Reformat External Hard Drive Mac

  1. Reformat External Hard Drive Mac Disk Utility
  2. Reformat Mac External Hard Drive For Pc
  3. Reformat External Hard Drive Mac Terminal

Method 2: Format Mac Hard Drive with Time Machine. Formatting an external hard drive with Time Machine is as easy as formatting it with Disk Utility. Time Machine, however, gives you the possibility to create an automatic backup of the data on your hard drive before formatting it. In this video we will see How to Format a Hard Drive For Both Windows and Mac. So let us see How to Quickly Format an External Hard Drive for Mac and Windows.

Cannot format external hard drive on Mac OS 10.5!

Learn how to format an external hard drive, SSD, or a usb flash drive on mac for both mac and windows. I explain the differences between the formats AFPS, M. Hard Drive Format for Mac and PC. Both Mac OS X and Windows allow users to format their hard drives using built-in utilities. Even though most people associate formatting with system installation, there are many other reasons why you might want to format your hard drive.

If the formatting process on Mac OS 10.5 has failed but the drive has been successfully formatted on a PC or another computer previously, try following:

  1. Open the disk utility and select the external drive.
  2. Choose '1 Partition' from the volume scheme and then click on 'Options'.
  3. Select 'Apple Partition Map' and click OK.
  4. Apply these settings to format the drive. After successfully formatting it, create as many partitions as you like and feel free to go back to Options to select a different partition scheme.

You 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. Then you may start to wonder why, and more importantly, how to solve the problem.

The truth is, if you want to use the external hard drive on your Mac, it's necessary to reformat it to make it compatible with the Mac OS. Follow the tutorial below, you'll learn everything concerning reformatting external hard drive on Mac, as well as how to recover data from formatted external hard drive.

  • Bonus: How to Recover Data from Formatted External Hard Drive on Mac

Reformat External Hard Drive Mac Disk Utility

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, and you'll be able to make 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, 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. 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 and 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

Reformat Mac External Hard Drive For Pc

Reformatting an external hard drive for use with Mac OS 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 Mac OS can generally read other file formats, but for the best performance and to create a bootable disk, formatting exclusively for your Mac based on its version is required.

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, which is 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 the Erase button.

Step 4. Follow on-screen prompts to choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system and allow the disk to format.


Reformat External Hard Drive Mac Terminal

Bonus: How to Recover Data from Formatted External Hard Drive on Mac

In case you forgot to backup files before reformatting the external drive, you would lose you data stored on the drive before. But don't worry and get into panic. Here comes the cure - iMyFone AnyRecover - a one-stop solution to recover deleted, lost or formatted files from Mac.

AnyRecover Key features include:

  • AnyRecover is utterly developed to recover over 1000 types of file: photos, videos, documents, emails, etc.
  • Capable of handling any data loss issues: emptied trash, accidentally deletion, partition error, system crash, formatted device, etc.
  • Support data recovery from any storage device: hard drives, USB flash drives, SD cards, SSDs, cameras, etc.
  • Success rate as high as 98% and simple steps.
  • Recover all the data in its original form without overwriting it.
  • Compatible with various Windows and Mac OS.
  • Free trial helps users recover 8 files without size limitation.

Follow these simple steps using AnyRecover to get your files back!

Step 1. First, download and install AnyRecover. Plug the external hard drive into your Mac directly or via USB.

Step 2. Next select the drive under 'External Removable Devices' tab, click 'Start' to begin scanning lost files on the drive.

Step 3. AnyRecover will take a moment to scan your drive. Once done, it will list out all the scanned results by file type.

Step 4. Double click a single file to preview it before recovery. Select the files and press 'Recover' to get them back.


In this post, we've talked about how to reformat external hard drive on Mac to meet the needs and better make use of the device. What's more, a perfect fix is provided to recover lost data from the formatted drive.

Based on what's been discussed above, it's quite clear that AnyRecover for Mac is a tool worthy of top-shelf treatment in your collection of utility items. For the purpose of finding and recovering your lost files, AnyRecover is easy to use but will work out well.