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Is there a way to read ext4 partitions from Windows? If so, what can I do?

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Try Linux Reader by Diskinternals, it's the best tool I have found that really works well. Unlike Ext2Fsd, Ext2Read or Ext4Explorer which don't even give you basic information like how many files you have when you open up a folder. – sammyg May 24 '13 at 17:24
This is a useful question. – Colonel Panic Jun 22 '13 at 14:57

Ext2Read works swell. It can also open & read disk images ( eg: Wubi disk images)

Ext2Read is an explorer like utility to explore ext2/ext3/ext4 files. It now supports LVM2 and EXT4 extents. It can be used to view and copy files and folders. It can recursively copy entire folders. It can also be used to view and copy disk and file

alt text

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You sure @Andreja ? might be false positive or gotten infected from a dormant virus. – Sathya Sep 13 '10 at 16:39
@Andreja Ran it by Sophos & Symantec Endpoint, comes out clean. – Sathya Sep 13 '10 at 16:43
There are several reviews on the site of users complaining about virus infection. Ad-Aware reported it as infected to me. I'll do some more testing on my side and report this to project's mailing list. As for the report, it seems that Anubis is down at the moment. The PDF version of the report is here. It clearly shows where the virus is poking. – AndrejaKo Sep 13 '10 at 17:47
Here are results of VirusTotal and Anubis (from a clean system). To me it looks like it's poking around in registry where is shouldn't be poking around. – AndrejaKo Sep 13 '10 at 18:11
It doesn't support removable devices. Try putting a SD card with an Ext4 partition on it inside a SD card reader and try reading it with this software. It won't work. It only supports internal HDD devices. For external and removable, get Linux Reader by Diskinternals. – sammyg May 24 '13 at 16:35

Linux Reader

This program plays the role of a bridge between your Windows and Ext2/Ext3/Ext4, HFS and ReiserFS file systems.

Linux Reader Website


  1. Integrated with Windows Explorer
  2. Reader for Ext2/3/4, ReiserFS, Reiser4, HFS, HFS+, FAT, exFAT, NTFS, ReFS, UFS2
  3. Can create and open disk images
  4. Freeware

enter image description here

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This is the best – Anwar Dec 9 '14 at 13:09
This does work to browse even large partitions of 500GB on an MBR partitioned disk, including ext4. However it's only a recovery (copy to another partition) tool, with preview of files but no way to open them. – RichVel Apr 30 '15 at 6:13

There is now another solution - Paragon ExtFS for Windows, which acts as a file system driver and so you don't need to use a specialized program to access your files.

From the website:

- Fast and easy read/write access to Ext2 / Ext3 / Ext4 under Windows
- The only solution with Ext4 read - write support!
- Easy-to-install and supports Windows 8 / 7 / Vista / XP

edit 2015/04/06 you might want to stick to read files off Linux - there have been anecdotal reports of file system corruptions when writing files to ext4 partitions using Paragon

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I had never seen it before, but seems solid. I'm testing it now. – Paulo Coghi Jun 12 '14 at 13:53
Works like a charm. – Olegs Jeremejevs Jul 28 '14 at 16:19
Or so I thought before getting my partition corrupted. Apparently I'm not the only one. – ntrrgc Apr 1 '15 at 18:32
@ntrrgc I've added a disclaimer, thanks! – michel-slm Apr 6 '15 at 10:17
Note that this software is for personal use only. – starbeamrainbowlabs Sep 24 '15 at 18:46

EXT2FSD works for reading ext4 filesystems, though not all of ext4's capabilities are supported.

After installing set a letter to each Linux drive (see screen-shot) and then restart the application. After that Windows Explorer will show the Linux partitions as any other partition.

setting a letter to a Linux drive

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It doesn't, only theoretically; check out this comment: – alex Sep 8 '09 at 4:42
I wanted to recommend the same app, but I was put off by the comments. If it worked for you, edit your response to let the OP know it works. Positive feedback on an app is important. – alex Sep 8 '09 at 6:15
It apparently works if the ext4 was created without the extent option. See… – harrymc Nov 15 '09 at 8:37
I just tried the Ext2Fsd 0.52 release on Win8.1 and it was easy to setup (run installer with default options), I can read my files with Windows Explorer and other existing applications (no special app required), and it reads my external USB disk (that has ext4 and NTFS). I am using it for read-only use (there's an option in the installer to enable writing and force writing). – idbrii Aug 4 '14 at 17:49
In Windows 7: I see no features missing in ext4. All options available in the Windows Explorer. -- what ext4 capabilities are you referring to? – cipricus Mar 8 at 20:17

Well not really a solution, but I use VirtualBox, use it as a bridge.

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In windows add a raw disk, install a linux guest OS, add a shared folder, then you can read/write ext4 in virtualBox. – Kaizoku Dec 24 '09 at 14:10
how would one add a raw disk? – Babu May 17 '10 at 5:33
elaboration of the answer would help – Anwar Dec 9 '14 at 13:08
@Anwar Lifehacker has a tutorial on this, see – Ragnar123 Jul 21 '15 at 11:49
VirtualBox's documentation on raw disks: – user29225 Oct 13 '15 at 7:53


Ext4Explore is a program that allows Linux partitions to be browsed from Microsoft Windows. It has a GUI which will be familiar to users of Windows Explorer.

Ext4Explore Web Site


  1. Displays Windows Icons
  2. Symbolic Links Displayed with 'Shortcut' Overlay
  3. Follows Symbolic Links and Displays Correct File Information
  4. Copy Files and Directories
  5. Configurable Edit Context Menu Option

enter image description here

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It doesn't support EFI partitions! – user2284570 Sep 9 '14 at 20:38

If you want to dual boot Ubuntu (or any Linux-based OS) with Windows and read ext3/ext4 filesystem, you can use Ext2FSD. Although you may need to take special steps as explained below.

I’ve successfully used Ext2fsd on Windows 7 to read my ext4 (!) filesystem this way.

For those interested, more detailed how-to is here: Read ext3/ext4 Partition from Windows 7

Hope this helps!

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Not found! a 404 error – Anwar Dec 9 '14 at 13:10

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