How Should You Format An External Drive For a Mac?

When you buy a new external drive for your Mac, it is not going to be formatted for your Mac. You should use Disk Utility to set the drive up right before using it.

Comments: 4 Responses to “How Should You Format An External Drive For a Mac?”

    Russell Tolman
    1 week ago

    hi, thanks for all the info on formatting drives. Just wondering if you have any insight into why Time Machine sets up the drives as Case Sensitive? thanks. I was just wondering.

    1 week ago

    Russell: I suppose it covers all bases. What if you add an external drive at some point that is case sensitive, but you formatted the Time Machine drive as not? So with case sensitive, it can handle both ways.

    Joyce Hann
    2 days ago

    Hi, As I have sent high capacity thumb drives to family to share digitized home movies (128 gb) I was careful to use exfat. The caution about the old Mac format being limited to 32 gb made me wonder if there was some limit in exfat. Few of my cousins could get the 128 gb drive to mount and given some low tech users managed to erase instead.

    FYI, I uploaded to YouTube and shared from there instead. Movies were from the 1950s and on.

    Linda Lyn
    1 day ago

    Thank Gary
    Very good, Very useful very clear thank you again 👍

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