External Hard Drive That Works With Both Mac And Pc

HomeBusinessHow To Make An External Drive Compatible With Mac And PC?
  1. External Hard Drive That Works With Both Mac And Pc To Change

Though the default hard disk file system (also known as format) of Windows and Mac are different, there should be some ways to format an external drive for both Mac and PC. This post will conclude these tutorials: A comparison of common File Systems for Mac and PC; Guide to format external hard drives for Mac and PC.

  • Nov 29, 2021 Format and external hard drive on Mac. First, let’s see how to format an external hard drive or USB drive in macOS which works with both Mac and PC platforms, first plug-in your drive in macOS machine. Open Disk Utility on your macOS, press cmd + spacebar keys and type Disk Utility in the spotlight search. Open Disk Utility from the search.
  • Format that drive to ExFAT. ExFAT is an efficient, fast, compatible file system. ExFAT works freely with both Macs and Windows PC. Plug an ExFAT drive into your Mac and you Mac can see all the files on it. Read and write document to the drive. And you can do the same on a Windows PC.

The Right Connections. Buying an external hard drive for your Mac is not all that different from buying one for your Windows PC, except for one very important complication: Newer MacBooks and MacBook Pros only come with Thunderbolt 3 ports, but the arrival of Thunderbolt 3-equipped drives has been a trickle, rather than a flood. Looking to share an external hard drive between a Mac and PC? The best way to do it is with a drive formatted as FAT32. Though this format has some limitations, it enjoys nearly universal support. The drive is compatible with Mac, PC, and even Android. There’s no shock protection, but so long as you’re careful when travelling, it shouldn’t be a concern. SSD’s do not use moving parts so there is less risk for damage. A 3-year limited warranty is included on purchase. Most Affordable Thunderbolt External Drive – Buffalo MiniStation.

“I got a WD My Passport hard drive from my friend as my birthday present. I was so happy to try it on my MacBook Air, only to find I could not save any files to it. I always use an external drive to share files between my MacBook Air and Windows computer in my office. This is the first time that I encountered such a problem. Does anybody know why and how to make the hard drive compatible with Mac and PC?”

Does it sound familiar to you?

Windows and macOS use completely different logics to store and manage files, so some file systems might work well in Windows platform but not necessarily in macOS platform and vice versa. Windows don’t support Apple’s HFS, HFS+ and latest APFS file system at all, while macOS only has read support to Windows NTFS file system.

For cross-platform users who need to share files between PCs and Macs using a portable drive, it is extremely inconvenient with a drive not fully supported by both operating systems.

I will introduce two methods to solve the incompatibility problem.

  • Format the external drive to exFAT.
  • Use a third-party NTFS for Mac driver to enable NTFS write support for macOS.

How to format an external drive to exFAT?

exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) file system is the optimization of FAT32 file system. It offers better compatibility than NTFS file system and eliminates the 4GB file size limit of FAT32 file system. It is a great choice for sharing an external drive between Mac and PC.

Note: Before you proceed with the instructions, remember to back up your data first if you have important files on the drive. That’s because, formatting a disk will write a new file system on your disk and prepare your disk for new data to write on. Your pen drives, SD cards or external hard drives will turn blank and all your files will be gone after formatting. Therefore, back all files up before formatting. If you do not care about data, however, go ahead to format it to exFAT.

You can format the external drive to exFAT both on a PC or a Mac. The instructions below are conducted on a Mac running macOS Mojave.

Step 1: Connect the external drive to the Mac.

Step 2: Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 3: Select the external drive at the left sidebar.

Step 4: Choose Erase at the top tool bar.

Step 5: Give the drive a name.

Step 6: Choose exFAT as Format.

Step 7: Choose GUID Partition Map as Scheme.

Step 8: Click on Erase button.

After the formatting process is completed, click on “Done” and you will have a drive with exFAT file system. The drive will work seamlessly with Macs and PCs without any third-party software.

