Format External Hard Drive To Fat32 On Mac

  • Part 2: Format External Hard Drive for Mac with Disk Utility 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.
  • If you want to transfer files from a Mac to Windows PC and vice versa using an external portable hard drive then you have to have the external drive formatte.

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. Format Hard Drive (Mac) 1. Connect the external hard drive to the computer. Click Go on the top tool bar, and select Utilities. Open Disk Utility. Select the external hard drive on the left-hand side. Click the Partition tab. Change the Partition Layout from Current to 1 Partition.

Video editors will often find that they need to share files between a PC and a Mac. Use these steps to format external hard drives for both operating systems.

In this post, let’s talk about how to erase and format external hard drives on Mac and Windows. Erase and Format External Hard Drive on Mac. Step 1: Open your Mac and connect your external hard drive with it. Step 2: Type Disk utility in the spotlight search or click ‘Go’ from the top toolbar and select ‘Disk Utility’. There are generally two methods on How to Format USB to FAT32 on Mac. The simpler and more common method is the use of Disk Utility. Disk Utility is one of the many features of Mac. It allows you to configure the different disks on your operating system. To use this method, you have to follow these steps: Connect USB Drive.

Top Image via Hard Drive Labels

As a video editor or Digital Imaging Technician, you will often need to share files with others. Eventually you will find out that you may not be working on the same operating system (OS) as others. If you work solely on a Mac, but need to send files to someone working on a PC, your external hard drive needs to be set up for both operating systems. Let’s take a look at the different types of formats, and which are best for video production.

Formatting the Hard Drive

A vast majority of video production will be done on a Mac or Windows operating system, so we aren’t going to cover Linux. Hard drives set up for use on Windows machines only will often use NTFS, while Macs will use HFS+. That said, if you are using both a PC and Mac in the workflow, you’ll need to use a different format.

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You may be using only Macs or PCs in your own office, but you will also need to take into account what type of machines your client is using. If you need to send them RAW files or an edited sequence, you will need to make sure the external hard drive is set up for both operating systems. To do this, you will need to use either exFAT or FAT32 formats. This will allow you to use the hard drive on both a Mac and PC.

FAT32 is often used among general users, but FAT32 has limitations that can affect filmmakers. FAT32 has a maximum file size of 4 GB per file. The limitation affects both Mac and PC users. A single high resolution file can easily go over 4 GB, so Fat32 may not the best format. The best format for video production is exFAT. The maximum individual file size for exFAT is 16 EB. 1 EB, or exabyte, is 1 billion GB. That said, if you are using smaller file sizes — FAT32 can suffice.

Format Hard Drive (Mac)

1. Connect the external hard drive to the computer.

2. Click Go on the top tool bar, and select Utilities.

3. Open Disk Utility.

4. Select the external hard drive on the left-hand side.

5. Click the Partition tab.

6. Change the Partition Layout from Current to 1 Partition.

7. Click Options, Select Master Boot Record, and click OK.

Format fat32 mac os

8. Name the hard drive with a name of your choice.

9. Click the Format drop-down menu.

10. Select exFat (or MS-DOS FAT for a FAT32 format).

11. Hit Apply, then click on Partition.

Formatting Hard Drive (Windows)

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1. Right-Click on the Windows icon in the lower left-hand corner.

2. Select Disk Management.

3. Right-Click on the external hard drive in the Volume tab.

How To Format External Hard Drive Mac 2019

4. Click Format.

5. Name the hard drive.

6. Select exFAT (or FAT for FAT32).

7. Click OK.

Format External Hard Drive Fat32 For Mac And Pc

Naming and Labelling Hard Drives

If you will be using multiple external hard drives on a project, you’ll want to make sure to keep them organized. This includes the way you name the drive and how you label it.

One of my personal tricks is naming all drives after an actor. For instance, one project had several external drives, all of which were named after different Will Ferrell characters — Mugatu, Megamind, Lord Business, and Ron Burgundy. Another project used Tom Hanks characters — Forrest and Woody.

Remember that external drives should be used temporarily — and all footage should be backed up elsewhere. Use checksum verification to make sure everything is copied correctly.

There are plenty of ways you can label your drives. You can simply use some masking tape or gaff tape, and then write the name of the drive. You can also use hard drive labels, which are the awesome stickers featured above. You easily put them on your external drive to keep track of them.

If you are a parent, like myself, you can also use any stickers you have lying around the house. I recently had Kermit the Frog and Optimus Prime hard drives.


How To Format External Hard Drive

No matter how you label your hard drives, just make sure you keep track of them. You never know when you will need that footage from a three-year-old project.

Format External Drive For Mac

Got any hard drive organizational tips to share with the community? Let us know in the comments below!

But the reality is quite different. Whether it is a hard drive or USB or internal drive, Mac uses different format support. So, you can’t simply use the same drive with both Windows and Mac. As a result, you will need to format the hard drive for Mac. Using the Mac preferred file system is important otherwise the files will be of no use to you. Nov 30, 2019 External drives formatted to HFS+ will play nicely with old and modern versions of Apple’s operating system. In order to access the contents of a Mac OS Extended file system on a Windows PC, you’ll need additional software like Paragon HFS+ for Windows. Good for: Mechanical hard drives and external drives shared with older Macs. There are various methods to format your External Hard Drive to exFAT on Windows 10. We don’t recommend you to use any paid tool for this purpose, as there are better-integrated features with Windows 10 that can help you with the process of formatting your Hard Drive to exFAT File System.

