How To Format A USB Or External HDD So It Works On Both Windows & OS X

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Windows and OS X are two very totally different working methods. Every has its personal set of features that make it distinctive and when a consumer of both one switches to the opposite platform, there are lots of a rising pains to be felt adopted by makes an attempt to mould one OS to perform as very similar to the opposite one as attainable. In the event you use each a Mac and a Windows PC although you’re principally making an attempt to set issues up in order that the 2 very totally different working methods play good with every. One of many first issues to deal with for those who use each these working methods is a simple strategy to switch information and share storage units and that’s the place the distinction between the 2 is underlined. Windows reads drives on the NTFS file system whereas OS X does so with the HFS+ (Mac OS Prolonged) file system. These two don't play good with one another however right here’s how one can get a USB, external HDD, or different storage device, to be readable and writeable on each working methods.

The answer lies find widespread floor; i.e. a file system that each OS X and Windows can learn and write to. The file system of selection is FAT32. Now, the file system has many many shortcomings which is why it has lengthy been deserted however it's good for bridging the divide between Windows and OS X.

Join a USB to your Windows machine and when it seems within the Windows Explorer, proper-click it and choose ‘Format’ from the context menu.


Within the Format window, open the ‘File system’ drop-down and choose ‘FAT32’. Don’t do a fast format. As soon as it’s full, the USB drive will work on OS X and Windows. It is possible for you to to learn and write information to it.


When you’d wish to format a drive on OS X, open the Disk Utility and choose the drive from the column on the left. On the fitting, go to the ‘Erase’ tab and pull down the ‘Format’ dropdown. Choose FAT32, and click ‘Erase’ on the backside. For sure, all knowledge on the drive will probably be misplaced. As soon as the format is full, the USB drive will work on each OS X and Windows.

Now, a phrase of warning. As we talked about earlier, FAT32 is fairly outdated. It’s much less safe and the utmost file measurement on this technique can solely be 4GB. It’s best to make use of solely a USB drive with low storage capability to maneuver information between OS X and Windows.


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