How to enable NTFS write support on Mac with a third-party NTFS driver?

If you came cross the problem because you are using a Microsoft NTFS drive, a third-party NTFS mounter can make your NTFS drives compatible with macOS without formatting.

There are free and paid NTFS drivers for Mac available. Free NTFS drivers include FUSE for macOS, NTFS-3G, Mounty and SL-NTFS.

You have to be very familiar with command lines to use free NTFS drivers for Mac. They are less compatible and less secure as well. I recommend to use a paid NTFS driver for Mac, which is easier, more compatible, and more reliable.

Let’s take iBoysoft Drive Manager as an example here to explain how to enable NTFS write support on Mac natively using an NTFS driver for macOS.

iBoysoft Drive Manager is a paid NTFS driver for macOS. It can mount NTFS drives in read-write mode on Mac. NTFS-formatted pen drives, SD cards, and external hard drives will be opened with NTFS write support in the Finder automatically. The write and file transferring speed to NTFS drives is noticeably fast.

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Drive Manager on your Mac.

After the utility is completely installed, you will see an icon at the top right menu bar.

Step 2: Connect the NTFS drive to the Mac.

You will get a notification that your NTFS drive is successfully mounted.

Step 3: Read-write to the NTFS drive.

The NTFS drive will be opened automatically in read-write mode. You can make any changes to the existing files and save new files to it freely, which are not supported efore.

iBoysoft Drive Manager is far more than an NTFS mounter. As a drive management tool, it can manage multiple USB flash drives, SD cards, memory sticks and external hard drives with one click. It also supports adding network drives manually by providing server address, user names and password and map them as local drives. You can connect and network drives with one click too.

Conclusion

When you are using a removable drive for file sharing between Macs and PCs, you should take file system compatibility into account. You can either choose to format the drive or use third-party software to help you.

However, formatting a disk doesn’t sound as easy as you may expect. Think about the time and other work you must do when you back up a lot of data, reformat several external drives and restore data to them.

In conclusion, third-party drivers will be the easier way to make external drives compatible with Macs and PCs.

It is possible to find an external hard drive for both Mac and PC that is interchangeable. Of course, which device you go for depends on your budget and how much storage you need.

External hard drives are perfect if you want a safe place to back up your work, old files, or if you use multiple machines for work or recreation. In fact, it is often a good idea to back up important files on an external hard drive. Both PCs and Macs can fail at any time – so it’s worth having files stored elsewhere too.

If you’re unsure which external hard drives are compatible with both Mac and PC, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a closer look at external hard drives for Mac and PC that are interchangeable between machines.

Western Digital My Passport

The Western Digital My Passport is an external hard drive that is interchangeable between Mac and PC. But that’s not all.

Found in the latest range from Western Digital, this external hard drive can be bought with storage from 1TB to a huge 4 TB. Perfect for those looking to store large amounts of music, videos, photos or work documents.

The My Passport hard drive will also back up automatically using a customised schedule, so you can forget about remembering to back up your work! Not only that, but it completes file transfers at high speed and can also be password protected to keep your files secure.

  • 1TB – 4TB storage
  • Optional password protection
  • Scheduled automated backup
  • USB 3.0 interface
TP-Link TL-WA850RE N300 Wi-Fi Range Booster
  • Reaches those hard to reach places to provide better Wi-Fi coverage
  • Plug and Play
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Allow more people and devices to connect to the same router

Buffalo Thunderbolt Ministation

Thunderbolt by name and by nature, this external hard drive – compatible with both Mac and PC – delivers speed twice as fast as standard USB 3.0 hard-drives. With 1TB storage it provides plenty of space for storing work documents or photos – with extra to spare.

The Thunderbolt is also a sleek and slim design and much less bulky than other external hard drives on the market.

