- Best External Hard Drive For Backup
- Backup Contacts On Mac To External Hard Drive Best Buy
- Backup Contacts On Mac To External Hard Drive Won T Show Up
Format external hard drive for macOS. Backing up a Mac with Time Machine requires an external hard drive formatted for macOS. Formatting the drive will erase everything on it and configure it for macOS. After formatting the drive, if prompted to back up with Time Machine, select Use as Backup Disk. This will open the Time Machine preferences.
You can use Time Machine, the built-in backup feature of your Mac, to automatically back up all of your files, including apps, music, photos, email, documents, and system files. When you have a backup, you can restore files from your backup if the original files are ever deleted from your Mac, or the hard disk (or SSD) in your Mac is erased or replaced.
Easily Backup Your Address Book Contacts To External Media And Maintain A Historical Archive OS X Tips. Could backup his Mac (i.e. Time Machine, external drive, etc.), but I also shared a tip. Best Backup Drive For Mac; How To Back Up Mac Book; This post was last updated on January 24th, 2019 at 05:55 pm. Check if your Mac can recognize the external hard drive. This kind of approach makes you. Looking for an external MAC hard drive that I can use on Mac Version 10.6.8 and Mac version 10.10.5 without having to reformat anything.
Create a Time Machine backup
To create backups with Time Machine, all you need is an external storage device. After you connect the device and select it as your backup disk, Time Machine automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. The oldest backups are deleted when your backup disk is full.
Connect an external storage device
Connect one of the following external storage devices, sold separately. Learn more about backup disks that you can use with Time Machine.
- External drive connected to your Mac, such as a USB, Thunderbolt, or FireWire drive
- External drive connected to an AirPort Extreme Base Station (802.11ac model) or AirPort Time Capsule
- AirPort Time Capsule
- Mac shared as a Time Machine backup destination
- Network-attached storage (NAS) device that supports Time Machine over SMB
Select your storage device as the backup disk
When you connect an external drive directly to your Mac, you might be asked if you want to use the drive to back up with Time Machine. Select Encrypt Backup Disk (recommended), then click Use as Backup Disk.
An encrypted backup is accessible only to users with the password. Learn more about keeping your backup disk secure.
If Time Machine doesn't ask to use your drive, follow these steps to add it manually:
- Open Time Machine preferences from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Or choose Apple () menu > System Preferences, then click Time Machine.
- Click Select Backup Disk (or Select Disk, or Add or Remove Backup Disk):
- Select your external drive from the list of available disks. Then select ”Encrypt backups” (recommended) and click Use Disk:
If the disk you selected isn't formatted as required by Time Machine, you're prompted to erase the disk first. Click Erase to proceed. This erases all information on the backup disk.
Enjoy the convenience of automatic backups
After you select a backup disk, Time Machine immediately begins making periodic backups—automatically and without further action by you. The first backup may take a long time, depending on how many files you have, but you can continue using your Mac while a backup is underway. Time Machine backs up only the files that changed since the previous backup, so future backups will be faster.
To start a backup manually, choose Back Up Now from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Use the same menu to check the status of a backup or skip a backup in progress.
- If you back up to multiple disks, you can switch disks before entering Time Machine. Press and hold the Option key, then choose Browse Other Backup Disks from the Time Machine menu.
- To exclude items from your backup, open Time Machine preferences, click Options, then click the Add (+) button to add an item to be excluded. To stop excluding an item, such as an external hard drive, select the item and click the Remove (–) button.
- If using Time Machine to back up to a network disk, you can verify those backups to make sure they're in good condition. Press and hold Option, then choose Verify Backups from the Time Machine menu.
- In OS X Lion v10.7.3 or later, you can start up from your Time Machine disk, if necessary. Press and hold Option as your Mac starts up. When you see the Startup Manager screen, choose “EFI Boot” as the startup disk.
BestExternal Hard Drives for MaciMore2020
We understand that your data is important to you. Whether its personal documents, important work files, or just making sure you have everything you need to be backed up, you can never be too safe. External hard drives are not only useful for storing data but are an excellent way to transport files from one location to another. When you take into account price, ease of use, and portability, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the most reliable hard drive you can carry around with you at all times.
Best Overall: Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)
If you want a reliable external hard drive that has a decent amount of storage, is super easy to carry around and has a very affordable price tag, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the best option for most people. Formatted for Windows and Mac right out of the box, it's easy to carry all your essential documents from desktop to laptop without missing a beat.
The Seagate Dashboard back up system is a fantastic simple tool that can let you schedule backups to ensure you never miss any critical files you need in case something terrible happens to your computer. You can set automatic backups daily, weekly, or monthly, and change the frequency whenever you want.
