Formatting a hard drive on Mac may be necessary when you want to sell your system. You may also want to format a hard drive on Mac to use it as a backup drive for your computer. A hard drive formatted in Mac format will not work in a Windows PC and vice versa.

If you’re planning a formatting a hard drive on your Mac computer, and don’t have the faintest idea how to, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you will learn how to format a drive on your Mac, or format a hard drive for external storage.

Format a Hard Drive on Mac

Formatted hard drive

If the external hard drive is meant only to be used on a Mac, then you will need to format it on a Mac. It is an easy process and doesn’t take a lot of time. Follow the steps below to learn how to do this:

1. First, launch the Disk Utility app from Finder or Launch Pad. It will be available in the Utilities folder. You can also search for it by pressing the Command+Space keys together. This will open Spotlight Search. Now search for Disk Utility.

2. In the app, you should see all the hard drives on the left side.

3. Select your external hard drive, or an internal drive. Remember, formatting will erase all contents.

4. You cannot erase your boot drive, but other than that, all drives can be formatted.

5. If you’ve connected a new drive, you will need to format it to work with macOS.

6. Connect the hard drive to your Mac. It should appear in Disk Utilities.

7. Select the drive and click on the Erase button at the top.

8. Now, you can choose the format you want your drive to be in.

9. If you are using the hard drive on Mac only, then you can format it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Depending on what you want, you can choose from the drop down menu.

10. Now give the hard drive a name.

11. Click on the Security Options button to choose the level of security via a slider. If you want to completely erase the drive, then choose the Most Secure option. This will ensure that all data is erased properly.

12. The Most Secure option will take some while, so be ready to wait. Although, if the drive is empty, then it should be done soon.

13. Finally, select the Erase button.

14. Wait till the process is completed. You should see the progress and a result should appear with a successful status.

15. You can now copy files to this hard drive and also copy files from it.

If you want to use the hard drive on both Mac and a Windows PC, then you will need to change a different format when erasing the drive. Instead of Mac OS Extended (Journaled), choose ExFat. This will make sure that the drive will work on both operating systems. You can also choose FAT32, but this format will not allow you to store files that are more than 4GB in size.