How to format my wd hard drive for mac and pc

Disk Utility will now be open. From the left-side pane, choose the drive that is to be re-formatted. Typically there are two listings for each drive unless more than one partition exists on a particular drive. Choose the drive listing that is farthest to the left Not indented for the drive to be formatted. It is usually directly above the name of the drive. Erase After selecting the appropriate drive, additional option buttons will become available on the top part of the Disk Utility window.

Click on Erase.


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The Erase dialog window will now appear. Assign the name that will be given to the drive. Select the Format file system from the drop-down menu. For this article, we chose exFAT , see image below. Select the Scheme Partition Table Scheme from the drop-down menu. See image below. Begin by connecting the WD drive to the Mac computer. Once the drive appears on the desktop, click on Go on the top tool bar. From the drop-down menu, click on Utilities. In Utilities , select and open Disk Utility. When Disk Utility opens, select the drive that is to be partitioned and formatted from the left-side panel.

Typically there are two listings for each drive, unless there is more than one partition on a particular drive. Choose the drive listing that is farthest to the left for the drive that will be formatted.


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It is usually directly above the name of the drive, and is the drive selection that has the total size being displayed. Once selected, click on Partition on the right-side area. In the Partition area, click under Partition Layout and select 1 Partition.

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Then, click on Options. To the right, insert a name for the drive, and click on Format. From the drop-down, select ExFAT. When done, click on Apply. A window will come up showing that formatting and partitioning the drive will erase all data that is on the drive.


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If there's no needed information within the drive, then click on Partition. If there is data on the drive that is needed or is not backed up, it will need to be copied to another location before proceeding. The drive is now formatting and a status bar will be seen at the bottom that says formatting the disk and gives the name of the drive, the format it is applying, and the name that was specified. When it is done, this bar will go away and the drive should now be listed on the desktop.

Right-click on Start , the Windows logo on the bottom-left of the screen, and click Disk Management. In the Disk Management window, the lower pane will display a list of available drives. Identify the drive that needs to be partitioned and formatted, and make sure that all critical data on this drive has been backed up elsewhere.

Format Hard Drive for Use on Mac AND PC

If there is already a partition on the drive, the bar above that drive will appear blue. If there is no critical data on the drive, or the data has been successfully backed up, right-click the bar and click Delete Volume. If Disk Management shows the drive as Not Initialized , the drive will have to be initialized.

For assistance initializing a hard drive, please see Answer ID If there is no partition and data on the drive, it will appear as Unallocated , with a black bar on top. Right-click the Unallocated space or the black bar, and click New Simple Volume. Click Next to proceed. Choose the volume size and click Next. By default, the maximum disk space is already selected and it is recommended to leave it at the maximum disk space. Open Disk Management. In Windows 8 this can be achieved by moving the mouse to the bottom-left corner of the Desktop and right-clicking on top of the Start menu screen.

Then, click Disk Management right below Storage. From the menu, click on Disk Management. FAT32 in macOS Once that's done, double left-click on the Mac HD , the internal Mac hard drive visible on the top-right corner of the desktop screen. While in there, open Utilities , and lastly double-click on Disk Utility When Disk Utility opens, all available drives will display on the left-side panel. From said list, select the drive that is to be partitioned and formatted from the left-side panel. Once selected, click on Partition on the top area of the Disk Utility window. The Partition window will now appear.

Next to Partition, assign the desired drive name for the device. This will load Disk Management on the right-side pane.

How to Format WD My Passport for Mac and PC

Disk Management will proceed to display all the hard drives detected by Windows. The window may need to be maximized in order to see all the drives listed. The lower pane will display a list of available drives. Identify the drive that needs to be partitioned and formatted. It typically has a black bar indicating unallocated space.

Right-click on the unallocated space or the black bar to see a menu of available options, and click on New Simple Volume. Left-click on Next to proceed to the next screen. Please follow the steps outlined below: Now right-click on the unallocated space or the black bar to see a menu of available options, and click on New Simple Volume The Welcome to the New Simple Volume Wizard will appear. Left-click on Next to proceed to the next screen Choose the volume size and click Next.

How to format a drive on macOS Open Disk Utility. Please See Answer ID Click the Format drop down Choose a new Format: Click the Done button Return to Top. Steps for macOS To partition and format the drive with Disk Utility, follow these steps: Double left-click on the Mac HD , the internal Mac hard drive visible on the top-right corner of the desktop screen.

Choose Applications from the left-side panel. While in there, open Utilities , and lastly double-click on Disk Utility. Disk Utility will now be open. In the left-side pane, choose the drive that is to be partitioned and formatted. Typically there are two listings for each drive unless more than one partition exists on a particular drive. Choose the drive listing that is farthest to the left for the drive that will be formatted. It is usually directly above the name of the drive. In the example below, the one to be selected would be After selecting the appropriate drive, additional options will appear on the right-side pane.

Click on Partition. In the Partition area, click on the drop-down box under Partition Layout and select 1 Partition. Double left-click on the Mac HD , the internal Mac drive. Choose Applications , then Utilities , and double-click on Disk Utilities. Please rate the helpfulness of this answer. Select your Language Language.

Select an Operating System OS. Click here for Instructions. If at any time an error occurs stating that the drive can not be dismounted or unmounted , this is not caused by an issue with the hard drive. When formatting or partitioning a drive, an error occurs stating the drive cannot be dismounted or unmounted for additional information on this particular issue.

How to Switch a WD Passport From a Mac to PC

To create multiple partitions, select or type a specific number of megabytes MB for the first partition and continue to the next step. Once done with this process, the remaining space will display as unallocated space. Now, create another New Simple Volume in the remaining unallocated space for the next partition.

For example, on a 2TB drive, set the volume size to 1 TB and continue to the next step.

How to Format WD My Passport for Mac and PC

When done, begin the New Simple Volume process again and select the remaining capacity, the unallocated space, for another 1TB partition. If an error message is received stating that Windows is unable to unmount the drive, this means that there is a program or service currently reading or writing data on the drive.

Determine what program is accessing the drive and shut it down, and then try again. Unable to safely remove unmount a WD external drive in Windows for assistance with this error under Windows. Partitioning a drive is only necessary if planning to use multiple partitions on the drive. It's recommended using a single partition in most cases, if the primary objective is to simply prepare the drive for use with the computer, no partitioning is required. No further action is required.

If an error message is received stating that the drive is unable to be unmounted, this means that there is a program or service currently reading or writing data on the drive. Determine what program is accessing the drive and shut it down before trying to format the drive again.