How To Backup Mac To External Drive
Seagate also throws in a one-year complimentary subscription to Mylio Create. This can help you wrangle your photo library if you don't already use some photo managing tool, and a two-month membership to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
- Great backup software
- USB 3.0
- Metal enclosure
Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)
Reliable, portable, and affordable.
No lengthy setups or formatting procedures, the Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB is formatted for Mac right out of the packaging.
Best USB-C hard drive: Samsung T5 Portable SSD (1 TB)
This small compact SSD drive from Samsung comes with both a USB-C to USB-C cable and a USB-C to USB-A, meaning it's perfect to use with your MacBook or Mac.
Its fast 540 MB/s read and write speeds are more than enough to transfer any file. And should be able to store all your photo and video files with ease thanks to its straightforward software. Plus, if you're worried about encryption, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD has you covered with an optional password to launch the drive and AES 256-bit hardware encryption on all your files.
- Super compact
- AES 256-bit hardware encryption
Samsung T5 Portable SSD (1 TB)
Fast and encrypted
With 540 MB/s read and write speeds, the Samsung T5 Portable SSD is fast enough for photographers and videographers to transport all their work.
Source: Western Digital
Compatible with Time Machine right out of the box, the 8 TB storage capacity on the Western Digital My Book is perfect for people looking for a lot of stage at a reasonable price. It's USB 3.0, meaning it's easy to take advantage of its storage speed with fast transfer speeds.
While portability is not the Western Digital My Book's strong suit and it needs a separate power source, it does offer 256-AES encryption when you download its easy-to-use security software. It ensures all your important files and documents stay private.
If you're looking for a drive that has lots of space, os you don't have to have multiple as your storage needs grow, look no further.
- Lots of storage
- 256-AES encryption
- Time Machine compatible
Western Digital My Book (8TB)
Lots of storage for those who need it
Western Digital offers 256-AES encryption when you download its security software, meaning you can rest easy knowing your private information and personal data is safe.
Best Thunderbolt 3 Drive: LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
LaCie hard drives have always been good for people on the go because of the rugged design. The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt can withstand some dust, dirt, and even a tiny bit of water being splashed on it.
It's 7200 RPM Hard drive keeps things running smoothly. And the included USB-C cable — which supports Thunderbolt 3 — makes it perfect for MacBook and Mac users alike!
- Only 130MB/s
Best Thunderbolt 3 Drive
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
Rugged design with Thunderbolt 3
The LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 3 is a favorite because it can withstand drops, dust, and even the occasional splash of water, making it easy to carry around!
Best for Legacy Hardware : G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)
While Apple has been going the way of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 for a while now, some of us still use older hardware and thus don't need hard drives that have USB-C connections. If you're still rocking USB-A or even a Thunderbolt 2 connection from your Mac, the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB) is a perfect companion.
Its all-metal design is not only more durable than plastic hard drives, but it also looks stylish! Plus, it's 7200 RPM speed allows the G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 to achieve 195 MB/s read and write speeds. This makes it fast enough to transfer large video files quickly and efficiently.
- Needs to be reformatted for Windows
Best for legacy hardware
G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)
Stylish and fast even on older computers
With 7200 RPM, this hard drive works hard and fast to get your files transferred quickly. Plus, it uses USB 3.0, and it even has a Thunderbolt 2 port.
The CalDigit Tuff does the best it can to live up to its name, giving you a hard drive that isn't as delicate as most. Its official IP rating is IP57, meaning it can be submerged in 3-feet of water for 30 mins and come out the other side functional. That's not all; this Thunderbolt 3 compatible drive can also withstand falling from about 4-feet high. We still don't suggest that you purposely abuse the CalDigit Tuff. Still, it's always good to have peace of mind when you're carrying your hard drive around.
- Only come in 2TB
Best rugged drive
Can withstand drops and water
Backup Macbook Pro To External Hard Drive
Official rated IP57, the CalDigit Tuff can survive an accidental dip into the water and has a great price tag.
If you're used to dealing with giant file sizes and need a hard drive that can handle transfer data fast, the Samsung X5 is one of the fastest SSD's you'll find. Its read and write speeds are 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s, respectively, and the entire body is made of metal, making it much harder than plastic drives. Plus, The internal frame on the inside is shock resistant for drops from 2 meters.
This SSD comes with Thunderbolt 3 technology included. This you can take advantage of the fast speeds on your Mac or MacBook Pro, and it doesn't need any formatting, so it's plug and play!
