By default, macOS formats your drive the same way that a quick format does on Windows, meaning the file structure is erased, but the binary data is still there. You can fully erase the data by using the security options. For all intents and purposes, your data is erased.
Best External Hard Drives for Mac in | iMore
You can write new data to the drive, and your OS will show that all the space is available. Essentially, those tools allow people to bypass the structure of the OS and piece together the files using the binary data. As we said, the hard drive always needs to be filled with binary data. Though the built-in utilities on Windows and macOS help in parts, a hacker could reverse engineer the process to find the data on the drive.
There are few options to fully remove data.
Why do you need to format your drive? Do you have any more questions on the process?
How to Reformat an External Hard Drive for MAC?
Let us know in the comments and, as always, thanks for reading. Table of Contents. File Systems File systems are what operating systems use to store data on a storage device. Windows and macOS can read and write data to it. Like that file system, it works across Linux, Windows and macOS, and in years past, it was the de facto option for flash drives.
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How to solve external hard drive read-only without formatting on Mac?
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But it won't be readable or usable by a Mac that isn't running High Sierra, and Windows or Linux machines won't be able to read or write either. And it currently only works on SSDs or Flash storage.
How to Format an External Drive for Mac Compatibility
Read some of the good stuff about APFS here. For now we'd advise against formatting in APFS because it won't be readable by Macs that aren't running High Sierra, but this may not matter to you. There's also the option of MacOS Extended Journaled, Encrypted which is a good choice if you are likely to be carrying your laptop or external drive around and don't want anyone to access the contents of the drive should you accidentally lose it. You can encrypt your drive and require a password to access it. There's also an option of MacOS Extended Case-sensitive, Journaled, Encrypted if you are likely to have file names that require capital letters.
FAT32 offers no security and it's more susceptible to disk errors.
Format an External Hard Drive or USB Flash Drive for Mac OS X
Both Windows and Mac can read drives formatted with this. The main difference is it can store files over 4GB. Although there are third party tools that could allow you to do so. If you want to format a drive so that you can copy files between a Mac and a PC you'll want to follow the tutorial above, but choose ExFAT from the list of format options.
We have a tutorial on creating a Time Machine drive here , but perhaps the big question in the context of this particular tutorial is which format to use.