on the Terminal.

Step 3: In the terminal, type diskutil list and hit Enter. It will show you the list of drives on your Mac.

Step 4: To unmount a drive, type diskutil unmount /dev/name of the drive. Unmount all drives one by one using this command.


Uncheck drives in Finder

If you’ve tried unmounting the extra drives in Terminal, but they still show up twice in the Finder sidebar, you can delete those entries from Finder’s settings.

Step 1: Open Finder and then click on Preferences.

Step 2: Click on the Sidebar tab.

Step 3: Click on the Remove (- sign) button beside the drive you want to delete.


Reset the Launch Services Database

Launch Services, which is a fundamental part of Apple’s system, keeps track of important information about apps, files, and web links it can open. To reset the launch services database follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open Finder, click on the Applications option in the sidebar, and then click on the Utilities folder.

Step 2: Double-click on the Terminal.

Step 3: Copy and paste the command /System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/LaunchServices.framework/Versions/A/Support/lsregister -kill -r -domain u -domain s -domain l -v and hit Enter.

Alternate way to reset Launch Services Database

Step 1: First, quit all applications on your Mac and then Open Finder and click on Go, and then in the dropdown menu click on Go to Folder.

Step 2: Go to ~/Library/Preferences and find the file named com.apple.LaunchServices.plist.

Step 3: Delete the file and restart your Mac. It will reset the launch services database.


Delete the duplicate /Volumes folder

If resetting the launch services database couldn’t remove the duplicate drive then you should clean up the duplicate /Volumes folder that was created by duplicate drive. To view all the /Volumes folders on your Mac and delete the duplicate folder follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open Finder, click on the Applications option in the sidebar, and then click on the Utilities folder.

Step 2: Double-click on the Terminal.

Step 3: Copy and paste the command ls -laF /Volumes and hit Enter. It will show you the list of /Volume folders on your Mac.

Step 4: Check all the folders from the list for any important data. Now, to delete the folders type sudo rm -rf name of folder and hit Enter.

Step 5: After removing the folders, use the command ls -laF /Volumes once more to make sure that only the original hard drive folder remains.


Repair the hard drive using the disk utility

Another reason you might see two same drives in the Finder sidebar could be due to issues with the disk itself. To fix the hard drive follow the steps below.

Step 1: Restart your Mac and the moment it is starting again press the Command + R key until the Apple logo appears.

Step 2: Click on Disk Utility and then click on Continue.

Step 3: Select View and then click on Show All Devices.

Step 4: In the sidebar, select the drive you want to repair and click the First Aid button.

Step 5: Click on Run and wait until the process is complete.

Also read: How to change the folder colour on Mac?

nv-author-image

Akash Singh

Akash is a law graduate who likes to go for bike rides on the weekends soul-searching for answers to his many existential questions. You can contact him here: [email protected]

>