Drivers for Seagate External HDDs and SSDs FAQ


This FAQ applies to Seagate external hard drives that connect via USB.


Modern operating systems (Windows 7 or higher, macOS 10.8 or higher) already provide built-in drivers that allow any external hard drive connected via USB to be detected and operate.  As such, product specific drivers are not needed for your external hard drive, nor are they provided by Seagate. 


If your external drive is not detected by your computer, this is most likely due to a hardware problem or a corrupted file system. A driver will not resolve either of these issues so you will need to perform troubleshooting.  Please see our USB External Troubleshooter article for further assistance.

Question: What is a driver?

Answer: A driver, or software driver, is a small piece of software that is installed on your computer that allows two pieces of hardware to communicate. 


Question: Do I need a driver from Seagate for my external hard drive to detect or work?

Answer: No. In earlier days of computing, a driver was frequently needed when you added a new piece of hardware to your system.  This driver was typically provided by that hardware manufacturer. This is no longer common. Modern operating systems have many drivers already built-in and this includes drivers for USB connected devices.


Question: My external hard drive is not detected by my computer? Would a driver from Seagate resolve this issue?

Answer: No. Your computer already has the needed drivers for USB devices. If your drive is not being detected by a computer, you probably have a hardware problem, or a corrupted file system on the drive in question. 


Question: What about firmware? Do I need to install firmware for my drive to work?

Answer: Maybe. However, firmware is not a driver. Firmware is a set of instructions that are stored on the hard drive and tells it how to operate.  Seagate external hard drives already come with the required firmware for them to work optimally. 

In rare instances Seagate may release an updated firmware download for an external hard drive.

To check so see if your drive needs updated firmware, please visit our Downloads page and enter your drive’s serial number in the Firmware Downloads section near the bottom of the page.