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Prepare your drive

You can store your library on an external storage device, such as a USB or Thunderbolt drive formatted as APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). However, you can't move your library to a disk that's used for Time Machine backups. Find out how to check the format of your external storage device.

Passport

To prevent data loss, Apple doesn't recommend storing photo libraries on external storage devices like SD cards and USB flash drives, or drives that are shared on a network.

Move your Photos library to an external storage device

  1. Quit Photos.
  2. In the Finder, go to the external drive where you want to store your library.
  3. In another Finder window, find your library. The default location is Users > [username] > Pictures, and it's named Photos Library.
  4. Drag your library to its new location on the external drive. If you see an error, select your external drive's icon in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info. If the information under Sharing & Permissions isn't visible, click the triangle button , then make sure the 'Ignore ownership on this volume' checkbox is selected. If it's not selected, click the lock button to unlock it, enter an administrator name and password, then select the checkbox.*

  5. After the move is finished, double-click Photos Library in its new location to open it.
  6. If you use iCloud Photo Library, designate this library as the System Photo Library.

Delete original library to save space

After you open your library from its new location and make sure that it works as expected, you can delete the library from its original location.

In a Finder window, go back to your Pictures folder (or whichever folder you copied your library from) and move Photos Library to the trash. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash to delete the library and reclaim disk space.

Open another Photos library

If you have multiple libraries, here's how to open a different one:

  1. Quit Photos.
  2. Press and hold the Option key while you open Photos.
  3. Select the library that you want to open, then click Choose Library.

Photos uses this library until you open a different one.

Learn more

If you have a permissions issue with your library, you might be able to resolve the issue by using the Photos library repair tool.

* If the volume isn't formatted APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled), or has been used for Time Machine backups but hasn't been erased, this checkbox will either not be present, or won't be selectable after unlocking. Erase and reformat the drive for this option to be available.

Can I Use WD Hard Drive on Mac and PC

Before you get the answer, you must figure out what kind of file system can work well on both the macOS and the Windows system. macOS supports a handful of common file systems - HFS+, FAT32, and exFAT, with read-only support for NTFS. While Windows employs two major file systems: NTFS and FAT. FAT was inherited from old DOS and has exFAT as its later extension. In addition, the ReFS file system was developed as a new generation file system for server computers starting from Windows Server 2012.

That is to say, only FAT32 and exFAT can work on both Mac and PC. If you want to share digital files between Mac and Windows system easily, you must convert WD My Passport to FAT or exFAT. Here are three ways to format a WD My Passport, follow any one of them to convert to FAT.

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  1. Solution 1. Format WD HDD with Software (FREE)

How to Format WD My Passport in Windows Platform (Free)

You can format a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive to ex-FAT or FAT32 format using a free ex-FAT or FAT32 converter - EaseUS Partition Master or use built-in applications Windows.

Solution 1. Format WD My Passport Using Software (Free)

Library

It is a wise choice to use a professional format tool. With the help of EaseUS Partition Master Free, you can perfectly bypass the format limitation of the Windows disk management tool and help you format WD My Passport to FAT32 or exFAT easily without any obstacles. What's more, this Windows partition software helps you create, resize, clone, move, and merge partitions without difficulty. Follow the details below to convert WD My Passport to FAT32 or exFAT.

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the 'Format' option.

Step 2: Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click 'OK'.

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Step 3: In the Warning window, click 'OK' to continue.

Step 4: Click the 'Execute Operation' button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click 'Apply' to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Solution 2. Format WD My Passport Using File Explorer

Windows limits FAT32 partitions to 32GB. It does not offer the ability to format a drive larger than 32GB to FAT32, the only available choices are NTFS or exFAT. If you want to format your WD My Passport to FAT32, you must make sure that the size is smaller than 32GB. If it is larger than 32GB, you can only format it to exFAT.

Step 1. Open Windows File Explorer, locate and right-click on WD My Passport that you need to format, select 'Format'.

Step 2. Rename the drive, reset its file system to FAT32 or exFAT.

Step 3. Click 'Start' to begin the formatting.

