> How to > Partition Master > Format External Hard Drive or USB Drive for Mac

Format External Hard Drive or USB Drive for Mac

Updated on Dec 05, 2018 by Tracy King to Partition Master

Summary:
There are two ways to format USB flash drive or external hard drive for Mac - using Mac disk utility for format or apply a third-party formatting tool to format device on Windows in simple steps.

What is the best file system for USB or external hard drive on Mac?

Windows and Mac OS X use different file systems. Windows uses NTFS and Mac can't write files to volumes with NTFS format.

So, if you want to use a USB flash drive or an external hard drive with NTFS format on Mac, you should first reformat the devices to the Mac OS Extended file system. It is the best way to ensure full Mac compatibility of a new external hard drive or flash disk.

Usually, FAT32 which can be read and wrote on Mac is recommended for maximum compatibility. And if you need to transfer files larger than 4 GB between Macs and Windows computers, exFAT or MS-DOS (FAT) is better. 

How to format USB flash drive or external hard drive for Mac

But how can you format USB flash drive or external hard drive for Mac? Don’t worry! This page will show you two ways to do this job: 

Format USB or external hard drive for Mac using Mac disk utility 
Format USB or external hard drive for Mac on Windows PC using third-party USB format tool 

Now, you can follow these two solutions to format any hard drive, flash drive, USB drive, SSD or any other external storage drive so as to make them work on your Mac now. 

Method 1. Format USB or external hard drive for Mac using Mac Disk utility

Windows offers users built-in disk management tool to create, delete, resize, merge and format partitions. You can try the following steps to format USB or external hard drive for Mac with Disk Utility on Mac.

  1. 1. Connect the USB or external hard drive to your Mac computer.
  2. 2. Launch the Disk Utility by clicking "Applications" > "Utilities".

Format USB, external hard drive on Mac.

  1. 3. Locate and click on your USB or external hard drive in Disk Utility and then click on "Erase".

Format external hard drive/USB on Mac.

  1. 4. Next to "Format", click the contextual menu and select "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)".
  2. 5. Reset the drive name and click "Erase", confirm the operation on the next pop-up window.

Format external hard drive or USB drive for Mac.

  1. Wait for the process to complete and then you'll get compatible HFS+ file system on your external hard drive or USB, which will make your device compatible and workable on your Mac.

Method 2. Format USB or external hard drive for Mac using third-party USB format tool on a Windows PC

If you need a simpler format tool to format USB or external hard drive to FAT32 to make them work on Mac, you can apply a third-party format tool to format them on Windows PC. EaseUS partition software is a popular disk partition management tool which is available for all hard disk related jobs such as format disk partition, extend system partition, settle low disk space problem.

Now you can try it to format USB or external hard drive on your Windows PC by following the steps below. If you stored important data on the USB or external hard drive, you can try this tool to convert NTFS to FAT32 without formatting.  

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

 

Step 1: Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 1

Step 2: Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 2

Step 3: In the Warning window, click "OK" to continue.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 3

Step 4: Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format Hard Drive Partition - Step 4

After this, you can connect your external hard drive/USB to Mac computer and use it to save data by then.