This may be APFS, or it may be Mac OS Extended (Journaled) depending on how the drive is currently formatted and whether you using macOS High Sierra or an older version of the OS. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) - This is the default file system format for Mac OS X drives. Advantages: Formatting your USB flash drive this way will give you full interoperability with Macs.
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Dec 21, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions
There are lots of people who mistakenly think that the USB drives and hard drives format don’t really matter. But the reality is quite different. Whether it is a hard drive or USB or internal drive, Mac uses different format support. So, you can’t simply use the same drive with both Windows and Mac. As a result, you will need to format the hard drive for Mac. Using the Mac preferred file system is important otherwise the files will be of no use to you.
In this article, we are going to discuss how to format a hard drive for Mac and some related terms too.
Part 1. Situations When Formatting a Hard Drive on Mac:
Before you get deep, you must understand what is the drive formatting. Some people confuse the term with reformatting. Basically, formatting is the process of preparing the storage devices such as hard disk drive, solid-state drive, USB flash drive, or any other for initial use.
The basic operation is termed as low-level formatting which means erasing the existing data on the disk. But it leaves the track to recover the data using the recovery tool.
There is another term related to disk formatting and it is called reformatting. It is called high-level formatting as it is used to prepare the disk for different file system formats. It is usually done during the OS installation or adding a new disk. Reformatting is done to free the storage space from the previous content stored in it.
You can consider disk formatting in macOS in various circumstances. Whether your system has corrupted data, damaged software, impending system upgrade, storage is full, or it is running slow, formatting will fix a lot of issues. Take a look at the scenarios given below and you will be sure that disk formatting will help you.
- If you want to quickly erase all content from the drive permanently without leaving a trace of data on it.
- If you want to change the format of the disk such as PC format like FAT or exFAT to Mac format.
- If you see the message that the disk is not readable by Mac.
- If you want to resolve a disk issue that can’t be fixed by the Repair feature of Disk Utility.
- If the macOS installer can’t see the disk or unable to install it.
- In case the macOS installer says that the drive can’t be installed because it is a part of Apple RAID.
Under all these situations, formatting is most likely to fix your problems and you will be able to use the drive on Mac.
Part 2. How to Format a Hard Drive on Mac:
Formatting is a very simple procedure that is operated in a similar way for all sorts of storage media. So, whether you wish to format the internal hard drive, external drive, or a USB flash drive, the procedure is the same for all. Here is the step by step guide you need to follow to format the hard disk on Mac. Before you erase a disk, make sure that you have a backup of the files you want to keep.
Step 1: Connect the USB drive or external drive to Mac and launch the Disk Utility from Applications.
Step 2: From the left side panel, pick the volume or the drive that you want to format and switch to the Erase tab.
Step 3: As you click on the Erase button, you will see several fields in the section. Enter the given information-
- Name- Enter a name for the disk such as Macintosh HD/SSD/USB Drive or anything else you want.
- Format- You have to choose a Mac supported format from the list. The most recommended format is APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). There are numerous other formats too which will be displayed in the drop-down menu. You can select any format as per your requirement.
- The scheme- If this option is available, then you should choose the GUID Partition Map from the option.
Step 4: After specifying the fields, click on the Erase button at the bottom of the window and Disk Utility will format the drive.
Once the formatting is complete, you can use the disk for a backup drive, sharing, time machine backup, or any other requirement. In case if the drive doesn’t appear in the Disk Utility interface, you will have to disconnect all the extra and non-essential devices connected to Mac. Make sure that the External drive is on and connected properly. Restart your Mac and then carry out the task.
Part 3. How to Perform Mac Data Recovery After Format:
There are situations when Mac users don’t get the chance to create a backup of their data and forced to format the hard drive. But you don’t need to panic. You can get your hands on Recoverit data recovery for Mac. If you have mistakenly formatted the data that you still need, Recoverit is the best chance you have to get the files back. It is a complete data recovery solution that is capable of recovering all kinds of files with wide format support of 1000+.
You can download the software from the official website and install it immediately on Mac. Once the setup is complete, follow the steps below to recover formatted drive files.
Step 1: Specify Location:
Run the program and specify a location from the main drive. If data is lost from an external drive or USB flash drive, then you’ll have to connect the drive with the system and then specify the location.
Click on the Start button to initiate the scanning process.
Step 2: Scan Results:
Depending on the data that is lost or deleted, scanning will take some time. As the process finishes, the files will be displayed on the screen according to their respective format.
You can decide whether you want to look for files according to file type or file path. You can also stop the scanning process in between if the results are displayed before the scanning finishes.
