How to reformat external hard drive for windows and mac

It is usually directly above the name of the drive, and is the drive selection that has the total size being displayed. Once selected, click on Partition on the right-side area. In the Partition area, click under Partition Layout and select 1 Partition. Then, click on Options. To the right, insert a name for the drive, and click on Format.

From the drop-down, select ExFAT. When done, click on Apply. A window will come up showing that formatting and partitioning the drive will erase all data that is on the drive. If there's no needed information within the drive, then click on Partition. If there is data on the drive that is needed or is not backed up, it will need to be copied to another location before proceeding.

How to Reformat an External Hard Drive

The drive is now formatting and a status bar will be seen at the bottom that says formatting the disk and gives the name of the drive, the format it is applying, and the name that was specified. When it is done, this bar will go away and the drive should now be listed on the desktop. Right-click on Start , the Windows logo on the bottom-left of the screen, and click Disk Management. In the Disk Management window, the lower pane will display a list of available drives.

Identify the drive that needs to be partitioned and formatted, and make sure that all critical data on this drive has been backed up elsewhere. If there is already a partition on the drive, the bar above that drive will appear blue. If there is no critical data on the drive, or the data has been successfully backed up, right-click the bar and click Delete Volume.

The best ways to format an external drive for Windows and Mac - CNET

If Disk Management shows the drive as Not Initialized , the drive will have to be initialized. For assistance initializing a hard drive, please see Answer ID If there is no partition and data on the drive, it will appear as Unallocated , with a black bar on top. Right-click the Unallocated space or the black bar, and click New Simple Volume. Click Next to proceed. Choose the volume size and click Next. By default, the maximum disk space is already selected and it is recommended to leave it at the maximum disk space.

Open Disk Management. In Windows 8 this can be achieved by moving the mouse to the bottom-left corner of the Desktop and right-clicking on top of the Start menu screen. Then, click Disk Management right below Storage. From the menu, click on Disk Management. FAT32 in macOS Once that's done, double left-click on the Mac HD , the internal Mac hard drive visible on the top-right corner of the desktop screen.

While in there, open Utilities , and lastly double-click on Disk Utility When Disk Utility opens, all available drives will display on the left-side panel. From said list, select the drive that is to be partitioned and formatted from the left-side panel.

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Once selected, click on Partition on the top area of the Disk Utility window. The Partition window will now appear.

How to share an external hard drive between Mac and Windows

Next to Partition, assign the desired drive name for the device. This is the format that the drive will be formatted to.

Now, click on Apply. Disk Utility will begin the formatting and repartitioning process. This may take several minutes. It is usually directly above the name of the drive, and is the drive selection that has the total size of the drive being displayed. FAT32 in Windows 10 and earlier Important: Western Digital provides the Acronis True Image WD Edition software that allows users of our internal hard drives to format their drives. Users of our external drives will need to find third-party software to accomplish this task.

The file may need to be uncompressed using some type of uncompression or unzipping utility. Check the box labeled I accept this License Agreement and click Next. Select the hard drive that is to be formatted and click on Start. All data on the target hard drive will be erased during this process. Please remove or backup any valuable data before performing this step. A pop-up message will appear warning that formatting the drive will erase all the data on the device. Click on Ok to continue. The final popup will warn again that this will erase all the data on the drive.

If this is the desired course of action, click on Yes. Please rate the helpfulness of this answer. Select your Language Language.

About file system formats

Never attempt to connect any external drive to multiple computers at the same time. However, Seagate recommends installing the Paragon driver when sharing hard drives between operating systems. Use FAT32 if: FAT32 is not recommended for modern operating systems and computers. Backup options Optional Formatting and Partitioning About file system formats Formatting instructions Hard drive tests Seagate diagnostic tool Windows only Windows diagnostic tool Mac diagnostic tool Frequently asked questions.

About file system formats NTFS: Formatting instructions The steps below help you format and partition a storage device. Formatting erases everything on the storage device.


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