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[Full Guide] Fix 'WD My Passport Is Read-Only On Mac' Error 2024

Is your WD My Passport external hard drive showing Read-only on Mac? How do you change the WD My Passport from read-only to accessible on Mac? Follow this page, you'll get a full guide to fix this issue, making the drive readable and writable again.


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Updated by Tracy King on Jan 04, 2024
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According to many Mac and hard drive users, the external hard drive or USB read-only is a common issue that may happen anytime. The causes of this issue are various and the solutions to fix this issue are also different. 

On this page, we'll take WD My Passport read-only on Mac issue as an example to show you how to get rid of this error and change WD My Passport drive from read-only to accessible on Mac successfully. Let's get started.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Run First Aid or Format WD Passport Connect the WD My Passport drive to Mac...Full steps
2. Ignore Permissions on Mac

Connect WD My Passport disk to Mac >Right-click the drive and select "Get Info"...Full steps

3. Enable NTFS WD My Passport Readable and Writable Launch EaseUS NTFS for Mac > Click "I already have a license" to unlock this software...Full steps

WD My Passport Is Read Only on Mac, How do I Fix It? 

"When I connected my WD Drive to my MacBook air, it goes mounted fine, I can open files and copy the data. But I'm unable to delete data or rename folders. The status is read-only on the WD drive. How do I change it?"

"I safely eject my WD My Passport external hard drive from Windows and connect it to Mac. It won't open. I check its state, showing as read-only. How do I change WD My Passport from Read-Only on Mac?"

According to most Mac users, they would commonly come across the above two example cases with read-only errors in their storage devices. How do I fix it? Follow the full guide below, you'll get a complete guide to getting rid of read-only issues from your WD My Passport, Seagate, Toshiba, etc., storage devices successfully.

Why Is WD My Passport Showing Read-Only on Mac

To get rid of this error, you need to follow our self-reliance guide here to check the state, trying to figure out the real reason why is WD My Passport showing read-only on Mac:

Step 1. Connect your WD Passport disk to your Mac computer.

Connect external disk to Mac

Step 2. Try to open the WD My Passport drive and see if Mac pops up warning notes.

  • If Mac warns of the device access or file system error, it could be a formatting error.
  • If Mac says the drive has an access permission issue and shows as read-only, it means that your Mac doesn't allow you to access it.
  • If the drive is in NTFS format and shows as read-only on Mac, it could be the NTFS file system support issue.

In a word, WD My Passport read-only error could be caused by these reasons on Mac:

  1. 1. Formatting or internal disk error
  2. 2. Access permission error
  3. 3. NTFS file system

How Do I Change my WD Passport Drive from Read-only on Mac

Follow the respective method with a full tutorial guide, you can address the drive read-only issue from your storage devices on Mac successfully.

1. Run First Aid or Format WD Passport If Drive Contains Formatting Error

When the WD My Passport contains an internal or formatting error, you can run First Aid first. Then, try to format the drive.

If you have essential files saved in the WD passport drive, please connect the drive to Mac and run reliable data recovery software to restore these data in advance. 

#1. Run First Aid in Disk Utility

Step 1. Keep the WD My Passport drive connected to Mac.

Step 2. Open Disk Utility by going to Applications > Utilities > Find and double-click "Disk Utility".

Open Disk Utility

Step 3. Select the WD drive, and click "First Aid" at the top pane > Click "Run" > Click "Done".

Run first aid on WD drive

Now, you can check if you can access and open the WD drive on Mac. If it is still inaccessible, continue the next guide here to format the drive.

#2. Format WD Drive with Disk Utility

As for formatting an external hard drive on Mac will erase the data, so make sure that you've scanned and restored essential files in advance.

Here are the steps that you can follow to format WD drive:

 Step 1. Connect WD My Passport drive to Mac.

Step 2. Press the Command + Space key and type Disk Utility in Spotlight, hit Return.

Step 3. Select the WD drive in Disk Utility, and click "Erase" at the top pane.

Select WD drive to format

Step 4. Set a macOS-supported format to the drive, and click "Erase" to confirm the formatting.

Set a new format to WD drive

Step 5. Click "Done" when the formatting process completes.

Complete formatting WD drive

Now, you are good to visit the drive, using it for data storage flexibly on Mac.

2. Ignore Permissions on Mac, Make WD My Passport Drive Accessible

When you set permission limits to an external disk or important drive, like a data backup disk, Mac will automatically block you from direct access to the drive. You'll need to change the permission settings to make the drive readable and writable again.

Here are the steps:

Step 1. Connect the WD My Passport external disk to Mac.

Step 2. Right-click on the WD drive and select "Get Info".

Get info of WD drive

Step 3. Expand "Share & Permission" setting > Click the lock to authenticate > Tick "Ignore ownership on this volume".

Set permission to WD drive

Now, you are good to go and visit the content in your WD My Passport drive on Mac computers.

3. Enable NTFS WD My Passport Drive Readable and Writable on Mac

When a WD My Passport drive is with an NTFS file system, Mac couldn't directly access the content. By default, the drive will show as read-only on Mac. To fix this issue, you'll need an NTFS for Mac software to help you get full control of this formatted drive.

EaseUS NTFS for Mac with its simple featured tip - Enable Writable can simply execute the operation for you in just 1 click. What's more, it's 100% free in 7 days.

Let's see the details:

Step 1. Launch and activate EaseUS NTFS for Mac. Click "I already have a license" to unlock this software.

Activate EaseUS NTFS for Mac

Step 2. Connect an NTFS drive to Mac, EaseUS NTFS for Mac will automatically detect the device. Select your drive and you'll see it's now marked as 'Read-only". Click "Enable Writable" to add read and write rights to the drive.

enable writable write to NTFS drive

Step 3. When the state of NTFS drives turns into "Writable".

Make changes to saved files on NTFS drive

Step 4. EaseUS NTFS for Mac will pops up a window to help Mac get access to the NTFS drive:

  1. 1. Select "Full Disk Access", click the Lock icon and enter admin password to unlock it.
  2. 2. Select the two icons of NTFS for Mac.
  3. 3. Drag them to the "Full Disk Access" list.
  4. 4. Click " Quit & Restore" to re-launch EaseUS NTFS for Mac.
Gain NTFS access

Step 5. When EaseUS NTFS for Mac restarts, you can then open to check, read, write, and even modify saved data on the NTFS device.

Read,write, open, and modify files on NTFS drives

After this, you can get access to your WD drive with NTFS format on Mac. Reading, writing, renaming files, or even deleting files are all possible.

Relax When WD My Passport or Other Drive Is Read-Only, You Can Fix It

When your WD My Passport hard drive or other brands of drives is showing read-only on Mac, first, you need to stay calm.

To get rid of this issue, you should first try to figure out the symptom or possible reason that caused this issue.

Then, you can follow the respective solutions on this page to fix the error successfully. 

  • For inaccessible or not formatted disk, restore data first. Then run First Aid and format it to a healthy state.
  • For permission-limited drive, ignore the permission settings to unlock the drive.
  • For NTFS formatted drive, enable read and write support to Mac via reliable EaseUS NTFS for Mac software.