How To Format External Hard Drive For Mac

When you buy a brand new external hard drive for Mac you need to format it to make Mac-compatible.

This process makes the hard drive compatible it with Mac Operating System.

Most of the time the storage drives comes preformatted for Windows OS and not for Mac OS. Therefore, Mac users have to format it themselves.

In this article, I will show the whole process step by step.

Let’s discuss how to format the hard drive for Mac OS Extended filesystem.

Mac Operating System is compatible with almost every file system including Windows MSDOS, FAT, FAT32, ExFat and NTFS. Similarly, Mac does the same read and write process of a hard drive or USB flash key.

When the drive becomes Mac formatted it can be used for Time machine and can be used to make it bootable.

How To Format External Hard Drive For Mac

If you have never formatted a hard drive then nothing to worry as this process is very easy and similar for every hard drive through all connections either USB, FireWire, or Thunderbolt.

NOTE: Before formatting make sure to take backup of present data as this process will erase everything from the drive.

These are steps to erase data and format the drive.

Connect the hard drive or USB key to the Mac
Launch Disk Utility, located in Applications > Utilities
Locate the drive name from the left hand side of Disk Utility and click on it
Click on the “Erase” tab across the top

How To Format External Hard Drive For Mac

Next to “Format:” click the contextual menu and choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”
Select any name of the drive
Hit the Erase button and confirm when a pop-up windows appears.

This is how you can format external hard drive for Mac. Depending upon the drive formatting varies like for SSDs and small storage drives it will be a quick process whereas for large drives it may take some time.

Once finished the drive will be formatted to Mac OS X compatible HFS+ filesystem.