[Guide] How to Format WD My Passport on Mac and PC?
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through all the possible ways to format WD My Passport on Mac and PC.
Before proceeding, note that formatting WD My passport might result in hard drive corruption and data loss. To prevent this, try using software like Stellar Free Data Recovery Software for Mac and PC to rescue your data.
As you know, macOS and Windows have their native file systems, such as APFS, NTFS, and HFS. A WD My Passport formatted with a Mac file system will fail on Windows and vice-versa. Thankfully, FAT32 and ex-FAT formats have survived to date, and these are the file systems to make your WD My Passport work properly with Mac and PC. Check out the screenshot below to see the compatibility of WD My Passport with macOS and Windows:
WD My Passport works differently on Mac and PC due to their native file systems. It’s much easier on Windows and way more complicated for Mac users. But don’t panic. With our guide, you’ll effortlessly master formatting WD My Passport both on Mac and PC.
Warning: Erasing WD My Passport empties the drive. Don’t forget to create a backup before proceeding.
How to Format WD My Passport for Mac?
1. Connect Western Digital My Passport drive to your Mac.
2. Wait for the new hard drive to be detected (its icon will appear on your Desktop).
3. Next, go to Finder > Applications > Utilities and open the Disk Utility.
4. Choose the Western Digital hard drive icon in the Disk Utility sidebar > click the Erase tab.
5. Once in the Erase dialog window, select the Volume Format drop-down list > choose APFS (native file system), MS-DOS (FAT), or ex-FAT.
Note: The ex-FAT file system is the best choice for formatting WD My Passport on Mac.
6. Hit the Erase button. The macOS will erase data on the drive and reformat it to APFS, FAT32, or ex-FAT format. Once formatting is done, you can use the drive on your Mac as a regular hard drive.
How to Format WD My Passport for Windows?
To format WD My Passport for Windows, do this:
1. Connect your WD My Passport hard drive to your Windows PC through the USB cable.
2. Wait until Windows automatically detects the external hard drive and configures it as an expansion drive.
3. Click the Start button and type this PC > select This PC app. A new Windows Explorer window will open. You’ll see a list of installed drives and their drive letters on the left side of the screen.
4. Locate the icon assigned to Western Digital My Passport drive and right-click the connected drive icon > click Format in the pop-up menu.
5. Select the File System from the drop-down list and choose either ex-FAT or FAT32.
6. Enter a relevant name in the Volume label field.
7. Go with Quick Format > click Start.
Formatting WD My Passport Resulted in Data Loss?
If you have accidentally erased your WD My Passport hard drive, the best way out is to use data recovery software for Mac and Windows, depending on which computer you have.
How to Recover Lost Data from WD My Passport on Mac?
1. Install and launch Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac > select file type > click Next > choose WD My Passport.
2. Toggle the Deep Scan option > click Scan. Wait till the scan is over.
3. Preview your scanned files and select all the necessary ones > click Recover.
4. Select Browse to specify the save location > press Save. Wait till the recovery is complete.
How to Recover Data from WD My Passport on Windows?
1. Install and run Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Windows.
2. Select file type > click Next. Choose WD My Passport in the Recover From window.
3. Turn on Deep Scan and click the Scan button. Wait till the scan completes.
4. Preview and select files you want to recover and click Recover. Specify the drive location to save files > press Save. Wait till the recovery process is over.
Why Use Stellar Data Recovery for Mac and PC?
Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition (Windows or Mac) can scan your WD My Passport storage drive, preview recoverable files for free, and recover up to 1 Gigabyte of data without subscribing. However, if you need unlimited data recovery capability, you’ll need to upgrade the software from Free Edition to Professional Edition. Stellar Data Recovery has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can upgrade with confidence.
Things you Should Know Before Formatting WD My Passport
- Format your Western Digital My Passport external hard drive to FAT32 or ex-FAT format to transfer the data between a Mac and Windows system conveniently.
- Specific third-party systems, like Digital Camcorders and Sony PlayStation, need the drives to be formatted in either FAT32 or ex-FAT format to perform read and write operations. Check this before selecting a file format.
- FAT32 supports a maximum volume of up to 8 Terabytes and a maximum file size of up to 4 Gigabytes. Ex-FAT supports a maximum volume size of up to 1 Petabytesyte and maximum file size of 16 Exabytes.
- Due to the limitation of FAT32, it might affect Mac’s and PC’s performance. Therefore, it is better to choose ex-FAT instead.
- Like FAT32, ex-FAT is not a commonly used file system, due to which its support may vary among third-party devices.
- The corruption chances of the external drive increase if used on both Mac and PC systems regularly. So, please back up the data before sharing it between the two computers.
- Guide To Mac Hard Drive Recovery
- 4 Best Ways to Recover Deleted Files from External Hard Drive on Mac
- Recover Data From External Hard Drive That Isn’t Detected
- How to Repair Corrupted Hard Disk Without Formatting
Hey there. I did the APFS format, (I would recommend you change the Mac photo so that it highlights your preferred format-Ex-Fat, for those of us who are more inclined to use the image instructions) and I would like to change it to the Ex-Fat option instead, but that option is no longer listed since I formatted with APFS, is there anyway to get it back?
I appreciate your feedback. APFS and HFS are native to macOS hence it is shown that way. Regarding your ex-fat query, in my opinion, you should try booting your Mac into recovery mode and then format the drive with Disk Utility. Let me know if this works, otherwise you can try the terminal.
Hi, after erasing the data how do you reformat?
After erasing the data how do you reformat? Was that supposed to be automatic?
Leverage Disk Utility
Hi Vishal. I have a My Passport For Mac and I have backed up all the photos that are on the Passport. If I reformat the Passport for FAT or exFat, and then add those same photos from my Mac back onto the reformatted Passport, will I be able to access those same photos on both my Mac and my new PC (which runs on Windows 10 – 64 bit)?
Hello Ken, Yes. you will be able to access the files after doing the mentioned process. Thanks
I followed these clear steps exactly, and the process seemed to work. However, when I instruct the time machine to back up, it says “My Passport for Mac” is unavailable. Any more advice?
Hi. You should check whether your Time Machine is showing in the Disk Utility window For more details, read this blog: Read More Thanks.
Hello, I formatted the disk to ex-FAT format. I dragged a folder to the password and it just sits there. The folder size is 5.9GB.
Hi Stacy, Here you can use Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Mac and try Can’t Find Volume option to scan the drive. It will help you find and recover the folder through name.
I have a 2011 model My Passport which contains files from an old PC. I now want to add files from my Mac Book. I am a bit confused on how to do this because I do not want to lose my PC files. If I follow your instructions and use the “Erase” feature do I lose my old PC files? I look forward to your response.
The Erase operation will remove all the data instantly from the drive hence you need to backup your external hard drive before doing an “Erase”. You can transfer the contained files to Mac or a PC and then erase the external drive with ex-FAT, HFS or APFS. Ex-Fat will help you use the drive on Windows and Mac system easily. I hope this helps.
This worked for me. The ex-FAT was the way to go. Thank you for your help!
This is really helpful and informative. Thank you
Thanks Vishal, this guide is really clear and useful. Just bought A WD My Passport 1TB and want to format it for my Mac. However, I’m unsure as to whether I need to instal TimeMachine AFTER I format My Passport to my Mac? Or before? Any advice would be great. Many thanks.
Please go through this article to set up your drive for Time Machine Read More