Target Disk Mode not working on your Mac? see how to fix (2023)

In target disk mode, Mac behaves like an external storage device that allows you to transfer files to another computer. It's easy to put your Mac in target disk mode by pressing and holdingTwhen starting. However, it is not that easy to fix when Target Disk mode is not working properly.


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Why doesn't target disk mode work?

It's impossible to say exactly why Target Disk mode isn't working on your Mac. Problems can occur for one of the following reasons:

  • Your hard drive is in the wrong format
  • You're using the wrong cable or port for your Mac
  • Finder is configured to hide external drives
  • A hardware failure is preventing target disk mode from working properly

Whatever the reason why target disk mode is not working, you should be able to fix it with the following simple troubleshooting steps.

Step 1. Update macOS or reformat your Mac

Target Disk Mode not working on your Mac? see how to fix (1)

If the Mac you want to start up in target disk mode is formatted as APFS, you must be using a computer running macOS High Sierra or later to connect. Older software cannot read APFS and therefore does not recognize your Mac.

The easiest solution to this is to update the Mac you want to transfer the files to. Opensystem settingsand clickSoftware updateto check for new updates.

If you can't upgrade this Mac to High Sierra or later, check what format the Mac you put in target disk mode is using.

How to check the format of your destination Mac disk

Target Disk Mode not working on your Mac? see how to fix (2)

When your Mac is in target disk mode, press and hold the keyCanuntil it shuts down, then reboot. open thisDisk UtilityYour applicationpublic utilitiesfolder and select yoursHigh-Definition-Macna barra laterally.

(Video) Free up space! Turn any Mac into an external hard drive with Target Disk Mode

Disk Utility displays the disk format at the top of the window under the disk name. When your Mac is onAPFSformatted, Target Disk Mode only works when you connect to another Mac running High Sierra or higher.

If that doesn't work, you'll need to reformat your Mac's storage, which can only be done by erasing the drive.

Back up your Mac with Time Machineor you will lose all data on your Mac.

After saving, go toView > Show All Devicesin Disk Utility and select the main folder on your Mac's hard drive in the sidebar. ClickTurn offand choose oneName,Format, miThe plancarry. We encourage you to selectMac OS Extended (registered)miGUID-Partitionszuordnung.

CliqueTurn offto erase and reformat your Mac After restoring your data from backup, target disk mode should work with older operating systems.

Step 2. Change your Finder preferences

Target Disk Mode not working on your Mac? see how to fix (3)

Target disk mode might work on your Mac, but you can't see it due to a Finder issue. The first thing you need to do is adjust your Finder preferences. But if that doesn't work, you can still use Disk Utility to find your destination disk.

Put your Mac in target disk mode and connect it to another Mac, then open itlocalizeron this other MacBrowser > Settingsin the menu bar, then open theBarra sidewaysab

(Video) Recover or transfer you files using Target Disk mode

Check the box to show ithard diskmiexternal drivesin the sidebar. This should make your target disk appear in the Finder sidebar under theLocationHeader.

If it doesn't work, open itDisk Utilityand find your target drive in the sidebar. If it appears dimmed, select it and click the buttonWaffenButton. Then search for it in Finder again.

Step 3. Make sure the cables and connectors are working

Target Disk Mode not working on your Mac? see how to fix (4)

If target disk mode seems to work but you can't connect it to another Mac, there may be a problem with the cable or connector you're using.

Test the connection to different ports on your Mac. If that doesn't help, try a different cable. Just make sure you're using a cable that supports Target Disk mode.

What cables do I need for Target Disk mode?

Apple suggests you use one of the following connectors and cables for Target Disk mode:

  • Radio 3
  • Radio 2
  • Fire wire

Take a lookApple-Websiteto find out what ports are on your Mac and make sure you're using high-quality, official cables when connecting your devices. If possible, get the exact cable you need instead of using an adapter.

Can I use USB-C cables for Target Disk mode?

The Thunderbolt 3 connector uses the same form factor as USB-C. In fact, every Thunderbolt 3 port on a Mac also doubles as a USB-C port. This means you can use a USB-C cable to connect your Mac in target disk mode.

(Video) Diagnostic boot of one iMac into another using target disk mode.

Step 4. Disable FileVault encryption on your target drive

Target Disk Mode not working on your Mac? see how to fix (5)

When the Mac puts you in target disk mode, useFileVault Encryption, you must enter the administrator password for this Mac before you can access its data. You should see a prompt for this password when you try to access the target drive in Finder.

If you never see a FileVault prompt, it might be worth disabling FileVault encryption on this Mac and trying again.

Hold down the power button on the Target Disk Mac to restart it normally. then go toSystem Preferences > Security & Privacy. Go todata vaulttab and then click thepadlockand enter your password to unlock the changes.

Click the option toDeshabilitar FileVault. This will decrypt your Mac's hard drive, which can take several hours.

Be careful, your data is safer when it's encrypted. Therefore, you need to re-enable FileVault after using Mac in target disk mode.

Does target disk mode work with Windows?

No. Target disk mode does not work with Windows. This is because Windows cannot read your Mac's hard drive. The only file format that works with both macOS and Windows is FAT-32, but you cannot install macOS on a FAT-32 drive.

To transfer files from a Mac to a Windows computer, you need to use an external drive formatted as FAT-32. Alternatively, you can upload files from your Mac to a cloud storage service and download them from your Windows PC.

(Video) How to use Target Disk Mode with Thunderbolt 3 on MacBook Pro

Transfer files wirelessly with AirDrop

Target Disk Mode not working on your Mac? see how to fix (6)

If target disk mode still doesn't work on your Mac, you can use AirDrop to transfer files wirelessly. AirDrop uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections to transfer files at high speeds without relying on an internet connection.

In fact, you canUse AirDrop to send files to iOS devicesas well as other Macs. While it's not as fast as Target Disk mode, it's a lot more convenient because you can keep using your Mac while transferring files.

and helyer

(Video) How to do target disk mode on Mac

Dan writes tutorials and troubleshooting guides to help people get the most out of their technology. Before becoming a writer, he specialized in audio engineering, supervised repairs at an Apple store, and even taught English in China.

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