How to Copy Files From a 3.5-Inch Floppy Drive to a Modern Mac

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The procedure of studying floppy disks on a Mac relies upon on which sort of disk you need it to examine. We’ll go over each type within the following sections.

IBM PC 3.5-Inch Floppies

If you need your Mac to read IBM PC layout 3.5-inch floppies, you could use a antique PC USB floppy power. (Ironically, Catalina can nevertheless examine the FAT12 document device used by antique MS-DOS floppies, but no longer old Mac disks.)

We tried a Sony VAIO floppy force with a 2013 iMac. It didn’t have any problem reading the documents on a high-density, 3.5-inch IBM PC format disk. You can in all likelihood find a top Sony or HP USB floppy power on eBay.

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1. 400 or 800 K Mac Floppies

If you have four hundred or 800 K Mac floppies, things get much extra complicated. The disk drives that wrote these used special encoding known as GCR. This technique isn’t physically supported in maximum USB 3.5-inch floppy drives.

Recently, though, a brand new option known as AppleSauce emerged for archiving four hundred/800 K Mac disks. It’s a USB adapter that permits you to connect vintage Apple II and Macintosh floppy drives to a cutting-edge Mac and study antique floppies with splendid accuracy.

The biggest disadvantage is its price—the Deluxe model you want to study Mac floppies is $285. This is mostly because it’s a complex, very low quantity hobbyist product. With this tool and an appropriate antique force, though, you could read your floppies into disk pix that may be used with emulators or extracted with different tools.

2. All Mac Floppy Disks

For all Mac Disks, your great bet is probably to discover a antique Mac desk- or laptop with a 3.5-inch SuperDrive that can read and write four hundred/800 K, and 1.44 MB disks. Try to discover a device from the beige G3 era that still shipped with floppies. The more recent the better, due to the fact then you’re less likely to have to make maintenance to get it working.

From there you can use networking to copy the documents among the vintage and modern-day Macs, but that’s every other can of worms, entirely.

3. 44 MB Mac Floppies

If you have got 1.forty four MB Mac floppies, a current Mac logging macOS 10.14 Mojave or earlier must be capable of study them with a antique, USB floppy pressure.

Many people decide upon the Imation SuperDisk LS-one hundred twenty USB power. It’s a ZIP drive competitor that reads both its original, high-potential floppies and regular, 1.forty four MB floppies. You can nevertheless find these for a reasonable fee on eBay. You can also use a antique Sony or HP USB floppy drive.


If your system’s running macOS 10.15 or later, you’re out of good fortune in relation to native USB floppy assist, though. Apple removed aid for the Hierarchical File System (HFS) on vintage Mac floppies beginning with Catalina. There is probably a few technical work-arounds, which include restoring HFS support, however those are complex, and options are nevertheless emerging.

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