External Hard Drive For Mac And Pc

  • 1TB storage capacity
  • Thunderbolt Interface (10GBps)
  • USB 3.0
  • Mac and PC compatible

External Hard Drive For Mac and PC interchangeable: My Book Duo WD

For those looking for a large capacity interchangeable external hard drive for Mac and PC, the My Book Duo is a perfect choice. Although it is worth noting you will need to reformat the device to work alongside Mac.

It comes at a higher price tag, but for a higher capacity of up to 28TB, that can only be expected. This external hard drive also offers protection through the optional Raid 1 data mirroring – which allows you to back up your files twice on the device incase one of the independent hard drives fails. Perfect if you are storing documents that are irreplaceable.

The My Book Duo also comes with 2 additional USB ports, so you can plug flash drives directly into the device for easy file transfers.

  • Up to 28TB storage
  • 2x USB ports
  • Optional Raid 1 data mirroring
  • Compatible with PC and Mac (if reformatted)

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive

If you want your data stored in an external hard drive so safe that it can withstand the pressure of a one-tonne car – this is the hard drive for you.

Yes, the LaCie rugged external hard drive is also rain resistant – and more importantly, compatible with both Mac and PC machines through the USB C cable. It is also an extremely fast device, delivering file transfers and image browsing at high speeds.

  • 2TB storage capacity
  • Drop, crush and rain resistant
  • USB C cable and USB 3.0 adaptor
  • 5GB/s file transfers and backup speed

Get Hard Drive Support From a Digi Advisor..

G-Technology External Hard Drive

This external hard drive comes pre-formatted for use with Mac machines; however, it can be easily reformatted for use with Windows PC’s too.

With 4TB of storage at an extremely reasonable price, USB C ready and both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatibility, this is a tough external hard drive to beat.

External Hard Drive That Works With Both Mac And Pc To Change

The G-Technology external hard drive also features a sleek, aluminium design that is lightweight and easy to transport.

External Hard Drives For Pc And Mac

  • Up to 4TB storage capacity
  • USB C ready
  • USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatible
  • Mac and PC compatible (if reformatted)

Best External Hard Drives For A Mac And Pc

There we have the 5 best external hard drives, interchangeable for both Mac and PC.

If you are looking for a high storage capacity external hard drive whether, for work or personal use, there are a lot of options out there. It is always good to backup important files to protect yourself from machine failures or viruses that can put your data at risk.

External Hard Drive Works With Mac And Pc

ImageProductBuy
NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender EX2700View on Amazon
TP-Link TL-WA854REView on Amaozn
HomeBusinessHow To Make An External Drive Compatible With Mac And PC?

The Right Connections. Buying an external hard drive for your Mac is not all that different from buying one for your Windows PC, except for one very important complication: Newer MacBooks and MacBook Pros only come with Thunderbolt 3 ports, but the arrival of Thunderbolt 3-equipped drives has been a trickle, rather than a flood. Looking to share an external hard drive between a Mac and PC? The best way to do it is with a drive formatted as FAT32. Though this format has some limitations, it enjoys nearly universal support. The drive is compatible with Mac, PC, and even Android. There’s no shock protection, but so long as you’re careful when travelling, it shouldn’t be a concern. SSD’s do not use moving parts so there is less risk for damage. A 3-year limited warranty is included on purchase. Most Affordable Thunderbolt External Drive – Buffalo MiniStation.

“I got a WD My Passport hard drive from my friend as my birthday present. I was so happy to try it on my MacBook Air, only to find I could not save any files to it. I always use an external drive to share files between my MacBook Air and Windows computer in my office. This is the first time that I encountered such a problem. Does anybody know why and how to make the hard drive compatible with Mac and PC?”

Does it sound familiar to you?

Windows and macOS use completely different logics to store and manage files, so some file systems might work well in Windows platform but not necessarily in macOS platform and vice versa. Windows don’t support Apple’s HFS, HFS+ and latest APFS file system at all, while macOS only has read support to Windows NTFS file system.

