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WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Cool Silver Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0)

by Western Digital
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Currently unavailable.
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  • 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 - Titanium WD My Passport Ultra 500GB USB 3.0 Portable Drive with Auto and Cloud Backup - Titanium 4.5 out of 5 stars (253)
In stock.

Product Information

Technical Details
BrandWestern Digital
Item Weight281 g
Product Dimensions17.8 x 15.4 x 5.1 cm
Item model numberWDBACY5000ASL-EESN
Hard Drive Size500 GB
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank 24,853 in Computers & Accessories (See top 100)
Shipping Weight281 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

Box Contains

1x LogiLink HDMI Cable 2m
1 x Toslink Cable 1.5m
1 x Scart Cable 1.5m

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I have bought three of these drives; one for photographs, one for music and the other for my wife. Those with a high gloss finish are very attractive, and if carried in an appropriate case it will stay looking good. The drive fits perfectly into the iGadgitz EVA hard case cover. The cool silver finish isn't glossy and so doesn't mark so easily, but it's not as pretty.
Storage capacity is massive compared to the petite size of the drive. The 500gb is slimmer than the higher capacity drives, but all are remarkably small. The supplied USB cable is rather short but fits easily in a carrying case. At home on the main PC we use a longer cable, carry the short one when taking the drive elsewhere.
I've had problems with the software. Didn't install the automatic backup but use the password security, which works well. Safely removing the drive via the icon has been most unreliable. Often not showing safe to remove, and occasionally crashing the PC. There's no software updates yet, so until there is, the drive can only score 4 stars. With reliable software, it would get 5.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WD External Hard Drive 28 Feb 2011
I have now got 5 harddrives in all WD (x2 internal & x3 external).
My favourite is my small 500gig portable harddrive, it goes everywhere with me. I am in a wheelchair and I can hold all my Medication Docs and in or out of Hospital dates, sounds geeky but this also holds tons of my favourite tunes and a small amount of MP4 Movies for all those hours sitting in Hospitals...
Great prouducts from WD and also saves on shed loads of discs I use to use, I have it passworded as well just in case I lost it or somebody tried to use it...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Looking for a portable hard drive? 5 Jun 2012
By L M
Verified Purchase
WD My Passport Essential 500 GB Cool Silver Portable Hard Drive (USB 3.0/2.0)
It is my second WD portable hard drive. WD's products are reliable and very comfortable to handle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great one! 21 Feb 2012
By Dana
I am really happy with My Passport Essential. Arrived quickly, nicely packed in original packaging. I had to spend a bit of time until I found out which file to use to install it but then everything went smoothly and so far it works perfectly. I use it for storing my data, pictures, movies and music. Nice and small, good for travelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A solid reliable product 13 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase
After purchasing a WD portable hard drive about 4 years ago I had no hesitation in ordering another. If this new one is as resistant to the knocks and shocks as the old one...which is still working well I may add; I'm sure I will not regret this purchase in the years to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard drives 6 Jan 2012
By oktagon
It is a must have as everything can happen to Yr stored data and You can loose all forever. So better to have all saved in it and I ve to add that in silver it is very stylish too..LOL
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 4 Jan 2012
Hard drive arrived on time. It was a present and they were really pleased with it and have had no problems so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I bought this for storing all of my work on as I travel a lot to SE Asia. The hard drive is tiny, like a passport and about 1cm thick. one of the good thing is that it only requires 1 cable/connection to use, unlike some of the others i have seen which require a couple of ports in a computer to work.
I was a little concerned when buying this as I use a Macbook when I am working on the move/at home whereas I use a PC when in the Office and there are separate Mac and PC versions of this apparently. I took the chance and bought the "ordinary" one (PC). It works fine between PCs and is recognised and can open files on my Mac, however I cannot write to it using the Mac. This is due to the NTFS format of the drive. So I formatted the drive to work as MS_DOS (FAT) and now it has no problems working between the 2 systems at all.

The drive comes with special software installed for backing up your files but I have not used this as I dont feel the need to, so I have used it as I would use a USB stick, drag and drop.

The transfer rate is pretty quick. Im not a computer expert but it was clearly quicker than any transfers i have done from my computer to usb sticks.

I think this is a great little hard drive and is perfect for general data storage.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good piece of Kit
This was a present for my Daughter, she is delighted with it, taking it everywhere her Laptop goes.
What more can I say
Published 6 months ago by richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent hard drive
This hard drive is amazing compared to all my past hard drives. It holds all the data that I need and works well. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Natalie
4.0 out of 5 stars very Compact Design
Very compact portable drive with 500Gb of storage, high build quality with good transfer speeds. Very useful device for carrying around large amounts of data.
Published 12 months ago by Mr D H North
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use and super fast
High speed when copying data, easy to use, small and light. Highly recommended. Easy to use with Mac Computers as well.
Published 15 months ago by Celine13
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not rely on this product
This failed completely after 14months and at the time held 14months of company accounts data all lost. Read more
Published 23 months ago by bumper
5.0 out of 5 stars WD 500gb 3.0
I recieved this hard drive, great product!! super fast my WD500 gig USB portable hard drive.

very very happy

Good!! very good!!
Published on 9 April 2012 by dino83
1.0 out of 5 stars Unreliable
Had this HDD for 11 months when it suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason. During its life it was a convenient little device to store all my data when I used it at home,... Read more
Published on 7 April 2012 by Jan
1.0 out of 5 stars Useless for older Macs - why didn't they say so?
I bought this because being small and high capacity, it would make the ideal Time Machine backup drive for my PowerBook G4. Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2012 by Goldfrapper
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Pocket Sized Hard Drive
I already have the 1TB version of this Hard Drive and found it so easy to use - plug and play, that I got a smaller version for my elderly but "with it" mother to assist me in... Read more
Published on 26 Feb 2012 by Sarah Aldridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Best drive I've owned
I have a number of external hard drives as an IT professional, including this as the drive I use if I need to travel or move it from room to room. Read more
Published on 7 Feb 2012 by Compulsive Electronics Buyer
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