How to reformat hard drive to fat32 on mac

If you already have data stored on the drive, back that data up elsewhere, reformat the drive, and then put your data back on the drive.

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Note: Using the formatting options above on a drive that has data on it may not be enough to prevent some of that data from being recoverable. If you're formatting a drive in order to give it away, sell it, or recycle it, make sure to securely erase the drive to prevent data recovery. NTFS is native to Windows, and most hard drives are preformatted for this file system. A drive formatted this way will not mount on a Windows computer without additional software.

How to format a drive for Mac and PC compatibility

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.


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  • How to format a drive for Mac and PC compatibility.

Make sure to leave plenty of room for future backups on both partitions. 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. Right-click the drive and choose Format from the drop-down menu. The exFAT file system is a much simpler option.

Essentially, it's a file system that's both readable and writable on any modern Mac or Windows machine sorry, Leopard users. All you need to do is format the drive on a Windows machine and you're good to go. Note that you can't format it on OS X, you have to format it on Windows for it to be compatible with both platforms Update : A lot of you are noting that OS X formats these just fine, so your mileage may vary.


  1. Part 2: Format NTFS Drive on Mac.
  2. Format external drives to Mac OS Extended before using with Aperture.
  3. Part 1: Format FAT32 Drive on Mac;
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  6. To do so, just:. From then on, that drive should work fantastically between Mac and Windows machines. The A.

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