For cross-platform users who need to share files between PCs and Macs using a portable drive, it is extremely inconvenient with a drive not fully supported by both operating systems.

Drive

I will introduce two methods to solve the incompatibility problem.

  • Format the external drive to exFAT.
  • Use a third-party NTFS for Mac driver to enable NTFS write support for macOS.

How to format an external drive to exFAT?

exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) file system is the optimization of FAT32 file system. It offers better compatibility than NTFS file system and eliminates the 4GB file size limit of FAT32 file system. It is a great choice for sharing an external drive between Mac and PC.

Note: Before you proceed with the instructions, remember to back up your data first if you have important files on the drive. That’s because, formatting a disk will write a new file system on your disk and prepare your disk for new data to write on. Your pen drives, SD cards or external hard drives will turn blank and all your files will be gone after formatting. Therefore, back all files up before formatting. If you do not care about data, however, go ahead to format it to exFAT.

You can format the external drive to exFAT both on a PC or a Mac. The instructions below are conducted on a Mac running macOS Mojave.

Step 1: Connect the external drive to the Mac.

Step 2: Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 3: Select the external drive at the left sidebar.

Step 4: Choose Erase at the top tool bar.

Step 5: Give the drive a name.

Step 6: Choose exFAT as Format.

Step 7: Choose GUID Partition Map as Scheme.

Step 8: Click on Erase button.

After the formatting process is completed, click on “Done” and you will have a drive with exFAT file system. The drive will work seamlessly with Macs and PCs without any third-party software.

How to enable NTFS write support on Mac with a third-party NTFS driver?

If you came cross the problem because you are using a Microsoft NTFS drive, a third-party NTFS mounter can make your NTFS drives compatible with macOS without formatting.

There are free and paid NTFS drivers for Mac available. Free NTFS drivers include FUSE for macOS, NTFS-3G, Mounty and SL-NTFS.

You have to be very familiar with command lines to use free NTFS drivers for Mac. They are less compatible and less secure as well. I recommend to use a paid NTFS driver for Mac, which is easier, more compatible, and more reliable.

Let’s take iBoysoft Drive Manager as an example here to explain how to enable NTFS write support on Mac natively using an NTFS driver for macOS.

iBoysoft Drive Manager is a paid NTFS driver for macOS. It can mount NTFS drives in read-write mode on Mac. NTFS-formatted pen drives, SD cards, and external hard drives will be opened with NTFS write support in the Finder automatically. The write and file transferring speed to NTFS drives is noticeably fast.

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Drive Manager on your Mac.

After the utility is completely installed, you will see an icon at the top right menu bar.

Step 2: Connect the NTFS drive to the Mac.

You will get a notification that your NTFS drive is successfully mounted.

Step 3: Read-write to the NTFS drive.

The NTFS drive will be opened automatically in read-write mode. You can make any changes to the existing files and save new files to it freely, which are not supported efore.

iBoysoft Drive Manager is far more than an NTFS mounter. As a drive management tool, it can manage multiple USB flash drives, SD cards, memory sticks and external hard drives with one click. It also supports adding network drives manually by providing server address, user names and password and map them as local drives. You can connect and network drives with one click too.

Conclusion

Mac

When you are using a removable drive for file sharing between Macs and PCs, you should take file system compatibility into account. You can either choose to format the drive or use third-party software to help you.

However, formatting a disk doesn’t sound as easy as you may expect. Think about the time and other work you must do when you back up a lot of data, reformat several external drives and restore data to them.

In conclusion, third-party drivers will be the easier way to make external drives compatible with Macs and PCs.

It is possible to find an external hard drive for both Mac and PC that is interchangeable. Of course, which device you go for depends on your budget and how much storage you need.

External hard drives are perfect if you want a safe place to back up your work, old files, or if you use multiple machines for work or recreation. In fact, it is often a good idea to back up important files on an external hard drive. Both PCs and Macs can fail at any time – so it’s worth having files stored elsewhere too.

