Both macOS and Windows allow users to format their hard drives using built-in utilities. Even though most people associate formatting with system installation, there are many other reasons why you might want to format your hard drive.
If you purchased an external hard drive and need to format it, you should use the APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) format. These are the newest data formats available and will give you the best performance. APFS( Apple File System) is the file format from Apple and should be used if able.
There are all kinds of reasons why you might want to format a drive. Perhaps you are selling you Mac and you want to completely erase it so that nobody can access your date. Or perhaps you are setting up an external drive for backups. Maybe you want to copy something onto a drive to share with a PC or another Mac. Or it might be that you bought a drive to use with your Mac only to discovered it is pre-formatted for Windows.
Do you know why your newly bought external hard drive can't be used on Mac? Because the format of your external drive doesn't match the file format on Mac. So, you need to make a Mac format external hard drive compatible with the Mac system. And which file system should you choose, and how do you make Mac format external drive? Don't worry. This guide will provide you with an exact method.
Yes, you need a Mac format external hard drive. External hard drives are needed for many applications, such as data storage, transfer, or space expansion. But not every external hard drive is suitable for Mac systems. There are many reasons for formatting external hard drives for Mac, such as:
Among all the types of file system format, ExFAT is the best one. It supports cross-platform setup. And it is also fast and as a very large file size. When you know the file system you can use on your Mac, you can format your external hard drive.
Disk Utility is a built-in tool on Mac that can format external hard drives and create, delete or format partitions. If you want to format the external hard drive on your Mac system, you can use it and follow the steps below.
Except for using Disk Utility, you can also format an external hard drive for Mac on Windows. You can use three-party software. EaseUS Partition Manager is a very trustworthy software. It can easily format USB/external hard drive to exFAT format. You can follow the detailed guide below to complete the operation.
This guide explains the correct file system for a Mac format external hard drive. You can choose APFS for the Mac system. If you want to use the hard drive both for Mac and Windows, exFAT is a perfect choice.
And this guide also provides the steps to format an external hard drive on a Mac system. You can do it quickly with Disk Utility. But if you want to format an external hard drive for Mac on Windows, EaseUS Partition Master is another easy and quick way.
You 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. Then you may start to wonder why, and more importantly, how to solve the problem.
The truth is, if you want to use the external hard drive on your Mac, it's necessary to reformat it to make it compatible with the Mac OS. Follow the tutorial below, you'll learn everything concerning reformatting external hard drive on Mac, as well as how to recover data from formatted external hard drive.
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, and you'll be able to make your choice after reading the details.
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.
Reformatting an external hard drive for use with Mac OS 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 Mac OS can generally read other file formats, but for the best performance and to create a bootable disk, formatting exclusively for your Mac based on its version is required.
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.
In case you forgot to backup files before reformatting the external drive, you would lose you data stored on the drive before. But don't worry and get into panic. Here comes the cure - AnyRecover - a one-stop solution to recover deleted, lost or formatted files from Mac.
In this post, we've talked about how to reformat external hard drive on Mac to meet the needs and better make use of the device. What's more, a perfect fix is provided to recover lost data from the formatted drive.
Buying an external hard drive or SSD for your Mac is not all that different from buying one for your Windows PC. Most laptops with either operating system now come with at least one oval-shaped USB-C port, and it's the one you'll want to use for connecting your external drive. The main difference is that many drives made specifically for Macs use the upgraded Thunderbolt data transfer protocol, which promises super-fast data transfers for photographers and video editors who need to store mountains of footage and access it very quickly. As a result, they are typically external SSDs, or even multidrive RAID arrays, which means they also tend to be expensive.
So what's a Mac user to do who just wants to back up his or her files using Time Machine, or stash a large video collection? Spoiler: A Thunderbolt drive isn't your only option; far from it. In fact, in many cases it makes sense to choose an inexpensive non-Thunderbolt drive that isn't targeted toward Mac use. Read on as we solve this and all of your other Mac external-storage quandaries. We'll start with a breakdown of our favorite external drives for Macs, followed by a guide to how to shop for the best one for you.
We mentioned Thunderbolt up top. Before we get to Thunderbolt, we need to address a basic building block of hard drives that has always affected compatibility, and probably always will: the file system.
An external drive's file system is the most important factor that determines whether or not it's readable by Macs, PCs, or both. Starting with macOS "High Sierra," Cupertino ditched its venerable Mac OS Extended file system, commonly abbreviated as HFS+, and switched to an entirely new file system. It's simply called the Apple File System (APFS), and it's the first format to be used across both Macs and iOS devices.
There are many benefits to switching from HFS+ to APFS, including better security thanks to native encryption, but the most important thing to note for external-drive shoppers is backward-compatibility. Any drive formatted with HFS+ will work just fine with a Mac that's running High Sierra or later.
Neither Apple File System nor HFS+ works with Windows, however. If you plan to use your external drive with computers that run both operating systems, you should consider formatting your drive with the exFAT file system. You won't get the security and efficiency of APFS, but you will get the convenience of being able to transfer files back and forth between Windows and macOS simply by plugging in and unplugging your drive.
Of course, you can easily wipe and reformat most external drives, so you're not limited to buying only those intended for use with Macs. If you really fancy a consumer-oriented drive formatted for Windows (which will usually come pre-formatted in the NTFS format), you can use the Disk Utility in macOS to reformat it after you bring it home from the store. Some highly specialized external drives might not work with Macs even if they're formatted correctly, but consumers looking for extra space simply to store backups or large video collections aren't likely to encounter them.
A solid-state drive (SSD) offers quick access to your data because it stores your bits in a type of flash memory rather than on spinning platters. SSDs are often smaller and lighter than spinning external drives, as well, which is also thanks to the lack of moving parts. Their small size means they can often fit into a jacket or pants pocket, which makes them a better choice if you're looking for a portable external drive that you'll be carrying with you frequently. (See our overall picks for favorite external SSDs.)
On the other hand, if you're looking to buy an external drive mainly to back up your files (which you should definitely do), and it will rarely leave your home office, an inexpensive spinning drive will work just fine. These come in both portable and "desktop" versions.
The portables are obviously smaller, and are based on the kinds of 2.5-inch platter drives used in laptops. Desktop-style external hard drives are larger, are based on the beefier and more capacious 3.5-inch drives used in full-size desktop PCs, and require their own AC power source. Portable drives don't have a power plug; they get the juice they need to run through their data interface.
Unfortunately, you won't find all that many Thunderbolt 3-compatible drives on the market, and even fewer that support Thunderbolt 4. There are even some Mac-specific drives still sold with USB 3.0 connectors. Moreover, the Thunderbolt drives you can buy are constrained by the maximum throughput of the drive itself, rather than the Thunderbolt interface. Until recently, most external SSDs topped out at around 600MBps, for instance, due to the traditional bus types used by the drives inside the chassis. That's more than fast enough for backups and occasionally transferring multi-gigabyte files, but many times lower than Thunderbolt's maximum throughput. 2b1af7f3a8