The fast way to send large files, no registration required! Share files up to 50GB for free via link or e-mail. Secure file transfer. Fortunately, there is a file system (actually two, I’ll explain) that you can format your flash drive to be fully compatible with Mac and PC. In other words, you can access the drive and transfer data without any hassles.
Want to format an external hard drive for Mac and Windows PC? Do you know how to do this work easily? This MiniTool article will show you specific methods to make external hard drive compatible with Mac and PC, which are easy and safe to complete.
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As we know, external hard drives are widely used to backup data or interchange files among different computers. Well, is there an external hard drive that could be shared between Mac and Windows PC? Of course, there is. Actually, most external hard disks could be compatible with Mac and PC as long as you format them correctly.
Why Need to Format External Hard Drive for Mac and PC
To put it simply, if you want to share external hard drive between Mac and PC, you need to format an external hard drive for Mac and PC.
Currently, hard drives for Windows PC are always formatted with NTFS, while hard disks for Mac are formatted with HFS+. However, when we connect a NTFS formatted disk to Mac, Mac OS X doesn't allow us to write files to the drive neither edit files, though it can read a NTFS drive. Similarly, Windows OS will ask us to format the HFS+ formatted drive when we connecting such a disk, let along edit files saved on HFS+ formatted hard disks unless we resort to third party programs.
But luckily, there are file systems well supported by both Mac and Windows PC, and they are FAT32 (it might be called MS-DOS on Mac) and exFAT. As long as we format the external hard drive to one of these 2 file systems, it can be shared between Mac and Windows.
Photoshop serial number for mac cs6. Further Reading
Both FAT32 and exFAT have advantages and disadvantages.
FAT32: FAT32 works with all versions of Windows, Mac OS, Linux, game consoles, etc.
However, single files on a FAT32 drive can't be larger than 4GB. If your external drive saves files larger than 4GB or you plan to save larger files to this drive, converting to FAT32 is not recommended.
In addition, a FAT32 partition must be not more than 32GB if you create it in Windows Disk Management. Of course, there is free partition manager that can help create a FAT32 volume up to 2TB, which also functions correctly.
exFAT: exFAT has very large file size and partition size limits, which means it's a good idea to format your external hard drive to exFAT.
Nevertheless, a lot of users complained that exFAT is slow, and they highly suggest using FAT32 if you can avoid file size constraints.
Three Options for Accessing NTFS Drives on Mac
Paid Third-Party Drivers
Some paid third-party NTFS drivers for Mac can be used to access NTFS drives on Mac. They work well and they have better performance than the free solutions which will be mentioned in the following part. Paragon NTFS for Mac is such a driver.
Besides, you can also use the paid third-party file system converters to convert NTFS to FAT32 or exFAT which are compatible with both Mac and PC. MiniTool Partition Wizard is one representative.
Free Third-Party Drivers
FUSE for macOS is a free and open-source NTFS driver that can enable write support. But, this solution is slower relatively. And the automatically mounting NTFS partitions in read-write mode can be a security risk for your Mac computer.
Apple’s Experimental NTFS-Write Support
The Mac OS has an experimental support for writing to NTFS drives. Usually, it is disabled by default and needs some messing around in the Mac terminal to enable it.
It doesn’t work properly all the time and could lead to potential issues with your NTFS file system. For example, it had corrupted data before. Thus, we don’t suggest using this tool and we believe it is disabled by this reason.
Here, we recommend using the paid third-party tools since they are easy-to-use and can do good work for you.
Then, we will introduce these three options for you in the following content.
The Best Paid Third-Party Driver: Paragon NTFS for Mac
Paragon NTFS for Mac can write, edit, delete, copy, or move files on NTFS volumes from your Mac computer. It offers a 10-day free trial. If you want to use it all the time, you need to pay for it.
With it, you don’t have to fiddle with terminal commands to mount partitions manually. Additionally, it can mount partitions automatically and safely. More importantly, it can code with the potential corruption. If you purchase a Seagate drive, you can even get a free download of Paragon NTFS for Mac.
All in all, it does its works well and gives you good user’s experience.
The Best Free Third-Party Drivers: FUSE for macOS
FUSE for macOS is a free solution to access NTFS on Mac. But it is less secure.
If you want to make automatically mount NTFS partitions in read-write mode on Mac, you need to temporarily disable the System Integrity Protection and replace one of Apple’s built-in tools with a binary that is more vulnerable to attack. Thus, your Mac is in danger when using this driver.
However, you can use it to manually mount NTFS partitions in read-write mode if you never mind using the Terminal. This will be safer, but you need to do more work. You can go to google the steps and see how complex they are.
