Formatting A Disk For Mac Os X


Sep 27,2020 • Filed to: Hard Drive Recovery • Proven solutions

When formatting or erasing a volume with Disk Utility, you'll see a format menu prompt asking you to choose from: Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted) Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled) Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled, Encrypted) MS-DOS (FAT) ExFAT; APFS (macOS High Sierra’s new file system). Apple File System (APFS): The file system used by macOS 10.13 or later. Mac OS Extended: The file system used by macOS 10.12 or earlier. To do this, open System Preferences and select Time Machine after you've connected the external drive to your Mac. Now, click on Select Disk and select the desired drive from the list. Click on the Use Disk button.

'How to format an external hard drive Mac? What format system to use when reformatting my storage drive for a Mac?'

This is a frequent question asked by first-time, as well as the not-so-tech-savvy, macOS users. Learning how to format an external hard drive Mac is essential. Because saving all your data on the Cloud is nice and all, but physical storage is still popular. Especially if you don't have a stable internet connection or if most of your files are large.

Luckily, you don't have to learn rocket science to be able to format an external hard drive for Mac or PC. The operation is pretty straightforward. When it comes to your iOS device, we have listed two methods for you, read below and explore more.

Part 1: What Is the Best Format for External Hard Drive Mac?

The first step to formatting your external drive for a Mac computer is choosing the right format. There are four possible choices:

  • APFS (Apple File System)
  • HFS+ (Mac OS Extended)
  • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
  • FAT (MS-DOS)

To understand which is the best for you, let's have a comprehensive overview of each of them.

1. Apple File System

The APFS was first introduced in 2017 as a replacement for the HFS+. Nowadays, all new Macs come with the operating system preinstalled on APFS, as this system is optimized for use with SSD and flash storage drives. However, it still works with traditional HDD drives too.

This is the best format to pick if you have an external SSD or USB flash drive that you don't intend to use with a Windows device.

The biggest strength of this system is the speed, as well as the encryption and metadata handling. However, you won't be able to use this system with Time Machine.

2. Mac OS Extended

The HFS+, or Hierarchical File System plus on its real name, was the main file system used for Mac until 2017.

This type of file system is suitable to use with both HDD and SDD drives, but the latter will perform slightly better with the APFS mentioned above. If you have an older Mac, though, choosing the HFS+ is your best bet.

In general, all external drives formatted to HFS+ work nicely with older Mac versions but are incompatible with Windows.

3. Extended File Allocation Table

Designed by Microsoft, the exFAT is a good choice if you plan to use the external hard drive with both macOS and Windows systems. Yet, you won't get top performance on either. This choice is more appropriate for USB flash drives, although you can still use it for SDD and HDD units too.

Formatting A Disk For Mac Os X

The main issue with exFAT is that your drive will be more prone to fragmentation when used with Apple devices and is less stable than NTFS on Windows. If you really have to share the drive between Mac and Windows machines, that's your best option though.


Format Disk Terminal Mac Os X

Macs also support FAT32 drives, marked as FAT in Disk Utility. This format should be avoided at all costs unless you're dealing with a really old Windows computer, which you really have to use in parallel with your Mac system.

Typically, there is no reason to choose this option unless you're planning to use the external hard drive on a Windows XP or earlier machine.

Part 2: How to Format an External Hard Drive Mac?

Now that you know which format to choose, it's time to learn how to format an external hard drive for Mac. There are essentially two methods, with Disk Utility or Time Machine function.

Note: If you plan to format an older external drive, perhaps one you used with another device, make sure to backup all data before proceeding. Formatting is a permanent procedure that can't be reversed. While there are data recovery software you can use if you lost data, it is always better to prevent.

That said, here's how to format an external hard drive Mac:

Method 1: Format Mac Hard Drive with Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a utility application proprietary to macOS that is used to both format and manage internal and external disks. Here's how to use it:

Step 1 Connect the external hard drive you want to format to your Mac, then start the Disk Utility app that you can find under Applications -> Utilities.

Step 2 On the left side of the Utilities screen, find the name of the external hard drive you want to format and select it. Then, on the top side under the Disk Utility, click on the Erase button.

Step 3 Follow the on-screen prompts to select the desired file system and allow the drive to format. That's it! After the process is complete, you can either start using the drive or choose to create partitions on it.

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.

Before you proceed, therefore, you should first set up the external drive to use with Time Machine. To do this, open System Preferences and select Time Machine after you've connected the external drive to your Mac.

