Can I Use WD Hard Drive on Mac and PC
Before you get the answer, you must figure out what kind of file system can work well on both the macOS and the Windows system. macOS supports a handful of common file systems - HFS+, FAT32, and exFAT, with read-only support for NTFS. While Windows employs two major file systems: NTFS and FAT. FAT was inherited from old DOS and has exFAT as its later extension. In addition, the ReFS file system was developed as a new generation file system for server computers starting from Windows Server 2012.
- Mac OS Extended. Choose one of the following Mac OS Extended file system formats for compatibility with Mac computers using macOS 10.12 or earlier. Mac OS Extended (Journaled): Uses the Mac format (Journaled HFS Plus) to protect the integrity of the hierarchical file system.
- How to Fix: Convert Windows Disk to Mac (Format HFS+ on Windows) There are two ways you can format HFS+ on Windows: either use Paragon Partition Manager Free, Community Edition (CE), or by using diskpart.exe in Windows. The latter requires to you to use a command line interface, while the former uses a graphical user interface.
- How to format an external hard drive for Mac and PC? Sometimes, users need to use the same external hard drive interchangeably on Mac and PC. To make it compatible with both macOS and Windows, you need to reformat the external hard drive. Whether you are using an APFS/HFS+ or a Windows NTFS formatted external hard drive on Mac, you can reformat.
This article will teach you how to format the USB flash drive so both Mac’s and PC’s can read them. There are two parts to this tutorial. One for Mac and the other for Windows 7. (Be careful using these instructions to ensure you are formatting the correct disk.) (for Windows instructions please scroll down) MAC INSTRUCTIONS. HFS+ Mac OS X’s native file system is HFS+ (also known as Mac OS Extended), and it’s the only one.
That is to say, only FAT32 and exFAT can work on both Mac and PC. If you want to share digital files between Mac and Windows system easily, you must convert WD My Passport to FAT or exFAT. Here are three ways to format a WD My Passport, follow any one of them to convert to FAT.
- Solution 1. Format WD HDD with Software (FREE)
How to Format WD My Passport in Windows Platform (Free)
You can format a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive to ex-FAT or FAT32 format using a free ex-FAT or FAT32 converter - EaseUS Partition Master or use built-in applications Windows.
Solution 1. Format WD My Passport Using Software (Free)
It is a wise choice to use a professional format tool. With the help of EaseUS Partition Master Free, you can perfectly bypass the format limitation of the Windows disk management tool and help you format WD My Passport to FAT32 or exFAT easily without any obstacles. What's more, this Windows partition software helps you create, resize, clone, move, and merge partitions without difficulty. Follow the details below to convert WD My Passport to FAT32 or exFAT.
Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the 'Format' option.
Step 2: Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click 'OK'.
Step 3: In the Warning window, click 'OK' to continue.
Step 4: Click the 'Execute Operation' button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click 'Apply' to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.
Solution 2. Format WD My Passport Using File Explorer
Windows limits FAT32 partitions to 32GB. It does not offer the ability to format a drive larger than 32GB to FAT32, the only available choices are NTFS or exFAT. If you want to format your WD My Passport to FAT32, you must make sure that the size is smaller than 32GB. If it is larger than 32GB, you can only format it to exFAT.
Step 1. Open Windows File Explorer, locate and right-click on WD My Passport that you need to format, select 'Format'.
Step 2. Rename the drive, reset its file system to FAT32 or exFAT.
Step 3. Click 'Start' to begin the formatting.
How to Format WD My Passport in macOS/OS X Platform
The easiest way to format the drive to FAT32 or exFAT is by using macOS's built-in Disk Utility for FAT32 or exFAT.
Tips: The instructions below are designed to help repartition and format a hard drive. Once the process begins, all the data on the drive will be lost!
Step 1. Connect WD My Passport to your Mac.
Step 2. Once that's done, double left-click on the Mac HD, the internal Mac hard drive visible on the top-right corner of the desktop screen.Select 'Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility'.
Step 3. Select your WD My Passport on the sidebar, choose 'Erase'.
