Methods to Read Mac-Formatted Drives on Windows

Methods to Read Mac-Formatted Drives on Windows

Methods to Read Mac-Formatted Drives on Windows

Read Mac-Formatted Drives on Windows: Unfortunately, it’s not an easy process. Just connecting to a Mac will not work. Everything you need to know to do this job is here.

Why can’t Windows read the Mac?

Windows and macOS use different file systems. Although Windows uses the NTFS file system for their indoor drives, Apple replaced HFS + with Apple’s sequential file system (APFS) in early 2017. APFS is currently used on Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV. External hard drives and USB drives are usually configured with the Windows FAT32 file system for maximum compatibility. Most devices, including Macs, can read and write from FAT32 devices. There is another way to get your Mac to read NTFS disks.

All new Macs are configured with APFS. Older Macs can be formatted with the HFS + file system. By default, Windows cannot read any file system.

Shows how to access an APFS or HFS + Mac drive on Windows.

How to Read APFS on Windows

First, let’s look at how to read the new Apple File System in Windows. All of these applications can read Mac drives as well as updated Apple devices.

1. MacDrive

MacDrive has long been one of the go-to apps. The first release was released in 1996. If you are ready to spend your money, you do not have to look elsewhere.

The application runs on APFS and HFS + modules.

Unlike some of the options described below, MacDrive allows you to read and write data from Windows directly to Macs.

The application focuses on the newly designed disk management window. Works as a distributor for all Macs that are connected to Windows.

You can also view the APFS or HFS + disks directly in the File Explorer, allowing easy integration with other Windows operating systems.

Other useful features include the ability to create and share Mac disks directly from your computer, powerful disk repair capabilities, and powerful security tools.

Methods to Read Mac Drives on Windows

Paragon APFS for Windows

Paragon APFS for Windows is another paid application. MacDrive’s main competitor.

The application provides read and write access to APFS configured partitions, read and write access to compressed files and cloning, and read-only support for encrypted volumes.

It supports automatic disk placement on startup, but no MacDrive partitioning tool.

MacDrive has a significant advantage over the Paragon application. It is HFS + support. Paragon APFS for Windows supports drives formatted with APFS only. If you have older Mac drives that are still running HFS +, you will need to purchase Paragon HFS + for Windows separately. Therefore, MacDrive is a cheaper option.

UFS Explorer Standard Access

The third and final recommendation for reading APFS drives in Windows is UFS Explorer Standard Recovery. Again, this is a paid option. The price of the application is € 21.95.

UFS Explorer Standard Recovery is the most flexible application on this list. It can read two types of interest (APFS and HFS +) and NTFS, FAT, FAT32, exfat, SGI XFS, Linux JFS, Unix / BSD, UFS / UFS2 and VMware VMFS.

Therefore, this is the choice of choice if you switch between different operating systems during the day.

UFS Explorer Standard Recovery comes standard with RAID support. The application has a built-in RAID builder so you can customize it for the table.

There is a free version of the application with no time limit, but it can copy files smaller than 256KB.

Also know how to Fix Connected to Wi-Fi, But No Internet Access Issue in Window here.

How to Read HFS+ on Windows

If HFS + is running on a Mac drive, use one of these three methods instead.

1. Install the Apple HFS + driver

If you only need read access, you can install the Apple HFS + driver for Windows. Make sure you remove Paragon or MacDrive before continuing.

Download the appropriate Windows driver package, and follow these steps:

Copy the ApplsHFS.sys and AppleMNT.sys files to the C: \ Windows \ System32 \ drivers
Merge the Add_AppleHFS.reg file into the Windows registry.
Restart your system.

The above video also illustrates the process.

How to connect Mac-Formatted Drives on Windows

After restarting, the drive that is configured on your Mac will appear on [This PC]. This method only allows read access to the drive. If you would like to edit or delete the file, try one of the following alternatives:

Paragon HFS+ for Windows

Paragon HFS + for Windows is a paid application, but it has additional features.

Unlike HFSExplorer, Paragon HFS + for Windows provides full read / write access to Mac drives and promises high performance. Additionally, it integrates the HFS + file system with Windows Explorer and Windows File Explorer. All Windows programs can read or write to the Mac drive.

The app costs $ 19.95 but also offers a free 10 day trial. If you only need to recover files from the drive, enough time to install this file system driver and copy and uninstall the files.

Java is not required for Paragon HFS + to work.


HFSExplorer is completely free. With it, you can access your Mac file system from Windows without having to pay 10 minutes. With the advent of APFS, developers haven’t been updated since October 2015, but will work on older systems.

HFSExplorer requires Java. It is usually recommended that you do not install Java, but if you do not want to spend money, you need it here. You also need to run the application as an administrator.

This tool is easy to use. Connect the Mac with formatting to the Windows system, open HFSExplorer, and click File> Upload file system from the device. HFSExplorer can automatically search for and open devices connected to the HFS + file system. You can then export the files from the HFSExplorer window to the Windows drive.

HFSExplorer is read-only, so you cannot modify or delete files on your Mac. It is not integrated with Windows File Explorer. The file can be used in the HFSExplorer application and must be copied to another location.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.