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Need help to read and write external drives on both Mac and Windows!

If an external hard disk is formatted using MS Windows-based system, then that HD can be used only to read on MacBook but can't be used to write the data. The same is when HD is formatted in Mac, it cant be used in the MS Windows system. Is there a way by which we can format the HD to any specific FS so that it can be used in both Mac & Windows-based systems for Read & Write data?

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Amanda Wong

Answered on Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Yes, there are file systems that are compatible with both Mac and Windows, you can format the external hard drive with FAT32 or exFAT file system, then you can use the drive on both Mac and Windows in read-and-write mode.

If you are using the external hard drive for both Mac and Windows, you should not format the drive to either macOS-exclusive file systems such as Mac OS Extended and APFS, or Windows-only file format such as NTFS

If you already have an NTFS drive and want to access it on Mac, you can use an NTFS driver for Mac such as iBoysoft NTFS for Mac to enable you to write NTFS drive on Mac. Similarly, there is third-party software that helps to write APFS drives on Windows.

If it is a new external hard drive, or there is no important data on it, you can choose to format the drive on either Windows or Mac and choose FAT32 or exFAT as the file system. For more detailed info, you can read how to format the external hard drive for Mac and Windows.

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