If you’re a Mac user.
Transferring files from your Mac computer to a WD My Passport drive can seem like a real challenge.
It’s not that hard if you know how to do it the right way.
This article will show you exactly what steps to take and in no time you’ll have your file move done.
How To Transfer Files To WD My Passport From Mac
Step 1: Plug Your WD My Passport into your Mac with its USB cable.
Step 2: Double click on the drive icon to open a finder window
Step 3: Open a finder window on your Mac and find the files you want to transfer.
Step 4: Drag the file or folder you want over onto your passport drive.
Step 5: Right click on your WD drive to eject when you’re finished.
If this isn’t enough information for you. Please Read on …
What You Need Before You Transfer Files To WD My Passport From Your Mac
For you to move your files from your Mac to your external hard disk. Your hard drive needs to be in a format your Mac can write your files to. Or at the very least you’ve a partition on the drive in the right format.
That is either MacOS Extended (Journaled). A file format that’s also known as HFS+. Or ExFAT. Or APFS (Apple File System).
As standard your WD external hard drive comes formatted in NTFS. As does your WD My Passport Ultra external hard drive.
That’s a file system format a Windows PC can write to.
And a Mac can read. But can’t write to an NTFS formatted external drive. And that means you’ll have to reformat the drive before you can transfer your files to it.
In contrast a WD My Passport For Mac is a HFS+ formatted external hard drive. As is the WD My Passport Ultra For Mac. And that means these portable drives are ready to write to from a Mac.
So, do you have an NTFS formatted My Passport drive? How do you know?
You can check the format of your drive by plugging the drive in. Right clicking on the drive icon. And picking Info from the menu that comes up.
Then checking the information window for the drive format.
It’ll say NTFS if it’s an NTFS formatted drive.
Then you’ll need to use a program that’s part of your MacOS called Disk Utility. Disk Utility allows you to reformat an NTFS formatted drive. And change it to one your Mac can write to. And Disk Utility will wipe all that’s on the drive right now.
If that’s not what you want to do. Because you have files already on your Western Digital hard drive.
Then you’ll need to use driver software to transfer files to your drive. Scroll down and read more about that in the section on it below.
If you’ve got an NTFS formatted WD external HDD drive. And you’re happy to reformat it. Then go onto this document on the site to find out how to change it. Format WD My Passport For Mac.
How To Transfer Files To My Passport From Mac
Your transfer files – are the files you want to move or copy. To your WD Passport drive from your Mac.
How To Copy Files to WD My Passport From Your Mac
One way to copy of files from your Mac computer to your My Passport drive. Is called copy and paste.
Plug in your portable external hard drive into your Mac’s USB port. And …
1. Open up a Finder Window on your Mac.
And in that finder window navigate to the files you want to copy to your My Passport drive.
2. Open a 2nd finder window on your My Passport external hard drive.
To do this you double click on your Western Digital Passport drive icon.
Can’t see your WD drive on your Mac’s desktop. Go into the finder window preferences.
And click the option to see external disks. To show your external drive on your Mac’s desktop.
At this point you can create folders to copy your files into. And use folders to organize the files on your hard drive.
Or simply just copy your files straight on to it.
Organize the two windows so that you can see both clearly next to each other.
Select the files you want to copy. By clicking on the first file. That highlights it.
You can hold down the shift key while you click to highlight other files.
Or if you’ve a list of files. Click on the first file. And then shift and click on the last file to highlight all the files between.
3. Right Click. And pick Copy from the menu.
This copies all your files to a temporary place on your Mac.
Or you can also hold down your Control key and the letter C at the same time to copy.
Or you can create a selection window by clicking your cursor in an area near the file. But not on the file. Hold down your cursor and drag a window across all the transfer files.
Then right click and pick copy. Or Edit then copy from the options that run across the top of your finder window.
4. Move your cursor to the My Passport Finder window. Right click Paste.
In the finder window on your Passport external hard drive. Right click to bring up a menu. And choose Paste from that menu.
Or you can hold down your Control key. And the letter v to Paste and transfer your files.
A window will come up with the progress of your move. And when the transfer files are large. Or there are a lot of them it could take a while till it’s finished.
Just wait till it’s done.
And then you’ve done it. You’ve transferred files to your Western Digital Passport drive.
How Do I Move Files To WD My Passport From Mac?
