Since Windows and Mac OS are different OS it uses a different file system. Windows uses the NTFs file system while Macs uses HFS+. However, most of the external HDD and USB drives are formatted with Windows FAT 32 file system for maximum capacity. So, Macs can also read and write FAT 32 devices.

Some drives are sold to Mac users with pre-formatted with HFS+, but this file system is not readable for Windows. Nevertheless, there are ways to read that HFS+ drive from Windows.

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HFS Explorer-Free

HFS Explorer can be useful for users who want to access Mac file system on Windows. More importantly, it is available absolutely free. However, users will have to install Java runtime environment. Generally, it is not recommended, but now it is necessary. Be sure that you disable the Java browser plug-in after you install Java. This is recommended to stay safe as possible, notes PC Advisor.

Makeuseof advises that users need to connect their Mac-formatted drive to Windows system and then open HFSExplorer. Following that click on File> Load File System From Device. HFSExplorer has the ability to locate any connected devices with HFS+ file systems and open them. Now, users can extract files from the HFSExplorer window to their Windows drive.

Paragon HFS+ for Windows

Paragon HFS+ for Windows is an alternative for HFS+ Explorer and it is also a paid application. Paragon HFS+ for Windows allows users full read and write access to Mac Drives and assures high performance. Moreover, this application also allows Windows Explorer or File Explorer to open and any Windows program can read from or write to the Mac Drive.


MacDrive is also a paid application but it is bit pricier than Paragon HFS+. Both have a shorter free trial. MacDrive provides full read/write access via Windows Explorer fast performance. It also has disk repair and partitioning tools for working with and creating Mac file systems.

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Format the Drive & Erase Its Contents

Since you have decided to use the Mac drive in Windows means, you no longer use the MAC apparently. The above application is paid application and have a very short trial period. So it is advisable to format the Mac drive and convert it into a standard FAT32 partition after recovering the files.