Reformat Hard Drive Mac

Erase, formatting, OS X installs on Mac's.Drives, partitions, formatting w/Mac's + PC's. Identifying the machine. First off if the machine is bootable to OS X, head to the Apple Menu About This Mac and note the OS X version. Then do More Information and write down all what you see there. What if the Erase Button in Disk Utility is grayed Out? Show All Devices and Erase the Parent Drive By default, Disk Utility only shows the Volumes on your connected. Run First Aid to Repair Your Drive Before Erasing It Disk Utility has a First Aid feature that fixes all kinds.

Dec 16, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

'I just bought a new USB flash drive and a hard drive for extra storage, but they are not compatible with my Mac. The only solution I can find is to format the drives but I don’t know how to perform it. Can someone tell me how do I format a new hard drive for Mac?'
  • Tips for Formatting Hard Drive. If you want to get positive results while formatting your hard drive on Mac or PC, then consider following these steps: Since formatting will erase all the existing data on your hard drive, make sure you have taken its backup beforehand.
  • 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.

There are lots of people who mistakenly think that the USB drives and hard drives format don’t really matter. 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.

In this article, we are going to discuss how to format a hard drive for Mac and some related terms too.

Part 1. Situations When Formatting a Hard Drive on Mac:

Reformat Hard Drive Mac

Before you get deep, you must understand what is the drive formatting. Some people confuse the term with reformatting. Basically, formatting is the process of preparing the storage devices such as hard disk drive, solid-state drive, USB flash drive, or any other for initial use.

The basic operation is termed as low-level formatting which means erasing the existing data on the disk. But it leaves the track to recover the data using the recovery tool.

There is another term related to disk formatting and it is called reformatting. It is called high-level formatting as it is used to prepare the disk for different file system formats. It is usually done during the OS installation or adding a new disk. Reformatting is done to free the storage space from the previous content stored in it.

You can consider disk formatting in macOS in various circumstances. Whether your system has corrupted data, damaged software, impending system upgrade, storage is full, or it is running slow, formatting will fix a lot of issues. Take a look at the scenarios given below and you will be sure that disk formatting will help you.

  • If you want to quickly erase all content from the drive permanently without leaving a trace of data on it.
  • If you want to change the format of the disk such as PC format like FAT or exFAT to Mac format.
  • If you see the message that the disk is not readable by Mac.
  • If you want to resolve a disk issue that can’t be fixed by the Repair feature of Disk Utility.
  • If the macOS installer can’t see the disk or unable to install it.
  • In case the macOS installer says that the drive can’t be installed because it is a part of Apple RAID.

Under all these situations, formatting is most likely to fix your problems and you will be able to use the drive on Mac.

Part 2. How to Format a Hard Drive on Mac:

Formatting is a very simple procedure that is operated in a similar way for all sorts of storage media. So, whether you wish to format the internal hard drive, external drive, or a USB flash drive, the procedure is the same for all. Here is the step by step guide you need to follow to format the hard disk on Mac. Before you erase a disk, make sure that you have a backup of the files you want to keep.

Step 1: Connect the USB drive or external drive to Mac and launch the Disk Utility from Applications.

Step 2: From the left side panel, pick the volume or the drive that you want to format and switch to the Erase tab.

Air

Step 3: As you click on the Erase button, you will see several fields in the section. Enter the given information-

  • Name- Enter a name for the disk such as Macintosh HD/SSD/USB Drive or anything else you want.
  • Format- You have to choose a Mac supported format from the list. The most recommended format is APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). There are numerous other formats too which will be displayed in the drop-down menu. You can select any format as per your requirement.
  • The scheme- If this option is available, then you should choose the GUID Partition Map from the option.

Reformat Hard Drive Macbook Air

Step 4: After specifying the fields, click on the Erase button at the bottom of the window and Disk Utility will format the drive.

Once the formatting is complete, you can use the disk for a backup drive, sharing, time machine backup, or any other requirement. In case if the drive doesn’t appear in the Disk Utility interface, you will have to disconnect all the extra and non-essential devices connected to Mac. Make sure that the External drive is on and connected properly. Restart your Mac and then carry out the task.

Part 3. How to Perform Mac Data Recovery After Format:

There are situations when Mac users don’t get the chance to create a backup of their data and forced to format the hard drive. But you don’t need to panic. You can get your hands on Recoverit data recovery for Mac. If you have mistakenly formatted the data that you still need, Recoverit is the best chance you have to get the files back. It is a complete data recovery solution that is capable of recovering all kinds of files with wide format support of 1000+.

You can download the software from the official website and install it immediately on Mac. Once the setup is complete, follow the steps below to recover formatted drive files.

Step 1: Specify Location:

Run the program and specify a location from the main drive. If data is lost from an external drive or USB flash drive, then you’ll have to connect the drive with the system and then specify the location.

Click on the Start button to initiate the scanning process.

Step 2: Scan Results:

Depending on the data that is lost or deleted, scanning will take some time. As the process finishes, the files will be displayed on the screen according to their respective format.

You can decide whether you want to look for files according to file type or file path. You can also stop the scanning process in between if the results are displayed before the scanning finishes.

Step 3: Preview and Recover Formatted Data:

As soon as the data is displayed on the screen, you can have a preview of the files. Select as many files as you want and have a preview of the files. Tap on the Recover button to save the files on your system.

