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Top 9 Best Hard Drive Format Software Free Download for Windows and Mac

Updated by Tracy King on Oct 28, 2022

Key Takeaways of Best Hard Drive Format Software:

  • The best hard drive format software enables most Windows and Mac users to format their disks simply.
  • It also enables users to format hard drives, SSDs, USBs, SD cards, and external hard disks to any file system format.

What is the best formatting software? How can I format my hard drive for free? Follow this page, you'll learn:

Hard Drive format software

What Is Hard Drive Format Software?

To understand what is hard drive format software, let's first get to know what does format disk mean here:

Disk formatting is the process of preparing a data storage device such as a hard disk drive, solid-state drive, floppy disk, memory card, or USB flash drive for initial use. - by Wikipedia

Hard drive format software is a third-party disk formatting tool created by software manufacturers and service providers to assist ordinary users in formatting their storage devices. Hard drive format software helps users to clean up data, reset file system format, fix some internal errors caused by viruses or other reasons efficiently on their hard drives, SSDs, external disks, USB flash drives, and SD cards, etc. 

How to Select a Perfect Hard Drive Format Software? Your Checklist Here

So how do I select a perfect or powerful hard drive format software that helps me efficiently format or reformat a hard drive on my own? Here is a checklist that you may like and you can follow to learn how to pick and identify which hard drive format tool can fulfill your demands:

  • Difficulty: whether the tool is difficult or easy to use.
  • Price: if the HDD format tool is expensive or cheap, or even free.
  • Compatibility: make sure if the formatting software is compatible with your current operating system.
  • Function: whether the disk formatting utility can fulfill your demands in formatting device, clearing up all existing data, and setting the device to the desired format that you need.
  • Tech Support: instant technical support or customer service does help sometimes when the formatting process goes wrong.

So what is the best hard drive format software? Go to the next part, and you'll get a remarkable list of top 9 best hard drive format software in 2022.

What Is the Best Hard Drive Format Software? Top 9 Best Recommend 

When you try to find a reliable hard drive format software, searching the tool in Google or Being, or other downloading sites, you will get a list of thousands of disk formatting tools for Windows, macOS, Linux, Ubuntu, and other platforms.

But which tool suits you the most? Here we picked 9 out of 20 hard drive format software and format tools that most users could apply over the world to reset their disks perfectly. Here is a list of details about our testing of these software:

Number of tested programs: 20 hard drive format software and tools.
Tested standards: Easy to use, risk-free, and appliable.
Supported platforms: Windows and macOS.
How long we tested: 20 days.
Cost: $1,000

Let's check the top 9 best hard drive format software in 2022 here:

  1.  #1. EaseUS Partition Master - Beginners Best Choice
  2. #2. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool
  3. #3. FAT32Format
  4. #4. HDD LLF
  5. #5. Windows File Explorer
  6. #6. Disk Management
  7. #7. Command Prompt
  8. #8. Disk Utility
  9. #9. Terminal

Note that if your current operating system is Linux or Ubuntu, you can refer to the next tutorials for help:

Also, as formatting is a process to get rid of all existing data from your storage devices, it's vital that you create a backup of valuable files from your disk to another safe location. For an all-in-one and easy way, you can turn to free backup software like EaseUS Todo Backup for help. 

Roundup Review on Top 9 Best Hard Drive Format Software in 2022 

Which software suits your needs the best? Follow and check up the overview of all the 9 best recommended hard drive format software, and you'll learn which one is the best according to your demands:

#1. EaseUS Partition Master - Beginners Best Choice

EaseUS Partition Master is a disk partition software that allows users to manage hard disk drives or solid-state drives on the 32-bit or 64-bit Windows PCs and Windows Servers (by Wikipedia). It's sophisticated in providing complete disk and partition management solutions for all Windows users and storage device owners. Aside from assisting people in creating, merging, extending, and shrinking partitions, you can also quickly format and reset a disk format to any file system format in simple clicks.

Free Download 

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#Features: 

With it, you can execute the following operations on your storage devices:

  • Quick format HDDs/SSDs, USBs, SD cards, external disks, etc.
  • Format device to NTFSFAT32exFATEXT2/3/4.
  • Convert NTFS to FAT32convert FAT32 to NTFS without formatting.
  • Convert MBR to GPT, dynamic to basic, primary to logical.
  • Clone disk, migrate OS to HDD/SSD.
  • Repair corrupted file systems, and bad sectors on storage devices.
  • Extend C drive with or without unallocated space.
  • 1-click to partition a new disk at one time.

#Pros and Cons: 

Pros Cons
  • Its free edition - EaseUS Partition Master Free is 100% free to format disk or external devices.
  • Support all Windows operating systems.
  • Converting data disk to MBR/GPT is free.
  • Clone data disk or partition is free.
  • Easy to use.
  • Instant tech support, available online for 24*7 hours.
  • Doesn't work on Mac.
  • Trial edition requires activation to unlock all features.

