What Format Hard Drive For Mac

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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.

To format an external hard drive for Mac with Time Machine, you must follow the steps below. Step 1 Open Finder, Applications, then go to Utilities and Disk Utility. Step 2 Follow the steps above to format the drive, and then you can use it with Time Machine on your Mac system. How to Format External Hard Drive on a Mac? 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.

Therefore, this leads to our third point of discussion on how to format any drive on your Mac. Disk utility is the vital application in Apple product. It makes the Mac world to be easy and interesting to use as it removes the obstacles between NTFS and HFS+. As usual, insert the drive let us say the hard disk or USB drive.

  • 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?

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

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. 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.

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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.

Go!

  • 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!

Reinstall from macOS Recovery

macOS Recovery makes it easy to reinstall the Mac operating system, even if you need to erase your startup disk first. All you need is a connection to the Internet. If a wireless network is available, you can choose it from the Wi-Fi menu , which is also available in macOS Recovery.

1. Start up from macOS Recovery

To start up from macOS Recovery, turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold one of the following sets of keys on your keyboard. Release the keys when you see an Apple logo, spinning globe, or other startup screen.

Command (⌘)-R

What Hard Drive Format For Mac And Windows

Reinstall the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac (recommended).

Option-⌘-R

Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

Shift-Option-⌘-R

Reinstall the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.

You might be prompted to enter a password, such as a firmware password or the password of a user who is an administrator of this Mac. Enter the requested password to continue.

When you see the utilities window, you have started up from macOS Recovery.

2. Decide whether to erase (format) your disk

You probably don't need to erase, unless you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, or you have an issue that requires you to erase. If you need to erase before installing macOS, select Disk Utility from the Utilities window, then click Continue. Learn more about when and how to erase.

3. Install macOS

When you're ready to reinstall macOS, choose Reinstall macOS from the Utilities window. Then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions. You will be asked to choose a disk on which to install.

  • If the installer asks to unlock your disk, enter the password you use to log in to your Mac.
  • If the installer doesn't see your disk, or it says that it can't install on your computer or volume, you might need to erase your disk first.
  • If the installer is for a different version of macOS than you expected, learn about macOS Recovery exceptions.
  • If the installer offers you the choice between installing on Macintosh HD or Macintosh HD - Data, choose Macintosh HD.

Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. During installation, your Mac might restart and show a progress bar several times, and the screen might be empty for minutes at a time.

If your Mac restarts to a setup assistant, but you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, press Command-Q to quit the assistant without completing setup. Then click Shut Down. When the new owner starts up the Mac, they can use their own information to complete setup.

Format

macOS Recovery exceptions

The version of macOS offered by macOS Recovery might vary in some cases:

Best External Hard Drives For Mac

  • If macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later has never been installed on this Mac, Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. And Shift-Option-Command-R isn't available.
  • If you erased your entire disk instead of just the startup volume on that disk, macOS Recovery might offer only the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. You can upgrade to a later version afterward.
  • If your Mac has the Apple T2 Security Chip and you never installed a macOS update, Option-Command-R installs the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac.
  • If you just had your Mac logic board replaced during a repair, macOS Recovery might offer only the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.

What Format For Hard Drive For Mac

If you can't get macOS Recovery to offer the installer you want, you might be able to use one of the other ways to install macOS.

Macos Format A Disk External

Other ways to install macOS

  • You can also install macOS from the App Store or Software Update preferences. If you can't install macOS Catalina, you might be able to install an earlier macOS, such as macOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, or Yosemite.
  • Or create a bootable installer disk, then use that disk to install macOS on your Mac or another Mac.