Format Hdd For Mac Use

Format

Connecting External Hard Drives: External hard drives can be any size, ranging from portable USB. Open Disk Management, the hard drive manager included with all versions of Windows. Backup your hard drive. Before formatting the drive, it's a good idea to back up the drive and save.

Erasing your disk: For most reasons to erase, including when reformatting a disk or selling, giving away, or trading in your Mac, you should erase your entire disk.

Format Hdd For Mac User

Erasing a volume on your disk: In other cases, such as when your disk contains multiple volumes (or partitions) and you don't want to erase them all, you can erase specific volumes on the disk.

Erasing a disk or volume permanently deletes all of its files. Before continuing, make sure that you have a backup of any files that you want to keep.

How to erase your disk

  1. Start up from macOS Recovery. Then select Disk Utility from the Utilities window and click Continue.
    If you're not erasing the disk your Mac started up from, you don't need to start up from macOS Recovery: just open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. Choose View > Show All Devices from the menu bar in Disk Utility. The sidebar now shows your disks (devices) and any containers and volumes within them. The disk your Mac started up from is at the top of the list. In this example, Apple SSD is the startup disk:
  3. Select the disk that you want to erase. Don't see your disk?
  4. Click Erase, then complete these items:
    • Name: Type the name that you want the disk to have after you erase it.
    • Format: Choose APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default.
    • Scheme: Choose GUID Partition Map.
  5. Click Erase to begin erasing your disk and every container and volume within it. You might be asked to enter your Apple ID. Forgot your Apple ID?
  6. When done, quit Disk Utility.
  7. If you want your Mac to be able to start up from the disk you erased, reinstall macOS on the disk.

How to erase a volume on your disk

  1. Start up from macOS Recovery. Then select Disk Utility from the Utilities window and click Continue.
    If you're not erasing the volume your Mac started up from, you don't need to start up from macOS Recovery: just open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. In the sidebar of Disk Utility, select the volume that you want to erase. The volume your Mac started up from is named Macintosh HD, unless you changed its name. Don't see your volume?
  3. Click Erase, then complete these items:
    • Name: Type the name that you want the volume to have after you erase it.
    • Format: Choose APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default.
  4. If you see an Erase Volume Group button, the volume you selected is part of a volume group. In that case, you should erase the volume group. Otherwise, click Erase to erase just the selected volume. You might be asked to enter your Apple ID. Forgot your Apple ID?
  5. When done, quit Disk Utility.
  6. If you want your Mac to be able to start up from the volume you erased, reinstall macOS on that volume.

Reasons to erase

You can erase at any time, including in circumstances such as these:

  • You want to permanently erase all content from your Mac and restore it to factory settings. This is one of the final steps before selling, giving away, or trading in your Mac.
  • You're changing the format of a disk, such as from a PC format (FAT, ExFAT, or NTFS) to a Mac format (APFS or Mac OS Extended).
  • You received a message that your disk isn't readable by this computer.
  • You're trying to resolve a disk issue that Disk Utility can't repair.
  • The macOS installer doesn't see your disk or can't install on it. For example, the installer might say that your disk isn't formatted correctly, isn't using a GUID partition scheme, contains a newer version of the operating system, or can't be used to start up your computer.
  • The macOS installer says that you may not install to this volume because it is part of an Apple RAID.

About APFS and Mac OS Extended

Disk Utility in macOS High Sierra or later can erase using either the newer APFS (Apple File System) format or the older Mac OS Extended format, and it automatically chooses a compatible format for you.

How to choose between APFS and Mac OS Extended

Disk Utility tries to detect the type of storage and show the appropriate format in the Format menu. If it can't, it chooses Mac OS Extended, which works with all versions of macOS. If you want to change the format, answer these questions:

  • Are you formatting the disk that came built into your Mac?
    If the built-in disk came APFS-formatted, Disk Utility suggests APFS. Don't change it to Mac OS Extended.
  • Are you about to install macOS High Sierra or later for the first time on the disk?
    If you need to erase your disk before installing High Sierra or later for the first time on that disk, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). During installation, the macOS installer decides whether to automatically convert to APFS—without erasing your files.
  • Are you preparing a Time Machine backup disk or bootable installer?
    Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for any disk that you plan to use as a Time Machine backup disk or as a bootable installer.
  • Will you be using the disk with another Mac?
    If the other Mac isn't using macOS High Sierra or later, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Earlier versions of macOS don't work with APFS-formatted volumes.

