Formatting a Drive for Mac OS X & Windows PC Compatibility

View More. Whether you are trying to recover files from an SD card, hunt down deleted video files or find a lost PDF, this Mac app is a lifesaver. Your email address will not be published. Time limit is exhausted. Stellar Phoenix is now Stellar. MENU Close. In Windows Platform: 1. Now, a new hard drive icon will appear on the desktop. On macOS Dock, select Finder. When the Disk Utility opens, choose the Western Digital hard drive icon from the sidebar.

There are specific third-party systems, like Digital Camcorders, and Sony PlayStation 3, which need the drives to be formatted in either FAT32 or ex-FAT format to perform read from and write operation. Check it before selecting a file format. Therefore, it is better to choose ex-FAT instead.

Like FAT32, ex-FAT is not a very commonly used file system, due to which its support may vary among third-party devices. The corruption chances of the external drive increases, if it is used on both Mac and PC systems regularly. Therefore, it is better to take backup of your important photos and videos before sharing them between both the computers.

It is optimized for flash drives and SSD with a primary focus on encryption.

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Warning: Formatting a disk or a partition will erase data on this drive. Make sure you have a copy of data backup in hand if you have important files on this external hard drive. However, if you have formatted this drive and are encountering data loss, you can recover data from formatted external hard drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery. Also, if you plug in an NTFS formatted drive to your Mac and you have a copy of data backup, then you can follow the following steps to format your external hard drive for both Mac and PC without worrying data loss.

Click on Launchpad at the dock of your Mac, choose Other in the menu, and then select Disk Utility to open. Tips: You can choose FAT when you need maximum compatibility with the widest range of devices and if you don't have any files larger than 4 GB. And for better performance, you can choose Guide Partition Map scheme if your disk or partition is larger than 1TB. Connect your external hard drive to your PC, and then select this drive from the list and right-click on it. Check Perform a quick format and click OK to format the external hard drive.

Except for having the whole external hard drive formatted, you can also split this disk with two partitions.

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One is formatted with the file system that is compatible with macOS, another partition is compatible with Windows conversely. By this means, you can use all the advantages each format has on the respective system. Warning: Still, you need to back up files on this drive before you begin to create two separate partitions to work for Mac and Windows PC. Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to your Mac, and then launch Disk Utility. Step 2: Click on the drive name in the left sidebar, and then click on Partition at the top.

Choosing the Right Format for Your External Hard Drive

Step 4: Click on the untitled half of the pie, give it a name, choose exFAT format, and decide the size according to your need. Step 6: Then click on another partition and format it with Mac OS Extended , and give it a name like "Mac" for your convenience. After saving all these changes above, there will be two partitions on your external hard drive. Step 1: Search for Disk Management and open it. Then you will find this external hard drive at the lower right column. By creating two separate partitions, you can use this external hard drive on both Mac and Windows.

It does work on the current-gen of gaming consoles, such as the PS4 and the Xbox One.

Please see below on how to reformat your external hard drive on Mac and Windows. Step 2: If you have already written any data to the drive, back it up before proceeding to the next step. Step 3: In the Finder, choose Go, then choose Utilities. Alternatively, you can search in Spotlight for Disk Utility and click on it. Which hard drive format do you use? Let us know in the comments below!

How to format an external hard drive for Mac and PC?

Click this link for more information. It's HardDriveWeek! Oh, come on. Surely you know that's untrue. In fact, even FAT16 allows long file names.

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In fact, even FAT12 allows "8. By default exFAT uses larger clusters, so if you transfer a lot of small files to it It may or may not be significant.