# Editor's Review:

It's a rare user who'll need more in the way of partitioning abilities than those provided by Windows. However, if that applies to you, then EaseUS Partition Master Professional Edition ($40, free demo) is one of the programs you should consider. - by Jon L. Jacobi from PCWorld

# Reason to Choose It:

It's 100% free to apply its format feature to format disks with EaseUS Partition Master Free, and you can get instant tech support whenever you have issues using this software. It's also a perfect hard disk formatter Windows 11 that you can apply to set up any device on Windows 11.

Free Download 

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# Tutorial to Format Disks with EaseUS Partition Master

 You can follow this video and get a detailed guide to formatting disk drives:

Step 1. Run EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the hard drive partition you intend to format and choose "Format".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2. In the new window, set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and Cluster size for the partition to be formatted, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3. Then you will see a warning window, click "Yes" in it to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting the partition on your hard drive.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

#2. HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool - Portable USB Formatter

Image of HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is a tool created by HP, serving users as a free and portable USB format utility. Though HP has stopped developing and serving this tool, some users still recommend it as the top USB format tool

#Features: 

So what's in this HP USB format tool that attracts so many people loving using it? Check the list of features here:

  • Automatically detect and display USB drives.
  • Format any USB drive to NTFS or FAT32. 

#Pros and Cons: 

Pros Cons
  • 100% free
  • Easy to use
  • Light USB format software and portable.
  • Only support NTFS and FAT32, doesn't support other file system format
  • Doesn't support formatting hard drives, SSDs.
  • No more updates since 2018.

# Editor's Review:

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool is a tiny freeware utility which has been designed for the HP Drive Key or DiskOnKey USB devices. Installing it does not represent a problem whatsoever, since it is very compact and it can be run out-of-the-box. In other words, no installation is actually required. - posted by Elena Opris from SOFTPEDIA

# Reason to Choose It:

HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool supports Windows 10/8/7 and XP older operating systems, and it doesn't require software installation. You can simply use it to format USB drives with its .exe file.

For users who want to format their internal disks or external hard drives, EaseUS Partition Master Free can fully satisfy your needs. For a detailed guide, you may refer to the following link:

related articles

How to Format SSD Windows 11

This is where this post will help you learn multiple methods to format SSDs in the right way on Windows 11. 

image of disk management

# Tutorial to Format USB Drives with HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool

Step 1. Connect a USB drive to the PC.

Step 2. Double-click the HPUSBDisk.exe file to launch the HP USB format tool.

Step 3. Once it detects your USB, select the target USB and click "Start".

Format hard drive partition using HP USB format tool

#3. FAT32 Format

FAT32format

Like HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool, the FAT32 format is also a freeware that supports users formatting large USB drives (32GB+) to FAT32. FAT32 format, also known as FAT32Format, makes up the limit of Windows FAT32 file system format, which only allows setting FAT32 format to storage devices smaller than 32GB.

#Features: 

  • Free to use.
  • Format large USBs (32GB+) to FAT32.

#Pros and Cons: 

Pros Cons
  • Free and easy to use.
  • Breaks Windows file system limit in FAT32.
  • Support Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP
  • Doesn't support Windows 10 well, according to our test.
  • Only works on Windows, it doesn't support macOS.

# Editor's Review:

FAT32format provides a powerful yet easy-to-use command-line utility that helps you format your hard disks in the FAT32 file system. - posted by Alexandru Pintilie from SOFTPEDIA

# Reason to Choose It:

The reason why we recommend it is because this is a free utility that breaks the limit of FAT32 on Windows computers that users can simply format their USB drives larger than 32GB to FAT32 format. 

Tips you may like: Format 128GB USB to FAT32

# Tutorial to Format Large USB Drives with FAT32Format

Step 1. Connect the USB drive to the Windows computer.

Step 2. Double-click fat32format.exe to launch FAT32Format.

Step 3. Select the USB drive in the drive section, tick "Quick Format" and click "Start". 

Step 4. Once done, click "Close" to exit the formatting process.

Format USB with FAT32 Format

#4. HDD LLF - Your Reliable Low-Level Format Tool

Image of HDD LLF

HDD LLF, also known as HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool, is also a freeware that enables users to execute Low-Level format on hard drives so to mark cylinders and tracks of a disk as blank. This tool works for resetting SATA, IDE, and SCSI hard disk drives to their original state.

To learn more details about Low Level Format, you can follow this link for help: High-Level Format vs Low-Level Format.

#Features: 

  • Free to use.
  • Low-level format hard drives, USBs, and external hard drives.
  • Clear partitions, MBR, and every bit of user data.

