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WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Midnight Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0)

by Western Digital
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
Price: £44.95
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In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by YouLookSlim.
  • Portable hard drive with dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatibility
  • Connectivity for today with speed for tomorrow
  • Up to 3x faster transfer rates with USB 3.0
  • Automatic, continuous backup
  • Hardware encryption, password protection
See more product details
There is a newer model of this item:
WD My Passport Ultra 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Drive with Auto and Cloud Backup - Black WD My Passport Ultra 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Drive with Auto and Cloud Backup - Black 4.5 out of 5 stars (235)
In stock.

Frequently Bought Together

WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Midnight Black Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0) + AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case for My Passport Essential
Price For Both: £50.94

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Product Information

Technical Details
BrandWestern Digital
Item Weight286 g
Product Dimensions10.9 x 8.1 x 1.5 cm
Item model numberWDBACY5000ABK-EESN
Hard Drive Size500 GB
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank 6,282 in Computers & Accessories (See top 100)
Shipping Weight299 g
Date First Available20 Oct 2010
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Product Description

Product Description

WD Quality inside and out
My Passport portable drives are the world's best selling drives. With 20 years of experience we know how to protect your data.

My Passport Essential – Next Generation Storage To Go.

Put your digital life on the stylishly small My Passport Essential portable hard drive. With WD quality and USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connectivity, this drive is designed for today with tomorrow in mind.

Dual USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 Interface

If you're worried that your portable drive won't be able to keep up with the transfer rates of the future, then look no further than the My Passport Essential. With the dual interface you'll have a single drive with both universal compatibility for today, and the next-generation speed you need for tomorrow. Use it with USB 2.0 now and step up to USB 3.0 speed when you're ready.

Up to 3x Faster Transfer Rates

When connected to a USB 3.0 port this drive lets you access and save files up to 3 times faster than USB 2.0. Imagine being able to transfer a 2-hour HD movie in just 5 minutes instead of 13 minutes.* Not only will this save you time and allow you to do other tasks, but it also makes your media that much more portable, available to take with you or be transferred within minutes.

*Performance may vary based on user's hardware and system configuration.

Use it with USB 2.0 now and step up to USB 3.0 speed when you're ready.
A single drive with universal compatibility today and next-generation speed for tomorrow.
WD Quality Inside and Out

For over 20 years, millions of people worldwide have trusted their data to WD hard drives. We are successful because we understand the importance of your data and our first concern is keeping that data safe.

WD SmartWare Software

You're in control of your backup. With our intuitive backup system you can decide how you approach securing your data for the future - you can install all the features, select just the components you need, or if you prefer, choose not to use the software at all.

Automatic, Continuous Backup

A backup system that works as you do, running quietly in the background to protect your data using minimal PC resources. Whenever you add or change a file it's instantly backed up, so you can be safe in the knowledge that if the worst happens, your stored data will let you carry on from only moments before.

Ultra-small portable drive.
Lightweight, stylish and easy to carry, this drive is powered directly from the USB port on your PC.
Password Protection for Privacy

Data privacy is a big concern for many people, and with a portable drive there is always the possibility that it could be misplaced during a journey. Gain peace of mind knowing that your data is protected from unauthorised access with password protection and encryption.


A truly portable drive without a chunky power adapter. As this drive is powered directly from the USB port on your PC, no separate power supply is needed, allowing you the freedom and flexibility to take this small drive anywhere and connect via any compatible device or hub when you need it.

Planet Friendly

We designed a small box that uses recycled material and minimises waste. We encourage you to recycle it when you're finished, to help reduce waste further and help the environment.

Ideal for:
  • Connecting with your USB 2.0 port today and using with USB 3.0 when you're ready
  • Transferring files up to three times faster when connected to a USB 3.0 port
  • Protecting your data with automatic, continuous backup
  • Adding extra storage space for photos, videos and music
  • Securing private or sensitive data with password protection and hardware encryption

Portable Storage Comparison Table

Western Digital Elements Portable Western Digital Elements Portable SE Western Digital My Passport Essential Western Digital My Passport Essential SE
SUMMARY Simply affordable, easily portable. Maximum capacity storage in a compact design. Next generation storage to go. Next generation high-capacity storage to go.
250GB - 500GB
500GB - 1TB
750GB - 1TB
USB 2.0
USB 2.0
USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
USB 3.0 and USB 2.0
Available Colours
WD SmartWare
Automatic Backup
Password Protection and Hardware Encryption

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
177 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New generation 3 Dec 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm giving this little beauty top marks not for speed of transfer, but for it's neat small size and huge capacity. It has a proffesional 'quality,' feel about it and is around 75% the size of my WD250 gig USB portable hard drive.

Okay, speed and differences between USB2 and USB3. First noticeable thing is the port on the side of the drive. It's not the same as a USB2. It consists of two small flat ports joined, one of which appears to be similar to the one found on an HTC phone. This means you won't have a cable lying around to fit it. It does come with the correct cable of which the computer end is a standard USB type A fitting. It is short though at 45cm so that may mean you need a longer cable in some situations. Speed will only be faster that USB2 if you fit a new PCI Express expansion port to your computer. This isn't a problem if you have a spare expansion slot on your computer, are happy to furtle around inside (not difficult but some people don't enjoy it) and of course you have bought a card. I bought a card from a well known on line retailer for about 15 quid. They can range from £10 to £50 so do your on line checks first.