Step 3: Preview and Recover Formatted Data:
As soon as the data is displayed on the screen, you can have a preview of the files. Select as many files as you want and have a preview of the files. Tap on the Recover button to save the files on your system.
As you are retrieving the files, keep in mind not to save the files in the previous location. Depending on the amount of recovery, it will take a while and ultimately you’ll have your files back. If the normal scan doesn’t work for you, Recoverit also has a deep scan mode to look deeper for the deleted and lost files.
Part 4. Different Formats of Hard Drive for Mac:
Mac Hard drives have wide support for formats but there are two major formats that are preferably used by the Mac users. It also depends on the macOS version you are using. The key point to consider is that the drives formatted with the newer versions won’t be recognized by the older devices. So, when you are formatting a USB drive, it will be ideal to choose the right format which is Mac OS Extended.
The supported Mac formats for the drive are explained below:
The APFS format is optimal for Solid State Drive such as flash drives. Hence, if you are formatting a flash drive, you should definitely choose the APFS format. Along with the flash drives, this format is also faster and more reliable for Mac hard drives.
Mac OS Extended:
Talking about Mac OS Extended, it is perfectly suitable if you want to use a drive for backup. The Time Machine feature of Mac still doesn’t have support for APFS disk. In case you select this format, Time Machine will prompt you to reformat the drive.
When you are formatting disk on Mac, keep some things in mind. Never ever change the inbuilt format of a Mac drive.
Part 5. Tips for Formatting a Hard Drive on Mac:
Even though formatting doesn’t seem like a big deal, still it can be very helpful. So, you must stay active and keep all things in mind. Here are some tips that might help you when you are about to format a Mac hard drive.
- Disk Utility in macOS Sierra and later chooses a compatible format for you automatically. But you should know the default format for your drive. It is advised not to change the default format of a Mac hard drive under any circumstances.
- You can check the format of a drive inside the Disk Utility Menu bar. Just click on the Get Info option and you’ll know the current format a drive is using to store files. Open the System information and select the storage. In the right-side panel, you will see the respective format for each volume on your Mac.
- If you want to erase your disk before you install the latest High Sierra on your Mac for the first time, then opt-out for the Mac OS Extended format. During the installation of OS, the macOS installer will automatically decide whether to use APFS or Mac OS Extended for the disk.
- You can also use the FAT32 format on Mac for USB drives if you wish to use it on both Mac and Windows. The FAT32 format can be read and written on both OS and hence it is the most versatile format for use.
- If you wish to transfer big files from Windows to Mac, you’ll still have an alternative, i.e. exFAT. This format doesn’t have a file limit but it can only be read on Mac OS X Snow Leopard or later.
So, before you pick out the format, look out for the advantages and the disadvantages of the formats to choose the optimal format for Mac. The Windows supported format is usually listed as an MS-DOS format in the list of formats.
Wrapping It Up:
As you can see, now you know how to format hard drive/ USB flash drive/ internal drive/external drive on Mac. So, from now on whenever someone is in need, you can help them. And formatting doesn’t always finish without complications. So, if you lost some important files while formatting the drive, you can use Recoverit data recovery software for Mac to restore them in the original condition. Recommend the software to your friends and family and let them know that there is a master tool for recovery for both Mac and Windows OS in the market.
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Just like most storage mediums, partitioning a flash drive is also possible. There may be a number of reasons why you would want to partition a flash drive. If you have never partitioned a flash drive before, then don't worry; this article will help you. Read on to find how to partition a flash drive..
Partition with Diskpart
Partition with an USB Flash Drive Partition Tool
Bonus Tip 1. Best Way to Recover Files from Flash Drive after Partition or Format
1How to Partition Flash Drive on Windows10/8.1/8/7?
Although it is possible to create multiple partitions on a flash drive via third-party tools, Windows will only read and show the first/primary partition. If you want the Windows to read a certain partition of the flash drive, then you will need a third-party tool to set that partition as primary.
Backup Your Data
Partitioning a flash drive will erase all data stored on it. That's why it is highly recommended that you back up all the important data before proceeding. The backup process is quite easy as all you need to do is connect the flash drive to your computer and copy the desired data to a location of your choice. Follow these instructions:
1. Connect your flash drive to your computer. Then open This PC on your Windows and find your flash drive.
2. Double-click on it to see its contents. Select the files that you want to back up and right-click on them and click Copy.
3. After that, navigate to the folder on your computer's hard drive where you want to store those files, right-click and select the Paste option. The transfer process will begin and your selected files will be copied to that folder.