As you are retrieving the files, keep in mind not to save the files in the previous location. Depending on the amount of recovery, it will take a while and ultimately you’ll have your files back. If the normal scan doesn’t work for you, Recoverit also has a deep scan mode to look deeper for the deleted and lost files.

Reformat Hard Drive Mac Terminal

Part 4. Different Formats of Hard Drive for Mac:

Mac Hard drives have wide support for formats but there are two major formats that are preferably used by the Mac users. It also depends on the macOS version you are using. The key point to consider is that the drives formatted with the newer versions won’t be recognized by the older devices. So, when you are formatting a USB drive, it will be ideal to choose the right format which is Mac OS Extended.

The supported Mac formats for the drive are explained below:

Reformat Hard Drive Mac To Windows

APFS:

The APFS format is optimal for Solid State Drive such as flash drives. Hence, if you are formatting a flash drive, you should definitely choose the APFS format. Along with the flash drives, this format is also faster and more reliable for Mac hard drives.

Reformat hard drive macbook

Mac OS Extended:

Talking about Mac OS Extended, it is perfectly suitable if you want to use a drive for backup. The Time Machine feature of Mac still doesn’t have support for APFS disk. In case you select this format, Time Machine will prompt you to reformat the drive.

When you are formatting disk on Mac, keep some things in mind. Never ever change the inbuilt format of a Mac drive.

Part 5. Tips for Formatting a Hard Drive on Mac:

Even though formatting doesn’t seem like a big deal, still it can be very helpful. So, you must stay active and keep all things in mind. Here are some tips that might help you when you are about to format a Mac hard drive.

  • Disk Utility in macOS Sierra and later chooses a compatible format for you automatically. But you should know the default format for your drive. It is advised not to change the default format of a Mac hard drive under any circumstances.
  • You can check the format of a drive inside the Disk Utility Menu bar. Just click on the Get Info option and you’ll know the current format a drive is using to store files. Open the System information and select the storage. In the right-side panel, you will see the respective format for each volume on your Mac.
  • If you want to erase your disk before you install the latest High Sierra on your Mac for the first time, then opt-out for the Mac OS Extended format. During the installation of OS, the macOS installer will automatically decide whether to use APFS or Mac OS Extended for the disk.
  • You can also use the FAT32 format on Mac for USB drives if you wish to use it on both Mac and Windows. The FAT32 format can be read and written on both OS and hence it is the most versatile format for use.
  • If you wish to transfer big files from Windows to Mac, you’ll still have an alternative, i.e. exFAT. This format doesn’t have a file limit but it can only be read on Mac OS X Snow Leopard or later.

So, before you pick out the format, look out for the advantages and the disadvantages of the formats to choose the optimal format for Mac. The Windows supported format is usually listed as an MS-DOS format in the list of formats.

Wrapping It Up:

As you can see, now you know how to format hard drive/ USB flash drive/ internal drive/external drive on Mac. So, from now on whenever someone is in need, you can help them. And formatting doesn’t always finish without complications. So, if you lost some important files while formatting the drive, you can use Recoverit data recovery software for Mac to restore them in the original condition. Recommend the software to your friends and family and let them know that there is a master tool for recovery for both Mac and Windows OS in the market.

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Yo 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. You may wonder how to reformat an external hard drive on Mac. Follow the tutorial below, you'll get everything covered.

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

Reformat Hard Drive Mac

Reformatting an external hard drive for use with Mac OSX 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 a MAC can generally read other file formats, but for the best performance and to create a bootable disk, formatting exclusively for MAC is required.

Part 1: Which File Format You Should Choose?

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, you'll know 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, and Windows or Linux PCs. What's more, it is compatible with SSD and flash storage devices only.

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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 who own a PC. 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, writing to it is not available. Luckily, there are third-party tools to help you do so.

Erase And Reinstall Os X

Part 2: Format External Hard Drive for Mac with Disk Utility

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.

Reformat Hard Drive Macbook Air

Reformat Hard Drive Mac

Step 2. Start the Disk Utility, 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 Erase button.

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

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

In case you forgot to backup files before formatting the external drive. Here comes the cure - iMyFone AnyRecover - a one-stop solution to recover deleted, lost or formatted files from Mac.

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

Get Ready!

First, download and install AnyRecover, following on-screen prompts to accomplish the task.

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Get Set!

  • 1. After loading AnyRecover, plug your external hard drive into your Mac directly or via USB.

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

Go!

  • 1. AnyRecover takes a moment to scan your drive. Once done, it will list out all scanning results by file type.

  • 2. Double click a single file to preview it before recovery.

  • 3. Select the files and press Recover to get them back.

What If?

What if my files were not found? Fear not. We can take this a step further. Enable 'Deep Scan' to try one more time, follow the steps above just as before to locate and recover your files.

It is plain to see that AnyRecover for Mac is a tool worthy of top shelf treatment in your arsenal of items that are used to defend, recover and keep your system up and running. Don't get caught without the file you need for that meeting or stumbling looking for baby photos that were stored on disk and suddenly 'hid' from your view. Allow AnyRecover to find and recover your lost files. AnyRecover is easy to use but provides sophisticated results that mean you know what you're doing!