I have a series of shapefiles stored on an external hard drive that have been working without issue, however now when I add them into QGIS I get the following error message:

"Invalid Data Source: /Volumes/Hannah/MASTERS/TERMINUS POSITIONS/ADAMS/ADAMS_TP_COMPLETE.shp is not a valid or recognized data source."

I have ensured that the associated .shx, .prj, .dbf, .cpg files are stored within the same folder. I have also copied the files to an alternative external hard drive and they are able to be added to QGIS without any problems.

Does anyone know why my shapefiles are not working from one external hard drive?

QGIS Version: QGIS 3.22.6-Białowieża

  • That error means that it cannot access the adjacent files. Are you sure they have the exact same name? Like 'ADAMS_TP_COMPLETE.shx?' Or are your files perhaps stored in folders that are not accessible by QGIS because of admin only privileges? Apr 22, 2022 at 8:04
  • Do you have read permission on the external drive? Apr 22, 2022 at 10:06
  • Yep I'm sure - all the adjacent files are stored in the same folder and have exactly the same name. I've also checked my 'sharing and permissions' for the hard drive and all the privileges are set to 'Read & Write'.
    – Hannah
    Apr 23, 2022 at 18:03

1 Answer 1


By chance, do you have ubuntu 22.04 (or another os with snap) with qgis installed via snap packager ? If yes, qgis must be allowed access to external devices via snap (see in the Ubuntu Store).

  • I don't have ubuntu installed, but thank you for the suggestion.
    – Hannah
    Apr 23, 2022 at 18:04

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