How to Open an Apple Formatted Drive in Windows

By Leighton Sawatzky

Since Apple Computers switched to Intel-based chips, it's been possible to install Windows operating systems on Macintosh computers, using Apple's "Boot Camp" software. Windows and OS X use different hard drive formats, though, and Windows is unable to read or write to drives formatted in Apple's "HFS+" format. There's little reason for either company, as competitors, to provide support for each other's hard drive format, but there are a few third-party options you can try.

Step 1

Download and install one of the programs from the Resources section. MacDrive and HFS+ for Windows are both commercial programs, but offer full read/write compatibility. HFSExplorer is free, but only allows you to read Apple formatted drives, not write to them.

Step 2

Open Windows' file browser. If you're using MacDrive or HFS+ for Windows, the Apple formatted drive should show up as a normal Windows drive. No further steps are needed. If you're using HFSExplorer, continue to the next step.

Step 3

Run HFSExplorer and click the "Autodetect" button to have the program search for any Apple formatted drives in the computer, which you can browse using the program. The installer should create shortcuts to the program in your "Start" menu and on your desktop.