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I'll buy a Macbook air and wonder how I can transfer my files from external hard drive I used for windows to the new Macbook Air?

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  • Macs are able to read NTFS file systems (the kind used by Windows) but are not able to write to them by default. You should be able to transfer the data over as you would normally. If you want both read and write access from both a windows and a mac machine, consider using a more advanced file system like ExFAT.
    – wrossmck
    Dec 30, 2014 at 18:19
  • @wrossmck Why don't you post this as an answer?
    – nohillside
    Dec 30, 2014 at 18:36

2 Answers 2

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Windows stores all of the users files in C:\Users (for windows Vista and up) or C:\Documents and Settings (for Windows XP). Inside that folder you'll see all of the user accounts for that Windows computer. Copy the user you want over to a flash drive or external hard drive then plug it into your laptop. On your Mac, use the Migration Assistant to finish the transfer or just copy and paste the files yourself.

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Macs are able to read NTFS file systems (the kind used by Windows) but are not able to write to them by default. You should be able to transfer the data over as you would normally. If you want both read and write access from both a windows and a mac machine, consider using a more advanced file system like ExFAT.

If your current External Hard Drive is formatted as NTFS, you can reformat it in either windows or a mac environment as ExFAT, however this will delete all the data on the drive.

If the intended goal is simply to transfer to the new mac, this could be achievable in NTFS or ExFAT. I would recommend transferring the files to your mac, and then re-formatting the drive as ExFAT, so both operating systems can read and write to it.

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