Discs, USB sticks and other external media initialized in extended Mac OS format (HFS or HFS +) will work to the best of their ability on macOS systems, but on different operating systems (such as Windows), they will be inaccessible. If you have a portable hard drive used in your Mac and you want to read it on Windows computers, it’s not impossible. If you continue reading, you will see that there are various methods to “force” the reading of these media even on non-Apple machines. Read on to find out how to read Mac discs on PC.

How to read Mac disks on PC: HFS and HFS+

hfs windows

There are various possibilities for reading an external HFS formatted disk on a Windows PC. In fact, there are several utilities, both free and paid, that allow you to make HFS disks visible on Windows, thus allowing you to work comfortably with the files on Mac disks. Below, I’ll show you the best currently in circulation.

Paragon HFS + for Windows

HFS + for Windows is a utility for Windows 7 and later that allows you to read discs initialized as HFS + on your PC. The driver installs very simply and allows you to read and write partitions, disks, CDs, DVDs and other media initialized as HFS +.

HFS + disks will be fully accessible in My Computer or from the Windows Disk Management console, without having to install additional tools.

HFS + for Windows works with Windows 7 and later. You can still download a demo version on the developer’s website, which can be used for 10 days.

Mediafour MacDrive

Also this application, called Mediafour MacDrive, allows you to access Mac formatted HFS or HFS + disks from Windows PC.

The standard version of the program costs $49.99. In addition to the standard version, a “Pro” version is also available that provides read/write support for Apple RAID disks, as well as implemented improvements to achieve better read/write performance. RAID functionality allows access to RAID sets of Mac disks prepared with Disk Utility and supports striped, mirrored, or six chained disks. In Windows XP, however, RAID disks larger than 2TB cannot be mounted due to intrinsic limitations in the operating system; no problem with Windows Vista or Windows 7.

Both the Standard and Pro versions of Mediafour MacDrive can be downloaded from the developer’s website, which can be used for 5 days.

HFS Explorer for Windows

If the two solutions that I showed you before seem too expensive, then the best solution for you will be  HFS Explorer. It is a free utility  – also compatible with Windows 10 – which allows access to initialized media such as HFS (Mac OS Standard), HFS + (Mac OS Extended) and HFSX (Mac OS Extended with a difference between lower and upper case).

It presents itself as a file manager from which to browse and extract files (copy them to a different disk), display information, including details on file-images in dmg/sparsebundle format. Java SE Runtime Environment (JRE) version 5.0 or later is required for installation. You can download the application by clicking on this link.

With this other guide, we want to help you find out how to write NTFS disks on Mac.