How to Format WD My Passport in macOS/OS X Platform

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The easiest way to format the drive to FAT32 or exFAT is by using macOS's built-in Disk Utility for FAT32 or exFAT.

Tips: The instructions below are designed to help repartition and format a hard drive. Once the process begins, all the data on the drive will be lost!

Step 1. Connect WD My Passport to your Mac.

Step 2. Once that's done, double left-click on the Mac HD, the internal Mac hard drive visible on the top-right corner of the desktop screen.Select 'Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility'.

Step 3. Select your WD My Passport on the sidebar, choose 'Erase'.

Step 4. Rename the drive, select the 'Volume Format' drop-down list and choose 'MS-DOS (FAT)' or 'ex-FAT File System'. Then click 'Erase'.

Wait for the process to complete and let the macOS erase data on the drive and reformat it by FAT32 or ex-FAT format. Then, you can use the drive in macOS or OS X as a regular hard drive.

Difference Between FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS

FAT is known as the File Allocation Table. The successive major versions of the FAT format are named after the number of table element bits: FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32. FAT32 is the oldest of the three file systems available to Windows. Individual files on a FAT32 drive can’t be over 4 GB in size. A FAT32 partition must also be less than 8 TB, which admittedly is less of a limitation unless you’re using super-high-capacity drives.

exFAT, Extended File Allocation Table, is optimized for flash drives. It was added to older versions of Windows with updates to Windows XP and Windows Vista. This file system doesn't have the limitations of FAT32. You can use it when you need a bigger file size and partition limits than FAT32 offers.

NTFS, NT File System, is the modern file system Windows likes to use by default. It is packed with modern features not available to FAT32 and exFAT. However, it only works with all versions of Windows, but read-only with Mac by default.

If you want to use WD My Passport or any other hard drive on Mac and PC, you need to format a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive in exFAT or FAT32 format.

Tips to Avoid Formatting WD My Passport Without Backup

Just as I have mentioned above, once the process begins, all the data on the drive will be lost. To avoid unnecessary data loss issues, we highly recommended all users extract or back up important data to another device or partition in advance. You can copy files one by one to a new disk or drive. If you have quite a lot of data to be transferred, professional backup software shall be your best choice. Here we recommend you try EaseUS Todo Backup which allows you to directly back up target data with simple steps.

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Todo Backup software and then choose 'File Backup', 'Disk/partition Backup' or 'System Backup' for different backup purpose.

Step 2: Choose the system, disk partition, files or apps that you want to back up. Then select a destination where you want to store the backup file.

Step 3: Click 'Proceed' to start the data backup process.

Hot Topics - People Also Ask These Questions

What is the difference between NTFS, fat32, and exFAT?

NTFS is the commonly used file system for Windows internal drives. Windows OS can only be installed on an NTFS partition. FAT32 is an older file system used for external drives due to its great compatibility. exFAT is a replacement for FAT32, which is not as compatible as FAT32 but without the limitations of FAT32.

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Can I use WD hard drive on Mac and PC?

Yes. If you want to use WD My Passport or any other hard drive on Mac and PC, you need to format a Western Digital My Passport external hard drive in exFAT or FAT32 format.

Can I convert exFAT to NTFS without losing data?

You are unable to directly convert exFAT to NTFS without losing data, as there is no such utility that can help you perform the exFAT to NTFS conversion. You can back up exFAT partition data to another drive and then format the exFAT partition to NTFS with EaseUS Partition Master Free.

How do I format my WD Passport?

Step 1. Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the hard drive partition you intend to format and choose Format.

Step 2. In the new window, set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/exFAT), and Cluster size for the partition to be formatted, then click OK.

Step 3. Click OK in it to continue.

Step 4. Click the Execute Operation button on the top-left corner to review the changes, then click Apply.

Conclusion

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You can format your Western Digital My Passport external hard drive to FAT32 or exFAT format to transfer the data between a Mac and Windows system conveniently. According to the solutions above, the EaseUS partition tool stands out for its convenience and easiness. It's always your best choice.