How to Format a WD hard drive to exFAT or FAT32 File System

A Western Digital external hard drive can be used on both Windows and macOS. This is useful if a drive is being used under both Operating System (OS) to move files between the two environments. Most WD Drives come formatted in the NTFS (Windows) or HFS+ (macOS) format.

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For a hard drive to be able to be read from and written to on both a Windows and macOS computer, it must be formatted to ExFAT or FAT32 file format. FAT32 has several limitations, including a 4 GB per-file limit. This is a file system limitation that affects both macOS's and Window's, and the only workaround is to format the drive to exFAT. For more information about what these limitations are please see Answer ID 1287: File and partition size limitations using the FAT32 file system (Windows and Mac).

The easiest way to format the drive to FAT32 or ExFAT is by using macOS's built-in Disk Utility for FAT32, or both macOS and Windows' built-in tools, Disk Utility or Disk Management respectively for exFAT.

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