3 best Windows software to read Mac formatted drive on PC

through Ivan Jenic

Troubleshooting expert

Passionate about all things Windows related and combined with his innate curiosity, Ivan deepened his understanding of this operating system, specializing in drivers and driver troubleshooting. When he’s not attacking … Read More

  • We all know Windows and Mac cater to different audiences, but sometimes you might need to read a Mac-formatted drive on a PC.
  • Check out the best programs that let you read HFS + drives on your Windows PC without formatting them.
  • Go ahead and eliminate the limits completely. Here’s how to install Windows 10 on a MAC!
  • Also visit our Software Hub and explore more creative tools that will undoubtedly improve your digital life.

read drives in Mac Windows format


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Obviously, Windows PCs and Mac computers are quite different. But aside from their many major differences, there are also smaller distinctions that separate Microsoft’s and Apple’s operating systems.

For example, Windows and Mac computers use different file systems to read hard drives and removable drives. As you may have heard, Windows uses NTFS file system while Mac uses HFS +.

Alternatively, most hard drives and USB drives are formatted with the FAT32 file system, which is recognized by both PCs and Macs.

This way, wider compatibility means more customers. However, some people may need to load an HFS + drive but don’t have a Mac nearby.

Do not format the disc yourself!

As soon as you connect a Mac formatted drive to a PC, you will be asked to format a drive. The following message will appear: You need to format the disc in drive X: before you can use it.

If you choose to format it will erase everything from the drive and you will end up with some empty space.

This is fine if you just want to use a free drive, but if you have data to access, click to cancel and use one of the following programs to make the hard drive readable.

In this case, we should seek help from a third party solution. There are a few useful programs that allow us to read HFS + drives on our Windows PCs without formatting them.

Check out our top picks below.

Paragon HFS + is a premium solution that comes with a price. With that price, however, comes a handful of useful features that give you everything you need to manage HFS + drives on Windows computers.

You can use it to move files and folders between the two devices.

Paragon HFS + also offers full integration with File Explorer, so you can open HFS + drive from virtually anywhere.

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The developer promises satisfactory performance which is another plus for this program.

Paragon HFS + is available for $49.95, but you can also use the free trial for 10 days. So, if you only need to do this action once, you can take advantage of the free trial and get the job done for free.

On the other hand, if you frequently have to manage HFS + disks on your computer, paying those fees is still a pretty good deal.

Paragon HFS +

Paragon HFS +

Effortlessly read and write files from hard drives, SSDs, or flash drives formatted macOS with HFS + for Windows from Paragon Software.

HFS Explorer is probably the program you are going to use for this action, especially if you have to read a Mac formatted disc once.

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The reason for using HFS Explorer is that, first and foremost, it is free unlike the other programs on this list. In addition, it is quite simple to use and does not require a lot of effort.

To access data from an HFS + drive with HFS Explorer, connect the drive, open the program, and navigate to To file > Load file system from device.

HFS Explorer will automatically recognize the drive and display its contents. From there, you can manage and export files and folders from the drive to your computer.

Keep in mind that HFS Explorer is a read-only program, so you cannot copy files from your computer to the hard drive.

If you want to have full control over your HFS + hard drive in Windows, you will need to try some of the paid solutions listed in this guide.

In addition, to be able to use HFS Explorer, you need the Java Runtime Environment installed on your computer.

?? Download HFS Explorer here

MacDrive is a solution for more advanced users who really need to get the most out of their HFS + drives.

It offers full integration with File Explorer, which makes HFS + drives extremely easy to use on Windows computers. Of course, the program is also read / write ready.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of this program is its ability to repair disks and manage partitions. With all of these options, Mediafour’s MacDrive gives users full control over HFS + drives in Windows.

All of these features are priced at $ 50 ($ 49.99 to be more precise). However, just like in the case of Paragon’s program, you can also take advantage of the free trial. With MacDrive, it only lasts 5 days.

?? Download Mediafour MacDrive here

Alternative solution: use iCloud

Additionally, you can open .page files on Windows 10 using iCloud. To do this, all you need is your AppleID and a browser.

Here’s how:

  1. Launch your browser and go to iCloud.com.
  2. Use your Apple ID to sign in. Now go to Pages> Settings> Download document.
  3. Select the pages you want to download and edit.
  4. You can then click on Tools and select Download a copy to get a copy of the respective files on your Windows 10 PC.
  5. To select Word to export the documents in Word format to your PC.

And this is how you can read documents in Mac format on your computer without downloading any software solution.

Here we are, we hope you will find these solutions satisfactory.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments section below.

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