Now, click on Select Disk and select the desired drive from the list. Click on the Use Disk button. At this point, the system will run an automatic backup two minutes after you've clicked on the Use Disk button, or you can proceed with the formatting if the hard disk is empty.

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.

Part 3: Bonus Tip – Data Recovery from Formatted Hard Drive on Mac

Sometimes, it may happen that you accidentally formatted an external hard drive containing important data. Whether it's your wedding pictures or your bachelor's degree thesis, chances are you want to get that data back as quickly as possible.

If you have a newer version of Mac, you can use the Apple Time Machine to recover your canceled files, or you could choose to use external software, such as Recoverit Data Recovery.

1. Recover Data with Apple Time Machine

In the former hypothesis, you can try to recover your data with the Time Machine. This app is Apple's backup feature present on the newer systems. If you followed the steps above before formatting the hard drive with Time Machine and allowed the app to execute the backup, then there are high chances that you can recover any lost data without too much hassle.

To do so, just launch the Time Machine and browse through the folders to see if it has saved the files you require.

For easier browsing, you can use the time stamp feature on the right side of the screen and select the date or time when you executed the backup. Once you found the files, simply click on Restore to get them back.

2. Recover Data with Recoverit Data Recovery

If you didn't use the Time Machine function or couldn't find the files you need, you can try to recover any lost files with trusted third-party software, such as Recoverit - Data Recovery.

Recoverit (IS)

A Life Saver to Solve Your Data Loss Problems!

  • It allows you to recover unlimited lost or deleted files from your Mac device, including photo, video, and audio data, document files, and more.
  • It supports all types of Mac files irrespective of their extension.
  • Compatible with both internal and external drives, USB pens, memory cards, and other hardware, so you can rest assured it will retrieve your data if it's there.
  • Retrieve data from accidentally deleted files, lost or formatted partitions, data lost due to virus attacks, system crashes, or data lost by the Time Machine.
  • It is free to download and supports all leading macOS versions, including the 10.14 release.
3,165,867 people have downloaded it

This system is also very easy to use, in just three easy steps:

Step 1Install the application and choose the desired location

Download and install the software on your Mac computer, then open it and select the external hard drive, partition, or location where you want to retrieve data.

Step 2Start the scan to retrieve your lost data

Click the Start button. The software will now scan the selected drive and display all retrieved data in an easy-to-scour list.

Step 3 Preview the recovered files and save them in your chosen location

Review and select the target files, then launch the recovery process. That's it. The software will restore your lost data.


As you can see, how to format an external hard drive Mac is not particularly complicated. The Disk Utility allows you to format the desired drive to the desired system in a blink of an eye. Backing up the data on your drive with Time Machine also allows you to avoid the recovery hassle. If you still lost some data, you even know which software to use to recover all lost files.

Now it's your turn. Use this guide to format your unreadable external drive, download, and use the data recovery software if needed, and don't forget to share this article with your Mac-addicted friends. They might make good use of it too.

Formatting A Disk For Mac Os X

Sep 28, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

But why?

Formatting A Disk Drive

Let us go in detail to find the answer.

Suppose you are using a vehicle but don't go for routine service. What will happen? After some time, it starts giving problems. So what is the solution?

Obviously, we need to take it to a professional mechanic.

The same thing is with your SD card, Now how to Format the SD card to FAT32 on MAC?

Well! Find out the solution yourself in this resolute dossier.

How to format the SD card to FAT32 on Mac?

Are you tired of applying several older techniques that are not able to format your SD card to fat32 on MAC? No worries anymore, we are here for you, just follow these simple steps and get what you want.

Before that, you are advised to take a backup of data on your Mac device, before the beginning of the process. There are two ways to format USB flash drive to FAT32, including Disk Utility and Terminal command line, but here we discuss the former one.

Once SD or micro SD card has been backed up, you will be ready to format the storage device. Here are the steps to make it happen:

  1. Insert the SD card into the slot on your Mac.
  2. Navigate to Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  3. Open Disk Utility.
  4. In the sidebar, select the SD card that you are trying to format.
  5. At the top of Disk Utility, press Erase.

That's it! Your task is completed successfully.

Reasons for the Formatting SD card to FAT32

The Default memory card file systems:

A file system is a way of organizing a drive efficiently to access files with ease, later on. It defines the stored data on your drive. There are many types of file systems among which some common and more usable are:

  • Choose FAT32(File Allocation Table 32) if SD card is <=32GB
  • Choose exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) if SD card is >=64GB
  • NTFS (NT File System)
  • APFS (Apple File System)

What's the FAT32 system on Mac?

