My BRAND NEW WD Elements is Read Only on MAC

All the instructions show plug and play, so that’s a joke. It is a BRAND NEW out of box 12TB Elements. I plugged it in and 2 options for software come up. I installed the MAC software and that was successful but the drive is showing read-only and no other instructions are provided. I tried to drag something into the folder just to test and it won’t write. What is going on???

1 Like

Hi @Coldpoutine,

Please refer to the below article to check to reformat required for Mac OS Compatibility:

When your external drive or any storage drive shows up as “Read Only” on your mac, then you might be encountering a very common problem with the hard drive. In such a situation, the user can open and view the files on a drive but cannot copy or move files to the storage drive. The possible reasons for this issue could be:

  1. External drive is NTFS formatted
  2. Disk permission changed as “Read Only”
  3. External drive is corrupted

However, the issue can be fixed using below DIY methods:

  1. Reformat the external drive
  2. Change/Ignore permissions on an external drive
  3. Repair external drive with disk utility’s first aid

Hope this will help you fix the issue!

I get a message that my Passport drive can not be reformatted !! This is a joke. No support! I just bought this brand new WD Passport external drive to back up my Mac and it says it’s read only. I tried reformatting it and it says it can not be reformatted. HELP ! This support forum has no answers and no response from WD. It also says in a message when you open the WD software that the produce “is not supported” !! Why are they selling products at full price that are supposedly new and not supported??? HELP

I am not a programmer and do not know who to change permissions on the drive. I tried step 1 and it says this drive can not be reformatted !! HELP.

that article is for the PC!! i have Passport for Mac !

Western Digital has worst customer service. No one is there to help. Will never buy their products again

The inaccessibility issue could be due to the corrupt drive. You can repair the corrupt drive using Disk Utility’s First Aid feature and make it accessible. Check out this article to understand better.

If your brand-new WD Elements drive is read-only on a Mac, it might be formatted in NTFS, which macOS can only read. To enable writing, you can reformat the drive to a Mac-compatible format like APFS or exFAT. To do this, open Disk Utility, select the drive, and choose “Erase.” Ensure to back up any data on the drive before reformatting, as this process will erase all data. Alternatively, you can use third-party software to enable NTFS writing on macOS.