How to Mount a PC Formatted Disk on a Mac

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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The Macintosh OS X operating system is able to read PC-formatted discs because the needed files pertaining to the Windows-based operating system are included as standard. You can mount a PC-formatted disk on a Mac without having to access any special programs or perform any special tasks. The PC-formatted disk can be used to perform similar functions to that of a Mac formatted disc, although PC programs on the disk will not run under OS X.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Plug the cable attached to the PC formatted disk drive into an appropriate port on the Mac--this might be a USB port or a FireWire port, depending upon the type of PC disk drive used.

  2. 2

    Wait as OS X mounts the PC formatted disk drive and places an icon of it on the Mac's desktop.

  3. 3

    Double-click on the icon of the PC formatted disk drive to open its window on the desktop. Drag a file or folder from the window onto the Mac's desktop or drag a file or folder from the Mac's desktop into the window.

  4. 4

    Wait as a progress bar appears on the desktop, fills in from left to right and then disappears.

  5. 5

    Drag the icon of the PC-formatted disk drive to the Trash. Wait as OS X unmounts the PC formatted disk drive. Remove the cable attached to the PC-formatted disk drive from the port on the Mac.

Tips and warnings

  • Always run the most recent updated version of OS X.
  • PC discs that have been formatted in the special NTFS mode can be mounted and read, but cannot be written to by OS X.

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