If you’re unsure which external hard drives are compatible with both Mac and PC, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a closer look at external hard drives for Mac and PC that are interchangeable between machines.

Western Digital My Passport

The Western Digital My Passport is an external hard drive that is interchangeable between Mac and PC. But that’s not all.

Found in the latest range from Western Digital, this external hard drive can be bought with storage from 1TB to a huge 4 TB. Perfect for those looking to store large amounts of music, videos, photos or work documents.

The My Passport hard drive will also back up automatically using a customised schedule, so you can forget about remembering to back up your work! Not only that, but it completes file transfers at high speed and can also be password protected to keep your files secure.

  • 1TB – 4TB storage
  • Optional password protection
  • Scheduled automated backup
  • USB 3.0 interface
TP-Link TL-WA850RE N300 Wi-Fi Range Booster
  • Reaches those hard to reach places to provide better Wi-Fi coverage
  • Plug and Play
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Allow more people and devices to connect to the same router

Buffalo Thunderbolt Ministation

Thunderbolt by name and by nature, this external hard drive – compatible with both Mac and PC – delivers speed twice as fast as standard USB 3.0 hard-drives. With 1TB storage it provides plenty of space for storing work documents or photos – with extra to spare.

The Thunderbolt is also a sleek and slim design and much less bulky than other external hard drives on the market.

External Hard Drive For Mac And Pc

  • 1TB storage capacity
  • Thunderbolt Interface (10GBps)
  • USB 3.0
  • Mac and PC compatible

External Hard Drive For Mac and PC interchangeable: My Book Duo WD

For those looking for a large capacity interchangeable external hard drive for Mac and PC, the My Book Duo is a perfect choice. Although it is worth noting you will need to reformat the device to work alongside Mac.

It comes at a higher price tag, but for a higher capacity of up to 28TB, that can only be expected. This external hard drive also offers protection through the optional Raid 1 data mirroring – which allows you to back up your files twice on the device incase one of the independent hard drives fails. Perfect if you are storing documents that are irreplaceable.

The My Book Duo also comes with 2 additional USB ports, so you can plug flash drives directly into the device for easy file transfers.

  • Up to 28TB storage
  • 2x USB ports
  • Optional Raid 1 data mirroring
  • Compatible with PC and Mac (if reformatted)

LaCie Rugged External Hard Drive

If you want your data stored in an external hard drive so safe that it can withstand the pressure of a one-tonne car – this is the hard drive for you.

Yes, the LaCie rugged external hard drive is also rain resistant – and more importantly, compatible with both Mac and PC machines through the USB C cable. It is also an extremely fast device, delivering file transfers and image browsing at high speeds.

  • 2TB storage capacity
  • Drop, crush and rain resistant
  • USB C cable and USB 3.0 adaptor
  • 5GB/s file transfers and backup speed

Get Hard Drive Support From a Digi Advisor..

G-Technology External Hard Drive

This external hard drive comes pre-formatted for use with Mac machines; however, it can be easily reformatted for use with Windows PC’s too.

With 4TB of storage at an extremely reasonable price, USB C ready and both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatibility, this is a tough external hard drive to beat.

The G-Technology external hard drive also features a sleek, aluminium design that is lightweight and easy to transport.

External Hard Drives For Pc And Mac

  • Up to 4TB storage capacity
  • USB C ready
  • USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt 3 compatible
  • Mac and PC compatible (if reformatted)

Best External Hard Drives For A Mac And Pc

There we have the 5 best external hard drives, interchangeable for both Mac and PC.

If you are looking for a high storage capacity external hard drive whether, for work or personal use, there are a lot of options out there. It is always good to backup important files to protect yourself from machine failures or viruses that can put your data at risk.

External Hard Drive Works With Mac And Pc

ImageProductBuy
NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender EX2700View on Amazon
TP-Link TL-WA854REView on Amaozn