| |

Formatting Western Digital Hard Drives on Mac Made Easy: A Foolproof Guide

Are you facing issues connecting your external hard drive to your Mac device? This often happens due to the differences in file format between Windows and Mac systems. People search for how to make Western Digital elements compatible with Mac to ensure no issue using their external HDD. If you have an HDD incompatible with a Mac, transferring files from one type of computer to another consistently will be a problem. To keep your work flawless and smooth, it is better to format your HDDs into formats supported by all operating systems. 

Unlocking an external hard drive in Mac can be useful to access and manage its data. Whether password-protected or encrypted, the process requires a few simple steps. You may run into trouble if your hard drive does not have a facility to retrieve forgotten passwords. We often forget our external hard drive password. This guide will explain how to format a WD hard drive and unlock a WD hard drive for Mac.

Formatting a WD Hard Drive for Mac

You must format it correctly if you own a WD hard drive and want to use it with your Mac. Formatting the WD hard drive for Mac ensures compatibility and allows you to optimize its performance on your Mac system. People search for how to make Western Digital elements compatible with Mac to ensure no issue using their external HDD. If you have an HDD incompatible with a Mac, transferring files from one type of computer to another consistently will be a problem. 

Compatibility considerations between WD hard drives and Mac

Western Digital Hard Drive cannot work on Mac computers by default due to their format in NTFS. Mac does not support the NTFS format, so you won’t be able to access the hard drive. Reading the hard drive becomes an issue due to differences in formats. You need first to reformat the hard drive into a supported format to use it universally across your entire device. 

Standard Formats of Western Digital Hard Drive

The most common format in Western Digital hard drives is the NTFS format which Mac does not support. You must check the formats before purchasing an external hard drive, as not all devices support all formats. You can find hard drives in FAT32 and ExFAT formats, as these two are widely supported by various operating systems and devices. 

How to make Western Digital Hard Drives Compatible with Mac?

Western Digital Hard Drives are quite popular among tech users. More people prefer to purchase WD hard drives because of their reliability. However, Windows being the more popular operating system, the WD hard drives generally come with NTFS format. You can only use it on your Mac by reformatting them to some formats like Journaled, ExFAT, or FAR32. 

Step-by-step guide on formatting a WD hard drive for Mac

Most Western Digital hard drives don’t work natively on Mac Os-powered devices because of the differences in the operating systems. If you want to get rid of this hurdle, you must format the hard disk into a format that Mac supports. Now you may ask how to format Western Digital Hard Drives for Mac. Well, it is not a big deal. You can do it across different devices to be used with cross-platform usage.

What is the Best Format of Western Digital Hard Drives for Mac?

Choosing the perfect format is important when reforming your Western Digital hard drive. There are lots of formats with their own pros and cons. If you choose the ExFat system, it has a limited oversize of partitions; in the case of FAT32, it is not widely found, and Journaled format will only work on Mac OS-powered devices and nowhere else. You need to understand your requirement to choose the perfect format. 

If you are looking for a hard drive that matches Mac OS, then you should always go for Jornaled formats as they have little to no limitations for file size and partitions. 

Launching Disk Utility

  • Connect the WD hard drive to your Mac using a USB or Thunderbolt cable.
  • Open Finder by clicking on the blue face icon in the Dock.
  • Click on the “Go” menu at the top of the screen and select “Utilities.”
  • Double-click “Disk Utility” in the Utilities folder to launch the application.
  • Once Disk Utility opens, you will see a list of all connected storage devices on the left panel.
  • Select your WD hard drive from the list.

Choose formatting option

When formatting a WD hard drive for Mac, it is important to consider the optimal formatting option. Macs typically support multiple formats such as APFS, Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and ExFAT. APFS is recommended for macOS High Sierra and later versions, providing encryption and efficient storage management. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) is compatible with older versions of macOS. ExFAT is an option for cross-platform compatibility with Windows. Choose wisely based on your needs.

Confirm the formatting Process

To confirm the formatting process when formatting a WD hard drive for Mac, follow these steps:

  • Connect the WD hard drive to your Mac using a USB or Thunderbolt cable.
  • Open the Disk Utility application, which can be found in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder.
  • Select your WD hard drive from the left panel in Disk Utility.
  • Click on the Erase tab.
  • Choose the desired format for your WD hard drive (such as APFS, Mac OS Extended, or ExFAT).
  • Name your WD hard drive and ensure the scheme is set to GUID Partition Map.
  • Finally, click the Erase button to confirm and initiate the formatting process. It may take some time, depending on the size of the hard drive.
  • Remember to back up any important data before formatting your WD hard drive, as the process will erase all existing data.

