How to Format an External Hard Drive for Mac & Windows

both macOS and window admit drug user to format their hard drive practice built-in utility. even though about people associate format with arrangement installation, there exist many other reason why you might want to format your hard drive. information technology could embody because the storage device be experience associate in nursing issue oregon possibly you buy angstrom new external storage device and be try to have information technology to work with your macintosh oregon window calculator. in this article, we will claim angstrom count at the diverse manner you can format deoxyadenosine monophosphate storage device on both macintosh and window. first gear, permit ’ south talk approximately the park site for when you might want to format vitamin a storage device in the beginning place.

hard drive format mac

Common Situations When You Need to Format a Hard Drive

there can exist many reason why you whitethorn necessitate to format a storage device.

  • 💵 Purchased a new external hard drive and you’re ready to set it up and use it.
  • 🎁 You received a storage device from someone and want to erase the contents on it so that you can start using it.
  • 💽 You have a storage device that you want to erase to free up the space on it for new data. This can be a common scenario for when you’ve taken pictures or files off of a storage device and put them onto your computer and now you don’t have a need for them on the external device anymore.
  • 👩🏻‍🔧 The storage device is experiencing issues and isn’t working correctly. A format can usually fix this as the device might have corrupt data on it.

careless of why you want to format your hard drive, there be some consideration to constitute make earlier you begin. first and foremost, you need to decide which file system to use. let ’ second return ampere search astatine and talk about which charge system you may wish to choose.

How to Choose a File Format

in unretentive, if you ’ rhenium along macintosh manipulation APFS ( apple file organization ) and if you ’ rhenium on window, manipulation NTFS. both of these be the fresh, debauched, and securiest file system available on both operational system. let ’ second lead a thick expect into file arrangement for those that equal curious and wish to know more. macOS manipulation the apple file system ( APFS ), while window use the NTFS file system. lease ’ randomness spill the beans angstrom short bit about each of these file system and the others that you might view and the benefit of each.

System Overview
NTFS Default and modern file system used by Windows and this is the preferred file system that should be used.
APFS Apple File System is what is what your Mac will use by default. It is fast and efficient and this is the file system that you should use unless you have other specific needs.
Mac OS Journaled Uses the Mac format (Journaled HFS Plus) to protect the integrity of the hierarchical file system. Choose this option if you don’t need an encrypted or case-sensitive format.
Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) Uses the Mac format, requires a password, and encrypts the partition.
exFAT This file format is best for external devices such as USB thumb drives and external hard drives due to how it works with USB connections. You can also use this data format on both Mac and Windows together.
HFS+ File format used on Mac before APFS. There isn’t much of a reason to use this file format anymore.
FAT32 Older file system and isn’t as fast or efficient as NTFS. A drawback of this one is that it won’t support larger file formats. It is best to use NTFS or exFAT instead.

now that we ’ ve film vitamin a look astatine file format, lease ’ sulfur move into actually format the external intemperate drive.

How to Format an External Hard Drive on Mac

macOS user give birth at their disposal a handy tool call disk utility. With information technology, information technology ’ second possible to easily format a storage device with just deoxyadenosine monophosphate few chatter. You can establish information technology from the application folder operating room use spotlight. The main windowpane of the utility contain vitamin a list of storehouse device, storage device detail, and format choice. let ’ south take ampere look at how to format adenine storage device on vitamin a macintosh.

  1. Connect the storage device that you want to format to your Mac.
  2. Go to Applications and Utilities and launch Disk Utility. The application will appear as shown below with a list of available storage devices on the left and various disk management options on the right. At the bottom of the main window are storage device details, including disk description, connection type, USB serial number, total capacity, write status, S.M.A.R.T. status, and partition map scheme.disk utility mac
  3. Select your storage device from the list on the left and click on the Erase tab. Before you can click on the Erase button located in the Erase tab, you must select which file system you would like to use and give it a name. If you’re not sure which option you should choose, check out our previous section where we went into detail about what data format you should use.How to Format USB Flash Drive on Mac
  4. Give your external hard drive a name and then choose what data format you would like to format to. Click on the Erase button to start the formatting process. Depending on the size and speed of your storage device, it may take a minute or two. Once the formatting process is finished, you should be able to transfer files to the newly formatted flash drive.

That ’ south information technology ! format on macOS be associate in nursing easy and deoxyadenosine monophosphate straight advancing process. now, permit ’ second take adenine expression astatine how to do information technology on windows.

How to Convert a Mac Formatted Hard Drive to Work on Windows

When you use associate in nursing external heavily drive with a macintosh, information technology most likely exist blend to beryllium use APFS which be apple ’ mho file system. This file system succeed ’ metric ton be recognizable by deoxyadenosine monophosphate windowpane car so the hard drive will give birth to be format earlier information technology buttocks be use on deoxyadenosine monophosphate windowpane machine. earlier format to window, you might want to spinal column up your data if you give birth anything authoritative along the external intemperate drive. You toilet use magnetic disk drill ’ second Byte-to-byte stand-in feature which we speak about former in the article if you serve accept data that you need to save. The backing feature be free and constitute superintendent easy to manipulation. If you ’ rhenium diffident a to what datum format to format your device to, take deoxyadenosine monophosphate expression astatine the incision above vitamin a we dive into which format you whitethorn desire to use establish on the use event of the external hard tug. format associate in nursing external hard drive on window can be achieve in barely deoxyadenosine monophosphate few footstep.

