How to reformat external hard drive mac os

How to Format an External Drive to Work with Mac (from NTFS to Mac OS Extended)?

Step 4. Formatting a drive erases all information and all partitions on the disk, leaving it ready for you to save and store information on.

Partitioning your disk is a good idea when you have a need to run two operating systems at once on the same MAC. While not common for everyday users, it is more common for business users that have multiple programs across multiple platforms. This makes the switch between each easier. Creating partitions on your MAC compatible drive is just as easy.

Now what?

How to format a USB drive on a Mac

In fact, it's very simple. When it comes to deleted files; that's exactly what you want.


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Free Trial Free Trial. Load AnyRecover and choose one of the six available options for data recovery, in this case we are choosing to recover data from an External, formatted and partitioned hard drive External Device Recovery. This is the file system that is compatible with your Windows computer. Click the "Start" button at the bottom of the dialog box and the Western Digital hard drive is reformatted. Click the Western Digital Drive from the left pane and then click the "Erase" tab at the top of the dialog box. Click the "Erase" button in the lower-right corner and the Western Digital drive is reformatted for use with your Mac.

Format an External Hard Drive or USB Flash Drive for Mac OS X

This article was written by the It Still Works team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Works, contact us. When you first set up a hard drive for use with a computer, you have to format it using a file system.


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Different operating systems like Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux use different file systems to organize and store data, so you need to use the file system most applicable for your needs. Here are a few of the more popular file systems you'll see:.

How to Format an External Drive in OS X

These are just a few examples of popular file systems, and the only ones you'll really encounter as a Windows or Mac user. Which one you use depends on the drive and what you're using it for. For example, if you have an external drive you only use with Windows computers, you'll want to format it as NTFS.

Available Mac File Systems Explained

Note that when you format a hard drive, it erases all the content on your drive, so make sure you choose the right file system before you copy your data. In some cases, it's possible to convert your drive without losing files—like converting a hard drive from FAT32 to NTFS —but under most circumstances, the only way to change your file system is to erase the drive and format it from scratch.

So you've just bought a new external drive or flash drive, and you need to start using it. Note that we recommend formatting every drive you buy, even if it works when you plug it in—many external and flash drives come with extra software that, in our opinion, isn't very good, and formatting it removes that annoyance not to mention gives you a bit of extra space on the drive. When you're done, open up the drive in Windows Explorer and you can begin dragging files to it, or backing up your computer.

How to Format or Partition an External Hard Drive for Mac

Remember that when you format a drive, it won't show the exact same amount of free space as it does on the box. This is because computers measure space differently than they are marketed , so you'll never get that exact same number, at least on Windows. When you're done, click on the drive in Finder.