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How to Read Mac HFS+ and APFS Drives on Windows PC

Written by John

The HFS+ file system is supported by macOS Sierra and previous releases of macOS and OS X. In the newest macOS High Sierra, however, things have changed and now the supported drive types are the Apple File System (APFS) drives. This new file system unleashes the full potential of SSD drives for faster storage, easy retrieval of files, and securing files. Features added to this new file management system include snapshots, crash reporting, space sharing, and cloning to name but a few. Mac users upgrading to the High Sierra need to convert their drives to APFS first.

Natively, Windows computers do not even "see" HFS+ formatted partitions. You could convert the drive to FAT32 or exFAT that both Mac and Windows can read. However, this is impossible if the HFS+ or APFS has over 1T data. What should you do? Here is a tutorial help you read Mac drive on PC.

Read Mac HFS+ and APFS Drives on Windows PC

1. APFS for Windows by Paragon (Read and Write)

Apple File System (APFS) is the new file system made for Apple devices. It is not natively supported by Windows systems but that is not to say that you cannot access files in such a formatted drive in Windows computers. You can do this using the APFS for Windows solution by Paragon.

This software is simply designed and accessing APFS formatted drives is really easy using the program. Installation is very easy; just follow the prompts the installation wizard gives. Once installed, you can simply connect an APFS drive and you will be able to view it in explorer. The native look makes the APFS for Windows very easy to use.

This program gives read and writes access to data on APFS drives. You will see all that is contained in the drive without any restrictions. Supported volumes are automatically mounted on startup but you can stop this if you prefer otherwise.

2. HFS+ For Windows (Only HFS+)

When you want to get read and write access to HFS+ drives, this is the program to get. It is a system driver that allows easy mounting of Mac drives. The Windows Disk Management will easily mount the HFS+ partitions.

Paragon HFS+ for Windows launches on startup and mounts all Mac drives it can find automatically. Among the features, it comes with is an auto-updater, Boot camp configurations support and many others.

Paragon HFS+ for Windows

With this program, you will get unlimited access to HFS+ on Windows. Transfer files and documents to and from NTFS drives and other file formats supported on Windows. Once an HFS+ drive is mounted, it can be simply accessed using the file explorer. You can now use it like you would the native Windows drive; drag and drop files and open files in other applications and much more. File transfers will be done very fast and all data remains safe.

There is a free trial that you can use to get a feel of the software before you spend on it. when you finally decide to spend on it, you will be happy to know that it will not dig a hole in your pocket. It will cost you only $19.95.

3. MacDrive 10.5 (HFS+, APFS)

With this software in your Windows PC, you will be able to view and read Mac drives as though they were native to Windows. You do not even need to launch the program. When you connect an HFS+ disk to the Windows PC, MacDrive 10.5 will work in the background to ensure the drive is visible and its content can be read. Use Windows Explorer or any program you want to open the contents of the drive.

MacDrive 10 on Windows PC

To read APFS formatted drives, you will need the MacDrive 10.5 + APFS (beta). This will allow you read-only access to anything stored in APFS formatted drives. The drive will be assigned a letter and you can read the files and even copy them to your PC.

Other than allowing you to read Mac drive on Windows, MacDrive 10.5 will also help you manage your drives. Partition and create HFS or APFS on Windows and fix any issue with your drives. Whether it is a floppy drive, flash drive or hard drive, this software will handle it.

If you have been looking for a good program that will help with all your drives problems then this is it. Start your five-day free trial today and thereafter it will only cost you $49.99.

4. UFS Explorer Standard Access (HFS+, APFS)

When you want to gain access to blocked data, UFS Explorer is the software to get. With it you will be able to access data on virtual disks in virtual machines, complex RAID systems built with the RAID Access Plugin and a wide variety of operating systems. The latter include HFS+ and APFS among others. Remove data from virtual disks and avoid the need to start the virtual machines and configure them.

UFS Explorer Standard Access

The interface of this program is very simple and hence it is easy to read Mac drive on PC. You will be able to browse files like you would in the original file system. You can even copy the files and all the processes will be done fast. Saving files is very easy because it is done in a manner similar to using the explorer.

Lost files can be accessed using this program. A Simple search for the file and scan results will show all files and folders that can be recovered. Select the one you would like to recover and save it to the destination you want or copy it and paste it there. Convinced you need this? Get it today for only $21.

5. Paragon NTFS - HFS Converter (Free, without Data Loss)

This is ideal for people who would like to make use of data in an external drive in HFS+ format. If you have a Windows PC that you would like to use to access such a drive, you can just convert its format to the more preferred NTFS format. The best way to go about this is to use Paragon NTFS-HFS Converter. With this you will get all your data in one place in a format that is preferred by Windows.

Paragon NTFS HFS Converter

With this program, you will be able to convert HFS to NTFS without data loss and also convert NTFS to HFS without data loss. When installed and opened, a wizard that guides the user on the conversion will be seen. You will be required to select the volume to be converted, backup its contents and perform a quick conversion.

Convert HFS to NTFS

The best part about this is that the Paragon NTFS-HFS converter is absolutely free.

Bottom line

It is actually possible to read Mac drive on PC but you need the help of a powerful program. There are many options but mentioned above are the best options you have. When choosing bear in mind the drive you would like to get access on Windows PC too. Is it HFS or APFS? Ensure the program you choose can give you that access. Also consider the ease of use and the budget. You will surely find a good choice from the above options.

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