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How to Format WD Passport for Mac and PC (3 Ways)

Updated by Cedric on Apr 16, 2021
Written by Brithny on Feb 05, 2020
  1. Solution 1. Format WD My Passport with Software (FREE)
  2. Solution 2. Using Windows File Explorer to format WD
  3. Solution 3. Format WD My Passport on Mac

Can I Use WD My Passport 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. 

Overview of WD My Passport File System on Windows and Mac

Devices NTFS HFS/APFS FAT exFAT
Windows PC
Mac PC

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 format WD My Passport for Mac.  Here are three ways to format a WD My Passport for Mac, follow any one of them to convert to FAT or exFAT.

1 - Format WD My Passport in Windows Platform (Using Free Software)

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 free or use built-in applications Windows. 

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.

Follow the details below to convert WD My Passport to format WD Passport for Mac.

  • Right-click the external drive or USB you intend to format and choose "Format".
  • Set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4), and Cluster size, then click "OK".
  • Click "OK" to continue.
  • Click the "Execute Operation" button and click "Apply" to format the hard drive partition.

2 - Format WD My Passport Using File Explorer in Windows Platform

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.

format  wd my passport to fat32 or exfat using file explorer

3 - 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".

format wd passport on mac -1

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".

format wd my passport on mac -2

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. If you lost data after formatting your WD HDD on Mac, you can run EaseUS Mac data recovery software to get data back.

How to Use WD My Passport for Mac

  • Plug the wall/power bar and let power enter it.
  • Plug one end of the USB cable into the drive and the other end in your system. If you have a USB 3.0 port on your system, use it to gain a higher transfer speed.
  • Navigate to "My Machine" to see the new hard disk. It's going to be called "My Book".
  • Double-click it and select "Create WD Applications". Then, you'll see "WD Apps for Mac".
  • Only follow the Program Setup prompts. Don't stray from them and tamper with instructions you don't understand.
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WD My Passport Ultra not detected

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. 

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How to Convert exFAT to NTFS/FAT/FAT32?

Here the best exFAT to NTFS converter software & exFAT to FAT32 converter software can help format exFAT to NTFS and convert exFAT to FAT32 without losing data.

convert exFAT to NTFS/FAT/FAT32

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 backup and recovery software which allows you to directly back up target data with simple steps.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose "File", "Disk/partition" or "OS" for different backup purpose.

back up data with easeus todo backup

Step 2. Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then click "Browse" to select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Product News
EaseUS Todo Backup now supports users to back up files to the cloud. All you need to do is sign up with an EaseUS account, then you could enjoy a large cloud storage space. More advantages of backing up to the cloud include accessing backup files anytime and anywhere, saving file copies offsite, so you don't need to worry about virus attacks or computer failures, and easier and faster backup and recovery operations.
back up data with easeus todo backup

Step 3. Click "Save" to start the data backup process.

Conclusion

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, EaseUS partition tool stands out for its convenience and easiness. It's always your best choice. If you still have questions, you can contact us through Live Chat or email. 

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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Written by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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