Partition Drives and Format Partitions
If you don't plan on using the drive for Time Machine, skip steps 5 to 11 below and continue with step Enter the amount of space you want to set aside for Time Machine. In this example, we're shrinking the Time Machine partition to GB instead of allowing Time Machine to take up the whole drive. Note that using a drive frequently between Windows and Mac could increase the chances of file corruption, so make sure you have backups of the files on the shared drive and be extra careful about safely ejecting the drive before disconnecting it from your computer.
The instructions below are for Windows 10, but other versions of Windows from Windows 7 and up can also format an external drive as exFAT for use with Mac as well. This file system is still suitable for use with both mechanical and solid state drives, though SSDs will perform better when formatted to APFS. If you have older Macs pre , particularly those too old to update to a recent version of macOS, choosing macOS Extended will enable you to use your external drive with these machines.
FAT32 vs. A file system is the tool that lets an operating system read data on any hard drive. Many systems use FAT32, but is that the right one, and is there a better option?
Disk Utility erases, formats, repairs, and partition hard drives and SSDs
Good for: Drives shared between Mac and Windows machines, especially flash drives. Bad for: Drives that are predominantly used with a Mac a third-party driver may be worth it, in this instance.
This makes it unsuitable for modern purposes. You have been warned!
Creating two partitions on a USB Disk using Mac
Still looking for additional storage? Check out the best external hard drives for Mac to add more space easily. Read More. Selecting this entry should resolve most formatting issues.
How to Format or Partition an External Hard Drive for Mac
The indented entries are the volumes. This is important because when erasing the drive you will get different options depending on whether you have the volume or disk selected. Which is why selecting the non-indented entry is important when formatting the drive.
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- Format an External Hard Drive or USB Flash Drive for Mac OS X.
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What is that This is typical and not an issue when using the drive as NTFS. For more technical information see Microsoft documentation - here.
Erase or Format Your Mac's Drives Using Disk Utility
If you plan on using the drive for Mac only then you will want to erase the disk. If you will be going between Mac and Windows then there should be no issues. Apple requires at least MB for this volume which is why this error occurs. For more technical information see Apple documentation - here. There maybe other ways to resolve this issue but the easiest way is to erase the disk and set it up with a GUID scheme.
This will delete all existing volumes which will allow Apple to create their volumes with the correct amount of space. Remember if GUID is not an available option then Show All Devices in the upper left is not selected as shown in the beginning of the article.
Why is the partition button grayed out? This was first seen in macOS If you hover over the partition button you can see the tooltip provided by Apple.
If you are using it for Mac only then select a format specifically for macOS. If you have something open on the drive like a Disk Image or if something else is keeping the drive busy, you may see this error.