The configuration of hard drives in MAC is different From Windows. Mac basically uses HFS+ but also supports FAT32. This FAT32 system on MAC is used for storage media, such as memory cards, flash drives, and also external hard drives. One simple technique to convert FAT32 to HFS+ is by using disk utility feature that comes with OS X. If this technique doesn't work for you, No worries! Here we provide you step by step solutions in an easy way with the help of images.

  • Reasons for changing the SD card format on MAC:

It is always beneficial to go for a little spring cleaning in your room, in order to keep your room clean from dust, as well from certain mites. But if, under certain circumstances, this process is not carried out then what will happen?

Obviously, you can't live there properly. The same thing is with your SD card.

  • If proper cleaning is not carried out at regular intervals of time, the performance of your SD card will degrade.
  • One of the main reasons to format SD cards on MAC to FAT32 is to generate a bootable startup disk, that exactly contains the same Operating System version, that's with your MAC. This further helps to deal with troubleshooting problems and restoring files later.
  • Another reason is to change from one format to another, in order to increase the speed of writing data in the SD card.

Steps to format SD card to FAT32 MAC

Formatting is essential for your SD card to run properly. When the size of your SD card is 64 GB or above the best way is, to go with FAT32 format. This will help you to experience the feel of using a new card. Driver canon for mac.

Note: It is advisable to backup your data from the SD card, it is very important to protect for any loss of crucial information, which on later stages will be hard to recover.

How to format 64 GB SD card to FAT32 on Mac


There are basically two general techniques to Format SD card to FAT 32 in Mac:

Formatting an SD card to FAT32 on Mac is an easy process to go with. It is due to the presence of a built-in utility application named 'disk utility'. It erases all the data from your SD card. Not only this after the process of formatting, but new directories and file systems are also generated, which further helps to increase the speed and functioning of the SD card. This can be done by following some of the basic steps as mentioned below:

1. Using Disk utility:

If you are using operating system X, a simple method to Format SD card is by using Disk utility.

Step 1: Open 'Disk Utility', by typing in the search box, available at the top right corner of the screen, and then click on it.

Step 2: Now look for an SD card on the left side of the window. It will be shown by the name of 'NO NAME' or 'UNTITLED'. Select it.

Step 3: Now click on the 'Erase' tab available in the window.

Step 4: Now click on the 'format' dropdown menu. This provides you with the available formats, from there select 'FAT32' option.

Step 5: A message will appear on your screen asking your permission for erasing partition. Give permission by clicking on the 'Erase' option. This will start the process of formatting for your SD card.

2. Using MAC command line:

In some of the cases, the above-mentioned process is not able to perform well. There may be certain reasons behind this among which some common are compatibility issues, errors, and viruses. Then under these circumstances, the use of the MAC command line is beneficial. Although this technique requires a bit of attention and hard work but here you are provided with step by step guide that makes the task to format sd card on mac to fat32 easy for you. One of the advantages of using this technique is it provides accurate results in most of the cases.

Step 1: Hit cmd + space for launching spotlight, a box will appear with an option of typing, type terminal in this box and press 'Enter' to open.

Step 2: Now insert your SD card.

There are also other cards or disk storages, so the next step will help you with this.

Step 3: For Identification of card Type 'diskutil list'

Now all the available storage will be presented to you in the form of a list

Step 4: Select your SD card.

Step 5: Now to format the SD card to FAT32 on MAC you need to type the command' sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT 32 SDCARD MBRFormat /dev/disk2'

Note: In this case, the name of a card is 'SDCARD' and'/dev/disk2' is the location of the card.

  • Here sudo provides you with superuser rights.
  • diskutil will call the disk utility program.
  • EraseDisk is the command given for formatting the card.
  • FAT32 is used to set the file system.
  • MBRFormat gives the information to the disk utility program for formatting a card with the Master Boot Record.
  • After this process, your password (depends) will be demanded. Filling it right, will start the process of formatting.

Fix 'can't Format SD card on Mac'

Causes of Failing to change SD card to FAT32 on MAC: There are several reasons for an SD card, for not been formatted with the methods and techniques, that previously done the task for you. The common reason for this problem is an unsafe ejection, a virus attack that leads to corrupt the files, and in some uneven circumstances power failure.