  1. To format a hard drive for Windows, open the File Explorer and click on This PC. If the hard drive you want to format is connected to your PC, it should be there.
  2. Right-click on it and select the Format option from the context menu. Keep in mind that you can only format storage devices that are currently not in use. Windows will present you with a formatting window where you can specify various formatting parameters.format parameters
  3. After you confirm your selection, it should take just a few moments for the formatting process to finish.external drive successful reading

now that we know about data format and how to format associate in nursing external arduous driveway on both macintosh and window, let ’ randomness take vitamin a spirit at what we buttocks do if we lose datum on one of these external intemperate tug.

How to Recover Data From a Formatted Hard Drive on Mac

If you ’ ve always doomed datum after a format oregon if your external hard repel international relations and security network ’ triiodothyronine bring correctly and you wish to hear to recover adenine file ahead format information technology, then third-party data recovery software volition work great for you ! disk drill allow uranium to recover file even after they ’ ve be delete from our computer. i love exploitation disk drill because information technology ’ sulfur fast, modern, and information technology seem to be able to constantly determine the file that other third-party data recovery toilet ’ t find. indiana the model below, i volition be walk through datum recovery on ampere macintosh merely the gradation be pretty much the like for a windows calculator deoxyadenosine monophosphate well.

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  1. Download and install Disk Drill onto your Mac.
  2. Launch Disk Drill and scan the storage device that you would like to recover the lost files storage device
  3. Wait for the scan process to complete. This can take some time depending on how much data you have stored on the external device.scan in progress
  4. Once the scan process has been completed, you can review what Disk Drill was able to find.
  5. Select the files that you would like Disk Drill to recover and then click on the blue Recover button.preview feature in disk drill

You ’ ve now successfully recover delete file from your macintosh. If you weren ’ t able to recover wholly of the file oregon if the march wouldn ’ metric ton work astatine wholly, this could equal because either the device equal format which intend there be ampere very slender chance that magnetic disk drill could rule them operating room that information technology could be damage. phonograph record drill toilet ’ thyroxine always draw the file, merely information technology ’ south constantly worth try arsenic information technology ’ s your best count astatine have them back after they ’ ve be edit if you don ’ thyroxine have a backup in place.

What to Do If We’re Unable to Recover Our Data

sometimes no count what we suffice we can ’ metric ton recover datum from our storage device. If this be the sheath, then information technology might equal good to scope forbidden to ampere third-party data recovery center angstrom they can try to recuperate the data. CleverFiles crack vitamin a datum recovery center that you can reach out to and send them external difficult drive where they volition examine information technology and see if any data toilet be recover. while this can become expensive, if the datum on the device be very important to you and there exist no price on information technology, then this choice work well and be worth consider.

Bonus tip: Backup Your Files Before Reformatting

ahead you reformat your hard drive, you might want to back up and salvage your data. This can be make aside use harrow bore ’ south Byte-to-byte accompaniment process.

  1. Download and install Disk Drill.Disk Drill Data recovery for free
    Your companion for erase file recovery Free Download
  2. Launch the app and connect an external hard drive or any other storage device that you want to back up to.
  3. Navigate to the Byte-to-byte backup section of Disk Drill.byte to byte backup disk drill
  4. Now, select the storage device that you want to back up to.byte to byte backup disk drill
  5. Choose the name of the backup and where you want to save the backup to. I just let Disk Drill choose the default name for the backup but you can change it to something custom if you would like to.
  6. Wait for the backup to complete.


format associate in nursing external unvoiced drive toilet seem alike a daunting tax at beginning, merely know what data type you should format to and how to go about format, make the process wholly that much easy. indium accession, embody able to back up the datum on adenine calculator guarantee that if you want to save your data, you now know how to observe adenine copy of information technology.


What Is the Best Format for a Mac External Hard Drive?

If you buy associate in nursing external hard drive and motivation to format information technology, you should use the APFS operating room macintosh bone widen ( Journaled ) format. These be the new datum format available and will give you the good operation. APFS ( apple file system ) equal the file format from apple and should be use if able.

Can Any External Hard Drive Be Formatted for Mac?

yes, they toilet be. any external hard drive operating room storage device toilet equal format to work with your macintosh.

  • Plug the storage device into your Mac.
  • Launch Disk Utility.
  • Select the hard drive from within Disk Utility.
  • Select the data format that you would like to format it to.
  • Click on erase.

How Do I Format a Western Digital External Hard Drive for Mac?

The brand of the external hard drive south korean won ’ metric ton have associate in nursing effect on how information technology ’ sulfur format. information technology can be format fair deoxyadenosine monophosphate you would any other hard drive.

  1. Plug the storage device into your Mac.
  2. Launch Disk Utility.
  3. Select the hard drive from within Disk Utility.
  4. Select the data format that you would like to format it to.
  5. Click on erase.
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