Now that you have backed up your data, you can proceed to partition your flash drive. Following are some methods to do this:
1Partition a Flash Drive Using Diskpart
You can easily partition a flash drive via the Diskpart utility of Windows. The utility is run through Command Prompt. Follow these instructions:
Step 1. Press Windows and R key on your keyboard at the same time and type 'diskpart' in the Run pop-up window and then press Enter to launch it. A command prompt window will open.
Step 2. On that window, input 'list disk' to see which number your connected flash drive has.
Step 3. Next, input 'select disk X (X here is the number for your flash drive). It will be selected.
Step 4. Now input 'clean' and press enter to clean the device.
Step 5. Now enter 'list part' and then input 'create partition primary'. After that, input 'list part' and then input 'select partition 1'. Set this partition as active by inputting 'active'.
Step 6. Next, input 'format fs=fat32' to format the partition. After that, your newly created flash drive partition will be ready to use.
2Partition a Flash Drive with an USB Flash Drive Partition Tool
If the method to partition a flash drive via diskpart seems complicated, then there is another easier way to partition a flash drive. You can partition the USB flash drive via a flash drive partition tool called Bootit. Follow these instructions to partition a flash drive via Bootit:
Fist, you should install and launch Bootit software on your computer.
Step 1. Connect your flash drive to your computer and make sure it is detected by the operating system.
Step 2. Now open Disk Management on your computer. You can launch it from the Start Menu.
Step 3. Now select the current partition shown on the flash drive and delete it via the software.
Step 4. After that, right-click on the unallocated space of flash drive and click on New Simple Volume to create a partition. You can specify the size, label, etc. for the new partition according to your preferences.
Step 5. You can create multiple partitions on your flash drive by repeating the above step.
2How to Partition a Flash Drive on Mac?
If you want to partition your flash drive on your Mac, then you will be glad to know that it is possible. On Mac, you can do this via Disk Utility.
Steps to Partition Flash Drive on Mac
Follow these instructions to partition flash drive on Mac:
Step 1. On your Mac, open Disk Utility. And connect your flash drive to your Mac.
Step 2. Once the Disk Utility is opened, select your flash drive from the sidebar and click the Erase button.
Step 3. On the newly opened window, select OS X Extended (Journaled) from the Format menu.
Step 4. Make sure to click on Scheme > GUID Partition Map. Next, format the drive via the Erase option.
Step 5. After formatting, click the Partition button and then use the '+' button to create and add additional partitions. Add as many partitions as you like.
Step 6. After setting the sizes, labels, etc. to partitions, click Apply to confirm your action. Partitions will be created.
Bonus Tip 1. Best Way to Recover Files from Flash Drive after Partition or Format
It's wise to backup the data on your flash drive before partitioning or formatting it. So, what to do if you forgot this or some important files were left when made a backup? Don't worry, a powerful data recovery tool can help you find them back!
iMyFone AnyRecover is one of such popular data recovery tools. It can help you find all your lost files no matter how you lost them. Files recovery at a formatted or partitioned USB flash drive is easy as 1-2-3 with AnyRecover.Key Features
Format Flash Drive Mac Os Extended Journaled In Windows 10
Recover lost files from different data loss scenarios, including formatted data recovery, deleted files recovery, formatted device recovery, etc.
Recover over 1000 type of files, including photos, videos, audios, emails, documents, archives and more.
Recover files from various storage mediums, such as USB flash drive, hard drive, SD card, digital camera, computer, etc.
Differing from other recovery tools, AnyRecover is 100% safe to use, it won't do any damage to your existing data.
One of the most reliable data recovery software with high data recovery rate - Up to 98%.
Steps to Recover Files from Flash Drive after Partition or Format
Step 1. Open AnyRecover on your computer, then connect your Flash Drive to your computer, select it.
Step 2. After selecting the location, hit “Start” button to start the process.
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Step 3. After scanning, preview and select the files, then click on Recover button to get the lost files back.
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Bonus Tip 2. Best USB Flash Drive for Windows & Mac
Format Flash Drive Mac Os Extended Journaled In Windows 8
Among many quality flash drives, SanDisk Extreme PRO 128 GB Drive is considered the most popular USB flash drive for Windows and Mac. Following are the top features of this USB flash drive:
Can You Use Mac Os Extended Journaled With Windows
Blistering speeds: 380 MB/s write, 420 MB/s read.
Durable, sleek, and eye-catching aluminum casing design.
AES, 128-bit file encryption for excellent security for sensitive files.
USB 3.0 as well as backward compatibility with USB 2.0.