Erasing your disk: For most reasons to erase, including when reformatting a disk or selling, giving away, or trading in your Mac, you should erase your entire disk.

Mac disk format types

Erasing a volume on your disk: In other cases, such as when your disk contains multiple volumes (or partitions) and you don't want to erase them all, you can erase specific volumes on the disk.

Backup your hard drive. Before formatting the drive, it's a good idea to back up the drive and save. To format an external hard drive for Mac with Time Machine, you must follow the steps below. Step 1 Open Finder, Applications, then go to Utilities and Disk Utility. Step 2 Follow the steps above to format the drive, and then you can use it with Time Machine on your Mac system. Part 3: Bonus Tip – Data Recovery from Formatted Hard Drive on Mac. Log into your Mac. And Plug in your Seagate Drive. Your Seagate external hard drive unless it’s one.

Erasing a disk or volume permanently deletes all of its files. Before continuing, make sure that you have a backup of any files that you want to keep.

How to erase your disk

In the File Format list, click the file format that you want to use. For example, click Word 97-2004 document (.doc) to create a file that is compatible with Word 97 and later versions of Word that do not use the XML-based file format (.docx). Why should you consider formatting your hard drive? You might already know the consequences of.

  1. Start up from macOS Recovery. Then select Disk Utility from the Utilities window and click Continue.
    If you're not erasing the disk your Mac started up from, you don't need to start up from macOS Recovery: just open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. Choose View > Show All Devices from the menu bar in Disk Utility. The sidebar now shows your disks (devices) and any containers and volumes within them. The disk your Mac started up from is at the top of the list. In this example, Apple SSD is the startup disk:
  3. Select the disk that you want to erase. Don't see your disk?
  4. Click Erase, then complete these items:
    • Name: Type the name that you want the disk to have after you erase it.
    • Format: Choose APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default.
    • Scheme: Choose GUID Partition Map.
  5. Click Erase to begin erasing your disk and every container and volume within it. You might be asked to enter your Apple ID. Forgot your Apple ID?
  6. When done, quit Disk Utility.
  7. If you want your Mac to be able to start up from the disk you erased, reinstall macOS on the disk.
How

How to erase a volume on your disk

  1. Start up from macOS Recovery. Then select Disk Utility from the Utilities window and click Continue.
    If you're not erasing the volume your Mac started up from, you don't need to start up from macOS Recovery: just open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. In the sidebar of Disk Utility, select the volume that you want to erase. The volume your Mac started up from is named Macintosh HD, unless you changed its name. Don't see your volume?
  3. Click Erase, then complete these items:
    • Name: Type the name that you want the volume to have after you erase it.
    • Format: Choose APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default.
  4. If you see an Erase Volume Group button, the volume you selected is part of a volume group. In that case, you should erase the volume group. Otherwise, click Erase to erase just the selected volume. You might be asked to enter your Apple ID. Forgot your Apple ID?
  5. When done, quit Disk Utility.
  6. If you want your Mac to be able to start up from the volume you erased, reinstall macOS on that volume.

Reasons to erase

You can erase at any time, including in circumstances such as these:

  • You want to permanently erase all content from your Mac and restore it to factory settings. This is one of the final steps before selling, giving away, or trading in your Mac.
  • You're changing the format of a disk, such as from a PC format (FAT, ExFAT, or NTFS) to a Mac format (APFS or Mac OS Extended).
  • You received a message that your disk isn't readable by this computer.
  • You're trying to resolve a disk issue that Disk Utility can't repair.
  • The macOS installer doesn't see your disk or can't install on it. For example, the installer might say that your disk isn't formatted correctly, isn't using a GUID partition scheme, contains a newer version of the operating system, or can't be used to start up your computer.
  • The macOS installer says that you may not install to this volume because it is part of an Apple RAID.

About APFS and Mac OS Extended

Disk Utility in macOS High Sierra or later can erase using either the newer APFS (Apple File System) format or the older Mac OS Extended format, and it automatically chooses a compatible format for you.

How to choose between APFS and Mac OS Extended

How To Do Format For Mac

Disk Utility tries to detect the type of storage and show the appropriate format in the Format menu. If it can't, it chooses Mac OS Extended, which works with all versions of macOS. If you want to change the format, answer these questions:

How To Do Format For Mac
  • Are you formatting the disk that came built into your Mac?
    If the built-in disk came APFS-formatted, Disk Utility suggests APFS. Don't change it to Mac OS Extended.
  • Are you about to install macOS High Sierra or later for the first time on the disk?
    If you need to erase your disk before installing High Sierra or later for the first time on that disk, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). During installation, the macOS installer decides whether to automatically convert to APFS—without erasing your files.
  • Are you preparing a Time Machine backup disk or bootable installer?
    Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for any disk that you plan to use as a Time Machine backup disk or as a bootable installer.
  • Will you be using the disk with another Mac?
    If the other Mac isn't using macOS High Sierra or later, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Earlier versions of macOS don't work with APFS-formatted volumes.

How to identify the format currently in use

If you want to know which format is currently in use, use any of these methods:

  • Select the volume in the Disk Utility sidebar, then check the information shown on the right. For more detail, choose File > Get Info from the Disk Utility menu bar.
  • Open System Information and select Storage in the sidebar. The File System column on the right shows the format of each volume.
  • Select the volume in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info from the menu bar. The Get Info window shows the Format of that volume.

