How to Convert WD External Drive to Apple File System(APFS) Format? [2021]

This page all talks about how to convert a WD external drive to apple file system APFS format.

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Dec 23, 2022 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

External drives are portable hard drives that can be used for storing data that you want to keep on hand during your travels. Most of the external drives especially the WD ones available in the market are either formatted in NTFS or HFS+ format. The NTFS format is for Windows while HFS+ is for Macs. However, the new Macs are shipped with the latest Mac OS version, macOS High Sierra which supports the Apple File System or APFS. If your WD external drive isn’t in this new format, you won’t be able to use it if your Mac has been updated to macOS High Sierra. In such cases, you need to simply convert your WD external drive to APFS format.

What is APFS?

APFS is the short form of the Apple File System. It was introduced by Apple in the year 2006 and is now the default file system of the latest Mac operating system, macOS High Sierra. This new file system replaces the previous file system, Mac OS Extended or HFS+, which was used by all the Mac OS versions which came before it. It offers several advantages over its predecessors and is automatically applied to your hard drive upon the installation of macOS High Sierra. APFS has been optimized for SSDs and flash drives but can be used for external and hybrid drives as well. However, it is best suited for flash and solid-state drives.

One thing to keep in mind about APFS is that it only works on macOS High Sierra. So, if you don’t have this Mac OS installed on your Mac, you won’t be able to open any drives using the APFS format.

Advantages of Converting to APFS

APFS offers a ton of benefits that you don’t find in HFS+. Moreover, it is also the recommended file system for SSDs and flash drives. The following are some of the advantages that you can avail of by converting to APFS.

Click to know more details on How to Format APFS Drive?

How to Convert External Drive to APFS Format?

If you want to format your external drive from its existing file format to the new Apple file format, APFS, or Apple File System then you should follow these simple steps.

On the macOS 10.13 High Sierra, navigate to the disk utility and open it.

Locate the USB port of your computer and then connect your WD external drive into it.

In the Disk Utility window, find the option Show All Devices and click it.


In the windowpane located on the left, find the drive volume and select it after which click on the option labeled Partition.


Check that the scheme listed under Device Information has been set to GUID Partition Map. Then pick Mac OS Extended Journaled from the drop-down menu for the Format under the Partition Information.


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After taking the required steps, hit the Apply button.


Hit the button labeled Partition

Select the partition of the external drive either labeled No Name or My Passport and then right-click on it.


In the drop-down menu that appears, click the option labeled Convert to APFS.


It will take a little time for the conversion process to complete, so be patient. You will see a tick-mark appear once the conversion has been completed. When this tick-mark appears, click the ‘Done’ button.


To ensure that the file format of the drive has been converted, go to the desktop and right-click on the My Passport drive.

In the drop-down menu that appears, click on the option labeled Get Info.

Check that the Format option under general has been changed to APFS.



If you have bought a new WD external drive that isn’t formatted in the APFS format then you would have difficulty in opening it on a Mac running macOS High Sierra. Moreover, you won’t be able to enjoy the numerous benefits that this new file format has to offer you. To make sure that your WD external drive takes advantage of the APFS format, you need to convert it from HFS+ to APFS. You need to follow a simple set of procedures to ensure that your WD external drive is converted to the APFS format. These steps are illustrated as above. Hope you have benefit from the post.


Should I format external drive APFS?

APFS is known to deliver high-end encryption, quick sizing, and enhanced file systems. If you want to use the external drive for moving files between Macs and other OS versions, you need to format the drive in the HFS+.

What format should my external hard drive be for Mac Time Machine?

For the Mac Time Machine, it is suggested to opt for APFS disks. In case you don’t have the APFS format backup disk, you will have access to reformatting and erasing options.

What's the difference between APFS and Mac OS Extended?

APFS is the new feature of macOS High Sierra. On the other hand, Mac OS Extended is the HFS+ which has been getting used since 1998 for Macs.

Does High Sierra automatically convert to APFS?

Yes, High Sierra can convert to ADFS automatically. This is because High Sierra has a new filing system. There is an upgrade process with which the High Sierra installer will automatically convert the SSD to APFS.

Can Windows read GUID?

The GUIDE cannot be identified by 32-bit Windows; the Windows XP and lower systems. In addition, it cannot be recognized by Mac OS X below 10,4. It has the support for reading NTFS for some versions but there is no write support.

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