You have an external hard drive for Mac with tons of important data. Lately, you have given your MacBook for repairs and are in urgent need to access data. Just then you see a spare Windows laptop and plug your Mac hard drive into it, what would happen?
Although, you will be able to physically connect it to your Windows laptop or desktop won’t be able to read it. Yes! There are some modern external hard disk drives that can read both formats, but it could be that you didn’t invest in one.
What would you do now? How would you read a Mac-formatted drive on your Windows machine? Read On!
How To Read Mac Drives on Windows
To read Mac drive on a Windows laptop or desktop, we are going to even have a look at scenarios where you might be wanting to access a variety of file systems i.e. APFS, HFS, HFS+, and many others. Or, if your aim is to access older file systems (i.e. prior to APFS).
– Paragon APFS for Windows
The APFS or Apple File System was introduced in 2017 and has ever since been a part of macOS, Apple devices, and iOS. For the scenario we mentioned above, where you need to access a Mac-formatted HDD, flash drive, or SSD on APFS for Windows by Paragon Software. Here’s how it works –
Price: US$ 49.95
How Does Paragon APFS for Windows Work?
1. Download, install and run APFS for Windows by Paragon
2. Plug-in APFS drive on your Windows PC
3. Your drive will now show up in Explorer
MacDrive has been a spectacular way to read Mac-formatted drives on Windows. Not just from now but, from the last 20 years or so. Something that tells you how simple it is, is the very fact that it adds up to your PC just as any other drive. What’s even better? The application even lets you create, partition, and repair Mac disks. Another great aspect of MacDrive is that it works equally well with both HFS+ as well as the latest APFS drives.
Free Trial: 5 Days
Price: Licenses start at US$ 49.99
Where Does MacDrive Gain An Edge Over Its Competitors?
While most of us have Macs running APFS, what if you have older Macs that are still running HFS+. You will have to invest in a separate version that supports HFS+. That’s where MacDrive gains an edge.
How Does MacDrive for Windows Works?
2. Plugin your Mac disk into your Windows computer
3. Think that you will have to run MacDrive like other programs? You won’t need to do that. Mac drives will now appear as normal drives on your computer. You have the choice to either access Mac disks right from your computer’s desktop or from any of your desired applications.
Last but not the least, we have HFSExplorer, which can help you read Mac drives on Windows for free. It can read HFS, HFS+, and HFSX file systems. Remember the scenario, where we talked about working on Macs with file systems older than APFS (Macs with file systems prior to 2017)? HFSExplorer is the tool you need.
How To Use It On Windows?
Simply download the installer and it will place a shortcut to HFSExplofrer inside its start menu folder from where it can be accessed.
Isn’t exFAT The Way To Go?
You have taken off all that important data from a Mac-formatted drive and have the knowledge that exFAT has full read and write support for both Mac and Windows OS. Bringing in the financial angle, you might also wonder “Why need to spend on third-party software when things can be done for free?”
Quite a legit thought! But, before you dash ahead and choose exFAT as a file system, let us tell you, you are going to lose all your files on the Mac drive you’ve selected. So, unless your Mac drive consists of unimportant files and folders, you shouldn’t even think of taking this step.
Many of us love juggling with separate operating systems. Let’s say some of your family members are die-hard Windows fans whereas the others swear by Mac, so how would you share data? We hope that this post answers this well. Have a faster, cheaper, and better way to read Mac drives on Windows PC, we are all ears, do drop it down in the comments section below.