If your disk or volume doesn't appear, or the erase fails

  1. Shut down your Mac, then unplug all nonessential devices from your Mac.
  2. If you're erasing an external drive, make sure that it's connected directly to your Mac using a cable that you know is good. Then turn the drive off and back on.
  3. If your disk or volume still doesn't appear in Disk Utility, or Disk Utility reports that the erase process failed, your disk or Mac might need service. If you need help, please contact Apple Support.

How To Do Format For Mac Os

How To Do Format For Mac

Learn more

  • If you can't start up from macOS Recovery, you can use a different startup disk instead.
  • If Disk Utility shows a Security Options button in the Erase window, you can click that button to choose between a faster (but less secure) erase and a slower (but more secure) erase. Some older versions of Disk Utility offer the option to zero all data instead. These secure-erase options aren't offered or needed for solid-state drives (SSDs) and flash storage.

For Apple Mac users, there are two ways to format USB flash drive to FAT32, including Disk Utility and Terminal command line. Refer to detailed steps of using both tools for FAT32 format. Formatting would erase data completely, make sure that you have a data backup. Otherwise, you can only use data recovery software to recover data from a formatted USB drive.

Are you looking for a secure way to format USB flash drive to FAT32 on Mac? You are at the right place. Follow here, you will find two methods that will assist you in doing so on your storage device and if you lost data due formatting, reliable Mac file recovery software is ready to help anytime:

Workable SolutionsStep-by-step Troubleshooting
Method 1. Use Disk UtilityConnect USB to Mac > Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility > Select USB and click 'Erase'...Full steps
Method 2. Use Terminal CommandConnect USB to Mac > Hit cmd + space keys > Type terminal and hit Enter...Full steps
Bonus Tip. Recover Formatted DataIf you lost data due to formatting, run EaseUS file recovery software > Scan and recover formatted data...Full steps

How to Format a USB Flash Drive with Mac to FAT32

Many computer users who use a removable flash drive have the demand for formatting it to the FAT32 file system. Compare with the other commonly used NTFS file system on a flash drive, FAT32 has a compatibility advantage across many operating systems.

It's a universal format that is compatible with Mac OS X/macOS, Windows, Linux and DOS systems. So, if users anticipate using the flash drive with more than one operating system, they will definitely benefit from the FAT32 file system. For Apple Mac users, there are two ways to format a USB flash drive to FAT32, including Disk Utility and Terminal command line. Refer to detailed steps of using both tools for FAT32 format.

Method 1. Format FAT32 on Mac [Disk Utility]

To format USB to FAT32 with Disk Utility will erase all data on the flash drive, so before you doing so, please do remember to check whether you have saved useful data to another secure device in advance.

To format the USB drive to FAT32, follow the next steps:

Step 1. Connect the USB flash drive to your Mac computer.

Step 2.Go to Applications > Utilities > Double click and open Disk Utility.

Step 3. Select your USB flash drive on the sidebar, choose Erase.

Step 4. Rename the USB flash drive, choose the format as MS-DOS (FAT) for Format, Master Boot Record for Scheme. Then click Erase.

Wait for the process to complete, then you’ll get an empty new USB flash drive with FAT32 as the file system. You can reuse it for saving data again.

Method 2. Format FAT32 on Mac [Terminal Command Line]

The command-line behavior does the same way to erase data with the Disk Utility. Again, create a backup before taking this action.

To format FAT32 with Terminal, follow the next steps:

Step 1. Connect your USB flash drive to your Mac computer.

Step 2. Hit cmd + space to run Spotlight, type: terminal and hit Enter.

3. Type:diskutil list and find out which disk is your USB drive. (In the below picture, you can see that /dev/disk2 is the USB drive)

4. Type: sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 MBRFormat /dev/disk2.

  • sudo gives you user right.
  • Diskutil calls disk utility program.
  • eraseDisk commands to format.
  • FAT32 sets the file system.
  • MBRFormat tells disk utility to format with a Master Boot Record.
  • /dev/disk2 is the location of the USB drive.

Wait for the process to complete. After this, you can type: diskutil list in command again to check if the formatting has been successful.

Complementary Data Recovery Tip

Formatting would erase data completely, make sure that you have a data backup. Otherwise, you can only use data recovery software to recover data from a formatted USB drive.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard has both Windows and Mac versions, so it's the optimal choice for data recovery, no matter you're using a PC or Mac. If you're a Mac user, for example, it takes only a few clicks for the software to scan and display your formatted data. To guarantee an effective data recovery without spending money to no avail, you can install the Mac data recovery free version for the first trial. You can preview all the found data before the final recovery.

To recover data from a formatted FAT32 USB flash drive on Mac, follow the next steps:

Step 1. Correctly connect your USB flash drive to your Mac. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. Start selecting the flash drive and click 'Scan' to let the software search lost files on it.

Step 2. After a quick scan and deep scan, all files will be presented in the left panel in the scan results.

Reinstall Macos From Scratch

Step 3. Select files you want to recover and click the 'Recover Now' button. Don't save the recoverable files to the USB drive itself in case of data overwriting.

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