- 2,800MB/s read speed
- Shock resistant
- Thunderbolt 3
Best fast drive
Incredibly fast SSD
External Backup Drive For Mac
If you need blazing fast speeds for giant files, the Samsung X5 is a monster external SSD that can handle any workload.
The Seagate Backup Plus Slim is the most reliable hard drive you can carry around with you at all times. It is formatted for both Mac and Windows right out of the box, and its easy-to-use software can automatically do backups for you as often or as little as you want.
Seagate also throws in a one-year complimentary subscription to Mylio Create. This program can help you wrangle your photo library if you don't already use some photo managing tool. A two-month membership to Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan means it's perfect for budding photographers as well.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Luke Filipowicz is an iMore staff writer who has been carrying around his Seagate Backup Plus Slim since his college days.
Lory Gil is the Managing Editor of iMore and an avid believer in having as many backups of your important files and documents as possible.
Rene Ritchie is the foremost authority on all things Apple and has insider knowledge about the goings-on at the biggest tech company in the world. When it comes to accessories for Mac, Rene has used them all.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Mac Backup Hard DriveHappy Happy Joy Joy (Cons)
Every Joy-Con controller color plus some customization options!
They probably weren't available at first, but nowadays you can find Joy-Cons in every color under the rainbow.
Do you know what the best format for external hard drive is on Mac? Do you know how to format an external hard drive on Mac? If you want to recover your lost and deleted files on an external drive on Mac, do you know how to do this? MiniTool Software will show the related information in this article.
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When Do You Need to Use an External Hard Drive on Mac?
In many cases, you need to use an external hard drive on your Mac computer. For example:
- If you want to back up your Mac data using Time Machine, you need to use an external hard drive to save the Time Machine backups.
- If your Mac runs out of space, you can use an external hard drive to increase the storage.
- If you want to transfer your Mac data to another computer, you need to use an external hard drive.
- And more….
No matter under which circumstance you need to use an external storage device on your Mac, you may want your Mac external drive to be formatted with the best file system to make it to be recognized on your Mac and maximize the best performance.
Well then, which is the best format for external hard drive Mac? You can get some useful information from the following part.
Which Mac File System Is the Best for an External Drive?
Before choosing the best format for Mac external drive, you should know which file system formats are available in Disk Utility on Mac.
Disk Utility supports the following file system formats:
- Apple File System (APFS): the file system is used by macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or later.
- Mac OS Extended (HFS+): the file system is used by macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or earlier.
- MS-DOS (FAT): the file system is compatible with both Mac and Windows.
- exFAT: the file system is compatible with both Mac and Windows.
Now, we will introduce these four Mac file systems and this information can help you find the best file system format for external hard drive on Mac.
Apple File System (APFS)
APFS is the default file system for Mac computers that are running macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or later. It was announced at Apple’s Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2016, meaning to replace HFS+ that was released in 1998. APFS has many attractive features like snapshots, strong encryption, space sharing, fast directory sizing, and improved file system fundamentals.
APFS is optimized for Flash/SSD storage used in recent macOS. Due to this, it can also be used with the older systems with traditional hard disk drives (HDD) and external, direct-attached storage drives. Besides, you can use the APFS file system for both bootable and data volumes on macOS 10.13 or later systems.
APFS is intelligent. It can allocate the disk space within a container/partition on demand. For example, if your APFS container has multiple volumes, the free space in the container is shared. The free space can be automatically allocated to any volume that needs more storage to save data.
When necessary, you can arrange reserve and quota sizes for each volume. The volume only uses part of the overall container. As a result, the available space is the total size of the container minus the size of all the volumes in the container.
APFS has the following four formats:
- APFS: it uses the APFS format. If you don’t need to use an encrypted or case-sensitive format, you can choose this format.
- APFS (Encrypted): it uses the APFS format. You can encrypt the volume if you format the Mac volume with this file system on your Mac.
- APFS (Case-sensitive): it uses the APFS format. This file system can distinguish the case of the file and folder names. For instance, folders that are named Work and WORK are two different folders.
- APFS (Case-sensitive, Encrypted): it uses the APFS format. This file system integrates the features of the above two formats. That is, it is case-sensitive to the names of the file and folder, and you can encrypt the volume.
You can choose the best format for external hard drive on Mac based on your requirements.
Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
Mac OS Extended, which is also known as HFS+/HFS Plus or HFS Extended, is a journaling file system developed by Apple Inc. It is using on macOS 10.12 (Sierra) or earlier. It was the primary Mac OS X file system until it was replaced with APFS.
