External Drive For Mac Format

Disk Utility User Guide

  1. External Hard Drive Format For Mac Os
  2. External Hard Drive For Mac Format Types
  3. Reformatting External Drive For Mac
  4. Best Drive Format For Mac

Disk Utility on Mac supports several file system formats:

Dec 13, 2021 Now, I will show you how to format external hard drive on a Mac using the below steps. As we can format the drive from Disk utility, Therefore, we will do it with the disk utility option. Step 1: Connect the external hard drive to your Mac that you want to format. Most external drives come ready to use on your computer, but in rare cases, you. Format External Drive to Work with Mac OS X. In order to format your external drive, you’ll need to use Disk Utility. Disk Utility comes built-in with your Mac, and is used to erase, format, or manage internal and external storage devices. Disk Utility is also used in order to manage volumes, and organize data into partitions.

  • Apple File System (APFS): The file system used by macOS 10.13 or later.

  • Mac OS Extended: The file system used by macOS 10.12 or earlier.

  • MS-DOS (FAT) and ExFAT: File systems that are compatible with Windows.

Apple File System (APFS)

Apple File System (APFS), the default file system for Mac computers using macOS 10.13 or later, features strong encryption, space sharing, snapshots, fast directory sizing, and improved file system fundamentals. While APFS is optimized for the Flash/SSD storage used in recent Mac computers, it can also be used with older systems with traditional hard disk drives (HDD) and external, direct-attached storage. macOS 10.13 or later supports APFS for both bootable and data volumes.

APFS allocates disk space within a container (partition) on demand. When a single APFS container has multiple volumes, the container’s free space is shared and is automatically allocated to any of the individual volumes as needed. If desired, you can specify reserve and quota sizes for each volume. Each volume uses only part of the overall container, so the available space is the total size of the container, minus the size of all the volumes in the container.

Choose one of the following APFS formats for Mac computers using macOS 10.13 or later.

  • APFS: Uses the APFS format. Choose this option if you don’t need an encrypted or case-sensitive format.

  • APFS (Encrypted): Uses the APFS format and encrypts the volume.

  • APFS (Case-sensitive): Uses the APFS format and is case-sensitive to file and folder names. For example, folders named “Homework” and “HOMEWORK” are two different folders.

  • APFS (Case-sensitive, Encrypted): Uses the APFS format, is case-sensitive to file and folder names, and encrypts the volume. For example, folders named “Homework” and “HOMEWORK” are two different folders.

You can easily add or delete volumes in APFS containers. Each volume within an APFS container can have its own APFS format—APFS, APFS (Encrypted), APFS (Case-sensitive), or APFS (Case-sensitive, Encrypted).

Mac OS Extended

Choose one of the following Mac OS Extended file system formats for compatibility with Mac computers using macOS 10.12 or earlier.

  • Mac OS Extended (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.

  • Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled): Uses the Mac format and is case-sensitive to folder names. For example, folders named “Homework” and “HOMEWORK” are two different folders.

  • Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled, Encrypted): Uses the Mac format, is case-sensitive to folder names, requires a password, and encrypts the partition.

Windows-compatible formats

Choose one of the following Windows-compatible file system formats if you are formatting a disk to use with Windows.

  • MS-DOS (FAT): Use for Windows volumes that are 32 GB or less.

  • ExFAT: Use for Windows volumes that are over 32 GB.

See alsoPartition schemes available in Disk Utility on MacIntro to Disk Utility on MacMan page for diskutil

Updated on May 13th, 2021

This article shows you how to format an external hard drive via different methods, and you can follow these methods to format external hard drive for PC, Mac or Linux.

External hard drive is popular storage device and it can be used to store all kinds of digital information such as images, documents, apps, emails, etc. You can connect external hard drive to computer via USB cable and then transfer data with internal hard drive. Regardless of the brand or model, the first thing you may need to do after purchasing an external hard drive might be partitioning and formatting it.

Formatting external disk can be done via various methods and it can be formatted to a range of file system so that you can use the disk under different operating system platforms. The formatting process removes all data on the partition and thus causes data loss. You should create a backup for important data before formatting if the disk contains significant files.

