By Bryce / Last Updated March 11, 2022

Can I reformat WD hard drive for Mac on PC?

“I have a 1TB WD Elements Portable USB 3.0 hard drive, formatted with NTFS and used with PC running Windows 10. Now, I need to use it with my Mac to save some files. I wonder whether I can just use it with Mac directly or need to reformat it for Mac? If the WD Elements drive needs reformating for Mac? If it is necessary to reformat the hard drive, what kind of file system should I reformat it as? Can I format it for Mac on PC?

Need to reformat WD hard drive for Mac

If you connect your WD hard drive without reformatting, you’ll be unable to copy files to the disk as Mac read only supports NTFS file system. In such a case, it’s necessary to reformat WD hard drive to make it compatible with Mac operating system.

Mac OS X is able to support HFS+, FAT32 and exFAT drives and Windows can support NTFS, FAT32 and exFAT. Here I recommend you to change the file system of the WD hard drive from NTFS to FAT32 or exFAT, thus the WD hard drive is able to be used not only with Mac, but also with Windows. And if there is a large file beyond 4GB in file size, exFAT file system will be the better choice as FAT32 is with file size limit.

Two ways for reformatting WD hard drive for Mac and PC

After realizing that you can reformat WD hard drive to FAT32 or exFAT to make it compatible with Mac OS X and still can be used under Windows, it is time to check out how to reformat WD hard drive for Mac and PC in Windows successfully. Here are two ways offered and you can choose based on your own situation.

Warning: Format will erase all data on the partition of WD hard drive; therefore you need to back up your important data at first.

Option A. Format WD hard drive via Diskpart

The first tool that occurs to your mind to format WD hard drive might be File Explorer. However, in File Explorer, if you right-click partition on the WD hard drive and choose “Format”, you’ll find that there is no exFAT option. At this time, you can format WD hard drive to exFAT via Diskpart. The steps are listed as follows:

1. Press “Windows + R” simultaneously, input “diskpart” in the pop-up box, and hit “Enter” to run Diskpart utility as administrator.

2. In Diskpart window, input the following commands and every command shall come with pressing Enter key.

▪ list disk
▪ select disk n, where “n” is the number of the WD hard drive
▪ list partition
▪ select partition m, where “m” is the WD hard drive partition number
▪ format fs=exfat

Format WD Hard Drive to exFAT

Note: If you want to format the WD drive to FAT32, replace "format fs=exfat" with "format fs=fat32".

After the partition on the WD hard drive has been formatted successfully, you can type “exit” to close up the window.

Option B. Format WD hard drive via professional format tool

It seems rather simple to employ Diskpart to reformat WD hard drive to exFAT or FAT 32 to make it compatible with Mac and PC, but you are likely to make mistakes even format a wrong partition when using Diskpart if you are unfamiliar with computer knowledge. And When the partition on the WD hard drive is larger than 32GB, you can’t reformat it with FAT32 file system within Diskpart.

At this point, you can try the comprehensive and powerful GUI format tool – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, which can work with Windows 10/8.1/8/7, XP, and Vista. It enables you to format WD hard drive, Seagate hard drive, Samsung hard drive, etc. with exFAT or FAT32, even the partition is beyond 32GB.

To reformat WD hard drive to exFAT or FAT32, free download and install the software in advance. And you should make sure that the WD hard drive can be detected by Windows as well. Then, refer to the guide.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Run the software. Right-click the partition on the WD hard drive and choose “Format Partition”.

Format WD Hard Drive for Mac

Step 2. Choose exFAT or FAT32 among the listed file systems on the drop-down menu. Here you can add “Partition Label” to the partition going to be formatted if you want.

Reformat WD Hard Drive for Mac

Step 3. Return to the main interface. Check the pending operations and click “Apply” to execute it.


After a while, the WD hard drive will be formatted to exFAT for Mac through AOMEI Partition Assistant. Then the file is able to be copied to it under Mac operating system.

✍ Notices:
✔ AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard allows you to convert NTFS WD external hard drive to FAT32 without data loss as well.
✔ It also can be applied to format SD card, USB flash drive for Mac and PC.


If your WD hard drive is formatted with NTFS, both Diskpart and AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard can help you to reformat the WD hard drive for Mac. You can choose one of the tools to format hard drive to exFAT as you like.

What’s more, AOMEI Partition is also featured with other functions like copy disk, migrate OS from MBR disk to MBR and so on. If you need to migrate OS from MRB disk to GPT, you need to upgrade it to Professional version.