It has the following four formats:
- Mac OS Extended (Journaled): it uses the Mac format of Journaled HFS Plus. It can protect the integrity of the hierarchical file system. If you don’t need to encrypt the volume or distinguish the case of the file and folder names, you can choose to use this format.
- Mac OS Extended (Journaled, Encrypted): it uses the Mac format. This file system needs you to set a password to encrypt the partition.
- Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled): it uses the Mac format. It is case-sensitive to the names of folders.
- Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled, Encrypted): it uses the Mac format. It integrates the features of the above two formats: you need to set a password for the partition to encrypt it and it is case-sensitive to the names of folders.
MS-DOS (FAT) & exFAT
Both FAT and exFAT are compatible with both Mac and Windows. The differences are that FAT is used for a volume that is 32GB or less, while exFAT is used for a volume that exceeds 32GB.
If you want to use the external hard drive on both Windows and Mac, you can choose to use one of these two file systems. In comparison, exFAT is more compatible.
Want to format an external hard drive for Mac and Windows PC? This post will show specific methods to make external hard drive compatible with Mac and PC.
Apple File System (APFS) vs. Mac OS Extended (HFS+) vs. MS-DOS (FAT) vs. exFAT
Which is the best file system for Mac external hard drive? The answer is not fixed. You should select the best file system based on your application scenarios.
The following table is for your reference:
Mac File Systems
When to Use
Apple File System (APFS)
Best for solid-state drives (SSDs) and flash drives with macOS 10.13 or later
Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
Best for mechanical drives and drives used with macOS 10.12 or earlier
Best for external hard drives shared with Windows computers. But, if the file’s size exceeds 4GB or the volume exceeds 32GB, this file system is not supported
Best for external hard drives shared with Windows computers
How to Format External Hard Drive on Mac?
When you know which file system you can use on your Mac, you can format the external hard drive to that format. You can use Mac Disk Utility to do it.
Now, we will show you how to format an external hard drive via Disk Utility:
1. Connect the external hard drive to your Mac via a USB cable.
2. Open Disk Utility. You can go to Finder > Application > Utilities > Disk Utility to open it. You can also press Command+Space to open Spotlight search and use it to search for disk utility to open it.
3. You will see a list of available disks on the left section of Disk Utility. Then, click the View button on the top menu and select Show All Devices.
4. Select the external hard drive you want to format from the left-side list and click the Erase button to continue.
5. In the Erase dialogue, expand Scheme and select GUID Partition Map.
6. Expand Format and select the file system you want to use. Here, we take APFS (Encrypted) as an example.
7. Type a name for the volume.
8. Click Erase.
9. Click Done.
How to Recover Data from an External Hard Drive on Mac?
You may delete your important files in your Mac external hard drive. You can use a professional Mac data recovery software to get them back. You can use Stellar Data Recovery for Mac, a free Mac file recovery tool.
This software is specially designed to recover lost and deleted files on Mac as long as they are not overwritten by new data. It has a trial edition. You can first use it to scan the drive you want to recover data from and check whether you can find the files you want to rescue. You can go to the MiniTool official download center to get this freeware.
After that, you can use this software to retrieve files from your external hard drive on Mac.
1. Make sure the external hard drive is connected to your Mac computer.
2. Open Stellar Data Recovery for Mac.
3. Select the data types you want to recover. If you want to recover all types, you can just keep the current selections.
4. Click the Next button to continue.
5. The software will show you the drive it can detect. You need to select the plugged external hard drive and click the Scan button to continue. If you want to perform a deep scan, you can turn on Deep Scan (on the bottom left corner of the software interface).
6. The software will begin to scan the selected external hard drive. When the scanning ends, you will see the scan results, including the deleted and existing files in the drive. You can check whether your needed files are there.
7. You can’t use the trial edition of this software to recover the found files. You need to update the software to an advanced edition to recover files. You need to go to the MiniTool official site to get such an edition.
Best External Hard Drive For Backup
8. After updating this software to a full edition, you can select the files you want to recover, click the Recover button, and select a suitable location to save the selected files. You should remember that you should not save the files to the original location. If you do that, your deleted files could be overwritten by the recovered files and become unrecoverable.
Reading here, you should know the best format for an external hard drive on Mac. Yes, you should select a file system according to your situation. Then, you can use Mac Disk Utility to format the external hard drive to your needed file system format. Additionally, if you want to recover data from your external hard drive, you can try Stellar Data Recovery for Mac.
If you are bothered by other related issues and searching for solutions, or you have other suggestions about the Mac file system, you can let us know in the comments or contact us via [email protected].