How To Format External Hard Drives So They Work On Both Macs and PCs g technology hard drive for mac

by Krabihometownbt1

Have you ever wondered how to format your external hard drive or SSD to work on both an Apple Mac and a Windows PC computer. Both computers use different operating systems (MacOS and Windows) and therefore you may want an external hard drive that is able to read and write files to both Apple computers and PCs. In this video we will show you how to format your external hard drive so it does just that.

In this video we will show you what file system you should select for your external hard drive (SSD or HDD). With all the different file formats out there (Fat32, NTFS, HFS+, APFS, and exFAT) what is the correct format you should select when setting up your new external hard drive or SSD? It’s very easy and we will show what all these file formats mean and which format is best for what situation. If you are interested in learning about the hard drive formatting options on both Macs and PCs this video can help.

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You will learn:
1). The Differences in all the file formats that you can use to setup your external hard drive or SSD.
2). How To Setup An External Hard Drive on a Mac
3). The correct File Format to select if you want to read and write files to both Apple MacOS and Windows using the same hard drive (or SSD).

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How To Format External Hard Drives So They Work On Both Macs and PCs

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How To Format External Hard Drives So They Work On Both Macs and PCs
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Parth Gupta 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM


chatter 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

What if , like lots of folks probly, you have an external hard drive full of data when you used a windows machine but now have a Mac and need to access those files? What are the options?

Csaba Huros 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

exFAT can't be used like external photo library in mac.Have to be formatted like APFS or mac os extended.I talking about big sure.

Christy Cassel 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

I bought an 8 TB external Seagate compatible for Mac or PC. I formatted it on FAT32. I lost 6 TB of my drive. I was confused when I saw that I had 1/4 of my drive remaining. The Drive reads as 2 TB now! Someone said that FAT32 only works up to 2 TB. That seems to be my experience. Also, I did not realize that FAT32 could only hold 4 GB files, as I shoot a lot of video. Is there a format that will run (read and write) for large video files that works on Mac, but also on PC when needed?

The Seagate I suspect is a spinning drive. So do I need to stay with journaled and forget the compatibility to PC? But then you mentioned that MAC won't be reading old files soon. So that concerns me with not having access by either system.

What do you suggest?

Eric Garcia 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

Hi. I just watched this video and it was very interesting. Here's my issue. I have several external hard drives full of music that I would like to reformat to use on my Mac. All of these hard drives were formatted on a pc. I am a DJ and I use my gear with a mac but I have been told that the audio problems I have been experiencing are because I formatted the hard drives on a pc and not on a mac. How can I reformat the hard drives to be used on a mac? Is this possible or do I need to start fresh with a new hard drive and redownload or repurchase all of my music? Thanks.

Claudene Beyeaux 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

is there a way to save the data from an external drive that has been used on a PC before formatting it to exFat so it can be used on both a PC and an iMac?

21 Records 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM


Joe Atha 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

What if you saved everything from your PC onto a external disc with Windows NT File System and then want to be able to access that hard drive on your Mac?

If I erase and change formats then I will loose what is on the disk correct?

o0O - JD - O0o 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

let me guess the old mac file system doesnt work with the new mac. ill never buy an apple product

WKIZ Kizz Radio 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

Hi there I like the channel – very informative – a little fast for people my (72) . So, I have the "BOTH" situation and my question is – can I format (exfat) my external drive 3TB Moving drive from my Mac while it is connected to my PC Laptop and has files that I need on it?
Patrick from Germany

James Taylor 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

When you press erase, are you arranging the previous formatting or erasing the content on the existing hard drive?

I have a hard drive that has windows content on it (and I want to keep that), but want to add Mac stuff to it.

Denise Wuijster 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

I have a formatted mac hard disk and i can not open it on my windows and i cant find it in my pc either. Iknow that i can change it to exFAT on a mac BUT i do not own mac or macbook. Do you know a solution?

EddieA10 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

I read somewhere that you have to format to exFAT from a PC in order for both Mac and PC to read the drive… Any thoughts?…

Starbwoy! 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

I have a mac book. With a toshiba external hard drive thats was set up for windows nfst. is there a way i can change to exfat without losing my music on the external.thanks

Shannon Ambrosio 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

thank you this was helpful.

The Dan Age Podcast 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

I bought an external hard drive and it was formatted for mac, i put it in my mac and formatted it exfat but my PC still doesn't even see the drive…. ??? help

Jhonny Marin 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

This just saved me from the headache I had from not being able to use it on both

TimeMachine 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

Awesome and useful info, lifesaver!!!

Berzerkr23 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

I have an iPad Pro will this work for that so I can transfer files from my iPad to my windows PC?

JakeSucksAtGames 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

I want to install windows 10 and keep space for my Mac, is ExFat all I need to do? I’ve seen another video saying that I should split the space for each but when I try it won’t let me with ExFat. Do I need to split the storage or just format it as ExFat and it would be fine?

KoconutJazzcat 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

This is the best video I've seen yet, can you tell me what Ms-dos (fat) is

Amardeep Singh 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

Great video/info! Does exfat also work on android? What would be the best option for Mac and android?

David Fernandez 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

Thank you very much!!!!!!

Yasiru Vidanagamage 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

That was very informative! I recently updated my mac to macOS big sur, and it only allows the APFS option when formating, and it doesn't seem to work on my pc. What can I do to make sure my external drive works on both my mac and pc? Thank you in advance!

Desiree Ramos 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

SO helpful thank you!

Timmy Balice 11/09/2021 - 1:39 AM

Great video. Thanks for the info. Any good information about how cloud storage can/should be integrated into the equation? I have about 5 years of professional documents in every format other than exFAT but now have a Mac. Could I just upload all the files to a cloud and then download them into the drive of choice with the format of choice?


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