Apple’s Experimental NTFS-Writing Support: Don’t Do This, Seriously
Although we mentioned this method in our article, we still don’t recommend it because it is the least tested. It is just for educational purposes, and it is available on Mac OS 10.12 Sierra. Perhaps, it will be unstable forever.
How to Quickly Format External Hard Drive for Mac and PC without Losing Data
Another way to access NTFS drive on Mac is to convert the NTFS/HFS+ to FAT/exFAT. Then, the drive can be used on both Mac and PC.
There should be some important data on the drive. To keep it safe, you can choose this best NTFS/HFS+ to FAT/exFAT converter: MiniTool Partition Wizard.
How to Convert NTFS to FAT32 or exFAT Without Data Loss
To format hard drive for Mac and Windows without data loss, we suggest using MiniTool Partition Wizard and its 'Convert NTFS to FATS32' function. If you are a personal user, you can try its Professional Edition.
Step 1: Run MiniTool Partition Wizard
Download this software to your computer. Then, you can open the software and input the license key to the pop-out window to get its Professional Edition.
Step 2: Convert NTFS to FAT32 with This Software
After running the program successfully, we can see its main interface as follows:
Here, please select the NTFS partition of external hard drive and choose 'Convert NTFS to FAT' feature from the left action pane. If there is more than one NTFS partition, convert all of them one by one.
At last, click 'Apply' button to make the change executed.
When MiniTool Partition Wizard shows it applies the change successfully, the original NTFS will finally become a FAT32 partition.
By this way, you can easily format an external hard drive for Mac and PC without losing any data. Then, you can share external hard drive between Mac and PC
You Can Convert NTFS to exFAT in 3 Steps
However, if you want to convert NTFS to exFAT to make external hard drive compatible with Mac and PC, 3 steps are required.
Step 1: Transfer Data out from External Hard Drive
You can choose to copy and paste those files to other external devices or internal hard disk of Windows, but it will cost much time. Instead, you can use MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition to create a copy for your external drive, which is faster.
If there is only one NTFS partition on external hard drive, refer to the tutorial Copy Partition to get instructions. However, if there is more than one NTFS partition, view Copy Disk to get specific operations.
Step 2: Create exFAT Partition with MiniTool Partition Wizard
The Free Edition of this software also enables you to do this job.
Firstly, you need to delete the partition by using this software. Just open the software to enter its main interface. Then, choose the target partition and click 'Delete Partition' from the left action pane. After that, you should click 'Apply' to keep this change.
Secondly, the target partition will become unallocated. Here, you need to choose that partition and click on 'Create Partition' from the left action pane.
Thirdly, you will see a pop-out window. Here, you can choose 'exFAT' from the 'File System' setting option. At the same time, you can also set some other parameters for this partition, including 'Partition Label', 'Drive Letter', 'Size And Location'. After that, please click on 'OK'.
Fourthly, you will go back to the main interface. Then, please click on 'Apply' to save these changes.
Finally, an exFAT partition will be created on your external hard disk so that it could be shared between Mac and Windows PC
Step 3: Transfer Data back to External Drive
If you want to share files that you have backed up between Mac and PC, now please transfer these files back to external hard drive.
How to Convert HFS+ to FAT32 or exFAT without Losing Data
Besides, you can format an external hard drive for Mac and Windows by converting HFS+ to FAT32 or exFAT without losing any data.
Step 1: Backup Data in HFS+ Partition on Mac
Just transfer all useful files out from the external hard drive to other devices on Mac. Of course, if you have a backup already, ignore this step.
Step 2: Create a FAT32 or exFAT Partition on Windows PC
Some people may ask why create such partitions on Windows rather than Mac. That is because there are cases reporting FAT32 (MS-DOS) or exFAT partitions created on Mac did not work well on Windows.
Please skip to Solution 1: Format External Hard Drive to FAT32 to get steps to create a FAT32 partitions or go back to Step 2: Create exFAT Partition with MiniTool Partition Wizard to get operations to create an exFAT partition.
How to Make an Empty External Drive Compatible with Mac and PC
If there is no file saved on your external hard drive, how to make external hard drive compatible with Mac and PC?
It's very easy to share it between Mac and PC and you also need a Windows computer, a Mac machine, and the free partition manager MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition.
There are 3 solutions for this case, so please choose the one you like most to format external hard drive Windows 10/8/7.
Solution 1: Format External Hard Drive Windows 10/8/7 to FAT32
Since users are unable to create a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB in Windows Disk Management, they need to use MiniTool Partition Wizard Free.
Please download and install this program on your Windows computer to format an external hard drive for Mac and PC.
Firstly, open the software to enter its main interface as follows. Here, please select the NTFS partition or HFS+ partition of external hard drive, and click 'Delete Partition' feature from the left action pane. If there are multiple partitions on the external disk, please select the disk and click 'Delete All Partitions' feature instead. After that, an unallocated space will be released.