#Pros and Cons: 

Pros Cons
  • Free to use.
  • Not for beginners
  • Support multiple types of hard drives - HDDs, SSDs, USBs, SD cards, and external hard disks.
  • No more updates.
  • Easy to cause data to be permanently lost.
  • Doesn't support Windows 11/10, it only works on older Windows operating systems.

Note: Though low level format tool is efficient in resetting the hard drive to its original factory settings, we still don't suggest you use this tool too frequently. The low level format would decrease the lifespan of storage devices. If you only need to simply clear data and reset the file system format, a reliable high-level format tool like EaseUS Partition Master can fully help.

# Reason to Choose It:

HDD LLF is a professional and free tool to execute low-level formatting on internal and external hard drives, SSDs, USBs, and SD cards. It makes low-level formatting simple and easy for ordinary users.

# Tutorial to Format Hard Drives with HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool

Step 1. Download HDD LLF on your computer and launch it.

Step 2. Select the disk that you tend to execute low level format and click "Continue".

Step 3. Go to the Low-Level Format tab, and click "FORMAT THIS DEVICe".

Low Level fprmat hard drive with HDD Low Level Format Tool

#5. Windows File Explorer - Best Free Windows Formatting Utility

Image of File Explorer

Windows File Explorer is more like a quick file and disk partition accessor that enables Windows users to locate their saved files and hard drive partitions on their computers. It also serves users as a free formatting utility when people need to format their storage devices and change the file system format.

#Features: 

  • Support format hard drive and SSD hard drive partitions to NTFS.
  • Format USB or SD card, an external hard drive to FAT32 or exFAT.
  • Support quick format and full format storage devices. Learn: Quick Format vs Full Format

#Pros and Cons: 

Pros Cons
  • Free to use.
  • Easy and simple.
  • Accessible on all Windows and Windows Server computers.
  • Doesn't recognize or support Linux or macOS file systems.
  • Doesn't support formatting devices to FAT32 with 32GB or larger capacity.

# Reason to Choose It:

Windows File Explorer is accessible and free for all Windows users to simply access and manage their storage devices and data on computers. Users can apply this tool to format disks for free with simple clicks.  

# Tutorial to Format Hard Drives Partitions with File Explorer

Step 1. Press Windows + I keys to open file Explorer.

Step 2. Find and right-click on the target drive or partition you need to format and select "Format".

Step 3. Set the new drive letter, file system - NTFS, etc., and click "Start".

Step 4. When it completes formatting, click "OK" to finish and close the File Explorer.

Format hard drive with file explorer

#6. Disk Management - Windows Built-in Disk Utility for Formatting Disks

Image of Disk Management

Disk Management is a free disk utility provided by Microsoft in Windows operating systems to assist Windows users in managing disk partitions on their own. Among its multiple disk managing features, formatting disk partitions is a popular and useful function that many experienced users widely use. 

#Features: 

  • Format internal hard drives and SSDs to NTFS. 
  • Create partition and format to NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT.
  • Format USBs, SD cards, and external hard drive partitions to NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT.

Aside from formatting disk partitions, Disk Management also works to extend, shrink, and delete volumes, initialize the disk to MBR/GPT, and more.

#Pros and Cons: 

Pros Cons
  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Available on all Windows and Windows Server systems.
  • Doesn't support Linux and macOS file system format.
  • Can't format storage devices (larger than 32GB) to FAT32.

# Reason to Choose It:

Disk Management is a free utility that works to format hard drives and storage devices on all Windows computers to assist in managing disk partitions. 

# Tutorial to Format Hard Drives with Disk Management

Step 1. Open Disk Management in Windows by right-clicking on the Windows icon and selecting "Disk Management".

Step 2. Locate and right-click on the target device, and select "Format...".

Step 3. Set the file system formats as NTFS or other formats, tick "Perform a quick format". And click "OK".

Format hard drive with disk management

#7. Command Prompt - Advanced Disk Formatter for Administrators

Command Prompt

Command Prompt is also a disk utility similar to Disk Management provided by Microsoft. It assists Windows advanced users in processing command lines to the operating system to create, extend, shrink and format hard drive partitions. As complex as it is, the Command Prompt tool is more applied among advanced and professional administrators.

#Features: 

  • Format internal and external HDDs/SSDs to NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT.
  • Format SD cards, USBs to NTFS/FAT32/exFAT.
  • Create and format partition on a hard drive.

#Pros and Cons: 

Pros Cons
  • Free
  • Available on all Windows and Windows Server computers.
  • Complex for beginners.

# Reason to Choose It:

Command Prompt enables administrators to access and execute operations through command lines for free through the computer. It's an instant and familiar way to most professionals.

It would be a wise choice for ordinary users to pick File Explorer, Disk Management, or an easy third-party hard drive format software for help.

# Tutorial to Format Hard Drives with Command Line

Step 1. Right-click the Windows icon and type cmd, right-click Command Prompt, and select "Run as Administrator".

