Western Digital’s My Passport is one of the most popular external hard drives. It’s made for a PC. But what about putting it on your Mac?
In this article you’ll find the answers to those working with Mac questions.
Does it work? Is it compatible with your Mac and the key MacOS operating system releases?
Will it work with Time Machine?
What about the WD Discovery software on your My Passport. Can you use that on Mac?
Browse the Table of Contents. And read on for the answers to your key burning questions.
Does My Passport Work With Mac?
Yes. Although Western Digital’s Passport drive is made to work on a Windows PC. Within a few minutes using Disk Utility on your Mac. You can reformat your WD My Passport drive. And use this hard drive perfectly well on your Mac computer.
After that you can use it just like the WD My Passport for Mac drive on a Mac.
The same is true of the My Passport Ultra drive. As shipped from Western Digital it’s formatted to work on Windows. But you can easily format it on your Mac and the drive will work just like a My Passport Ultra for Mac drive.
You can use both as a Mac hard drive.
CLICK HERE: To Read A Review On WD My Passport For Mac
Is WD My Passport Compatible With Mac?
Yes. Western Digital’s My Passport is compatible with your Mac.
Your Mac can use virtually any external hard drive. But, there are a few things you need to do to make it compatible with your Mac.
First, you’ve a SuperSpeed USB drive. And a cable with a USB type A connector shipped in the box with the Passport drive.
This means that if you have a modern Mac with USB C ports. You’ll need a USB A to USB C adaptor cable to change the cable end. So that you can plug the drive into your Mac computer’s USB port.
After that you’ll need to change the default file system on the drive to one compatible with your Mac.
You simply go into Disk Utility to format this Windows NTFS drive for your Mac.
And then you can use as a Mac hard drive.
Formatting means you can then use your WD My Passport to store an Apple Time Machine backup of your Mac.
Or as a place to store your photos, documents, music or any file from your Mac. Find out how to format WD My Passport for your Mac by visiting this article.
What About An NTFS Driver To Make My Passport Hard Drive Compatible With Mac?
You have an alternative to reformatting your Passport hard drive. Use 3rd party driver software.
You would buy this software and run it on your Mac. The driver software translates the NTFS file system format of your WD hard drive. Into calls your Mac understands.
The software sits between your Mac and your WD drive allowing you to edit and change files on the drive. Or copy and paste these files to your Mac for editing.
The files on the WD My Passport stay in NTFS format. Which makes it convenient if you’re sharing files between a Windows PC and a Mac.
But using driver software means you can’t use your WD Passport drive with Time Machine for a backup of your Mac.
Because Time Machine cannot use an NTFS windows external hard drive to backup to.
Does My Passport’s WD Discovery Software Work With Mac?
The version of WD Discovery installed on the WD Passport hard drive is made for a Windows PC only.
As is the WD Security software installed on the drive.
You can download Mac compatible version of the WD drive utilities. WD Security and Discovery software for your Mac. They are available direct on the Western Digital site from their support pages.
Just be sure to download a version of the software that’s compatible. Check the software works on the operating system version your Mac runs.
Is WD My Passport Compatible With MacBook Pro Or MacBook Air?
Yes, your Passport drive is compatible with the Mac devices MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.
You’ll need a USB A to USB C adaptor for your modern MacBook Pro and Air.
Older MacBooks have USB type A ports. You can plug the USB cable that ships with the drive straight into your Mac.
But beware on the oldest MacBooks with USB 2.0 ports on them. You power this WD Passport portable storage from the USB port.
And your old Mac may struggle to power this USB 3.2 gen 2 drive from its USB port. You may need USB hub with independent power.
Is WD My Passport Compatible With Catalina, Big Sur and Monterey?
Even though Western Digital’s My Passport hard drive ships NTFS formatted. It is compatible with most Mac operating systems.
You can put your your Passport drive on MacOS Catalina. Or MacOS Big Sur and MacOS Monterey, after formatting.
The Mac operating system is open in the way it views devices on a USB port.
Any external drive in the right format it’ll see as a drive you as a Mac user can access and use.
Does WD My Passport Work With Time Machine?
Yes, your My Passport can work with Time Machine. And you can make it compatible with Time Machine.
When your Mac is running Mac OS Ventura your My Passport is formatted at the same time you set it up for Time Machine.
In earlier Mac OS releases like Monterey you’ll first need to reformat your WD My Passport. And put it into a format that works and is compatible with Time Machine.
From MacOS Big Sur and later Mac operating systems. You can format My Passport in Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
Pick Mac OS Extended Journaled for Macs running Mac OS Catalina or earlier. As that’s the format that is compatible.
Then you connect up your WD My Passport hard drive to Apple Time Machine.
You’ll find out how in the article on the site. ‘WD My Passport Time Machine (Set Up, How To Use And More)‘. Just click the linked text.
Does My Passport Hard Drive Work With Apple?
Yes it does. You can reformat your My Passport external hard drive with Disk Utility. And have your drive work with your Apple devices.
Apple devices like the iMac, Mac Mini, MacBook Pro or Air will work fine.
As your WD My Passport drive comes with a USB type A cable in the box. You’ll need a USB type C cable or adaptor to connect to modern Macs with USB C ports.
Your iPhone or iPad, iPad Pro. Or iPod Touch won’t connect directly to this Passport external drive right now. Because the ports on these Apple devices can’t provide the power your My Passport needs.
You’ll need the right cable. Plus an independently powered USB hub. Plus your My Passport must be already formatted to ExFAT or APFS. Then you can use the Files or Photos app to browse the files on the drive. So, you can import them to your device.
Otherwise format your My Passport drive for Time Machine. Then you can backup your Apple devices like your iPad to your Mac.
Your Apple watch backs up to your iPhone. Then you can backup your iPhone to your Mac. And then use your WD hard drive as the Time Machine backup destination.
In this article you found the answers to some of those Western Digital’s My Passport running on Mac questions.
We hope that you found this article helpful.
While you’re here, do feel free to browse some of the other WD My Passport related articles on the site.
About Paul Gregory
I’ve been a system administrator for various corporates for 15 years. And as admin I’ve helped many with their Mac’s and there many Apple devices.
I’m excited by watching users, armed with a little knowledge take control of their Mac’s and their files. And why not?
When I’m not at work or working on the site I like to chill with few beers. And watch a bit of car racing. From Formula 1 to stock car racing. The competition is my thing.