How to Format Drive on Mac

Kyle Wood

Mac, Tutorials

In this tutorial, we will learn how to format a drive on a Mac. Formatting a drive is essential when you want to erase all the data on it or prepare it for use with a different file system.

Whether you have an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or even an internal hard drive, the steps to format them are quite similar. Follow the steps below to format your drive on a Mac.

Step 1: Connect the Drive

The first step is to connect the drive that you want to format to your Mac. If you have an external drive, use the appropriate cable or connector to connect it to your Mac’s USB or Thunderbolt port. If you are formatting an internal hard drive, make sure to shut down your Mac and carefully install it.

Step 2: Open Disk Utility

Once the drive is connected, open Disk Utility by following these steps:

  • Click on the Finder icon in the Dock (the icon with a smiling face).
  • Select Applications from the left sidebar in Finder.
  • Open the Utilities folder.
  • Double-click on Disk Utility.

Step 3: Select and Erase the Drive

In Disk Utility, locate your connected drive from the left sidebar and select it. Then click on the “Erase” button at the top of the window.


Erase operation will permanently delete all data on your selected drive. Make sure to back up any important files before proceeding.

Step 4: Choose the File System

In the Erase window, you can choose the file system for your drive. The default file system for Mac is Mac OS Extended (Journaled), which is compatible with both Macs and some Windows computers. If you want your drive to be compatible with both Mac and Windows, you can choose ExFAT as the file system.

Step 5: Name and Format the Drive

You can provide a name for your drive in the “Name” field. Make sure to choose a descriptive name that helps you identify the drive easily. Once you are ready, click on the “Erase” button to format your drive.


The formatting process may take some time depending on the size of your drive. Do not disconnect or interrupt the process until it is completed.

Step 6: Verify and Eject

After formatting is complete, Disk Utility will display a message confirming that the formatting was successful. You can click on “Done” to close Disk Utility.

To safely remove your formatted drive, make sure to properly eject it by right-clicking on its icon on the desktop or using the eject button in Finder before physically disconnecting it from your Mac.

Congratulations! You have successfully formatted a drive on your Mac using Disk Utility. Remember that formatting erases all data, so ensure that you have backed up any important files before proceeding with these steps.

Now you can confidently format any type of drive on your Mac whenever needed!

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