Secondly, you can create one or more FAT32 partitions in unallocated space. Select the unallocated space and choose 'Create Partition' feature from the left side.
Then, you should choose 'FAT32' from the 'File System' option in the pop-out window. Meanwhile, you can set properties for this new partition and click 'OK' to go back to the main window of Partition Wizard.
At last, click 'Apply' button to make all changes performed.
Solution 2: Format External Hard Drive Windows 7/8/10 to exFAT
Firstly, please delete the NTFS or HFS+ partition in either MiniTool Partition Wizard or Windows Disk Management to release unallocated space. Then, you can create an exFAT partition with MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition by following steps introduced in the section Step 2: Create exFAT Partition with MiniTool Partition Wizard.
Once a FAT32 or exFAT partition is created on your external hard drive, you can share it on both Mac and Windows PC.
Solution 3: Create One HFS+ Partition for Mac and One NTFS Partition for Windows
Alternatively, you can create 2 partitions on the external hard drive: one is for Mac, and the other is for Windows. As to size for each partition, it depends on your own demands. By this way, you can easily format an external hard drive for Mac and Windows.
Step 1: Create a NTFS Partition and a FAT32 Partition
Please run MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition, then delete all the original NTFS or HFS+ partition(s), and create a new NTFS partition as well as a FAT32 partition, and the latter will be formatted to HFS+ in Mac machine.
Then, select the external hard drive and choose 'Delete All Partitions' to create an unallocated space.
Here, select the unallocated space and choose 'Create Partition' feature from the left action pane.
Now, please specify partition label (Windows is recommended), partition type (primary or logical), drive letter, file system (NTFS), cluster size, and partition size (you can change the length of the handle to adjust partition size). Then, click 'OK' to continue.
Now, you can see a NTFS partition is created. Please use the same way to create a FAT32 partition labeled with Mac. At last, click 'Apply' button to make all changes performed.
Step 2: Format the FAT32 Partition to HFS+ Partition on Mac
Please go to Utilities → Disk Utility to get the window below:
Then, select the external hard drive and click 'Partition' tab on the top.
Now, find the FAT32 partition and format it to OS X Extended (Journaled), which is the desired HFS+. Finally, click 'Apply' button to make all changes performed.
After NTFS partition and HFS+ partition are created on your external hard drive, it can be shared between Mac and Windows PC.
Are you planning to format an external hard drive for Mac and PC? If yes, now try one of our methods to make external hard drive compatible with Mac and PC.
Should you have any problem, just feel free to leave us a message in comment part below or send an email to [email protected].
Format Hard Drive for Mac and PC FAQ
How to Open RAR Files on Mac – Open and Extract RAR Files in Mac PC:
RAR is the format of compressed files. Many people use File Compression feature to create RAR File. Compressed Files are easy to share over internet and Wi-Fi. Moreover, you can add number of files and folders together in one compressed file.
- 3 How to Open RAR File on Mac
What is a Compressed File?
A Compressed File is the collection archive of more than one files or folders and it’s smaller than their original size. Compressed File can be in various formats like ZIP, RAR, 7Z, ZPI, ZIPX, GZIP and many others. Out of these formats, ZIP and RAR are the most popular among computer users.
What is RAR?
RAR is a compressed file format developed by Eugene Roshal. RAR is an Archive File Format in which RAR stands for Roshal ARchive. RAR supports file spanning, data compression and error recovery.
Who can Create Compressed RAR File?
Any person who has a computer with RAR File App can create Compressed File in RAR Format. It is the best way to keep all desired files/folders in one directory.
How to Open RAR File on Mac
You can easily open RAR File on Mac. In order to open RAR File on your Mac PC or MacBook, you should have a RAR File App. The App will help you to open and extract the RAR File. Once the RAR File is extracted, you can see all the files you have received. RAR Files have AES 128 Encryption Security so that no one can crack it easily. So you can protect it with password and share the RAR File with your friends.
Methods to Open RAR File on Mac
Mac System does not have any built-in feature to read or open the RAR File directly. You have to get help of an application to view RAR File on your Mac. Here we provide some best apps to open RAR File on Mac. All these apps are available to Mac Users at free of cost.
01. The Unarchiver
The Unarchiver is a small and user friendly app to open compressed files on Mac. It is compatible with various compressed files like Zip, RAR, 7-zip, Tar, Gzip and Bzip2. It can also read and extract files from RAR including version 5. The Unarchiver App is capable to open some old formats like StuffIt (SIT), DiskDoubler, LZH, ARJ and ARC. It can also open Windows .EXE installers as well as ISO and BIN disc images.