Speed is of course the same on USB2 - which is fine for small files but it is relatively painful when transferring large amounts of data such as films or a music library. Using my newly fitted USB3 card and the drive I probably doubled my speed of transfer. I have read that 10x faster is the standard, but you can expect in practice around 3x the speed on average. As per usual you have to take a lot of the manufacturers claims with a sceptical eye as they no doubt use absolutely optimised set ups, however I think that the 2 to 3X extra transfer speed I'm getting is a good increase.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good product 4 Dec 2010
* stylish but it does scratch easily
* very quiet
* generates little heat
* USB3 but also compatible with USB2 systems
(can't comment on USB3 as my system is USB2 only)
* fast large file transfers
(can't comment on small file transfers - only using it for large media files)
* pretty inexpensive for what you are getting really

I have only had mine for just over a week but I have also a WD My Passport 250Gb drive which I have been happily using for well over a year without any issue (bar acknowledged cable connector problem). Those of you who have owned previous My Passport drives and, like me, have had cable issues then this seems to have been addressed with this drive - tighter and firmer connection to the unit this time.

My only gripe is that it worked flawlessly on XP but on Vista I had to manually install the WD SES driver located on the drive itself (which was accessible by the time I needed to install the driver) - this may confuse/annoy some users!

UPDATE: Having owned a number of these drives for a while now I would add that if stacked the heat can build up fairly quickly when the drive is under any sort of load (sustained drive access). I have not had any of my drives fail on me, touch wood, which I understand has a been a problem for some users.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plug and play 30 July 2011
By ska88
After reading several review I started to get a bit worried about purchasing this hard drive,especially with all the talk of the virtual CD and the software problems. I'm glad I went ahead anyway because it couldn't have been easier. Maybe WD have been listening and ironed out all the problems because I plugged it in and my Windows 7 PC recognised the drive as an external hard device, called it "My passport" and away I went dragging and dropping my files.There was no virtual CD, the software was just filed on the drive and it didn't automatically start to install. The drive seems to be fairly fast, transferring 24GB of photos in about 8 minutes and reached speeds of up to 80MB per second. This was using the USB 3.0 port on my motherboard.
My only gripe is the very short and very stiff USB 3 lead.It's only about 12" long making it very awkward to use.
The drive is also recognised by my Digitalstream PVR so I can view all my photos on my TV.
One last thing,for all those complaining that the drive failed and they lost all their data. Hard drives fail,they always have and always will, that's why we back-up. Don't use this drive as extra storage without back-up and then complain that you've lost everything.I bought this drive solely to back-up my data not because I enjoy it but because I need to.
Let's hope this drive lasts as long as some of my others. Touch wood!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good product works with my imac wahey 3 Dec 2010
By Ren
Verified Purchase
Good drive, smaller then the old portable wd passport one my brother got, very quiet, nice bright l.e.d to show its working, the sockets are solid and works with the wd hd media player, so long as you format it to journal only, and update the firmware for the wd media player. Quite fast 11-14 mins to copy 13.9gb with the usb3.0/2.0. I'm very pleased with it, and it was quite prompt delivery. I am ordering another one.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product (once you get rid of Smartware)! 27 Feb 2011
So I ended up purchasing this hdd based on its size, capacity, USB 3.0 capabilities and the Western Digital brand which has brought me some joy in the past, what I failed to notice was the presence of this built-in management software "SmartWare" which WD imposes on its customers. Basically before even opening the package I browsed the web looking for the best ways to get rid of it and so I did even if only partially as it comes built-in the firmware itself.

Right, so here are a few steps you might want to follow to fully enjoy this product:

1. Backup all the files and folders which come inside the disk (you are going to need at least the Windows driver).

2. Go to WD website and download the latest firmware updater.

3. Install the latest firmware along with the SmartWare app on your computer and perform all the checks the application allows you to do in order to see if your unit is 100% OK.

4. In the SmartWare application, disable the disk's hibernation/power saving mode (this will help ALOT compatibility-wise) and will be applied to the disk's firmware itself so you won't have to ever bother with that again.

5. Remove all the folders from the disk and reformat/partition the disk as you like! (Don't forget to copy at least the folder with the Windows driver back into the disk so you can use it without problems on other PCs!)

I have a 300GB partition for general computer related stuff and one "Nintendo Wii compatible partition (WBFS)" and everything works great!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product
This is my 1st purchase of this product. I use it as a hard drive to store TV programs/films I want to watch at a later date, and as backups for my PCs...totally reliable product! Read more
Published 2 days ago by Azar
5.0 out of 5 stars WD My Passport Essential 500 GB
I have found this invaluable in backing up documents, pictures and music. Very easy to use when following the instructions.
Published 16 days ago by TINY
5.0 out of 5 stars Good product
Very good product and it is easy to use and I would not hesitate to recommend the product to others
Published 1 month ago by alan
5.0 out of 5 stars Small, durable and easy to use
Get rid of the built in backup software and just use this as portable drive to backup your computer data. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Shenoizy
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Have been using it for over a year now and never had a problem. It doesn't get heavy use and is only plugged in what I do full back ups of my important files every few months. Read more
Published 4 months ago by B. Patel
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I love these little USB hard drives. I have lots of them due to my business and I wouldn't look at any other brand.
Published 6 months ago by Jennifer Cartwright
2.0 out of 5 stars WD myPassport USB3 - some flaws
Looks great, works well with my laptop (Win7, 64-bit, i7), BUT BUT BUT ... this product has 2 significant drawbacks: the first and worst is that it leaves an undeletable 340Mb of... Read more
Published 6 months ago by braveheartengr
5.0 out of 5 stars nice wd PHDD
Go to hell amazon with the stupid minimum word limit system that just makes reviewers angry that they cant say just what they want, lets fight against this by always mentioning it... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Martin Holeysovskı
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
I am very pleased with it. It works perfectly, the software for baking up and recovering is easy to use, the looks and feel are attractive and WD is one of the best Disc drive... Read more
Published 8 months ago by J.L.Villazon
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good product
very good product, has not let me down in any way, backed up every thing with out and issues. Thanks
Published 8 months ago by luken
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