How to format an external hard drive or flash drive on Mac

Format a ‘pendrive’ or an external hard drive It can be seen as a very complicated task on Mac. But nothing is further from reality, cleaning a storage unit is quite simple on our Mac, using an application that is natively called ‘Disk Utility’ where we have the Basic tools to do it.

Steps to follow to format an external hard drive

Formatting an external storage drive is something you will not do on a daily basis, but if you have a flash drive at home you need to use it safely you want to leave it as new. The fastest thing is to do a formatting but obviously always being very careful with the data that we have in this device since they will disappear forever when formatting it.

To format a storage unit you simply follow the following steps:

  1. Connect the external hard drive or flash drive to your Mac, and go to the Application ‘Disk Utildiad’ You can do it through the Finder or Launchpad.
  2. Upon entering the application, we see on the left an area dedicated to all our disks that we have on the Mac. Here are included both mounted images, as internal hard drives that have the operating system installed and also external drives.
    format mac hard drive
  3. By selecting our external storage unit, we can see a series of options at the top. Simply we must select ‘Delete’ so that the pop-up window opens with the necessary options for formatting.
  4. Here we will have the possibility to choose the new name of the unit as well as the format in the drop-down menu that we can open. We must take into account the format we select depending on whether we want it to work on Windows or not.
    format mac hard drive
  5. Once we have chosen the format and the name we should simply click on ‘Delete’ to start formatting.

If you want to go a little further, you can click on the lower left corner in the ‘Security options’ section. Here we can choose how well we want a specific drive to be formatted. If we want this data to be unrecoverable, we simply have to move the marker to the right. This in addition to causing the data to be unrecoverable will also cause the time we will have to wait to have our unit ready.

Types of formats to apply to a unit

You may have some doubts regarding the format to choose when formatting a drive. In a very fast way the two main options are the following:

  • exFAT: This is the format that you should apply if you want to use the pendrive or external hard drive on a Windows computer.
  • MacOS Plus or APFS: With this format the disk can only be used on Mac.

As you can see, formatting a storage unit in Mac is not complicated at all in macOS since we have the tools installed natively.

And you, did it cost you to perform this simple task on your Mac? Tell us your impressions in the comment box.

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