Ejecting the WD hard drive

  • Ensure all file transfers or other operations with the hard drive are complete.
  • Locate the WD hard drive icon on your Mac desktop or in the Finder sidebar.
  • Right-click (or control-click) on the icon to open the contextual menu.
  • Select “Eject” or “Unmount” from the menu, which will safely disconnect the drive from your Mac.
  • Wait for the “WD hard drive” icon to disappear from the desktop or Finder sidebar.
  • Once the icon has vanished, unplugging the USB or Thunderbolt cable from the Mac and the WD hard drive is safe.

Formatting a WD Hard Drive for Mac in short

  • Firstly, you need to connect your hard drive to your PC and wait for a while to let the system recognize and mount the drive. Once the hard drive is recognized, you can see a disk-shaped icon on your desktop.
  • Now open the finder option from the Mac Os dock. Now click on utilities. You can see applications/utilities on the screen and go to the utility option and select disk utility application.
  • After opening Disk Utility, select the hard drive you wish to format connected to your computer.
  • Click on the Erase option and find a dialogue box. Now you have to customize it in your preferred format. Set the new name of the external drive as per your requirements. 
  • Now click the erase option, and your disk will be formatted within seconds.

Unlocking an External WD Hard Drive on Mac

You can easily and simply use WD Disk Utilities on Mac to unlock an external hard drive. The program is compatible with macOS 11 Big Sur, macOS 12 Monterey, macOS 10.15 Catalina, and 10.14 Mojave. To apply this method to unlock an external hard drive on Mac, you must close the current version of the hard drive. You can again use your WD hard drive by deleting it, but your data will be lost. Removing data from an encrypted drive is impossible after removing it. 

You should only remove your locked external hard drive if the stored data is not too critical and you need to use your external hard drive anyway. 

You may use Bitlocker, which protects your data from pirates on every HDD. You need the drive’s password only at the time of migration from one computer to another or from one slot to another. Unlocking your external hard drive with keeping all your data intact is impossible. You must format your hard drive from the Boot menu during startup to unlock it. 

Factors Influencing the Need for Unlocking

Several factors can influence the need for unlocking an external hard drive in Mac. Encryption and password protection are common security measures that users implement to safeguard their data. If an external hard drive is encrypted or password-protected, it may require unlocking before accessing the stored information. Other factors that can influence the need for unlocking include forgotten passwords, system updates that affect compatibility, or accidental locking. In such cases, users may need to follow specific steps or use specialized software to unlock the external hard drive and regain access to their files on a Mac system.

Steps to Unlock WD Hard Drive in Mac

Unlocking an external hard drive on a Mac is a relatively simple process that can be done in a few steps. Whether the drive is encrypted or requires a password, the following guide outlines the steps to unlock your external hard drive.

  • Connect the external hard drive to your Mac using the appropriate cable, USB, Thunderbolt, or FireWire.
  • Your Mac will likely prompt you to enter the unlocking password if the drive is encrypted. Type in the correct password to unlock the drive. If you have forgotten the password, you may need to use data recovery software or contact the manufacturer for assistance.
  • If the drive requires a password, it may not prompt you automatically. In that case, go to the “Finder” menu on your Mac and select “Preferences.” Under the “General” tab, ensure the “External disks” option is checked. This ensures that external disks are shown on your desktop.
  • Once your external hard drive appears on the desktop, double-click its icon to open it. You may then be prompted to enter a password. Type in the required password and hit enter to unlock the drive.
  • If the above steps do not work or you encounter any issues, you can repair the external hard drive through the Disk Utility application on your Mac. Open “Disk Utility” from the “Utilities” folder within the “Applications” folder. Select your external hard drive from the list, click the “First Aid” tab, then click “Run” to repair errors.

How to Get Rid of a Lost HDD?

An intermediary password-based authentication system never protects a password-protected hard drive but is frequently encrypted at the block level. The data/files and operating system are secured through this method. You can use a powerful symmetric-key encryption method such as AES-256 for block-level encryption. The symmetric key is usually derived from the password during the startup prompt. If you forget the password, there is no way to recover it. You’ll not get options like “change my password” or “boot from a rescue disk to disable all passwords.” 

