Best WD My Passport for Mac Review for Your Mac

By Simon Irons / July 31, 2019
WD My Passport For Mac Review Title Image

Oh no! It’s a disaster your Macbook Pro or Air is out of space. What now?

You need somewhere to offload some of those files and fast.

And you should really have a backup of everything you have on your Mac while you’re about it.

Because the last thing you want is your documents, videos and photos to vaporize into thin air if your Mac fails.

You’re intrigued by the WD My Passport for Mac. But will it work? And is it the best choice for you and your Mac?

MacTakeAwayData Rating: 8/10

Pros of the WD My Passport for Mac

Cons of the WD My Passport for Mac

Verdict on the WD My Passport for Mac

Designed and built for a Mac user, the Western Digital My Passport for Mac works seamlessly on a Mac.

Sure the WD My Passport is a basic mechanical external hard drive. It does have some nice features.

Features like the Western Digital software. Software that allows you to import your photos and documents from your social media. And from your cloud storage accounts.

Plug it in and use the drive as a back up destination for Time machine.

Or as a place to store extra documents, videos, photos or your iTunes music.

And if you get yourself a larger drive you can create sections on the drive so that you can do both.

If you’re using your WD Passport for Mac to off load files from your Mac. Think about getting two.

It’s never a good idea to only have the one copy of your files.

WD My Passport For Mac

Feel free to take a look at the My Passport for Mac on Amazon at this link

YouTube Video on the WD Passport for Mac Drive.

I selected this 1 minute 3 second YouTube video for you to watch. This Western Digital video is a nice introduction to the My Passport Mac external hard drive.

My Passport for Mac | Official Product Overview

Video Credit: Western Digital.

WD My Passport for Mac Review

What is the For Mac bit about?

The best bit about the WD My Passport is that it designed for you the Mac user. What does that mean?

There is no need for you to worry about how to make this drive work with your Mac. Because is already set up. Formatted to be compatible with your Mac’s operating system.

There is something called HSF+ which is also known as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system. And the My Passport Mac as supplied ready set up that way.

HSF+ is what your Mac is expecting to see when you plug in an external drive.

You can breathe a sigh of relief. When you buy this drive and plug it in, your Mac will understand it.

The My Passport for Mac will work with the following Mac operating systems: Mojave, Sierra, El Capitan, Yosemite and Mavericks.

Share the My Passport for Mac with a Windows PC

If you want to share the My Passport for Mac drive with a Windows PC, the drive will need reformatting. A Windows PC will not be able to see a HSF+ formatted drive.

Reformatting will make the whole drive shareable with a Windows PC or a part shareable.

Available Drive Sizes on the WD My Passport for Mac

You’ll find the Western Digital My Passport for Mac comes in 1TB, 2TB, 3TB and 4TB sizes.

The larger sizes are useful if you have lots of photos to store.

Or want to get a larger drive that you can split up into sections.

For example you may want one section for your documents. Another section where you can store your Time Machine backups.

WD Passport For Mac Time Machine
WD Passport For Mac for Time Machine

And perhaps a third section to store files you’re sharing between a Mac and a PC.

Plugging in Your WD My Passport for Mac

The WD My Passport for Mac is a USB 3.0 external drive. Your Mac knows how to talk to USB 3.0 drives.

In the My Passport Mac box you’ll be happy to find there are two USB cables.

Why two?

One that has a USB A type connection at the end if you have an older Mac with a USB A port.

USB A Cable End
USB A Cable End

The other cable is for your newer Mac. A Mac with USB C Thunderbolt ports.

Thunderbolt Cable Connection
Thunderbolt Cable Connection

So no matter the age of your Mac, with this drive Western Digital has you covered.

What about if you have a Mac with Thunderbolt connections only?

Luckily the USB standard is backwards compatible. And your Mac with its Thunderbolt ports will store files, backup to and read from an external hard drive that is USB 3.0.

Thunderbolt external hard drives are pricey.

And the fact is that unless you have a lot of 4k videos. Or you have a great collection of very large photos you’re unlikely to need the speed of a Thunderbolt drive.

The Western Digital My Passport for Mac drive also supports USB 2.0 for those much older Macbooks.

WD My Passport for Mac is Easy To Connect
WD My Passport for Mac is Easy To Connect

The My Passport Mac’s Power Needs

The WD My Passport for Mac is powered from the USB cable – your Mac’s battery (when not connected to external power).

Your Mac’s power cable when plugged in, powers both your Mac and the Passport for Mac drive.

The beauty of this is, that there is no need for you to carry a separate power cable.

This means one less cable to remember to bring with you.

Or carry one around in your back pack.

Or take one with you abroad when you’re on a trip.

Or worry about finding a US plug or adaptor for the drive.

Western Digital Passport for Mac Amazon User Views

Released onto the market in 2016 the WD Passport for Mac drive is popular. And is has sold well for Western Digital with many fans that like the drive.

Why not take a look at the reviews on Amazon?

Click on this link to view the WD My Passport for Mac page.

