Do you constantly switch between a Mac and Windows and find it harder to use the same external drive on two devices? Rest assured you are not alone in this mess. Both Windows and Mac – two most popular computer operating systems – use different file format. While Windows uses NTFS and FAT32 file format, Mac uses APFS (Apple File System). Most of the external drives now come pre-formatted as FAT32 for better compatibility. Mac can read and write to FAT32 drives – the most common file format for many external drives – but it can not read and write NTFS. Similarly, if you format your external drive to APFS, then you can not use that drive on Windows without formatting back to NTFS or FAT32.
Formatting a drive also means that you will be losing all your data which is a no-no for all of us. So, if you have a drive formatted in APFS and want to use on Windows without formatting, then you have come to the right place. In this article, I’ll show you how to read and write Mac-formatted APFS drives on Windows computers.
Read Mac Formatted APFS on Windows
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How to Read Mac Formatted APFS Drive on Windows
You can not read or write an APFS drive on Windows without taking any help from third-party software programmes.
Paragon APFS for Windows
Paragon is one of the most popular drive management software company that generally deals with drive compatibility with most OSs. It has many products under its belt, and APFS for Windows is one of them. By using this tool, you can seamlessly read and write any APFS formatted drive on your Windows PC without any hassle.
The tool is only designed to handle one task only, and it does that efficiently. The tool is very simple to use with some advanced features like auto-mount at startup which let you mount and connected APFS drive without needing to do it manually.
The tool is not free though, if you want to use Paragon APFS for Windows, then you have to pay a one-time subscription fee of $50.
MacDrive is another popular tool for reading and writing APFS drive on Windows. Just like Paragon APFs for Windows, you can seamlessly write and read APFS formatted drives without even opening the tool. It has all the features as the PAragon does with one extra feature and that is the support for HFS+ drives. Mac for a long time had used HFS+ as its file system, and many old Macs still uses this format. If you have both APFS drive and HFS+ drives, then you should consider this tool above the Paragon APFS tool. MacDrive also cost the same $49.
Which one to Choose?
So these were the two best tools for Windows user to access Apple formatted drives on Windows. In my opinion, MacDrive provides more value for money but don’t believe me yet. Both tools come with a free trial period. You should take the trail and see for yourself.
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