How to Use External Hard Drive on Laptop

How to Use External Hard Drive on Laptop

An external hard drive is an excellent device to back up all of your important files, to transfer your important data, etc. Now, all of the hard drives are portable, lightweight and of a compact size that gives ease to use it. They are easy to carry and taken anywhere.

Here, the Whylaptops team will teach you about How to Use External Hard Drive on Laptop. You will be provided with the best guidance here. Just read this full article in detail and you will get to know each and everything about it no matters if don’t have any idea in your mind that what to do. Here we go;

What is an External Hard Drive?

If you are the kind of person who didn’t grow up knowing these kinds of things, then let me tell you that what a hard drive actually is before proceeding further.

“An external hard drive is a portable device that is connected with a laptop from outside. It is also called an HDD (hard disk drive).

They are also called as the portable hard drivers. A flash drive is also the most common type of drives. The best to use is the external hard drive on laptop.

How to Use External Hard Drive on Laptop?

Most of the external hard drives are connected with a laptop using the USB ports or eSATA connections. You can use an external hard drive very easily. This includes just to connect and disconnect the hard drive but you must have knowledge about it first.

Connecting the external hard drive on laptop

If your drive has a power cord in it then connect it with the laptop using that cord. The one end of the power cord is already connected with the hard drive and connect the other end of the cord with your laptop. In case, the hard drive has no cord then you can use a separate cable for it.

Connect one end of the cable with the hard drive and connect one end to the USB compatible port of your laptop. When you connect the drive with your laptop, the operating system of your laptop will automatically recognize it. Your laptop will find it and send it the notification of connecting and external device with your laptop.

In Windows, your file explorer will immediately open and the contents of that hard drive will be displayed in front of you. If your laptop didn’t open the file explorer than check out that the cable is making a proper connection with a hard drive and your laptop port.

If not then connect the cable correctly and then the file explorer will definitely open. If it opens and immediately closed, then you can open the explorer by yourself.  There you will find the connected hard drive contents. You will also see a notification of connection in the taskbar of your laptop.

While in the Mac Operating system, Finder opens up instead of the file explorer. Similarly, like the file explorer if the Finder does not open itself then you can open it manually.

Once you have connected your hard drive with your laptop, you can do whatever you want. You can save its content on your laptop or your laptop files in that drive. You can also save the hard drive content on your laptop. This is how you can use the external hard drive on the laptop.

Disconnect the external hard drive to the laptop

Now for disconnecting the device, you don’t just have to remove the attached cables. You have to securely disconnect it from the cable. To do it, select the operating system of your laptop whichever you are using, e.g a Microsoft Windows or Mac OS.

See the notification area of your laptop taskbar and click on the up arrow option. When you click on arrow options, you will see the arranged icons there. Click on the Eject media icon to safely remove the external hard drive. If you have connected more than one media the option will come about selecting the device you want to remove. Click on your hard drive remove option.

After the click, do a little wait for the message of the safe removal of the hard drive. Never forget to wait for this message before you pull out the cable of the drive. But if there no message comes after five minutes then you can remove the hard drive and it would be a safe removal. But there is likely the possibility of a small green tic showing you that no device is ready to safely disconnect when you click that remove option.

Similarly, if you are trying to remove the drive with the Apple laptop. Then find the connected devices option and with your keyboard press the key E and click on that hard drive option at the same time.  Then remove it and it would be a completely safe removal. Pressing the key is meant for a safe eject.

How to Format External Hard Drive on Laptop?

Actually formation the hard drive is really very easy. The formatting of an external drive deletes all of its data. First of all, you have to connect the hard drive with your laptop using the method that in have described above. After that when your hard drive is connected then open the file explorer and click on your hard drive’s name.

Do a right-click and there you will see a drop-down menu. Go down in that drop-down menu and find the format option. Click on that format option. It will give you the warning that the format will delete the entire data in the hard drive. Click on Ok and you are done now.

How to Connect External Hard Drive to Laptop Wirelessly?

Now, if you want to connect the hard drive wirelessly and don’t know how to do it then we are also covering this for you in this article.

For this, you have to connect your hard drive with your WIFI router. There is a USB port located at the back of the USB router. So, plug in the hard drive into that port. Now, you have to open the Run pop up box on your laptop.

If you don’t know how to open the Run Dialogue box then click on the start menu and type ‘RUN’. It will open the run box for you. You can follow a short cut by pressing the Windows key and R key together. The Run dialogue box will be in front of you. 

Now, enter the IP address of the network in that box and the USB hard drive will get connected with your Wi-Fi. You will be able to see all of your hard drive data on your laptop. Drag this file to your desktop so that you may not have to open the run dialogue each time and enter the IP address again and again. You can rename this file as WIFI hardware or anything which you like so that it can give you great ease.

In case, you don’t know the IP address of your WIFI router, then you can check it very easily. Go to the WIFI network and open the network settings. Now, go to the advanced options and click on properties.

You can see the IPv4 DNS server address there. You have to out this IP address in the Run dialogue box to connect the hard drive with WIFI. That’s how you can use an external hard drive on laptop.

Benefits of using an external hard drive

There are many benefits of using an external drive. There are several good reasons that encourage you to use an external hard drive. Good hard drives have too many excellent features. The external hard drives on laptop are an easy and quick connection.

Storage capacity

One of the reasons to use an external hard drive is the enhanced storage capacity. Sometimes you have a lot of data to save and your laptop space becomes insufficient to save all that data. In this case, an external hard drive is the best option for a heavy amount of data.

A hard drive can have the full capacity from 120 GB to 300 GB. It is the most accurate choice for data storage than that of any other one. Click here to buy it from Amazon.


External hard drives are highly portable too. You can take all of your important stored data in your hard drive anywhere. You can connect your portable drive with your friend’s laptop. Hence, you can open up all of your important data anywhere in any of the laptop for work. This allows you to do a hindrance free work.

Long life

Remember that when the internal hard drive of your laptop dies, you can’t work on your laptop at all. But when you rely on an external drive, it will never disappoint you. It has a very long life and a robust body to bear all. Even if your external hard drive dies, you can still use your laptop.

Improved performance

Using an external hard drive as your main drive or boot speeds up the performance of your laptop. All of the drivers become really fast. When your data only saved on your hard drive and not much in the laptop then the laptop remains like a new and light one and works at its peak levels. So, it is more preferable as compared to the internal hard drive of the laptop.

Backup Drive

A hard drive can be used as an emergency backup for all of your files and important data. A back up will save all of your important data if your laptop has some issues. Otherwise, when there is no hard drive, the data on the laptop become lost in case of emergency issues.

An external hard drive is actually true support. If you only depend on your laptop for your work and you have to save a lot of data than an external hard drive is the best and protected device to backup and keep all of your data saved. Buy now.

Final words

I have explained my best about this topic. I have even covered using the external hard drive wirelessly on your laptop. All you have to do is to go through the entire guide very carefully. Connect hard drive with your laptop and keep all of your heavy data saved in it and your laptop will keep performing the best for you.

Good luck.

Team –

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