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External Hard Drive for Mac: All You Need to Know

Updated on May 6, 2021 by Sydney Williams
hard drive for Mac

An external hard drive for Mac is absolutely essential today. The Macbook comes with pre-defined storage, which can be run out of easily. The stored data is very important and we simply cannot afford to lose it. Cloud storage is gaining popularity, but the data security breaches make us all paranoid. The answer to all these miseries is an external hard drive!

The external hard drives not only let you free up space on your boot drive but also help you save your data and protect it. There’re a few things to be kept in mind while using your hard drive with your Mac. In this blog, we’ll walk you through all the essentials you need to familiarize yourself with before starting using an HDD. If you are looking for a more general guide then check out our blog External Hard Drives: All Your Questions Answered.

There are many options when choosing an external hard drive, if are looking for high storage capacity then the Toshiba Canvio Advance 4TB and the WD 4TB Gaming Drive even works with Playstation 4. But if you really want that extra storage and 4TB is not enough for you then check out the Seagate Desktop, it offers 8TB of storage meaning that you will not be needing more storage for a long time. If you don't want to make a big commitment and want a smaller external hard drive then check out the 2TB WD Elements and the 1TB Toshiba Canvio Basics they are both compatible with difference devices and come with the latest USB 3.0.

How to Format a Hard Drive for Mac?

Some external hard drives are directly compatible with your Mac and you do not require to do anything additionally. However, most drives work on the FAT32 file system. While Mac supports FAT32, there’s a chance of losing some precious data. Hence, it’s advised to format your drive to Macbook OS Extended for optimum compatibility. To format your hard drive, repeat the following steps:

  • Connect your external drive and launch Disk Utility
  • Select your device and choose ‘1 partition’. Next, click the Options button and ensure that the partition scheme is GUID
  • Follow all the default steps after this and your disk will be formatted for your Mac

Why is my Mac not Reading my External Hard Drive?

This could be happening because of many reasons. Firstly, it’s very important to make sure that the connections are tight. Sometimes restarting your Macbook helps as well. There’s also a possibility that the USB ports have malfunctioned. In the end, it’s recommended to check your drive on another system to arrive at a definite conclusion.

How to Backup Mac to the External Drive?

Mac’s time machine app helps you back your entire data to your external hard drive. You simply need to connect the drive to your Mac and open the time machine app and select your preferred device and the data will start getting transferred immediately.

How to Partition the Hard Drive?

It’s always recommended to take a backup before partitioning your hard drive. To partition your hard drive, repeat the following steps:

  • Click the partition button on the Disk Utility app on your Mac
  • Click on the Add button
  • Name your partitioned volume
  • Choose the file system format from the format menu
  • Adjust the size of your partition
  • Click apply, partition, continue and done


External hard drives are very important if you want to store your data safely. You should keep all the above-mentioned steps and tips in mind to use your hard drive smoothly. Go to Bestviewsreviews to check out more products that might interest you.

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WD 4TB Gaming Drive Works with Playstation 4 Portable External Hard Drive

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Toshiba HDTB410XK3AA Canvio Basics 1TB Portable External Hard Drive

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WD 2TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive

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