Head down to the bottom of the page.

There you can select the most recent reviews and take a look at the individual star ratings.

Is the Western Digital My Passport for Mac Portable?

WD My Passport for Mac Ready to Plug In

Yes, the WD passport for mac is portable. A handy size that fits easily in the palm of your hand.

But you’ll need to remember that these drives aren’t at all rugged.

As a mechanical drive it has moving parts inside.

A knock or a drop from any significant height means you will have damaged your My Passport Mac drive.

When using, you’ll find it best to put your Passport for Mac on a level, solid surface.

Moving dropping or shaking the drive while it is active risks you loosing your files.

Size of The My Passport Mac Drives

You’ll find the 1TB drive is the smallest physically at 4.33 in by 3.21 in by 0.64 in.

This means it could quite happily fit in your pocket.

The larger capacity drives are larger sized. The 2TB, 3TB and 4TB drives are 4.33 in by 3.21 in by 0.85 in.

Yet you’ll find them still convenient to carry around.

Weight of the Western Digital My Passport for Mac

The 1TB Western Digital My Passport for Mac drive is light at 0.37 lbs.

You’ll see the 2TB, 3TB and 4TB drives weigh in at a heavier 0.54 lbs.

No matter the drives capacity you’ll find the WD Passport for Mac very transportable. And can fit in a large pocket or your backpack or your purse.

But when you take the My Passport Mac drive with you, it’s best to invest in a carry case to protect the drive in transit.

My favorites are the:

AmazonBasics External Hard Drive Case

Or for something a little better

The Lacdo Waterproof and Shockproof Carrying Case

The Look of the Passport for Mac

Only available in black.

A little disappointing. You won’t find the attractive, bright lollypop colors of the non for Mac My Passport drive.

Nonetheless the My Passport for Mac drive’s case is a bit different to the usual.

About half of the outside cover has a glossy black finish. The other is matt with a diagonal design.

Unfortunately the glossy side shows fingerprints. And is a bit of a magnet for dust and scratches.

If you’d like to keep your Western Digital My Passport drive shiny and clean. I wouldn’t just throw it in your back pack. Or in your large purse where your keys could scratch the outer cover.

Another reason to keep it in one of cases I mention above when you’re not using.

WD My Passport for Mac’s Shape

The WD Passport for Mac drive has distinct corners.

Some people don’t like this look and find it too angular. What do you think?

WD My Passport for Mac Sharp Corners

Connections and LED Light

You’ll find a single USB 3.0 port.

And a single LED activity showing light. A light to help you know what the My Passport Mac drive is up to.

Light steady means the drive is idle.

Flashing quickly means the drive is active writing or reading from the drive

A slow flash means the drive is on standby.

WD My Passport For Mac Drag and Drop
You can Drag and Drop files to the WD My Passport For Mac

WD My Passport for Mac Speed Test

I like the usb.userbenchmark.com site for speed test results. This site allows individual users to record and upload their own test results. This way you won’t have just one speed test for the Western Digital My Passport drive. You get an aggregate result. And at the time of writing is 6,413 benchmark tests for the WD My Passport 1TB drive. The findings are:

  • 1.7 mb/s for the small file write speed
  • 63.2 mb/s for the large file write speed

The My Passport is consistent in use in various real word conditions. These results show you that the WD Passport for Mac drive is a reasonable performer. If not the fastest in its class. You can view the latest results at this link.

Passport for Mac Comes with WD Discovery Software

Should you buy the Western Digital My Passport for Mac drive it comes preloaded with Western Digital software.

This software allows you to import the photos held on your social media accounts. It connects to your accounts such as Instagram and Facebook.

And your cloud storage such as Google drive and Dropbox. You can then bring in your documents, videos and photos. And save them onto your My Passport Mac external hard drive.

Perfect as it allows you to have a separate copy of your uploaded files in your hands. Just in case the worst happens to your cloud storage.

The Western Digital software also includes software to manage the hardware encryption. And set a password for the My Passport drive. As well as providing you with the Western Digital drive utilities. Through these utilities you can reformat the drive, and check the drive health.

Apart from the social media software which is very useful.

The other facilities such as encryption of your drive and its backup. Along with password protection are available as part of your Mac’s operating system.

And should you have a failure of your Mac for any reason, you’re going to want to get to your backup. And without having to fiddle around with the Western Digital software.

Last Words

I hope you enjoyed my article “Best WD My Passport for Mac Review for You’re Mac”. There is a lot to like about an external hard drive that makes it easy for you to connect to your Mac.

You’ll find other WD My Passport articles on the site. Do take some time to browse them by clicking on these links.

How To Use WD My Passport for Mac 5 Ways, No Anger

WD My Passport Time Machine Insider Need to Knows

Format WD My Passport for Mac, 10 Quick Steps

Partition WD My Passport For Mac, Teach Yourself in 10 Steps

Easily Use Your WD My Passport For Mac And Windows in 7 Steps

WD Elements VS My Passport Which is Best for Your Mac?




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