How to Access Linux Partitions (ext2, ext3, ext4) From Windows in Dual-Boot System?

If you have a dual-boot system with Windows and Linux, you probably know that Windows and Linux both use different file systems. Windows uses FAT32 and NTFS file systems where as Linux uses ext2 and ext3 file systems.

You can access Windows partitions from Linux but on the other hand Windows doesn't allow access to Linux partitions.

Many times we might need to access files stored in Linux partitions and we realize that we can't access them from Windows. In this situation we have to reboot our system in Linux to access those files.

Wouldn't it be better if we could access Linux partitions from Windows? Today we are sharing 5 interesting FREE tools which allow access to Linux partitions from Windows:

  • Explore2fs (Read-only Access)
  • Ext2 IFS (Installable File System) (Read as well as Write Access)
  • DiskInternals Linux reader (Read-only Access)
  • Ext2 FSD (File System Driver) (Read as well as Write Access)
  • Ext2Read


Explore2fs is a GUI explorer tool for accessing ext2 and ext3 file systems. It runs under all versions of Windows and can read almost any ext2 and ext3 file system.

Download Link

Ext2 IFS (Installable File System):

Ext2 IFS provides Windows NT4.0/2000/XP/2003/Vista with full access to Linux Ext2 volumes (read access and write access). It installs a pure kernel mode file system driver Ext2fs.sys, which actually extends the Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista operating system to include the Ext2 file system.

Ext2 volumes get drive letters. Files, and directories of an Ext2 volume appear in file dialogs of all applications.

Download Link

DiskInternals Linux reader:

DiskInternals Linux Reader runs under Windows and allows you to browse Ext2/Ext3 Linux file systems and extract files from there. The program provides for read-only access and does not allow you to make records in Ext2/Ext3 file system partitions.

Download Link

Ext2 FSD (File System Driver):

Ext2 FSD is an open source linux ext2/ext3 file system driver for Windows systems (2K/XP/VISTA/7, X86/AMD64).

Download Link


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.

Download Link


The LTOOLS are a set of command line tools to read and write Linux ext2, ext3 and ReiserFS filesystems (Linux's standard filesystems) from DOS or Windows running on the same machine.

It also comes with GUI programs "LTOOLSgui" (Java based graphical user interface) and LTOOLSnet (.NET based user interface).

Download Link

Thanks to our readers "ThatGuy" and "Ashish Rohilla" for sharing "LTOOLS" and "Ext2Read"...

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Posted in: Software, Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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  • I think Ext2Read is best because all other doesn't support ext4 !!!!!!!!!

  • Hey VG "Linux Reader" is also 1 of d best ext2/3/4 reader

    here is a link

    i`m currently using it and from my side it is d best 1

  • VG

    ^^ Its already mentioned. Check number 3. :)

  • hi, i need access to write from win 7 to partition of osx 10.6.x, i have dual boot and this programs do not work. thank

  • Hello,

    Ext2Read do the job, thank you very much :)

  • I think Paragon ExtFS for Window is the best, no doubt! It’s much easier to use, and gives read/write access to ext2/3/4 under windows xp/7/8. Not bad?) Everything I need.

  • @Noah, thanks for that. Paragon ExtFS worked fine for me also and I agree, it is very easy to use.

  • nice article...!


    It is not at all essential to access linux partition under windows do that if only necessary, else all viruses and other malware shall reside in linux partition, of course linux will not execute those but it is good to keep two separate worlds separate else unexpected things might happen

    Use these drivers only when you have to.....!!

    Happy hacking

  • You forgot to mention an important disclaimer:

    None of these utilities work with encrypted Ext* file systems.
    If you're running Linux with an encrypted file system -- as you should always be doing -- then you're out of luck.

  • Only DiskInternals Linux reader works properly on Windows 8. thanks

  • Diskinternals worked like wonders and saved me from loosing my data as my linux partition wasn't booting at all.
    Thanks for the post :)

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