Buying and using an external HD is one thing, getting the most out of it is quite another. In this guide, we'll show you how to format an external hard drive so you can not only get rid of the. Windows and Mac OS X use different file systems.Windows uses the NTFS file system for its internal drives, while Macs use HFS+. External hard disks and USB drives are generally formatted with the Windows FAT32 file system for maximum compatibility — most devices, including Macs, can read and write from FAT32 devices.

The Apple File System (APFS) is the file system used with Mac devices running macOS 10.13 High Sierra and later, while the older Mac OS Extended file system is available for older versions of macOS. You can still use either file system for your hard drives and attached storage devices, with both having their own pros and cons.

If you can’t decide between APFS vs Mac OS Extended for your drive, you should consider your use case first. The newer APFS format is better for some types of drives, including SSDs, while Mac OS Extended is great for older drives and macOS versions. Here’s a run-through of the pros and cons of both to help you decide.

When to Use the Apple File System (APFS)

Most users aren’t interested in the type of file system their drive uses—they just expect it to work. That’s exactly what you get with the now-default Apple File System (APFS) that Mac devices have been using since macOS 10.13 High Sierra was launched in 2017. It’s also used with other Apple operating systems including iOS.

APFS offers a number of speed and optimization improvements compared to HFS+, as well as improvements to data handling. For example, file corruption is significantly reduced compared to Mac OS Extended.

You’ll also notice that copying and pasting files on an APFS drive works almost instantly, thanks to improvements in the way macOS handles file metadata with APFS drives compared to the older HFS+.

The biggest downside to using APFS is that Macs with older macOS versions (macOS 10.12.6 Sierra and older) can’t read, write, or otherwise access drives that use it. If you have an older Mac, you’ll need to keep using Mac OS Extended or use an alternative like ExFAT instead.

If you back up your Mac using Time Machine, you won’t be able to use APFS, either. macOS continues to use the HFS+ file system for Time Machine drives for the time being. If you attempt to use an APFS-formatted drive, macOS will want to format it to HFS+ before you can proceed.

Along with APFS and Mac OS Extended (also called HFS+), you also have other file systems that can be used for external drives, including cross-platform options like ExFAT. For most users, however, APFS is the only file system they’ll need or want to use—but only if they’re (only) using modern Mac devices.

Choosing Mac OS Extended (HFS+) for Hard Drives

While Mac OS Extended (HFS+) is no longer the default file system for macOS installations, it hasn’t been completely abandoned by Apple, and it’s still a useful option for macOS users under certain conditions.

As we’ve mentioned, HFS+ is the default file system of choice for macOS Time Machine backup drives. You’ll need to use HFS+ if you plan on formatting a second hard drive or portable flash drive for use as a Time Machine backup—APFS drives won’t work.

You’ll also need to consider Mac OS Extended if you’re using older and newer Macs together, as older versions of macOS won’t support APFS. Other than functionality, however, there are still a few legitimate reasons why you’d choose HFS+ over APFS—the biggest reason depends on the type of drive you use.

Many of the speed and performance enhancements that APFS brings rely on using a high-speed SSD or portable flash memory drive. If you’re using an older, mechanical drive with a disk platter, those enhancements may seem largely minimal or non-existent.

With that in mind, and for cross-compatibility, you may decide to use HFS+ over APFS. You can format a drive with HFS+ using the macOS Disk Utility app, which you can launch from the Launchpad (Other > Disk Utility).

Using ExFAT on macOS and Windows

While you can only use an Apple file system like APFS and Mac OS Extended for your main system drive, another file system is also worth considering for external drives—ExFAT.

ExFAT is an older file system from Microsoft, intended as a replacement for the even older FAT32 file system used with Windows system drives before the switch to NTFS in Window XP. It removes the 4GB file size limit and the 2TB partition size limit of FAT32 drives and is generally considered a better alternative for flash storage.

If you’re thinking about using ExFAT, you’ll likely have a single objective in mind—sharing files across platforms. ExFAT should only really be used for drives that you plan on using with both macOS and Windows devices, as it’s the only file system that both operating systems support natively.

It is possible for Windows to read APFS and HFS+ drives, but it requires external software to do so. Likewise, macOS can read newer Windows NTFS drives, but not write to them.

For owners with Windows and macOS devices, using ExFAT for an external drive is a good option but there are alternatives, such as setting up your own cloud storage or sharing files between your devices over your local network instead.

APFS vs Mac OS Extended: Which Is Best?

Hard Drive Exfat To Mac Os Format External Drive

There’s no winner in the APFS vs Mac OS Extended battle, as it depends on the drive you’re using. Newer macOS installations should use APFS by default, and if you’re formatting an external drive, APFS is the faster and better option for most users.

How To Format External Hard Drive Exfat On Mac

Mac OS Extended (or HFS+) is still a good option for older drives, but only if you plan on using it with a Mac or for Time Machine backups. If you need a cross-platform option, consider using ExFAT for your drive instead—both Windows and macOS can read these drives without any additional software.