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Summary: Let’s figure out how to format your WD Passport on macOS & Windows. In this blog post, we will walk you through the formatting process and share instructions to format an external drive on macOS & Windows.
But before you proceed, understand that formatting carries a risk of hard drive corruption and data loss. So, in case, if you had accidentally lost your data due to drive formatting or corruption, we also recommend a data recovery software that can rescue data from your HDD. Take a free trial to evaluate the software now.
Professional Photographers and videographers have their hands laid upon various digital devices. Usually, their arsenal includes a cutting-edge Windows 10 desktop, the latest and the magnificent MacBook Pro, DSLR & SD-Cards of-course and the trusted & loved external drives such as the WD My Passport. The role of the WD My Passport drive is crucial since the individual will leverage the portable media to safely store their collection of pictures, videos, audio, and docs. But despite the best of the best device specifications; there remains one small glitch to rectify.
We know, Macs and Windows have their native file systems such as the new APFS or HFS and the NTFS. A WD My Passport formatted with Mac file system will be a dud on the Windows and vice-versa. Thankfully, MS-DOS FAT32 and ex-FAT formats have survived to date, and these are the file system to make your WD My Passport work with a Mac and a Windows PC simultaneously. In the next 5 minutes read, you will master yourself in formatting a WD My Passport safely and in a manner best suited for sharing your digital files between a macOS and Windows OS.
To format a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive in ex-FAT or FAT32 format, you can bank on built-in applications of Mac & PC. However, while doing this, there are things you have to keep in mind and follow the correct steps. Here you will get to know about the process to format your “My passport” portable drive in FAT32 and ex-FAT file system in both Windows and Mac platforms.
In Windows Platform:
1. Connect your Western Digital My Passport hard drive to your Windows PC through the USB cable. Wait till the Windows detects the external hard drive and configure it as an expansion drive automatically.
2. Now, click the Start button and select ‘This PC’. A new Windows Explorer window opens, on the left side of the screen; you will see a list of installed drives and their drive letters.
3. Locate the icon assigned to Western Digital My Passport drive and Right-click the connected drive icon and click ‘Format’ in the pop-up menu.
4. Select the ‘File System’ from the drop-down list, which is available in the format expansion and choose either ‘ex-FAT’ or ‘FAT32’.
5. Enter a relevant name in the ‘Volume Label’ field. This name will represent your drive when you connect it with Windows Explorer or Mac and will be mentioned above the drive letter for the My Passport drive. Therefore, enter a descriptive name.
6. Now, again select a ‘Quick Format’ option, then click ‘Start’ option, wait for a few minutes to get your drive reformatted with the FAT32 file system, so that you can use it. After successful formatting, you can directly save or move files to it like any other external hard drive.
In macOS / OS X Platform
- Connect your Western Digital My Passport drive to Mac computer, and let the OS detect and mount the drive for use. Now, a new hard drive icon will appear on the desktop.
- On macOS Dock, select Finder. When the Finder window opens, on the menu bar, select ‘Go’ and then ‘Utilities.’ After that, you will be able to see /Applications/Utilities folder in Finder. From the Utilities folder window, select ‘Disk Utility’ application.
- When the Disk Utility opens, choose the Western Digital hard drive icon from the sidebar.
- Click ‘Erase’ on the Disk Utility file menu. Now, the Erase dialogue window appears, here select the ‘Volume Format’ drop-down list and choose ‘MS-DOS (FAT)’ or ex-FAT File System.’ Note: ex-FAT is a better choice for formatting WD My Passport on Mac.
- Now, click the ‘Erase,’ button and wait a few minutes and let the macOS erase data on the drive and reformat it by FAT32 or ex-FAT format.
- Once formatting is done, you can use the drive in macOS or OS X as a regular hard drive.
Window’s Disk Management and Mac’s Disk Utility applications are secure platforms to erase your WD My Passport easily. You don’t require any third-party software to format your WD My Passport with FAT or ex-FAT.
Caution: Avoid Formatting your WD My Passport without Backup
We can’t rule out the possibilities of human errors resulting in the accidental formatting of the WD My Passport external drive. A silly man-made mistake will permanently remove all of the contained pictures, videos, audio files, and docs instantly from the WD My Passport. Hence, fasten your seat-belts and backup your WD My Passport before erasing. If you have already joined the data loss club unwillingly, then try running D-I-Y applications to recover data from Mac and Windows.
Tips for Effective Formatting
- Format your Western Digital My Passport external hard drive to FAT32 or ex-FAT format so to transfer the data between a Mac and Windows system conveniently.
