It will not work on an external drive that is greater than 1TB in size. It also may not work on models released after When run, this utility can only create a single FAT32 partition for the full capacity of the hard drive. In case the answer did not answer your question, you can always visit the WD Community for help from WD users.
Return to WDC. This allows the drive to be used on both Windows and macOS. Please select the Operating System OS in which the drive is to be formatted from the list above to display the instructions. For instructions on how to do this, please see the instructions below: Connect the WD drive to the Mac computer. Double left-click on the Mac HD , the internal Mac hard drive visible on the top-right corner of the desktop screen. Choose Applications from the left-side panel.
From the Applications folder, open Utilities , and lastly double-click on Disk Utility. Disk Utility will now be open. From the left-side pane, choose the drive that is to be re-formatted. Typically there are two listings for each drive unless more than one partition exists on a particular drive.
Choose the drive listing that is farthest to the left Not indented for the drive to be formatted. It is usually directly above the name of the drive.
Erase After selecting the appropriate drive, additional option buttons will become available on the top part of the Disk Utility window. Click on Erase. The Erase dialog window will now appear. Assign the name that will be given to the drive. Select the Format file system from the drop-down menu. For this article, we chose exFAT , see image below.
Select the Scheme Partition Table Scheme from the drop-down menu. See image below. Begin by connecting the WD drive to the Mac computer. Once the drive appears on the desktop, click on Go on the top tool bar. From the drop-down menu, click on Utilities. In Utilities , select and open Disk Utility. When Disk Utility opens, select the drive that is to be partitioned and formatted from the left-side panel.
The best ways to format an external drive for Windows and Mac - CNET
Typically there are two listings for each drive, unless there is more than one partition on a particular drive. Choose the drive listing that is farthest to the left for the drive that will be formatted. It is usually directly above the name of the drive, and is the drive selection that has the total size being displayed. Once selected, click on Partition on the right-side area.
In the Partition area, click under Partition Layout and select 1 Partition. Then, click on Options. To the right, insert a name for the drive, and click on Format. From the drop-down, select ExFAT. When done, click on Apply. A window will come up showing that formatting and partitioning the drive will erase all data that is on the drive.
If there's no needed information within the drive, then click on Partition. If there is data on the drive that is needed or is not backed up, it will need to be copied to another location before proceeding. The drive is now formatting and a status bar will be seen at the bottom that says formatting the disk and gives the name of the drive, the format it is applying, and the name that was specified. When it is done, this bar will go away and the drive should now be listed on the desktop. Right-click on Start , the Windows logo on the bottom-left of the screen, and click Disk Management.
In the Disk Management window, the lower pane will display a list of available drives. Identify the drive that needs to be partitioned and formatted, and make sure that all critical data on this drive has been backed up elsewhere. If there is already a partition on the drive, the bar above that drive will appear blue. If there is no critical data on the drive, or the data has been successfully backed up, right-click the bar and click Delete Volume. If Disk Management shows the drive as Not Initialized , the drive will have to be initialized.
For assistance initializing a hard drive, please see Answer ID If there is no partition and data on the drive, it will appear as Unallocated , with a black bar on top. Right-click the Unallocated space or the black bar, and click New Simple Volume. Click Next to proceed. Choose the volume size and click Next. Many have vouched for its success, but others complain about bugs.
The commercial solution, which will give you access to support and software updates, is Paragon NTFS. Option 2: Here's how:. Then, select your hard drive from the left sidebar. Now go to the Erase tab. Then, click Erase at the bottom to format the drive. Please note that this will complete erase the drive. Any data you want to keep on that drive must be backed up elsewhere first. This is an open-source program, so use it at your own risk. Alternatively, you can opt for paid software like MacDrive instead. Option 3: Create two partitions on your hard drive to use with each OS, separately.
This solution is a little different than the previous two because instead of having one hard drive that works with both machines, you're splitting your HD into two sections, each dedicated to a different OS. For example, if you have a 1TB hard drive, GB of storage can be used with your Windows computer, and will be dedicated to your Mac computer. You won't be able to write to the Mac side from your Windows computer, and vice versa, but it's a good solution for people who want all the advantages each format has to offer for its respective system.
Here's how to do it:.
Step 1: Select the drive from the left sidebar, then click the Partition tab. Under Partition layout, select "2 Partitions. For example, you might want more storage for your Mac than you do for your PC.
Give your settings a final lookover and click Apply. Step 2: Plug the hard drive into your Windows PC.
The best ways to format an external drive for Windows and Mac
Open the Start menu and search for Disk Management. Select the search result and the Disk Management utility will launch. In the left sidebar, you should see your hard drive and its partitions. Right-click the Windows partition and select Format. Click OK and complete the format process. With these three options you'll be able to take advantage of either platform's offerings, be it Time Machine support or security options.
In the end, you may end up using FAT32 for its simplicity, but don't say I didn't warn you about the risks. How to set up Google's two-step verification: To better protect your digital life, specifically your Google account, turn on two-factor authentication for your Gmail account.