How to partition and format an external hard drive on any Mac

Admin, Thursday, July 21, 2022
Rate this post

External hard drives are very useful tools. You can use it to back up important files or even install apps on it for mobile use. People use them all the time for a variety of reasons. Thus, you should learn how to format one and split it in case you need to. Here’s how to format an external hard drive on a Mac, and we’ll go ahead and show you how to partition it as well.

Read also: What is Apple Time Machine and how to use it

quick answer

To format an external hard drive on a Mac, connect the hard drive to your computer. Then open Disk Utility via Finder. At the top of the window, click erase button. Follow the prompts, name your hard drive, and then select the format. tap on erase Button again to format.

Go to the main sections

How to format an external hard drive on macOS

Format macOS External Hard Drive

Indian atmosphere / Android salad

The easiest way to format an external hard drive on macOS is to use the built-in disk utility. Some third-party apps can do this, but this is the easiest way. It’s also free, and you already have it on your Mac.

  • Connect the hard disk you want to format.
  • to open discovererAnd type disk utility in the search box. Double click to open it.
  • In the Disk Utility application, click the name of your hard drive in the left margin.
  • At the top of the window, click erase button.
  • Give your drive a name and tap appearance can.
  • Uses APFS If you are using the hard drive with macOS devices only. Uses ExFat If you intend to use the drive with other operating systems. just use macOS Extender If you need backward compatibility with older Macs.
  • Once you have selected your format, and named your drive, click erase button.

This is it. Once you have finished processing the system, you will have an empty hard drive like you just took it out of the box for the first time.

How to Partition an External Hard Drive on macOS

macOS Hard Disk Partition

Indian atmosphere / Android salad

Partitioning a hard drive is a very similar process to formatting an external hard drive. This gives you multiple volumes to play with. However, we only recommend this if you intend to use it with Time Machine as a backup drive or if you want to use part of your external hard drive to run an operating system. There is no other reason to partition an external hard drive.

Also, if you intend to use your external hard drive to run Windows, Apple highly recommends Use Boot Camp to partition the drive instead of the Disk Utility feature.

  • Connect the drive you want to partition. Make sure it is formatted to APFS. You can use other formats, but it gets a bit wonky.
  • to open discoverer And type disk utility in the search bar. Double clicks disk utility when it pops up.
  • Select your external hard drive on the left margin.
  • At the top of the screen, tap to divide button.
  • On the next screen, tap appearance square and switch to APFS.
  • Next, click on File + (plus) The button below the pie chart to create a new section.
  • In the pop-up window, the utility asks if you want to create an entire partition or just an additional volume. tap on add section Selection.
  • Name your new partition, then select Format. It is highly recommended to use APFS. Sometimes, using other formats corrupts your hard drive.
  • Using the slider on the pie chart, change the size until your section is as large as you want it to be. The slider button is located above +/- buttons. Disk Utility splits the space in half by default.
  • Once done, press Progressing. A popup should appear. Simply click to divide to complete.
  • NB Partitioning the drive will also reformat the drive. Make sure to backup or remove any important data before partitioning.
  • to remove partitions Return to the partition screen, select the partition you want to remove, and press File – (minus) button. Click Apply when done. This will reformat your drive without partitioning.

And that’s it. Once you are done, you will have several sections that you can work with.

How to add volumes to an external hard disk

Create a volume on macOS

Indian atmosphere / Android salad

Adding volumes makes more sense than partitioning an external hard drive in most cases. The folder works as a partition, but it works a little differently.

The easiest way to compare is to show how they work. When you split a 500GB hard drive in half, you end up using two 250GB partitions. Each partition is self-contained and cannot use the space of the other partition.

When you create a second volume, both volumes can access the entire 500GB space, but still appear on your desktop as two different things. Partitions are good for Time Machine backups and booting from the operating system. Sizes are better for storing data.

Anyway, here’s how to add a volume to your external hard drive. We recommend using volumes instead of partitions because it is difficult to mess up and easy to fix if you do.

  • Connect the external hard drive to your computer. Make sure it is formatted to APFS.
  • to open disk utility Across discoverer. Refer to the other sections if you encounter a problem.
  • Once open, click your external hard drive in the left margin.
  • At the top of the window, click to divide button.
  • Click on + (plus) The button below the pie chart.
  • A popup appears asking if you want to create a volume or partition. tap on add volume button.
  • Another popup appears. Give the new volume a name and leave the format as APFS. He hits Add.
  • The process should only take a few seconds.
  • To delete a volume Select the volume you wish to delete in Disk Utility. At the top of the window, click – (minus) button where you say amount. Click on delete button, and Disk Utility will destroy the volume. Before doing that, be sure to move any important data out of the storage.

next one: How to open executable files on any Mac


Use a volume if you are storing data. Use a partition if you are using Time Machine or installing an operating system.

There are several reasons why this happens. If the partition option is greyed out, try opening Terminal and typing diskutil hfs + GPT / dev / external disk2 erased disk Then press Enter. The command will erase your hard drive, so be sure to back it up first.

Rate this post