You can format the external hard drive or USB drive to make it compatible with both Mac and Windows machines. This thing is still unknown for many users but doesn’t worry it’s not complex.
Usb Format For Mac Windows And Linux
If you are tech savvy and use Windows and Mac computers frequently, then you might need to transfer data between Mac and PC. Windows and macOS filesystems are different and you might need to format the drive every time to use on both platforms. You don’t need to format the hard drive every time you can choose a filesystem while formatting the drive so the hard drive or USB drive work on both Mac and PC
So to get rid of these situations we bring here a guide that will help you to format your drive which works on both platforms and you don’t need to format and backup data every time. After cross-compatible formatting, simply unplug the drive from one machine and then plug it into another. Sounds good to you right? So let’s started, how this works.
Type a name for the USB drive in the “Name” field. Click on the “Erase” button located at the bottom right corner of Disk Utility. Click on “Erase” again when the confirmation dialog box displays on-screen. Your USB drive will now be formatted and ready for use on your Mac computer. With this software, you can format USN drive to FAT32 without the limitation of 32GB partition size. Let’s see how to format USB drive for Mac and PC on Windows. Download AOMEI Partition Assistant and launch the software. In the main interface, locate the USB drive, right click it and choose Format Partition. The Mac/Windows-compatible ExFat format allows larger file sizes than the old FAT32. Attach the drive to your Mac. Launch Disk Utility (from Applications Utilities Disk Utility ). Select the drive in the left-hand sidebar. From the Format menu, select ExFAT. From the Scheme menu.
Understand file systems for Mac and Windows
There are three common file system types to format an external USB or hard drive, SSD drive, SD card and etc. FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT let’s have a look what’s the difference between these formats.
- Method 1: Format a USB Drive on Mac OS with Disk Utility Step 1: Insert the USB waiting to be formatted to a Mac computer. Step 2: Navigate to Applications Utilities, and click it twice to open it.
- You need to erase and format the USB to be compatible with your Mac. Windows FAT32 USB Drive in Mac Click on the “Erase” button on “Disk Utility” and choose the format as either APFS or Mac OS Extended.
FAT 32 Format
This format is pretty old but supported and it’s not efficient as compared to NTFS. It doesn’t support big features but offers great compatibility which means it’s compatible with all versions of Windows. It can only support 4GB file size and up to 8TB hard drivers. It’s not capable to store files larger than 4GB.
Format Usb For Mac And Windows Scheme
NTFS is a modern format system and Windows also uses this format for itself and for other non-removable drives by default. This format is also compatible with all versions of Windows but limited to none Windows OS as FAT32.
exFAT drives are faster at reading and writing as compared to FAT32. This format can store large files and it’s also lightweight. It’s compatible with all versions of Windows and the best thing it’s along with Windows it’s also compatible with macOS, Linux, and Android, etc.
- If your drive is formatted as Windows default format NTFS then it’s only readable to macOS. You can’t do more than that or you have to install a separate app on Mac to read write the drive.
- Drive with macOS format HFS+ cant readable to Windows.
- FAT32 format works on both Windows and Mac but the problem is you can only work with files with a maximum size of 4GB.
Learn more: Copy data on NTFS drive in macOS
FAT32 is much better than NTFS and HFS+ becuase it works on both operating systems. You can also install drivers on each OS to make work your drive. So exFAT is much better than all of these formats and a simple option but this will not work on Leopard.
Format a USB Drive on Mac
Time needed: 5 minutes.
First, let’s see how to format an external hard drive or USB drive in macOS which works with both Mac and PC platforms, first plug-in your drive into a macOS machine.
- Disk Utility
Open Disk Utility on your macOS, press
cmd + spacebarkeys, and type Disk Utility in the spotlight search. Open Disk Utility from the search results.
- Erase Drive
On the Disk Utility interface, select an external drive click on the Erase button from the top of the window (make sure and backup your drive before erasing it).
- Drive format
Now enter the name for the external drive which will be used after formatting and also select the exFAT for Format option and click on the Erase. This will format the drive as exFAT format and your drive is now compatible with both platforms.