Step 4. Rename the drive, select the 'Volume Format' drop-down list and choose 'MS-DOS (FAT)' or 'ex-FAT File System'. Then click 'Erase'.
Wait for the process to complete and let the macOS erase data on the drive and reformat it by FAT32 or ex-FAT format. Then, you can use the drive in macOS or OS X as a regular hard drive.
Difference Between FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS
FAT is known as the File Allocation Table. The successive major versions of the FAT format are named after the number of table element bits: FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32. FAT32 is the oldest of the three file systems available to Windows. Individual files on a FAT32 drive can’t be over 4 GB in size. A FAT32 partition must also be less than 8 TB, which admittedly is less of a limitation unless you’re using super-high-capacity drives.
exFAT, Extended File Allocation Table, is optimized for flash drives. It was added to older versions of Windows with updates to Windows XP and Windows Vista. This file system doesn't have the limitations of FAT32. You can use it when you need a bigger file size and partition limits than FAT32 offers.
NTFS, NT File System, is the modern file system Windows likes to use by default. It is packed with modern features not available to FAT32 and exFAT. However, it only works with all versions of Windows, but read-only with Mac by default.
If you want to use WD My Passport or any other hard drive on Mac and PC, you need to format a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive in exFAT or FAT32 format.
Tips to Avoid Formatting WD My Passport Without Backup
Just as I have mentioned above, once the process begins, all the data on the drive will be lost. To avoid unnecessary data loss issues, we highly recommended all users extract or back up important data to another device or partition in advance. You can copy files one by one to a new disk or drive. If you have quite a lot of data to be transferred, professional backup software shall be your best choice. Here we recommend you try EaseUS Todo Backup which allows you to directly back up target data with simple steps.
Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose 'File Backup', 'Disk/partition Backup' or 'System Backup' for different backup purpose.
Step 2: Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.
Step 3: Click 'Proceed' to start the data backup process.
Hot Topics - People Also Ask These Questions
What is the difference between NTFS, fat32, and exFAT?
NTFS is the commonly used file system for Windows internal drives. Windows OS can only be installed on an NTFS partition. FAT32 is an older file system used for external drives due to its great compatibility. exFAT is a replacement for FAT32, which is not as compatible as FAT32 but without the limitations of FAT32.
Can I use WD hard drive on Mac and PC?
Yes. If you want to use WD My Passport or any other hard drive on Mac and PC, you need to format a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive in exFAT or FAT32 format.
Can I convert exFAT to NTFS without losing data?
You are unable to directly convert exFAT to NTFS without losing data, as there is no such utility that can help you perform the exFAT to NTFS conversion. You can back up exFAT partition data to another drive and then format the exFAT partition to NTFS with EaseUS Partition Master Free.
How do I format my WD Passport?
Step 1. Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the hard drive partition you intend to format and choose Format.
Step 2. In the new window, set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/exFAT), and Cluster size for the partition to be formatted, then click OK.
Step 3. Click OK in it to continue.
Step 4. Click the Execute Operation button on the top-left corner to review the changes, then click Apply.
You can format your Western Digital My Passport external hard drive to FAT32 or exFAT format to transfer the data between a Mac and Windows system conveniently. According to the solutions above, the EaseUS partition tool stands out for its convenience and easiness. It's always your best choice.
Summary: Let’s figure out how to format your WD Passport on macOS & Windows. In this blog post, we will walk you through the formatting process and share instructions to format an external drive on macOS & Windows.
But before you proceed, understand that formatting carries a risk of hard drive corruption and data loss. So, in case, if you had accidentally lost your data due to drive formatting or corruption, we also recommend a data recovery software that can rescue data from your HDD. Take a free trial to evaluate the software now.
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We know, Macs and Windows have their native file systems such as the new APFS or HFS and the NTFS. A WD My Passport formatted with Mac file system will be a dud on the Windows and vice-versa. Thankfully, MS-DOS FAT32 and ex-FAT formats have survived to date, and these are the file system to make your WD My Passport work with a Mac and a Windows PC simultaneously. In the next 5 minutes read, you will master yourself in formatting a WD My Passport safely and in a manner best suited for sharing your digital files between a macOS and Windows OS.