Moving files from your Mac’s internal drive and onto your portable hard drive. You can do with drag and drop on a Mac.
Plug in your My Passport’s USB cable …
1. Go to the files you want to move on your Mac.
Open up a finder window and click through to the files on your Mac.
2. Open Another finder window on your WD external hard drive.
Double click on the drive icon on your Mac’s desktop to open a finder window.
Now you have both windows open. Move the windows so that they are side by side. Or so you can see both easily.
3. Click to highlight the files you want to Move.
Click on the first one and then hold down your shift key to pick all the files you want. You can click on the last file in the list to highlight from the first to the last.
Or create a selection by clicking and dragging your cursor across all the files you want to pick.
When you’ve highlighted all the files you want transfer.
4. Click and hold down your cursor key over the highlighted files.
And while you hold down the key move your cursor over to the finder window of your My Passport drive. Lift off your cursor key to drop – transfer files – to your My Passport.
5. Watch as your files transfer to your My Passport.
And when you’re moving a lot of files. Or if those files are large then it could take a while to transfer from your Mac to your My Passport.
Your Mac shows you the progress of your transfer to your external hard drive. And you’ll need to wait till it’s done.
6. Do a quick check over your files.
And if you’re happy it’s all your files are over on your external USB drive. Then you can delete those files off your Mac’s internal drive. And use them on your WD portable external hard drive.
If they are important files. Just make sure the only copy of your files isn’t only on one WD Passport drive.
Best to have 2 and make a backup copy of the external drive and its files and folders.
Transfer Files To A Partition On Your My Passport
First of all. Your WD passport external storage device needs its partitions set up already. And the partition you transfer your files to. Needs to be writeable by your Mac.
And that means you need:
- Either a formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partition.
- Or an ExFAT format partition.
- Or a partition formatted as APFS.
To create your partitions. You’d use Disk Utility in MacOS to format your WD Passport storage device. Then set up the number of partitions you want and the partition format. You can discover how to do that at this post. Partition WD My Passport For Mac.
Then to transfer.
1. Double click on the partition name on your Mac’s desktop.
The separate partitions on your Western Digital hard drive appear as icons on your desktop.
You double click to open a finder window on that partition.
2. Open a finder window on your Mac. Find and highlight your files.
With your transfer files highlighted. You can.
3. Control + C to copy your files.
Move to the open partition window on your Passport Drive.
4. Control + V to paste your files.
And you’ve then pasted transferred your files to your WD Passport.
Transfer Your Files To A WD My Passport NTFS Drive Without Reformatting
When you mainly use your WD external HDD on a Windows PC. And you only need to move some files from your Mac to the external hard drive.
Or you already have files on the drive and the last thing you want to do is format the drive.
Then the best solution is to use driver Software.
This software presents the external drive to your Mac in a way your Mac can understand. And it allows you to transfer your files. Write your files to the drive without changing it.
There are a few software companies you can buy this type of software from. One of them is a company called Paragon. And you can use this link here to check out the software for yourself.
What Files Can I Transfer To My Western Digital Portable
Any type of file you want. Documents, folders, spreadsheets. Your photos, music, videos or application program files.
You can transfer a large iphoto library to your Passport hard drive. And use it from there.
You can transfer any file you want. Just use the steps above to move them to your external device.
When You Want To Backup Transfer Files To My Passport From Mac
When what you mean by file transfer. Is taking a backup of your Mac using Time Machine to your WD Passport drive.
Then just like all the transfer methods talked about in this post. Your passport drive needs to be in either MacOS Extended (Journaled) format.
Or APFS (Apple File System). BUT only if you’re running MacOS Big Sur or later.
Using a drive in APFS format for a Time Machine backup, was not supported before that operating system release.
If you need to format your WD passport drive. You can find out how to do that here.
As soon as you’ve formatted your drive. Then MacOS versions since Catalina will ask you if you want to use it for your Time Machine backup. Say yes, and Time Machine will start preparing your backup. And backup transfer your files to what is now your Mac’s USB backup device.
When you need to set up a Time Machine backup yourself. It’s quick and easy to do. Take a look at the WD My Passport Time Machine post on the site.
Did you find this article on how to transfer files from Mac to WD My Passport useful?
The process of transferring files can be more complex than it seems if you don’t know what you’re doing.
But now you know how.
While you’re here why not take a look at the other great articles available in our blog?
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.