- There are specific third-party systems, like Digital Camcorders, and Sony PlayStation 3, which need the drives to be formatted in either FAT32 or ex-FAT format to perform read from and write operation. Check it before selecting a file format.
- Due to some limitations FAT32 format is not useful for every type of user, and also affects both Mac’s and PC’s performances. Therefore, it is better to choose ex-FAT instead.
- Ex-FAT supports maximum volume size up to 128 PiB, and its supported maximum file size is 128 PiB.
- Like FAT32, ex-FAT is not a very commonly used file system, due to which its support may vary among third-party devices.
- The corruption chances of the external drive increases, if it is used on both Mac and PC systems regularly. Therefore, it is better to take backup of your important photos and videos before sharing them between both the computers.
Easiest Way to Fix WD Passport Not Showing Error
- 1. In Control Panel, go to Devices and Printers. You can see your passport drive visible there.
- 2. Open its properties and then open drivers, simply uninstall it.
- 3. Unplug your passport drive.
- 4. Restart your computer and insert/plugin your passport again into PC.
Follow to learn how to make your WD Passport external hard drive detected again:
- Why Is WD Passport Not Showing Up
- 5 Fix for My WD Passport Is Not Showing Up on Computer Error
- Quick Fix. Try a Different USB Cable/Port or PC
- Method 1. Change WD Drive Letter to Make WD Passport Drive Detectable
- Method 2. Fix Corrupted File System/Bad Sector That Makes WD Not Showing Up
- Method 3. Update Device Driver to Make WD Drive Work, Detected
- Method 4. Uninstall/Reinstall USB Controllers on WD My Passport Drive
How Do I Fix My WD Passport Ultra Not Showing Up on My Computer
'I have a WD My Passport Ultra 1TB portable drive for storing movies, photos, and important personal files. This morning, WD My Passport suddenly became inaccessible, couldn't be detected by my computer.
The WD Passport ultra is not showing up on my PC and I couldn't access saved data either. Is there a possible way that can help me to repair the not detectable WD drive to work again?'
If you are having a similar problem on your WD My Passport Ultra hard drive or other brands of external hard drive or devices, don't worry.
On this page, you'll learn why is WD Passport Ultra external hard drive not showing up on Windows PC and how to fix this error on your own with practical fixes and tutorials.
Why Is My WD Passport Not Showing UP
There is a lot of reasons that will cause your external hard drive not showing up or not detected on Windows PC. Check the following list, you may find the exact cause that makes your WD Passport Ultra external not recognized error:
- 1. A faulty USB port/cable, or a damaged USB hub on PC
- 2. No drive letter is assigned to WD Passport drive
- 3. Corrupted file system or bad sectors makes WD drive unreadable
- 4. WD drive driver is out of date
- 5. Universal USB controllers drivers are outdated
So how to fix these errors and make your WD Passport Ultra external hard drive show up on PC again? Check the fixes and follow tutorials below to get rid of this issue immediately.
5 Fixes to Remove WD Not Showing Up/Not Detected Error:
Quick Fix. Try a Different USB Cable/Port or PC
When your computer cannot detect or read your WD hard drive, you can first try to change the USB cable and connect it with another USB port or new PC to see if the drive can be read or not.
Step 1. Switch a USB port/cable and replug it to your computer.
If the drive can be read via new a USB cable or on a new PC, then the drive is working fine. The problem exists on the USB cable.
Step 2. Reconnect the WD drive via a new USB hub or to a new computer.
- If the WD Passport drive shows up, it is the damaged USB hub on your computer that stops WD from showing up.
- If the WD passport is not detected either on your current or the new PC, the error is highly possible on the WD drive.
You can selectively follow below 4 methods to get problems fixed and repair the WD My Passport drive to show up and work again.
Method 1. Change WD Drive Letter to Make WD Passport Drive Detectable
When your WD become inaccessible, you can follow the guidelines below to change its drive letter so as to make WD passport detectable and accessible again in Windows PC:
Step 1. Press Win + R to bring up Run dialog > Type: diskmgmt.msc to open Disk Management.
Step 2. Right-click on WD drive which fails to show up and choose 'Change Drive Letter and Paths...'.
Step 3. Click 'Add' and choose the drive letter beside Assign the following drive letter > Click 'OK'.
If WD drive has already assigned with a letter, click 'Change' to choose another letter for it.
Step 4. Then restart PC and you can check out whether the problem still exists or not.
Method 2. Fix Corrupted File System/Bad Sector That Makes WD Not Showing Up
If the system files corrupted or the WD device contains bad sectors, you won't be able to access the drive. Your computer may not even able to detect it from File Explorer.
