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How To Format External Hard Drive For Mac


Formatting an external drive for use with an Apple Mac. Before you can use a new (or old) drive with a Mac you will need to format it. There are several options which we will look at to help you choose the correct format for you and show you how to ready the disk for use. Step 1: Launch Disk Utility. Connect the external hard drive to the computer. Click Go on the top tool bar, and select Utilities.

Yo just got a new external hard drive and want to use it on your Mac. However, the Mac OS does not allow you to write data to the drive. You may wonder how to reformat an external hard drive on Mac. Follow the tutorial below, you'll get everything covered.

  • Bonus: How to Recover Data from Formatted External Hard Drive on Mac

Reformatting an external hard drive for use with Mac OSX is not as difficult as it might seem. In a few simple steps you are ready to go and can save your back-up files to the external drive, keeping your information safe and giving you peace of mind. Keep in mind that a MAC can generally read other file formats, but for the best performance and to create a bootable disk, formatting exclusively for MAC is required.

Part 1: Which File Format You Should Choose?

External hard drive: external hard drive is the hardware component like HDD and SSD that you used to store the data. In Mac Disk Utility, it shows in the first line of the whole disk directory (e.g. Formatted external hard drive without backup and want to recover the data? Try Recoverit data recovery: Tip:😎 Leave comments.

Before you begin formatting the drive, there are a few things to do. The most important, you should decide which format to use.

There are a few file formats you can use, but it depends on the purpose you want to use the drive for. Which one is right for your circumstance? We'll describe them here, you'll know your choice after reading the details.

APFS: This is the default file system in Macs with High Sierra. It is efficient and reliable. However, it won't be readable and usable on machines that are not running Mac High Sierra, and Windows or Linux PCs. What's more, it is compatible with SSD and flash storage devices only.

Mac OS Extended (Journaled/HFS+): If you didn't update your Mac OS to High Sierra, the default file system on your Mac shoule be Mac OS Extended. Mac OS Extended (encrypted) would be an ideal option if you probably carry your laptop or external drive here and there. You can encrypt it so that no one can access the contents on your drive.

MS-DOS FAT (aka FAT32): In addition to Mac, it can also be written and read by Linux and Windows. It enables you to regularly share files with your friends who own a PC. Nevertheless, this older file system is limited to no more than 4GB and there might be security issue and disk errors.

ExFAT: It is similar to ExFAT which can be read by both Windows and Mac, but it can store more than 4GB files.

NTFS: As the default file system in Windows, it can only read by Mac OS, writing to it is not available. Luckily, there are third-party tools to help you do so.

Part 2: Format External Hard Drive for Mac with Disk Utility

How To Format External Hard Drive For Mac El Capitan

How to format external hard drive for macbook air

Formatting an external hard drive would erase everything on it. Hence, you must backup your important files before reformatting the drive if you want to save them. The easiest way is to drag it from one drive to another.

All is set, then you can go ahead to format the drive on your Mac. Disk utility - the MacOS utility application can help you with this. Just follow these steps below:

Step 1. Berio cries of london pdf. Connect the external drive or the USB drive to the MAC.

Step 2. Start the Disk Utility, located under Applications > Utilities.

Step 3. Find the name of the drive in the left side of the Utilities window and select it. And click Erase button.

Step 4. Follow on-screen prompts to choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system and allow the disk to format.

Bonus: How to Recover Data from Formatted External Hard Drive on Mac

In case you forgot to backup files before formatting the external drive. Here comes the cure - iMyFone AnyRecover - a one-stop solution to recover deleted, lost or formatted files from Mac.

Follow these simple steps using AnyRecover to get your files back!

Get Ready!

First, download and install AnyRecover, following on-screen prompts to accomplish the task.

AnyRecover 20% off Coupon Code: ANY-ART-D20

Don't miss the opportunity to get AnyRecover license at the lowest price on the market. Don't know how to apply it, check the instructions here:

Get Set!

  • 1. After loading AnyRecover, plug your external hard drive into your Mac directly or via USB.

  • 2. Next select the drive under 'External Removable Devices' tab, click 'Start' to begin scanning lost files on the drive.


  • 1. AnyRecover takes a moment to scan your drive. Once done, it will list out all scanning results by file type.

  • 2. Double click a single file to preview it before recovery.

  • 3. Select the files and press Recover to get them back.

What If?

What if my files were not found? Fear not. We can take this a step further. Enable 'Deep Scan' to try one more time, follow the steps above just as before to locate and recover your files.

It is plain to see that AnyRecover for Mac is a tool worthy of top shelf treatment in your arsenal of items that are used to defend, recover and keep your system up and running. Don't get caught without the file you need for that meeting or stumbling looking for baby photos that were stored on disk and suddenly 'hid' from your view. Allow AnyRecover to find and recover your lost files. AnyRecover is easy to use but provides sophisticated results that mean you know what you're doing!

How To Reformat External Hard Drive

Having an external hard drive is advantageous as you can store tons of data on it. Moreover, it is small, light weight and not attached to your computer. This makes it quite handy and allows you to transfer your data from one computer to another easily.

As you connect your external drive to different computers, it might get infected if the host computer is not secured. And in worst case scenarios, chances are the drive would no longer be recognized by your system.

Well, worry not, we have solution for you. Whenever an external storage device gets infected, it is highly recommended to format the device to make it operable.

In this post, let’s talk about how to erase and format external hard drives on Mac and Windows.

Erase and Format External Hard Drive on Mac

Step 1: Open your Mac and connect your external hard drive with it.


Step 2: Type Disk utility in the spotlight search or click ‘Go’ from the top toolbar and select ‘Disk Utility’.

Note: There is another way to open ‘Disk Utility’, Go to Finder icon > choose Application > Click on utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 3: Choose the external hard drive from the left-hand side which you would like to format.

Step 4: Select ‘Erase’ tab.

Step 5: Select ‘Mac OS Extended (Journaled)’ beside ‘Volume Format’.

External Hard Drive Format For Mac Os

Step 6: Enter a name for the external hard drive in the Name field.

Step 7: Once you hit ‘Erase’ button it will prompt you “Are you sure you want to erase the disk’, So, click Erase to Proceed.

Now, your external hard drive is formatted and is as good as new.

Also Read: Best Free Batch Image Resizer for Mac 2017

How To Format External Hard Drive For Mac Os

How to Erase and Format an External Hard Drives on Windows

Step 1: Go to ‘Start’.

Step 2: Right-Click on Computer.

Step 3: Select the second option ‘Manage’ from the right-click menu.

Step 4: On management window, choose ‘Disk Management’ from the storage.

Step 5: Now, select the drive which you would like to erase and format.

Step 6: Right-click on the drive and select ‘Format’.

Step 7: Choose the ‘File System’, (you can select ExFAT or FAT32).

How To Format A External Hd

Also Read: How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10

How To Format External Hard Drive For Macbook Pro

Note: Make Sure, you do not “Perform a quick format” as it doesn’t erase the entire data on drive.

How To Format External Hard Drive For Mac And Pc

Step 8: Hit ‘OK’. Your machine will prompt you to confirm. After confirmation, your drive will start formatting.

Note: Be patient while formatting your drive, as it might take a bit longer depending upon the size.

Formatting your external hard drive will erase all data available on the drive. In case if you’re formatting a drive that you have used before, don’t forget to copy important files you might require in future.

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