Format for hard drive mac and windows

Then open the Disk Utility that is located in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder. You will see your internal drive in your Mac, as well as any other storage devices that are connected. That way you will protect yourself from inadvertently re-formatting the wrong drive. When you see the drives listed down the right hand side of the Disk Utilities window, you will see at least two entries for each physical hard drive.

The first is the physical drive itself. What appear underneath the physical drive are the individual partitions. Most drives are formatted into a single partition, so you will normally see only one entry underneath a physical drive entry. We want it to be Mac HFS formatted. Again, the standard is one, and that is what is shown here in the images.


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This can be changed if desired, but for this exercise this is exactly the format we want. Now for the tricky part.

First, what's the difference between FAT32, exFAT and NTFS?

When you start with a drive that has been formatted for a Windows system, there is another part that must be changed, and that can be found by clicking on the Options button located underneath the Partitions window. Each partition can be named separately. When you click on that Options button, you will see the screen shown here.


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  5. And this must be changed in order to successfully format this drive for a Mac. There are good descriptions here of which to use for what specific Mac product you wish to optimize this drive for. Once you select this, click the OK button, and you are now ready to actually partition and format your drive. After you hit Apply on the Partition Scheme window, you are returned to the prior window showing your devices. You might now want to change the name of the partition that you are about to create. There are some rules about naming, and the system will inform you as you enter the name.

    From here, click on Apply and the system will partition and format your drive for use with your Mac. When you hit the Apply button, there will be one more screen for you to confirm that you indeed want to partition and format this drive, as it will remove any and all data that is on that drive. Please be sure you are formatting the right drive! That one trick — the Options screen — is what usually catches people up when trying to change a drive from a Windows format to a Mac format. One is formatted NTFS and the other NFS out of the box, but in theory either would work on either platform if it was formatted correctly, right?

    Chris — besides the formatting difference, there is software on the PC version and no software on the Mac version. But yes — in theory, either would work on either platform as long as the format is correct for that platform. I hope this helps.

    How to Format An External Hard Drive for Mac and Windows?

    Please let me know if you have any other questions. I do not have the right type of connection wire for my present computer MacBook Pro to connect with the Seagate External Hard drive. Therefore, Will try what is written above when I purchase the right wire for the connection. Thanks, Peter. Hello I have a windows laptop and have just bought an iMac desktop. I am going to buy a freeagent Go to back up my windows machine and thought I would need another separate drive for the Mac. However I see from the reviews that at least one person uses this model for his Macbook.

    Could this item be partitioned to store programs or files under windows and Mac OS separately, and if so, how? Great question. This is not a typical solution, but it can be done. I hope this helps! Hi Jon, Thank for this. Really appreciate this article. Hi, not sure if this is possible but i cannot find a post above on how to actually remove what is already on the Seagate External Hard drive Windows then reformat it to a Mac.

    Can you please help me with some advice. Hi there, I have and had Windows based PCs and laptops since.. Now I just had enough and wish to change to Mac. I wish it would be as easy to just buy a new machine and done but I want my TB worth of photos and other file to be transfered safely. I had my doubts but anyway I have it now and wish to transfer data. Thanks T. Then my school had a mandatory reformatting for our macs and I lost what I had downloaded and the bookmark.

    The sales assistant assured me that it worked for both! While at uni I use a Mac and it crashed!..

    How to Read APFS on Windows

    You are my hero, i bought the 2TB, and when i looked at th box it said for pc. It was really easy to switch. I was going to buy a firewire to transfer everything but know i dont. Thanks alot.

    How to convert MAC only External HDD to Windows Compatible? Solution

    Just one thing though when I get to the final part of confirming I want to partition and clicking OK it says it cannot Unmount disk! Can you please help since I thought this product was plug and play. It certainly is not that for Mac newbies OMG thankk you!!! I thought i was gonna have to donate this pretty looking external hd the only one i found that matched my Macbook!! Thanks for a straight-forward and Plain English description… so many others could learn from you. Just on point I would stress. But on carefully reading your instructions again I realised I had to specify the number of partitions in my case 1 and hey presto, up came Options.

    Thanks for the simple instructions, I was getting a bit worries when I kept getting the error message about failing to format the drive. Nice work! If i reformat my WWindows Disk Drive for a Mac does that mean i lose all the information that is already stored on it? Thanks a lot! Thanks again. Thank you SO much Jon! Again, your product is top notch. I will definitely use this product again it will always be highly recommended to my colleagues. Thanks you again. What should I do? Any suggestions are thanks in advance!

    How to Format An External Hard Drive for Mac and Windows?

    But if you connect it to a MacBook, you will find that the operating system cannot recognize it. This time, you must format it specifically so that it will be compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows computers. FAT32 is a kind of file system suitable for small capacity hard disk. The maximum file size of a single file it supports is 4GB. Here provides you two methods to formatting external hard drive for Mac and PC. Diskpart is a command-line disk partitioning utility include in Windows and later.

    And the specific steps are as follow:. With the help of diskpart, you can format your portable hard drive very quickly. But if you use it to format partition over 32GB to FAT32, you will get the error message that the volume is too big. That is to say, you cannot use diskpart to format volume larger than 32GB. If you want to format the portable hard drive which is larger than 32GB, you can turn to a third-party software to do this operation. Compare with other software, here I highly recommend AOMEI Partition Assistant — the best hard drive formatting tool which provide you many powerful functions like format partition.

    The specific steps are as follow:. Step 1. Step 2. Step 3. After that, it will go back to the main interface.