The Unarchiver Supported Formats: Zip, RAR (including v5), 7-zip, Tar, Gzip, Bzip2, StuffIt, DiskDoubler, LZH, ARJ, ARC, .EXE, ISO and BIN.
The Unarchiver is the one and only app you need to access various files on Mac. Kindly follow the instructions given below to open a RAR File on Mac using The Unarchiver App.
- Download “The Unarchiver” App from Apple Mac App Store.
- Install “The Unarchiver” App and Restart your Mac System.
- Select the RAR File and choose “Open with The Unarchiver” option.
- Extract all the files to the same folder or your desired folder.
- Your RAR File is now open on Mac, just go to relevant folder to view all extracted files.
02. iZip Unarchiver – RAR, 7Z, ZIP Decompressor
Mac File System Format
iZip Unarchiver is the fastest and most effective app to open RAR Files. You can download the iZip Unarchiver App on your Mac with OS X 10.7 or later. The iZip Unarchiver App is not just limited to extract RAR Files. It can open and extract RAR, ZIP and many other file formats. It also supports drag and drop feature. The iZip Unarchiver will extract the RAR File as you drag and drop it on the App.
iZip Unarchiver Supported Formats: RAR, ZIP, TAR, 7Z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, WIM, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DEB, DMG, FAT, HFS, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, VHD, WIM, XAR and Z.
Format File For Mac Windows 10
You need to check below steps to Open RAR File on Mac with iZip Unarchiver.
- Download and Install “iZip Unarchiver” App from Mac App Store.
- Select the RAR File and click on “Open with iZip Unarchiver” option.
- You can also drag and drop the RAR File on iZip Unarchiver App.
- Select Folder to extract files and folders from RAR File.
- Wait till the Extract Process gets over.
- Open the Folder to see all extracted file from your RAR File.
03. RAR Extractor Lite
RAR Extractor Lite is a small size and simple app for opening RAR Files. It is compatible on all Mac computers with OS X 10.7 or later. With help of RAR Extractor Lite App, you can open RAR, ZIP, TAR, GZ, BZ2 and 7Z files. It also supports batch extracting operation. It means you can extract multiple RAR Files at a time. The RAR Extractor Lite can also open Password Protected RAR Files. But you must know the password to access such RAR Files on your Mac.
RAR Extractor Lite Supported Formats: RAR, TAR, ZIP, 7Z, GZ and BZ2.
Please go through the below instructions to open RAR File on Mac with RAR Extractor Lite.
- Download and Install “RAR Extractor Lite” from Mac App Store.
- Select the RAR File and choose the option “Open with RAR Extractor Lite.”
- Extract all files of RAR File to the same folder.
- Open that folder to view all extracted files.
04. Extractor – Unarchive Files
Extractor is the simplest and most efficient app to unarchive compressed files. It is capable to extract variety of archive files in the blink of an eye. The Extractor App can open RAR, ZIP, GZIP, TAR and 7Z Files. It is designed for batch extracting operation and drag & drop feature. You will get notification every time the RAR File Extracting Process is over. Please note that the Extractor App is compatible with Mac OS X 10.8 or later.
Extractor Supported File Formats: RAR, TAR, GZIP, 7Z and ZIP.
You can open and extract RAR File on Mac through below mentioned steps.
- Download and Install “Extractor – Unarchive Files” App from Mac App Store.
- Select your desired RAR File and open it with Extractor App.
- Extract the files and folders from RAR File to your desired folder.
- Wait till you get the notification that extraction process is complete.
- Open the folder to view all extracted files from that RAR File.
05. UnRAR Free
UnRAR Free is a lightweight utility app to open RAR Files on Mac. The UnRAR App is free for all users for lifetime, it does not offer any in-app purchases. This app can open various compressed files like ZIP, TAR, SIT, 7Z and RAR. The UnRAR App also allows you to compress the extracted files. So you can Unpack and Pack the RAR File easily on your Mac with UnRAR Free App.
UnRAR Free Supported File Formats: StuffIt (SIT), RAR, ZIP, TAR and 7Z.
You need to check the following steps to open RAR File on Mac using UnRAR Free App.
- Download and Install “UnRAR Free” App from Mac App Store.
- Select your desired RAR File and choose to Open with UnRAR Free App option.
- Select Unpack button to extract files and folders from RAR File.
- You can see the extracted files as soon as the Unpacking Process is over.
- You can again compress those files by clicking on Pack button and Create another RAR File.
All the information given above about How to Open RAR File on Mac is true and fair. All the apps mentioned above are free and safe to download from Mac App Store. In case you have more queries regarding How to Open RAR File and Create RAR File on Mac, you should contact the Apple Helpline Number at 1-800-MY-APPLE (800-692-7753) or visit Apple Support Website at support.apple.com.