MacDrive - Mac drives in Windows

A Mac drive is formatted differently than a drive in a Windows computer. That's tricky when you're dealing with both worlds or when your Mac breaks down and you still want to access your data. Fortunately, you can go to MacDrive.



$49.99 (about $46), five-day trial




Windows XP/Vista/7/8; Windows Server 2003/2008/2012


8 Score 80
  • Pros
  • Seamlessly use Mac drives in Windows
  • Recognizes every Mac format and every connection (USB, SATA etc.)
  • Negatives
  • Short trial period
  • Fairly hefty price with sporadic use

Suddenly the screen goes black and it goes eerily silent. No matter what buttons I press and no matter what I do, my MacBook won't boot. That's not very nice, because I'm just finishing an article. Tomorrow is the deadline and the next day I go on vacation. What now? Of course I have a backup, but the version on the internal disk is almost finished. So I unscrew my MacBook, take the drive out (which isn't always possible, by the way), put it in an external drive enclosure, and connect it to a Windows PC. Small detail: a Mac disk is not readable under Windows by default.

Mac drive in Windows

Apple uses a completely different disk format. A Windows disk is readable on a Mac, but the other way around is not possible. Fortunately, I soon discovered the program MacDrive. If you install that on your Windows PC, your Mac drives are suddenly readable. In fact, you can also write to it and you can format or repair disks if you are in trouble. MacDrive remains largely out of the picture. It is primarily a driver that does its job invisibly for you. There is, however, an icon in the system tray to set things up and where you can go for help and explanation.

Windows Explorer

Each Mac drive is given a drive letter in Windows Explorer. Then your folders and files can be accessed in the normal way and you see almost no difference with Windows disks. You can also open files directly from programs such as Word and Excel, which you must of course have installed on your PC. You can even browse the backups from Time Machine, Apple's default backup program, should you need an older version of a file.


MacDrive is a godsend if you want to use Mac-formatted (external) drives on a Windows computer. It can also be a lifesaver in case of calamities. In my case, I was able to continue working immediately and MacDrive saved my deadline and vacation. The standard version (MacDrive Standard) is sufficient in most cases, although there is also a pro version that can handle things like RAID.

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There are multiple ways to transfer files between Mac, PC, smartphone and tablet.

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