Format USB Drive in Windows
Format Usb On Mac Software
The below steps for formatting external drive is for Windows 10 and also works the same with an old version of Windows. To format your external drive hard drive in Windows to use on Mac and PC platforms, first plug-in your drive with a Windows machine.
Open the Disk Management tool by right-clicking on the start menu icon and then select Disk Management. Now right click on the external drive and click on the format option (double-check the drive name and capacity to make sure you are going to format the right drive.)
Now enter the Volume label as you need and change the File system for exFat and click OK. Now you are done.
Share your experience, how do you use an external hard drive on both Mac and PC. Did you format the drive as exFAT ? or use any utility that helps the system to read another type of file system. Please leave a comment below.
If you’re still using a Mac OS X the time will come when your computer won’t boot, or a problem may arise where you can’t take control of the device, and booting from an OS X installation media will be required.
This is why it’s recommended that you make a Mac OS X bootable USB when your Mac is in working conditions. However, if you find yourself on a scenario where your device (iMac, MacBook Pro, Air, Mac Pro or Mini) is not responding and you happen to have a Windows 10 device, then you can still be able to make a USB bootable installation media for your Mac OS X to reinstall the operating system using the Recovery Assistant.
These instructions will also work for Windows users who are running Mac OS X on a virtual machine and need to upgrade to the latest version. For instance, to OS X Yosemite.
Before you dive into this guide, you’ll need a few things:
- A broken Mac computer with Mac OS X.
- A trial copy of the TransMac software.
- One high quality USB flash drive with 16GB of storage.
- A copy of Apple’s macOS (DMG file).
Now that you have all the necessary ingredients, you’re ready to make a Mac OS X bootable USB using the DMG file of the operating system with the steps below.
Create Mac OS X bootable USB installation media
Before you can use TransMac, you first need to partition your USB flash drive with a GPT partition, as a normal MBR partition may not work. To do this, you’ll need to use the Diskpart command-line utility on Windows 10.
Setting up GPT partition
Use these steps to set up a USB drive with a GPT partition:
Open Start on Windows 10.
Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result and select the Run as Administrator option.
Type the following command to open Diskpart and press Enter:
Type the following command to determine the USB flash drive and press Enter:
Type the following command to select the storage and press Enter:Quick tip: The
select disk 1command as an example, but you have to replace 1 with the number of the flash drive you want to use.
Type the following commands to delete everything from the USB thumb drive and press Enter:
Type the following command to convert the drive into a GPT partition and press Enter:
Type the following command to select the new partition and press Enter:
After you complete the steps, the USB flash drive from MBR to GPT format, you can use the steps below to create a bootable USB installation media to install Mac OS X.
Create USB install media
Use these steps to create a bootable media to install Mac OS X:
Download and install a copy of TransMac.Quick note: TransMac is a paid software, but it has a 15-day trial solution, that give us more than enough time to move the DMG files to the USB drive from Windows. (If you want to support the developer, you can purchase the full version.)
Insert the USB drive that you’ll use to fix your installation of OS X. (Remember that all the data in the USB will be erased. Make sure you take off any important documents.)
Right-click the TransMac software icon and Run as administrator. (You’ll be prompted to Enter Key or Run, because we’ll be using it once, click the Run option.)
On the left pane, you’ll see all the Windows PC drives listed, right-click the USB drive that you’re intending to use to reinstall Apple’s OS X and select the Restore with Disk Image option.
In the warning dialog box, click the Yes button.
Use the Restore Disk Image to Drive dialog box to browse for the DMG file with the installation files for Mac OS X Yosemite in this case, and click the OK button to create a bootable USB of the operating system.
Now, you’ll have to wait a long time. No kidding. It could take one or two hours to complete the process depending on your computer and other variables.
Once your bootable USB installation media is ready, remove it and insert it into your Mac, power it on, holding down the Option key, and select the USB you just created to reinstall Mac OS X.
Format Usb Drive On Mac For Windows
If you’re having issues trying to create a bootable media, you can get a USB flash drive that comes with Mac OSX ready to install.