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Fix Read-only WD External Hard Drive on Mac

Summary: this guide can help you solve WD external hard drive read-only on Mac issue. You also can quickly recover lost data from read-only WD external hard drive or erased WD external hard drive with Do Your Data Recovery for Mac.

WD external hard drive read-only issues on Mac:

  • I have a 1TB WD external hard drive and have stored 5GB documents on it. When I connect it to my Mac, it can be opened, but it shows nothing. Where are my documents gone?
  • When I drag files from Mac desktop to my WD Elements external hard drive, nothing happens!
  • When I connect my WD Drive to my MacBook Air, it gets mounted fine, I can open files and copy the data but I'm unable to delete data or move and rename the folders which are on WD Element 1TB Drive, I found out that is because my drive status is Read Only.

When you encounter this type of issue, just open Disk Utility to check if the file system of your WD external hard drive is NTFS. NTFS is a Windows-based file system and is used widely by most of external hard drives. This file system is not compatible with Mac OS.

When you connect a NTFS disk to your Mac, you just can copy files from it to your Mac, but you can’t write new data to the disk or change anything from it. So, if your WD external hard drive is a NTFS drive, you can’t write new data to it. How to solve this issue? Just follow the steps below.

Quick way to solve ‘WD external hard drive is read-only on Mac’ issue

#1 Back up your WD external hard drive.

If you want to the WD external hard drive become a compatible disk for your Mac, you have to format it to FAT/EXFAT/Mac OS Extended. Before formatting it, you’d better back up important data to a safe disk.

#2 Format the WD external hard drive with Disk Utility.

To solve this issue, you can use Disk Utility to format the WD external hard drive to a compatible file system. Just open Disk Utility on your Mac, click the WD external hard drive.

Fix Read-only WD External Hard Drive on Mac

Now, click the Erase button.

Fix Read-only WD External Hard Drive on Mac

Select the file system you want and click on Erase button again.

Fix Read-only WD External Hard Drive on Mac

Once the process gets finished, you can write new data to your WD external hard drive without any limitation.

Fix Read-only WD External Hard Drive on Mac

If you are going to sell, donate or dispose of your old WD external hard drive, you’d better permanently wipe all data from it. Check this guide: for Mac users, wipe all data before selling old WD external hard drive.

Recover lost data after erasing WD external hard drive with Disk Utility

If you format your WD external hard drive without backing up it, you will lose all files in it. Don’t worry, you still have the chance to recover lost data. With a data recovery application, you can get all lost files back.

Do Your Data Recovery for Mac is a powerful data recovery application which is able to recover deleted, formatted or corrupted data on Mac. This easy-to-use data recovery application can help you quickly recover all lost files from the WD external hard drive after it is erasing by Disk Utility.

Just follow the steps below:

Step 1. Download and install Do Your Data Recovery for Mac, then run it from Launchpad. Connect your WD external hard drive to your Mac.

Step 2. Select the WD external hard drive and click on Scan button.

Recover lost data after erasing WD external hard drive

Do Your Data Recovery for Mac will scan the erased WD external hard drive and find lost files.

Recover lost data after erasing WD external hard drive

Step 3. Once the scan is completed, you can preview all recoverable files. Then select the files you want to recover, click on Recover button to save them.

Recover lost data after erasing WD external hard drive

Final Words:

When you find your WD external hard drive is read-only on Mac, you can use Disk Utility or other Mac disk formatting software to format it and this issue will be resolved. And Do Your Data Recovery for Mac can help you quickly recover lost files even you format the WD external hard drive using Disk Utility.

If your WD external hard drive is not showing up on your Mac, check this solution: fix WD external hard drive not showing up on Mac >>