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How to Mount Ext4 on Windows for Free?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 24, 2024 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

I found this question on one of the Q&A online forums. 

"Recently, I dual-booted Windows and Linux on my desktop, and when I was about to access the Ext4 files on the Linux partition, all my attempts failed. Is there any way to access and open Ext4 files on my Windows PC?"- Anonymous

Similar to access the Windows file system, NTFS partitions on Linux, opening Ext4 on Windows, or accessing other Linux partitions on your Windows local disk isn't easy. Although you can find them listed on the disk, you need to mount Ext4 on Windows to open such extension files. So, let us dive deep into this concept and get to know the issues and solutions to get through Ext4 files on Windows in our today's article!   

Part 1: Overview of Ext4

What is Ext4 Error?

Before we learn more about the Ext4 problem on Windows, let us first understand what Ext4 is? 

Well, Ext4 is the successor of Ext3, a fourth extended file system that is the recent file system type in usage by Linux users. Additionally, Ext4 is the default file system incorporated by popular Linux distributors like Ubuntu and Debian.

Although it is the default file system of Linux, the problem arises when you can see these files on your Windows disk manager but can't recognize or access the content through any in-built software or apps. Yes, by default, Ext4 files are not supported on Windows operating system, making you clueless on how to proceed further.

But do not worry as we have the solutions for you. We will provide you with a reliable solution for mounting Ext4 files on Windows OS. When you mount Ext4 on Windows, you give the operating system the ability to read or process the contents from the hard drive or the storage device. However, you have to be careful during this mounting process as there are high chances of data damage or loss of essential data.  

If you wish to avoid such complications in the future, you can consider the technique of keeping a "Pooled" Linux partition drive formatted as NTFS. It will allow you to share file systems on both the system after being dual-booted. You can also try syncing the files to Google Drive - This seems comforting, doesn't it?

Part 2: Solutions – How to mount Ext4 on Windows

In this part, we will share some solutions through which you can mount Ext4 on Windows. Let us read each of them one by one.

  1. Use of Windows File System Diver applications

One way to mount Ext4 on Windows is to use the Windows File System Driver apps like Ext2Fsd, and Ext2explore.

You can get the app from here: http://www.ext2fsd.com/. 

To download Ext2explore on your Windows, try the link: https://sourceforge.net/projects/ext2read/   

windows file system drive application

  1. Mount a disk in WSL 2

If you have installed Preview Build 20211 on your Windows 10, you can use {command – wsl –mount} to mount Ext4 on Windows. To do so, you should first navigate to the PowerShell command prompt with Administrative privileges and execute some command lines given below:

Command lines:

wmic diskdrive list brief

For single partition execute :

wsl – mount [DiskPath]

wsl –mount \\. \PHYSICALDRIVE0

To mount a particular partition, execute:

Wsl –mount [DiskPath] –partition [PartitionNumber]

Wsl –mount \\. \PHYSICAL DRIVE0 –partition 1

After executing the above command lines, the disk will be accessible through the Linux distribution.

mount a disk in wsl2

If you aren't tech-savvy, this solution may seem difficult.

  1. Third-party Linux readers

Another solution to read the contents stored with your Ext4 file system is to use third-party software like DiskInternals. You can also use partition manager software like EaseUS Partition Master to view and read the Ext4 partition content on Windows.

third-party linux readers

  1. Convert Ext4 to NTFS

Another way to use Ext4 files on your Windows is by changing the Ext4 file to date drive on Windows. For this purpose, you need to export the export and restore Ext4 files using a recovery tool followed by converting them to a reliable format – NTFS or FAT32. Another way to accomplish the task is to use the file explorer to change the format type to NTFS.

convert ext4 to ntfs

How To Install and Use Extundelete To Restore Files On EXT3 and EXT4

Bonus tip – How to Read and Save Ext4 Partition Files on Windows with Recoverit?

When you rewrite any content stored on the Ext4 file system or attempt to read them with any third-party application like Ext2Fsd or DiskInternals, there are high chances of losing your precious data from the Ext4 drive. Then, how to recover Ext4 files from the drive if lost or corrupted? 

We have the best data recovery solution called Recoverit from Wondershare Inc., the leader in software technology with millions of trusted users worldwide.

With Wondershare Recoverit , you can rescue deleted videos, files, photos, emails, and so on from your Windows, Mac, or external devices like SD Card, USB, hard drive, and so on. Trusted by top industry leaders like Dell, Sony, Microsoft, and IBM, Recoverit is 100% safe, reliable, supports 1000+ file formats, faster recovery rate, and high-tech data rescue action. Used by 5, 000 000+ users, Recoverit is easy to use with an intuitive UI that makes it the best recommendation for both beginners and professionals.

Steps on How to Use Recoverit to Recover Ext4 Files on Windows?

To recover the Ext4 files with Recoverit, follow the 3-step guide given below:

Step 1: Download and Install Recoverit

Enter the official Recoverit website (https://recoverit.wondershare.com/) and download the software for your Mac or Windows. Install and launch the application.

Step 2: Select and Scan the Files

Now, select the location or the local disk drive on your computer from where you wish to recover the Ext4 file system and tap the “Start” button.

The folder or disk will now get scanned, and the individual Ext4 files will appear on the screen.


Step 3: Preview and Recover Your Data

To recover the Ext4 files selectively, hit the “Preview” option on the right corner panel, and once confirmed, tap the “Recover” option to get them back.


Note: Please note that before attempting the solutions mentioned here, make sure you have a copy of the essential files for future reference.

The Bottom Line

Thus, here we are at the end of our discussion on how to mount Ext4 on Windows. With a short conversation over a few concepts on why it is essential to mount Ext4 on Windows, its causes, and possible solutions, we put forward multiple ways to rescue your lost Ext4 file system. We also shared with you an excellent file recovery software, Wondershare Recoverit. I hope your search for a suitable answer to access Ext4 on Windows has come to an end. So, put these solutions into practice and do not forget to share this article with your colleagues as well!

Read More: Best Alternative To Geek Squad Data Recovery

People Also Ask

  1. Will Windows detect Ext4 files?

No. Being supported by the different operating systems (Linux), Ext4 files, including other extensions (Ext2, Ext3), aren't supported on Windows and aren't detectable or readable directly on your PC well. By executing the solutions discussed in the post, you can make it potential.

  1. Will Linux detect the NTFS file system?

Yes. Linux operating system well supports NTFS, default Windows file system. Additionally, various Linux distros allow you to mount NTFS drives as well.

  1. Ext4 Vs NTFS: What and which is better?

Ext4 is the default file format used by the Linux operating system, whereas NTFS is the file system of Windows. When it comes to the performance factor, you need to test them on the native OS because their performance is high on the respective operating systems.

  1. Can Windows read/write Ext4?

No. If you are running both Linux and Windows on the same desktop, you cannot access or perform any actions like rewrite/delete/edit on the Ext4 drive or partition. To do so, you need to get assistance from any of the third-party applications. However, be careful as there are high chances of data damage.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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