Mac use ntfs or fat32

These will probably come formatted as NTFS so they can use the full amount of storage on a single partition. This is why you really want to use FAT32 on your removable drives, so you can use them with almost any device.

Ultimately, what you probably want to do is leave the drive formatted with the file system it came with. Image Credit: Terry Johnston on Flickr. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere.


Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. Windows Mac iPhone Android. Smarthome Office Security Linux. Typically, when you buy an external hard drive it will be formatted out of the box. This will prompt a new window asking you to select a partition style for your disk.

Format Your Drive With Disk Utility

This will initiate the New Simple Volume Wizard. The volume is the same as a partition.

After proceeding to the next page, select the file system exFat and keep the allocation unit size at the default. As a standard user, Microsoft advises against changing the allocation unit size.

FAT32 vs. NTFS: Choose Your Own Format

Step 5 : On the next page, make sure everything is correct and select Finish. Now repeat this process for Windows. As far as partitioning goes, Macs have it a little bit easier.

How to FORMAT external Hard drive to FAT32 w/ Mac. EASY!

Step 1 : To start, your first step will be to find Disk Utility. The easiest way to access Disk Utility is by searching for it in Spotlight Search in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Step 2 : With Disk Utility open, locate the hard drive you want to partition and select Partition. In the Partition Information category, specify the name and size of each partition. Unlike the older FAT32 format, however, ExFAT allows for the storage of files up to 16 exabytes which equates to about 16 million terabytes!

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Use the exFAT File System and Never Format Your External Drive Again

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