  • The first step is to ensure that the lost HDD contains no sensitive or personal data. If it does, take appropriate measures to protect your data.
  • If the HDD is physically lost, report it to the local authorities and provide them with any necessary information.
  • If you suspect someone may have found and is using the lost HDD, change your passwords for any accounts stored on the drive to prevent unauthorized access.
  • If you have a backup of the data on the lost HDD, restore it onto a new drive to recover the information.
  • Consider implementing security measures such as remote wipes or encryption on your future storage devices to protect data in case of loss or theft.

What To Do if Your Hard Drive is Locked? Can You Erase or Bypass a Password?

Encryption is the reason behind your external hard drive getting locked. You cannot get around encryption by erasing or skipping the password, as the password is a key to either the disk’s encryption or the decryption of the HDD used for the drive’s encryption. You must know how the encryption is implemented in your drive. You should always check if your drive is only password protected as it is the most ineffective security. 

Other Ways to Unlock External Hard Drives on Mac

First, connect the external hard drive to your Mac using the appropriate cable, USB, Thunderbolt, or FireWire. If the drive is encrypted, the Mac will likely prompt you to enter the unlocking password. Type in the correct password to unlock the drive. If the drive requires a password, it may not prompt you automatically. In that case, go to the “Finder” menu on your Mac and select “Preferences.” Under the “General” tab, ensure the “External disks” option is checked. When you see the hard drive on the desktop screen, double-click its icon to open it. You may then be prompted to enter a password. Type in the required password and hit enter to unlock the drive. If none of the steps work, you can repair the external hard drive through the Disk Utility application on your Mac. Open “Disk Utility” from the “Utilities” folder within the “Applications” folder. Select your external hard drive from the list, click the “First Aid” tab, then click “Run” to repair errors.

How to Unlock an External Hard Drive Without a Password?

You must erase the older version of your external hard drive before using the drive once more. This situation demands formatting the drive on your computer to remove the password. 

How to Disable the External Hard Drive Lock?

Find the disable option under Settings> Drive Settings> Security. Enter your current password to get the “Remove Security” option. Open your drive’s WD Security, then unlock your drive. You can choose to disable security after this. 

Conclusion

Formatting a Western Digital hard drive for Mac is straightforward, ensuring compatibility and optimal performance. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily format your WD hard drive for Mac’s native file system. Remember to back up any critical data before formatting, as the process erases all data on the drive. Additionally, be cautious when selecting the appropriate file system, such as APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled), depending on your preferences and compatibility needs. By properly formatting your Western Digital hard drive, you can seamlessly integrate it into your Mac environment and enjoy efficient data storage and retrieval.

On the other hand, learning to unlock an external hard drive on a Mac is a relatively simple process. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your external hard drive is accessible and ready for use. Remember to check for any software updates or compatibility issues, as these can sometimes cause difficulties unlocking the hard drive. With the proper knowledge and troubleshooting, you can unlock your external hard drive and access your valuable data.

Image Reference>Google

https://support.apple.com/en-in/guide/disk-utility/dskutl14079/mac. (n.d.). Erase and reformat a storage device in Disk Utility on Mac . https://support.apple.com/en-in/guide/disk-utility/dskutl14079/mac.

https://www.amazon.in/Western-Digital-Purple-Surveillance-Internal/dp/B09N9XK7V4. (n.d.). Western Digital 2TB WD Purple Surveillance Internal Hard Drive HDD – SATA 6 Gb/s, 256 MB Cache, 3.5″ – WD22PURZ . https://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Purple-Surveillance-Internal/dp/B09N9XK7V4. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Purple-Surveillance-Internal/dp/B09N9XK7V4.

https://www.seagate.com/us/en/support/kb/unlock-drive-for-mac-cannot-be-opened-because-it-may-be-damaged/. (n.d.). Unlock Drive for Mac can’t be opened because it may be damaged . https://www.seagate.com/us/en/support/kb/unlock-drive-for-mac-cannot-be-opened-because-it-may-be-damaged/. Retrieved from https://www.seagate.com/in/en/support/kb/unlock-drive-for-mac-cannot-be-opened-because-it-may-be-damaged/.

Western Digital Updates “My Passport” Hard Drive Line With Up to 5TB Storage . (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.macrumors.com/2019/09/04/western-digital-my-passport-hard-drives/. 

Similar Posts