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How to format an external hard drive for Mac and PC

2017-04-10 16:51:23 Posted by Abby Haines to Partition Manager

Summary:
Step-by-step tutorial teaches you how to free format external hard drive for Mac and PC is created here. Try it to format your Western Digital hard drive, Seagate hard drive, Toshiba hard drive, etc to FAT32 in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista with simple steps.

How do I format Western digital external hard drive for Mac and PC?

"I get a new Western digital hard drive and want to use it as an external disk to save working files. But I don’t know how to format it since I should frequently switch from a PC to a Macbook. Can you tell me how to format an external hard drive for Mac and PC compatibility so that I can easily access or transfer my stuff between the two operating system?" 

Overview of external hard drive formatting for Mac and PC

As we all know, Mac and Windows use different file systems by default. So, if you frequently use both a PC and a Mac computer and want to share an external drive between the two operating system for data backup or transfer, you need to make it compatible with Mac and PC first. But how can you format external hard drive for Mac & PC? 

What is the best file system that makes external hard drive compatible with both PC and Mac?

What is the best file system that supported by both PC and Mac? Actually, many users have some doubts on this question. If you are one of them, you can choose FAT32 or exFAT in your case. 

Advantages of FAT32 file system:

FAT32 is not only compatible with Mac and Windows but also many gaming and Linux OSs.

Disadvantages of FAT32 file system: 

1. Single files larger than 4GB on the external hard drive is not supported by FAT32.
2. Mac OS X's Time Machine backup utility won't work with FAT32. 

How to format an external hard drive to FAT32 for Mac and PC

If you ignored all the disadvantages and decided to format your external hard drive to FAT32, you might need a third-party software for help when the disk is larger than 32GB. You know, Windows Disk Management utility completely cannot help at this moment. Here, you can try EaseUS free partition software, a program allows you to format Western Digital hard drive, Seagate hard drive, Toshiba hard drive, etc to FAT32 in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista with simple steps. 

To format external hard drive for Mac and PC:

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive to PC, launch EaseUS free partition tool, right-click the disk and choose "Format partition".

Format external hard drive for Mac and PC compatibility - choose format partition option

Step 2. Configure the label you want in the Partition Label box and then select the FAT32 file system in the "File System" drop-down list for the disk.  

 Format external hard drive for Mac and PC compatibility - choose FAT32 file system

Step 3. Choose the Cluster Size (512 bytes, 1, 2, 4...64KB) in the "Cluster Size" drop-down list and click "OK" to continue.

Step 4. Click "Apply" to format the external hard drive to FAT32 for Mac and PC compatibility.