Can I Format External Hard Drive from Mac to Windows? I Need Solutions!

I have an external hard drive for Mac. But it doesn't work on a Windows computer. I heard that I could format it, and it will work on Windows. How can I do this? Will formatting affect the performance of the drive or anything else?

Best Answered by

Cici· Answered on Feb 22, 2023

If your external drive belongs to a Mac, the file system is most likely to be HFS+ or APFS, and Windows does not support either format. So if you want to use your external drive on both Windows and Mac, you will need to format it as exFAT or FAT32.

Formatting does not affect the drive's performance or have other negative effects. But formatting will erase data, so you need to back up your essential data in advance. Then you can format it by following the two ways.

Way 1. Format External Hard Drive on Mac

If you haven't removed the external hard drive, you can format the external hard drive directly on your Mac.

Step 1. Open Utilities in Mac Finder and find Disk Utility.

Step 2. Click on "Erase" at the top.

Step 3. Name the external hard drive and select FAT format. Then click Erase.

Way 2. Format External Hard Drive on Windows

On Windows, download a safe and all-in-one disk management tool - EaseUS Partition Master Free.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

With this professional formatting software, you can easily and safely convert formats for both Mac and Windows without spending much time.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, select the drive you want to format and click on "Format."

Step 2. Select the FAT32 file system and cluster size, and select "OK."

Step 3. Select "Yes" in the warning window that pops up.

Step 4. Click on "Execute 1 Task(s)" in the upper left corner and click on "Apply. "

Then you can use the external hard drive for Mac on Windows.

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