Step 2. Type the following commands one by one and hit Enter each time:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk * (Replace * with the disk number of your hard drive.)
  • list volume
  • select volume * (Replace * with the volume number of your partition on the target hard drive.)
  • format fs=ntfs quick
  • exit

Format hard drive using command prompt lines

Step 3. Close Command Prompt when the process completes.

#8. Disk Utility - Free Mac Disk Format Tool

Image of Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a macOS built-in disk management tool that enables all Mac users to manage and partition their hard drives for free. Like Disk Management in Windows, this tool also allows people to create, delete, format hard drive for Mac with a few simple clicks.

#Features: 

  • Available on all macOS.
  • Create and delete partitions.
  • Repair and fix hard drive errors with First-Aid.
  • Format hard drive to APFS, HFS, FAT, and exFAT for free.

#Pros and Cons: 

Pros Cons
  • Free
  • Easy to use.
  • Accessible to all Mac users.
  • Support limited file system format.
  • Doesn't support NTFS, EXT2/3/4.

# Reason to Choose It:

There are two disk formatting utilities available on Mac. One of them is Disk Utility. For ordinary Mac users, Disk Utility is more user-friendly and easy to apply for managing disk partitions.

# Tutorial to Format Hard Drives with Disk Utility on Mac

Step 1. Go to Applications, and click "Utilities". Double-click "Disk Utility" to open it.

Step 2. Select the hard drive partition you tend to format and select "Erase".

Step 3. Set file system format to the drive - APFS or HFS, and click "Erase".

Format disk using Disk Utility

#9. Terminal - Command Line Disk Formatting Tool for Mac

Terminal

The terminal is a command line interface program, similar to Command Prompt DiskPart, which enables Mac users to process commands to the macOS so as to execute disk management or other operations. It also works to format hard drive volumes on Mac for free.

#Features: 

  • Free
  • Erase (format) hard drive or external storage devices to APFS, HFS, FAT or exFAT.

#Pros and Cons: 

Pros Cons
  • Free
  • Available on all macOS and old Mac OS X systems.
  • Administrator tool, not user-friendly for beginners.

# Reason to Choose It:

The reason why some Mac users prefer to use this command line tool - Mac Terminal to manage disk partitions on macOS-based devices. Like Windows formatting tools, we prefer Disk Utility other than Terminal for Mac beginners.

# Tutorial to Format Hard Drives with Terminal Mac

Step 1. Go to Finder, and click "Go"> "Utilities".

Step 2. Double-click to open Terminal.

Step 3. Type diskutil eraseDisk FILE_SYSTEM DISK_NAME DISK_IDENTIFIER to erase and format the target hard drive on Mac.

  • Replace FILe_SYSTEM with APFS, HFS, or FAT32 that you tend to format the disk to.
  • Replace Disk_Name with your disk label and Disk_IDENTIFIER with the disk number. 

For example: sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 MBRFormat /dev/disk2.

Hard Drive Format Software Are Free Here for You to Find and Download

On this page, we found and tested over 20 hard drive format software for Windows and Mac users. After over half a month, we tested and found 9 of them are great for you to try for formatting hard drive partitions or storage devices to desired file system format. 

Now, they are available above that you can follow to learn the details and find the official access online to free download them. For a quick view, check our list of best hard drive format software here:

  • Best hard drive format software for Windows beginners - EaseUS Partition Master.
  • Easiest Windows hard drive format tool - File Explorer.
  • Best low level format hard drive - HDD LLF Low Level Format Tool.
  • Best Mac hard drive format tool - Disk Utility.

FAQs about Best Hard Drive Format Software

If you still have questions on hard drive format software, check and find answers here:

1. What is the best free formatting software?

On Windows, File Explorer is good for beginners to try. For free & comprehensive hard drive format software, EaseUS Partition Master Free Edition can fulfill your demands.

On Mac, Disk Utility is the best option for Mac users.

2. Can I format a hard drive for free?

Yes, on Windows computer, you can use File Explorer to format hard drive partitions: 

  • Open File Explorer, right-click target hard drive and select "Format".
  • Set a new file system and click "Start".
  • Click "OK" when the formatting process completes.

On Mac, you can turn to Disk Utility to format a hard disk volume:

  • Open Disk Utility, select target drive, and select "Erase".
  • Set a new format, and click "Erase" to confirm formatting the hard drive.

3. Is there a tool that can format the hard drive to FAT32?

Yes, in Windows, you can turn to File Explorer or Disk Management to format a hard drive partition of less than 32GB to FAT32. If your disk is larger than 32GB, you can turn to EaseUS Partition Master to format the large drive to FAT32 successfully.

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About the Author

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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Product Reviews

Product Reviews

TrustScore 4.7 | 49 reviews
  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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