A brand-new external hard drive is usually partitioned into s single partition with NTFS file system. Still many users would like to format the external hard drives and people do that due to various reasons:

  • Format external hard drive to required file system. The brand-new disk you purchase might not be formatted to the file system type you need. To change file system type, formatting should be done.
  • To quickly remove content from external hard drive. Quick formatting is able to format a partition within seconds, and all data on the volume will be deleted. This is a good solution to delete data and free up disk space.
  • To optimization performance for disk. Formatting can clear data fragmentation quickly and easily.
  • Remove virus or malware. Since external hard drive might be used on many computers, it tends to infect virus. Many users would format it to clear virus and avoid more damages.
  • To fix file system errors. Sometimes external hard drive may become RAW or reports errors like “The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable”, you can fix these errors by formatting the volume after file recovery.

Step 1: Connect your external hard drive with your computer and open Windows Explorer to check if it can be recognized.

Note: if you have stored data to the drive, please back it up before formatting the disk.

Step 2: Right-click on the external hard disk and select “Format” option from context menu.

Step 3: On the formatting window, select Quick Format option, choose file system format, and click Start. Also you can enter a name for the drive under Volume Label.

Step 4: System prompts formatting removes all data and asks confirmation for the action. Click OK and formatting starts.

This method formats external hard drive using Windows built-in utility Disk Management. If your external hard drive does not show up in Windows Explorer, you can follow this instruction to complete the formatting.

Step 1: Access Windows 10 Disk Management by right-clicking Start menu and selecting “Disk Management” item from the list.

Step 2: Locate the external hard drive in Disk Management and check its status.

If there is not partition on the disk or the disk is marked with Not Initialized, you cannot format it directly.

The next step assumes the external hard drive is full of unallocated space and shows how to format it.

Step 3: Right-click on unallocated disk space and select New Simple Volume from the context menu.

External Hard Drive Format For Mac Os

Step 4: You can see the “Welcome to the New Simple Volume Wizard” now. Click Next button to proceed.

Step 5: The wizard will ask you to select set partition size, drive letter, file system, format method, etc. step by step. You can follow suggested option to complete the process.

Want to use external hard drive under both Windows PC and Mac? In this case, you should consider the hurdle that these operating systems support different filesystems. The default file system in Windows is NTFS, while Mac OS users HFS. The filesystem that is compatible with Windows and Mac is exFAT and FAT32.

exFAT VS FAT32, which one should be chosen for Max and PC? It is recommended to use exFAT by many experts, because FAT32 has a maximum 4GB file size limit and exFAT does not has such limitation, and exFAT also performs better than FAT32. FAT32 is also a good choice if you do not store files whose single size does not exceed 4GB.

FAT32 and exFAT file system is supported by Windows though, they are originally designed for removable storage devices like USB flash drive, SD card. When you try to format an external hard drive which has very large capacity in Windows, FAT32 or exFAT may not be available. Also, some users may encounter error “The volume is too big for FAT32”. In this section, we’ll use a free Windows partition manager to complete the formatting task.

Eassos PartitionGuru is free Windows partition manager and it supports various file systems such as FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, etc. and the formatting process is very simple.

External Hard Drive For Mac Format Types

Step 1: Install and launch Eassos PartitionGuru from your computer and find the external disk you want to format.

Step 2: Right-click on the partition to be formatted and select “Format Current Partition” option from context menu.

Step 3: Select Filesystem type from the drop-down list and click Format button.

Step 4: Click Yes button when Eassos PartitionGuru asks confirmation for the operation.

This part of this guide applies to format external or portable hard drive to Ext2, Ext3 or Ext4 file system under Windows 10/8/7, so that the drive can be used under Linux.

Step 1: Connect the portable drive to computer and launch Eassos PartitionGuru. Then you can see the drive is displayed in the software.

Step 2: Select the partition you want to format to Linux file system, and click “Format” button from toolbar.

Mac

Reformatting External Drive For Mac

Step 3: The Format window pops up and you can select Linux filesystem from Ext4, Ext3 and Ext3 from drop-down list. Then click Format button.

Best Drive Format For Mac

Step 4: Click Yes button to continue and formatting will be completed within a couple of seconds.