To format a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive in ex-FAT or FAT32 format, you can bank on built-in applications of Mac & PC. However, while doing this, there are things you have to keep in mind and follow the correct steps. Here you will get to know about the process to format your “My passport” portable drive in FAT32 and ex-FAT file system in both Windows and Mac platforms.
In Windows Platform:
Format Drive For Mac
1. Connect your Western Digital My Passport hard drive to your Windows PC through the USB cable. Wait till the Windows detects the external hard drive and configure it as an expansion drive automatically.
2. Now, click the Start button and select ‘This PC’. A new Windows Explorer window opens, on the left side of the screen; you will see a list of installed drives and their drive letters.
3. Locate the icon assigned to Western Digital My Passport drive and Right-click the connected drive icon and click ‘Format’ in the pop-up menu.
4. Select the ‘File System’ from the drop-down list, which is available in the format expansion and choose either ‘ex-FAT’ or ‘FAT32’.
5. Enter a relevant name in the ‘Volume Label’ field. This name will represent your drive when you connect it with Windows Explorer or Mac and will be mentioned above the drive letter for the My Passport drive. Therefore, enter a descriptive name.
6. Now, again select a ‘Quick Format’ option, then click ‘Start’ option, wait for a few minutes to get your drive reformatted with the FAT32 file system, so that you can use it. After successful formatting, you can directly save or move files to it like any other external hard drive.
In macOS / OS X Platform
- Connect your Western Digital My Passport drive to Mac computer, and let the OS detect and mount the drive for use. Now, a new hard drive icon will appear on the desktop.
- On macOS Dock, select Finder. When the Finder window opens, on the menu bar, select ‘Go’ and then ‘Utilities.’ After that, you will be able to see /Applications/Utilities folder in Finder. From the Utilities folder window, select ‘Disk Utility’ application.
- When the Disk Utility opens, choose the Western Digital hard drive icon from the sidebar.
- Click ‘Erase’ on the Disk Utility file menu. Now, the Erase dialogue window appears, here select the ‘Volume Format’ drop-down list and choose ‘MS-DOS (FAT)’ or ex-FAT File System.’ Note: ex-FAT is a better choice for formatting WD My Passport on Mac.
- Now, click the ‘Erase,’ button and wait a few minutes and let the macOS erase data on the drive and reformat it by FAT32 or ex-FAT format.
- Once formatting is done, you can use the drive in macOS or OS X as a regular hard drive.
Window’s Disk Management and Mac’s Disk Utility applications are secure platforms to erase your WD My Passport easily. You don’t require any third-party software to format your WD My Passport with FAT or ex-FAT.
Caution: Avoid Formatting your WD My Passport without Backup
We can’t rule out the possibilities of human errors resulting in the accidental formatting of the WD My Passport external drive. A silly man-made mistake will permanently remove all of the contained pictures, videos, audio files, and docs instantly from the WD My Passport. Hence, fasten your seat-belts and backup your WD My Passport before erasing. If you have already joined the data loss club unwillingly, then try running D-I-Y applications to recover data from Mac and Windows.
Tips for Effective Formatting
Best Format For Mac Drive
- Format your Western Digital My Passport external hard drive to FAT32 or ex-FAT format so to transfer the data between a Mac and Windows system conveniently.
- There are specific third-party systems, like Digital Camcorders, and Sony PlayStation 3, which need the drives to be formatted in either FAT32 or ex-FAT format to perform read from and write operation. Check it before selecting a file format.
- Due to some limitations FAT32 format is not useful for every type of user, and also affects both Mac’s and PC’s performances. Therefore, it is better to choose ex-FAT instead.
- Ex-FAT supports maximum volume size up to 128 PiB, and its supported maximum file size is 128 PiB.
- Like FAT32, ex-FAT is not a very commonly used file system, due to which its support may vary among third-party devices.
- The corruption chances of the external drive increases, if it is used on both Mac and PC systems regularly. Therefore, it is better to take backup of your important photos and videos before sharing them between both the computers.