Best mac pc hard drive format

To this day, it remains the default file system for mechanical and hybrid hard drives, both while installing macOS and while formatting external drives.

ExFat should basically only be used on drives that need to work with both Windows and macOS computers. The format dates back to , and was made by Microsoft to provide some of the cross-platform compatibility of the older FAT32 format without the file and partition size limitations.

How to format external hard drive for Mac and PC?

Sure, you could read a Mac formatted drive on Windows or read a Windows formatted drive on a Mac , but both solutions either cost money or are unstable. So despite the disadvantages, ExFAT is your best option for cross-platform hard drives. To be clear, you can use capital letters in file names either way. Case Sensitivity mostly determines whether the file system sees capital letters as different.

The file system sees the file names as identical, even if they look different to you.


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Presumably, a case-sensitive file system was just seen as less user-friendly. Today, enabling case sensitivity could break some Mac apps that expect a case-insensitive file system.

Format Your Drive With Disk Utility

The main downside is that forgetting the encryption key means losing access to your files. Do not encrypt a drive unless you can remember the key, or unless you have somewhere secure to store it.

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The other potential downside to encryption is performance. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere.

Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. NTFS is native to Windows, and most hard drives are preformatted for this file system.

How to format external hard drive for Mac and PC?

A drive formatted this way will not mount on a Windows computer without additional software. FAT32 was introduced in Windows 95 in , but it remains useful because nearly every system can use it. Now your computer will see your single drive as multiple, smaller drives. Make sure to leave plenty of room for future backups on both partitions.

Format an External Hard Drive or USB Flash Drive for Mac OS X

Reformatting your drive in Windows How to reformat your drive in Windows. To reformat a drive on Windows: Plug in the drive and open Windows Explorer.

How to Format your External Hard Drive in macOS Mojave - Set Up to work on Mac

Right-click the drive and choose Format from the drop-down menu. Select the file system you want, give your drive a name under Volume label, and make sure the Quick Format box is checked. Click Start, and the computer will reformat your drive. To reformat your drive for macOS: Plug in the drive and open the Finder.


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