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How to View Mac Files on a Windows PC

Even though OS X can read Windows formatted hard drives normally, the converse is still not true, even with Windows 10. Of course, OS X cannot write to a Windows formatted drive, but at least it can read disk contents. and you can copy the data to your Mac computer.

Windows has absolutely no support for the Mac Hard Drive File Format (HFS +). This means that if you connect a Mac formatted drive to Windows, you just get an empty drive letter and a message asking you to format the drive.

If you click Cancel, you will simply receive a message that the volume does not contain the recognized file system.

I already wrote that if your external USB drive is not recognized by Windows, you may have to use the exFAT file format, which is supported by both Windows and Mac, however this will require formatting the drive and copying all data back to.

Another solution is to enable file sharing on your Mac and thus access files from Windows, but this will require a decent setup. So are there any other options? Fortunately, yes. If you use Mac and PC heavily, it might be worth spending some money on a program called MacDrive.


MacDrive. is a great program that allows you to use Mac formatted drives on your Windows PC just like a regular drive. Using the program, you can read and write data to HFS + disks just like a regular Windows formatted disk.

Then you can unplug the drive from Windows, plug it into your Mac, and access everything normally. If you have to copy data between Mac and PC quite often, this program is a great investment.

The standard version is $ 49 and the Pro version is $ 69. You can see the difference between the two versions. here. The standard version was more than enough for me. If you need to mount Mac formatted RAID sets on your PC, or create Mac ISOs on Windows, then the Pro version is required.

You can try it out with a five-day free trial. After installing it, you will have to restart your Windows computer. After you log into Windows again, everything should be in order automatically. If you connect a Mac formatted drive to your computer, it immediately appears in File Explorer with a small Apple icon.

If you double-click the drive, it will open like a regular Windows drive. If there is any file designed for Mac, an apple icon will also be displayed next to it.

You can now copy data from a Mac formatted drive to a Windows PC and vice versa. It works fine and I haven’t encountered any problem. I was able to copy DMG files to my Windows PC and EXE files to Mac without any problem.

If you open the MacDrive. app, you will see that the home screen lists the Mac drives that the program has already recognized for you.

Click on the disc and you will be presented with several options, such as open the disc, eject it, get a size breakdown, and check for errors.

I really love that Disk Aware is part of this program because it allows you to quickly see what is occupying the most space on your hard drive, just like TreeSize for Windows does.

MacDrive. also has other tools that you can see at the top: Create, Repair, Burn, etc. Using Repair, you can connect your Mac drive to your Windows PC and fix it so you can get access to data. This is a great tool if you are a PC specialist and someone brings you a Mac formatted hard drive that is damaged or unreadable by OS X. You can use Mac Drive to try to repair it and access data right on your PC.

On the Create tab, you can create, delete, or format partitions on your Mac drive. Burn tab lets you burn CD / DVD for Mac.

Overall, this is a great program that is well worth the investment if you regularly use both operating systems. There is no other program that lets you access your Mac files on your PC as easily and seamlessly as MacDrive. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!

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