How to Erase and Format an External Hard Drive on Mac and Windows

How to Erase and Format an External Hard Drive on Mac and Windows

Having an external hard drive is advantageous as you can store tons of data on it. Moreover, it is small, light weight and not attached to your computer. This makes it quite handy and allows you to transfer your data from one computer to another easily.

As you connect your external drive to different computers, it might get infected if the host computer is not secured. And in worst case scenarios, chances are the drive would no longer be recognized by your system.

Well, worry not, we have solution for you. Whenever an external storage device gets infected, it is highly recommended to format the device to make it operable.

In this post, let’s talk about how to erase and format external hard drives on Mac and Windows.

Erase and Format External Hard Drive on Mac

Step 1: Open your Mac and connect your external hard drive with it.

Step 2: Type Disk utility in the spotlight search or click ‘Go’ from the top toolbar and select ‘Disk Utility’.

Erase and Format External Hard Drive on Mac

Note: There is another way to open ‘Disk Utility’, Go to Finder icon > choose Application > Click on utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 3: Choose the external hard drive from the left-hand side which you would like to format.

Step 4:  Select ‘Erase’ tab.

Step 5: Select ‘Mac OS Extended (Journaled)’ beside ‘Volume Format’.

Step 6: Enter a name for the external hard drive in the Name field.

Step 7: Once you hit ‘Erase’ button it will prompt you “Are you sure you want to erase the disk’, So, click Erase to Proceed.

Erase and Format External Hard Drive on Mac

Now, your external hard drive is formatted and is as good as new.

Also Read: Best Free Batch Image Resizer for Mac 2017

How to Erase and Format an External Hard Drives on Windows

Step 1: Go to ‘Start’.

Step 2: Right-Click on Computer.

 How to Erase and Format an External Hard Drives on Windows

Step 3: Select the second option ‘Manage’ from the right-click menu.

Step 4: On management window, choose ‘Disk Management’ from the storage.

 How to Erase and Format an External Hard Drives on Windows

Step 5: Now, select the drive which you would like to erase and format.

Step 6: Right-click on the drive and select ‘Format’.

How to Erase and Format an External Hard Drives on Windows

Step 7: Choose the ‘File System’, (you can select ExFAT or FAT32).

How to Erase and Format an External Hard Drives on Windows

Also Read: How to Recover Permanently Deleted Files in Windows 10

Note: Make Sure, you do not “Perform a quick format” as it doesn’t erase the entire data on drive.

Step 8: Hit ‘OK’. Your machine will prompt you to confirm. After confirmation, your drive will start formatting.

Note: Be patient while formatting your drive, as it might take a bit longer depending upon the size.

Formatting your external hard drive will erase all data available on the drive. In case if you’re formatting a drive that you have used before, don’t forget to copy important files you might require in future.

Bhoomika Basera

Bhoomika Basera is an analyst and blogger at Systweak Software. She likes to explore and discover latest technological updates and hacks.She is a backpack traveller and loves to explore cities and off beat places!

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