The main reason you want an external hard drive is to save your files to it.
But what if you don’t know how?
Then let this article point the way.
And in 5 simple steps – with images. You’ll know how to add your files to your Elements external drive. From your Mac, MacBook Pro or Air.
How To Add Files To WD Elements Mac
1. Open a Finder window on your Mac. Browse to your file(s).
2. Double click on your WD Elements drive icon to open its Finder window.
3. Highlight the file(s) you want to add. Right click and pick copy from the menu.
4. Move to the Finder window on your Elements hard drive. Right click Paste.
5. Wait for the data to move across. Your file or files are now added to your Elements external hard drive.
Before You Can Add Files To Your Elements Hard Drive From Your Mac
Your Western Digital Elements external hard drive comes NTFS formatted.
What does that mean?
It means as shipped your portable hard drive. Or your desktop hard drive comes ready to plug and play on a Windows PC.
You have a PC based file system on your drive.
As an NTFS drive with a PC file system. You can plug this WD hard drive into your Mac’s USB port. After all it’s a USB drive.
Your Mac will see your Elements external hard drive connected. You’ll see a drive icon on your Mac’s desktop. You can even look at any files on there put on by a PC.
But your Mac computer can’t add any files to an NTFS drive.
What Can You Do To Add Files To An Elements Drive In NTFS
To add files to an Elements hard drive in NTFS you have 2 real options.
1. Reformat Your Elements External Drive On Your Mac.
Reformatting is quick to do on your Mac. You use your Mac’s disk management software Disk Utility to do it. Disk Utility is part of your Mac OS x.
The downside is that you’ll erase any file on your hard drive. So, copy them off somewhere safe first.
Or you’ll be using data recovery software or services hoping to get your lost files back.
You’ll need to format your Elements external drive in a format your Mac can read and write to. So you can add your files.
You can use the Mac OS Extended Journaled file system. Or a file system called APFS (Apple File System).
Both file systems turn your Elements WD external hard drive into a Mac drive. Which is fine if you only want to use your Elements drive on your Mac.
You also have the option of picking an ExFAT file system using Disk Utility. And with that file system you can share between a Mac and a Windows computer.
You can learn all about Formatting your Elements hard drive in this post here. Format WD Elements For Mac just click the link text.
2. Use NTFS Driver Software On Your Mac.
What if you mainly use your Elements external drive on your Windows PC. And you don’t want to reformat your drive.
Then you can install software on your Mac. Or MacBook Pro or Air and leave your Elements drive as it is.
It’s called driver software. And it means you’ll have extra software to keep updated and in step with your version of Mac Os X. But it leaves your drive unchanged.
You can find out more about driver software at this post here on the site. External Hard Drive Compatible With Mac And PC Without Reformatting. Check it out.
Adding Files To A Elements External Hard Drive On Mac Walkthrough
You saw the outline of what you need to do at the top of this post. Now for a more detailed walk through on how you do it. With images.
Connect your Elements WD drive to your Mac. Then.
1. Open A Finder Window On Your Mac. Browse To Your Data.
You can launch a new Finder window from your Mac’s dock by double clicking.
In your Mac’s Finder window. Browse through your folders to the data and files you want to add to your Elements external hard drive.
2. Connect Your Elements External Drive. Double Click On The Drive Icon.
Plug in your drives USB cable into your Mac’s USB port. And after a few moments your Elements drive icon appears on your Mac’s desktop.
For the drive icon to show on your desktop. Your Finder Settings (from Mac OS Ventura. In earlier Mac releases it’s called Preferences) should be set to show external disks.
Double click on your drive icon to open up a Finder window on your external disk.
Now you have the 2 windows open on your desktop.
3. Click To Highlight The Files You Want to Add To The External HDD.
Click on the first file. Then hold down the shift key while you click on the next file.
Right click on your highlighted files and from the menu pick copy.
4. Move Your Cursor To Your Elements Drive Finder Window.
And in that window. Right click and from the menu pick Paste.
5. Your Mac Moves Your Data And Adds It To Your Elements Hard Disk.
There’ll be a short wait while your data copies across. And if you’re adding a lot of files. Or the files are large your Mac will show you a progress pop up.
Showing you how far along it is in adding your files to your Elements external disk.
Some More Options In Adding Files
You can create folders to add your files into on your Elements external hard drive.
Click on the Finder window of your Elements Drive. And pick File > Create New Folder from the Finder window menu.
You can Drag and Drop your data from your Mac computer to your Elements USB drive.
After your files are highlighted in your Finder window on your Mac’s internal drive. You can simply click and hold on those files.
Move your cursor across to the Finder window on your Elements drive. When your lift your finger to unclick your hold.
Your files are dropped to the external hard drive. And you’ve added your files to your Elements drive.
Add Files To A Partition On Your WD Elements From Your Mac
Adding files to a partition you’ve created on your Elements external hard drive is easy. After you’ve created your partitions.
You can find out how to in this article here. Partition Elements Drive On Mac
Each partition will show up on your Mac’s desktop looking like different drive icons. Each will have the partition name you gave it under the icon.
You simply double click on the partition icon to open up a Finder window.
And you can copy and paste across to your Elements partition.
Add Files To An Elements External Hard Drive Via A Backup
You’ll need to have your Elements drive. Or a partition on your Elements formatted with a file system Time Machine can backup to.
Either Mac OS Extended or APFS.
Then you connect your Elements hard disk to Time Machine. And your data and files will be added to your external drive using Time Machine.
You can find out how to do that here. Elements With Time Machine (How To & Use For) Your Mac Backup.
And now you know the answer to is simple.
There are 5 steps to adding your data and files to your Elements external hard drive.
You can save and store pictures, videos, or documents. Anything on your Mac.
While you’re here. Why not take a look at our other related articles all about your Elements external drive?
About Simon Irons
As an admin I spend my day helping folks with their Mac issues. From the guy at work, through to unofficial 911 support for family and friends. I swear they have me on speed dial.
For fun I like testing out and playing with new stuff. I think Apple make the best products on the planet.
In my spare time I like to fish and play around with boats.