Some of the other reasons behind this problem are:

  • SD card is protected by rights, which don't allow you to make any changes.
  • SD card is corrupted due to the introduction of bad sectors.
  • SD card is corrupted due to file system error.

Steps to fix 'Can't format SD card to fat32 MAC':


There are several techniques to fix this problem. The most common and safe technique is to take the help of utility software available with OS X.

Step 1: The first step in this is to connect your SD card with your MAC. Some MACs are available with an option of a built-in SD slot. If you are using one among those, well for you and if not. No need to worry, we are having an alternate solution for you, in which you can use an external SD card cartridge. Still, if you can't able to make it then you can go with a USB SD card reader.

Step 2: Now open utility disk app which is inbuilt in the MAC OS X. For this go for Applications, then click on the utilities and there you will find the Disk utility option. You can directly open it from the top right side of your screen, in search option by typing 'Disk Utility'

Step 3: Now identify your SD card from the list of available drives on the left side of the Disk Utility screen. Then click on it, this will show you the available storage in your device. With this, you can also match the storage of your inserted card to the chosen one, for confirming that you had chosen the right card option. Generally, the name will be NO NAME or Untitled as shown in the image.

Step 4: Now choose Erase function from the functions list at the top.

Step 5: Now enter the name of your SD card that you want to assign from the name field option. This is an optional step.

Step 6: Now choose ExFAT, as a file system format from the Format drop-down menu as shown below.

Step 7: Now hit erase and the process of erasing data begins as shown below.

Step 8: Once the above process you will get a message of completion as shown below. Now your card is ready to use.

Recover Accidentally Formatted SD Card Files.

Sometimes there arise certain situations when you accidentally formatted your card and lose all of your data. Then you probably wonder what to do now? Or there arise certain circumstances when someone formats your SD card mistakenly?

Many times you tried a lot of software, but of no use at all. Also, you tried several techniques but still not able to recover your crucial information. What happens is, you lose hope and give it up.

Format Hard Drive For Mac Os X In Windows

If this is the situation, with you, don't worry we have a guaranteed solution for you with a detailed structure.

First of all, you need to know is, the data from your SD card is not gone permanently. It is just a temporary process that takes place and can be reversed easily. If a proper technique or software or a combination of both is used.

What you need to do is to simply install Recoverit for MAC that is available for download on Wondershare.com on your single click, and follow some of the easy steps as given below. Make sure these steps should be followed in the same order, as mentioned.

Talking about 'Recoverit', It is one of the best data recovery tools, that provides you the facility to recover your data from systems like systems and even crashed systems. Not only this Recoverit Data Recovery Ultimate provides you a facility to recover even fragmented videos and is also capable of fixing and repairing damaged or corrupt videos for you.

Launch 'Recoverit' on MAC: The first step you need to follow is to install 'Recoverit' on your MAC. After the successful installation of this software on your MAC, Double click on 'Recoverit icon' that is shown up. If you can't find it, then go for a finder, and then select applications, there you will find Recoverit easily. Now double click it to open.

Now you have to follow three simple steps to recover your crucial information from your SD card, as mentioned below:

  1. Initially, you need to select a target location
  2. Then you have to Scan the location
  3. Finally, go for a Preview and recover data

Got it!

If not, no worries. Let us discuss each step in detail that makes up easy for you.

  1. Select the SD card you want to format: For this, go for data scanning and searching option and then choose your SD card as a target location. You will find a dialogue box that appears before you as shown below.
  1. Scan the removable media: It is an All-round scan that usually takes a few minutes. During this process, you are provided with an option of the filter and locate files of your choice as shown below.
  1. Preview and recover files: After the above process, you are provided with a preview function in which a lot of files will be there that includes Pictures, videos, movies, images, audio, documents, and so on.

Format Startup Disk Mac Os X

Here you need to select the files you want o recover. For this just click and select the required files and just simply click on 'Restore'. You can also opt for all files of if particular files are selected then these selected files will be restored. Finally, you get your data back.


Formatting A Disk For Mac Os X 10

Today we live in a digital world, where data is stored digitally. Digital data occupies less space, can be stored on cloud storage and, can be encrypted. But at the same time, it carries a lot of problems and one among them is the problem of erased data or accidental formatting. For these cases, precision is required, especially for your SD card. Here you are provided with a resolute dossier on how to format SD card to FAT32 on Mac that makes your task easy.

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