How to identify the format currently in use

If you want to know which format is currently in use, use any of these methods:

  • Select the volume in the Disk Utility sidebar, then check the information shown on the right. For more detail, choose File > Get Info from the Disk Utility menu bar.
  • Open System Information and select Storage in the sidebar. The File System column on the right shows the format of each volume.
  • Select the volume in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info from the menu bar. The Get Info window shows the Format of that volume.

If your disk or volume doesn't appear, or the erase fails

  1. Shut down your Mac, then unplug all nonessential devices from your Mac.
  2. If you're erasing an external drive, make sure that it's connected directly to your Mac using a cable that you know is good. Then turn the drive off and back on.
  3. If your disk or volume still doesn't appear in Disk Utility, or Disk Utility reports that the erase process failed, your disk or Mac might need service. If you need help, please contact Apple Support.

Learn more

  • If you can't start up from macOS Recovery, you can use a different startup disk instead.
  • If Disk Utility shows a Security Options button in the Erase window, you can click that button to choose between a faster (but less secure) erase and a slower (but more secure) erase. Some older versions of Disk Utility offer the option to zero all data instead. These secure-erase options aren't offered or needed for solid-state drives (SSDs) and flash storage.

You can format the external hard drive or USB drive to make it compatible with both Mac and Windows machines. This thing is still unknown for many users but doesn’t worry it’s not complex.

If you are techy and use Windows and Mac computers frequently, then you might need to transfer data between Mac and PC. Windows and macOS filesystems are different and you might need to format the drive every time to use on both platforms. You don’t need to format the hard drive every time you can choose a filesystem while formating the drive so the hard drive or USB drive work on both Mac and PC

So to get rid of these situations we bring here a guide that will help you to format your drive which works on both platforms and you don’t need to format and backup data every time. After cross-compatible formatting, simply unplug the drive from one machine and then plug it to another. Sounds good to you right? So let’s started, how this works.

Understand file systems for Mac and PC

There are three common file system types to format an external USB or hard drive, SSD drive, SD card and etc. FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT, let’s have a look what’s the difference between these formats.

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FAT 32 Format

This format is pretty old but supported and it’s not efficient as compared to NTFS. It doesn’t support big features but offers great compatibility which means it’s compatible with all versions of Windows. It can only support 4GB file size and up to 8TB hard drivers. It’s not capable to store files larger than 4GB.

Format

NTFS Format

NTFS is a modern format system and Windows also uses this format for itself and for other non-removable drives by default. This format is also compatible with all versions of Windows but limited to none Windows OS as FAT32.

exFAT Format

exFAT drives are faster at reading and writing as compared to FAT32. This format can store large files and it’s also lightweight. It’s compatible with all versions of Windows and the best thing it’s along with Windows it’s also compatible with macOS, Linux, and Android, etc.

  • If your drive is formatted as Windows default format NTFS then its only readable to macOS. You can’t do more than that or you have to install a separate app on Mac to read write the drive.
  • Drive with macOS format HFS+ cant readable to Windows.
  • FAT32 format works on both Windows and Mac but the problem is you can only work with the files with Maximum size 4GB.

Learn more: Copy data on NTFS drive in macOS

FAT32 is much better than NTFS and HFS+ coz it works on both operating systems. You can also install drivers on each OS to make work your drive. So exFAT is much better than all of these formats and a simple option but this will not work on Leopard.

Format and external hard drive on Mac

First, let’s see how to format an external hard drive or USB drive in macOS which works with both Mac and PC platforms, first plug-in your drive in macOS machine.

  1. Open Disk Utility on your macOS, press cmd + spacebar keys and type Disk Utility in the spotlight search. Open Disk Utility from the search results.
  2. On the Disk Utility interface, select an external drive click on the Erase button from top of the window (make sure and bcakup your drive before erasing it).
  3. Now enter the name for the external drive which will be used after formatting and also select exFAT for Format option and click on the Erase. This will format the drive as ExFAT format and your drive is now compatible with both platforms.

Format hard drive in Windows

Format Mac Hdd On Windows

The below steps for formatting external drive is for Windows 10 and also works the same with an old version of Windows. To format your external drive hard drive in Windows which works with both platforms, first plug-in your drive with Windows machine.

Open Disk Management tool by right-clicking on start menu icon and then select Disk Management. Now right click on the external drive and click on format option (double-check the drive name and capacity to make sure you are going to format the right drive.)

Now enter the Volume label as you need and change the File system for exFat and click Ok. Now you are done.

Format For Mac

Share your experience, how do you use an external hard drive on both Mac and PC. Did you format the drive as exFAT ? or use any utility that helps the system to read another type of file system. Please leave a comment below.

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