EaseUS partition manager software with its Check File System feature supports repairing corrupted file system and bad sectors on WD hard drive. Download it, you can easily make your WD external hard drive show up on the computer again.
Follow to see how to fix corrupted system files and bad sectors on WD device:
Step 1: Open EaseUS Partition Master on your computer. Then locate the disk, right-click the partition you want to check, and choose 'Check File System'.
Step 2: In the Check File System window, keep the 'Try to fix errors if found' option selected and click 'Start'.
Step 3: The software will begin checking your partition file system on your disk. When it has completed, click 'Finish'.
Method 3. Update Device Driver to Make WD Drive Work, Detected
When the WD Passport drive is not working, it's highly possible that the device driver is not updated. So the best way is to update its driver via the following two paths:
Manually Download and Install WD Device Driver:
Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon at the left corner and select Device Manager.
Step 2. Find and expand Disk Drivers, Portable Devices, Universal Serial USB Controllers or Other devices to see if WD device is shown as Unknown device.
Step 3. Right-click on Unknown device > select Properties.
Step 4. Go to Details tab > Set Property to be Hardware Ids.
Step 5. Right-click the top Value and click Copy.
Step 6. Paste what you copy into a browser to search the correct device driver, find and download the correct WD device driver and install it on your PC.
Step 7. Then restart your computer and everything shall work fine with your WD My Passport Ultra drive.
Update WD Device Driver from Device Manager:
Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select Device Manager.
Step 2. Expand Device Manager and right-click the WD My Passport Ultra drive.
Step 3. Select 'Update driver'.
Step 4. Select 'Search automatically for updated driver software', wait for the process to complete.
Method 4. Uninstall/Reinstall USB Controllers on WD My Passport Drive
When the Universal USB Bus Controllers is outdated, it may also stop your WD passport from being detected or showing up. So the last efficient way that you can try is to uninstall and reinstall USB controllers:
Step 1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select 'Device Manager'.
Step 2. Find and expand Universal Serial Bus controllers > Right-click on USB controllers on your WD drive and select 'Uninstall device'.
Repeat to uninstall each USB controller one by one.
Step 3. Restart the computer and Microsoft will automatically reinstall the USB controllers software for your WD drive.
After this, you shall be able to visit and access saved data on your WD Passport Ultra drive normally by then.
Extra Important Tips
If your WD hard drive shows up and can be detected normally again, please don't rush to use it. Please do these tips first:
- 1. Copy and backup important data from your WD hard drive to another storage device.
- 2. Format WD hard drive or external hard drive to NTFS for saving data again.
If the WD hard drive still doesn't show up or cannot be detected, some physical errors may have occurred to your device. Please try these tips for a guide:
- 1. Search and find some manual guide online to check the physical error on your WD hard drive.
- 2. Or you can take your WD drive to a local hard drive repair center for professional help. (If you are not professional, please try this tip.)
On this page, we explained why is WD My Passport Ultra external hard drive not showing up on Windows PC and provided 5 practical fixes for you to follow and make the drive show up again.
If you are having a similar issue on other brands of external hard drive, internal hard drive, USB, or SD card, you can also try these tips to make your device show up and work again on Windows PC.
People Also Ask
For further issues related to the WD passport, check the questions and answers below. You'll get a satisfying answer:
1. WD My Passport not showing up on Mac
If you are having a similar issue that WD My Passport external or internal hard drive not showing up on Mac, you can try the following tips as listed here for help: （Some are similar as shown on this page)
Western Digital My Passport For Mac For Windows
- #1. Reconnect WD Passport to Mac
- #2. Change WD Passport drive letter
- #3. Remount WD Passport to Mac
- #4. Update WD Passport drive driver
- #5. Format WD My Passport on Mac
2. How to use WD Passport on Windows 10?
For a new WD Passport: Connect Passport to Windows 10 PC > Open Disk Management and Initialize Disk > Create a New Partition on WD Passport drive.
For a used WD Passport: Connect it to Windows 10 > Open it in File Explorer to use it. If you need more space, delete some useless files on it to free up space.
Western Digital My Passport Ultra Mac Driver
3. Why is my external hard drive not showing up?
Accordingly, there are many reasons that may cause your external hard drive not showing up. Here is a list of major reasons:
Wd My Passport For Mac
- The external hard drive is not connected to the PC correctly
- Faulty USB cable or USB hub
- External hard drive is not initialized
- External hard drive is doesn't contain a volume
- External hard drive has no drive letter
- External hard drive contains file system error, bad sectors, or virus
My Passport For Mac Instructions
For a resolution, follow to External/Internal Hard Drive Is Not Showing Up in Windows 10/8/7.