How To Choose The Right Format For Your External Hard Disk?


Depending on the kind of work you do and the nature of your work environment, formatting hard drives to suit your needs can be an important question. 

An Interior Designer who loves using the Microsoft Surface Tab for sketches but likes to polish up and refine their designs on a MacBook Pro might not be able to use the same hard drive without making some additional inputs. 

The same goes for a photographer, who keeps changing memory cards, storage spaces, capturing heavy files, and moving them on different devices. 

Even if you work in a normal corporate atmosphere, there might be times when you will have to use an external hard drive on multiple systems. 

In this article, we speak to leading tech experts and ask them about the right format for your external hard disk. 

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Why External Hard Disk Format Matters in macOS and Windows OS?

People who look for formatting issues do so because they want their hard disks to be compatible and work on different operating systems. 

Suppose you were an Apple macOS user who has shifted to a Windows Laptop. I am sure you will want the present hard drive to be compatible with your new PC or laptop. This would mean formatting it to the NTFS (New Technology File System) format. 

What if you are going to do the opposite- That is, shifting from Windows to Apple. In such a scenario you will need to format the device from NTFS to exFAT or APFS, which stands for Apple File System. 

The real issue emerges when you want one single external hard disk to be compatible with both operating systems- macOS and Windows OS. 

5 Factors to Consider before you Select the Right Format for your External Hard Disk

Predict the nature of your needs and requirements

As we have already stated in the last section, you need to identify the devices and the operating systems you will have to work with, in the near future. Experts suggest that following an Apple-only or a Windows-only approach might lead to future problems. this is why they state that rather than going for complete formatting, users can opt for any credible third-party app and download NTFS for Mac software

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Pay Attention to the Safety and Non-Corrupt Nature of your Data

There is a reason why NTFS is so popular. It is safe, secure, and allows for multiple options for preventing the corruption of disks. This means that the file size stays safe and secure and you are able to use it for a long time in history. Some formats are more prone to security issues like exFAT. If you do not want your files to get corrupted you need to look at other options. 

Does the Size of the File Matter to you?

In some professions where designing or photography, or gaming are involved, file sizes can exceed multiple GBs. This means that if you were looking to use a format like exFAT or FAT32, you will not be able to do so anymore. This is because the maximum file size support for such formats might be a mere 4GB. Bigger file transfers will fail on such external hard disk formats. 

The individual using the External Hard Disk and the Windows or Mac Devices 

When it comes to formatting external hard disks, as someone who is more technologically advanced, you might be able to easily format the disk. However, what happens when your father and mother need to move their small business data from one system to another. This is why you need to ensure that the format and the process are easy for them to execute and understand. 

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Consider using an NTFS for Mac Software 

There is a reason why all the biggest hard disk manufacturers from SanDisk to Seagate to WD prefer to format their hard disks with NTFS. The simple reason is that it is the best. You can consider using an easy-to-use and free NTFS for Mac software to allow the hard drive to work on macOS. This ensures that you can use the device efficiently and without any issues on both Windows OS and macOS.

The Final Word

There is a number of factors that should affect your decision of choosing the right format for your external hard disk. In this article, we have tried to offer a constructive solution to the problem at hand. If there are any other questions, which you would like us to answer regarding formatting external hard disks, feel free to raise them in the comment section. 

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