Apple has allowed macOS to work with only certain file formats. If the external drive isn't formatted in Mac-compatible formats, it can create several errors like read-only, unable to mount USB drive properly, and so on.
This guide is compiled to help Mac Catalina users to find the best external hard drive file formats. Also, the post will throw light on how to format external hard drives into Mac compatible file systems.
Hierarchical File System Plus, also known as Mac OS Extended, has been the main Mac storage system since 1998. In 2017, it was replaced with APFS. But it is still one of the best formats for external hard drives on Mac Catalina.
If your external hard drive is formatted to a non-Mac compatible file format, a third-party tool is required to access the drive. However, if you are a tech-savvy Mac user going through Disk Utility, it is possible to read-write incompatible external hard drives on Mac Catalina.
NTFS is one of the most powerful, secure, and fast file systems among all the best formats for Mac external hard drives. Thus, if you wish to read-write external hard drives formatted in NTFS on your Mac Catalina, it is possible with EaseUS NTFS for Mac.
Further, NTFS is the best of the best file systems that work with both Windows and Mac. Though the NTFS is still available in read-only format for Apple devices, thanks to EaseUS NTFS for Mac, you can now easily read and write NTFS drives on Mac.
There is also an option to format the external disk from the Disk Utility, but it will erase the entire hard drive data. Therefore, the EaseUS software is the best solution to access NTFS files on Mac Catalina.
Of course, you can format the drive for both Windows and Mac. In Windows, the best format tool I recommend is EaseUS Partition Master, and in Mac, Disk Utility is a better choice to format the drive to exFAT format for both Mac and Windows.
Are you looking for what format works on both Mac and PC? If you have two different computer systems and want to copy and transfer files between them, finding a compatible file system format is necessary. Most USB formats are NTFS by default, while the common format for Mac is generally APFS. Next, let's explore what formats are compatible with Mac and PC.
Although there are many file systems, not each supports Mac and PC. To format without errors, we need to choose the correct format. There are three types of formats that can be used on Mac. But they have some differences, let's take a look.
The best file formats supported on Mac and Windows are exFAT and FAT32. If you want the drive to be compatible with Mac and PC, you will need to format the drive for both systems. And exFAT32 has a limit on file size, while exFAT supports maximum partitions and can also store files larger than 4GB.
By the above part, do you know what format works on both Mac and PC? Yes, the formats supported by both Mac and PC are FAT32 and exFAT. Then do you know how to format the drive to a common file system for both Mac and PC? I will provide two ways next.
Besides formatting drives easily, EaseUS Partition Master also can convert NTFS to FAT32 for Mac and PC or convert MBR to GPT. It can also adjust disk space or check disk. It is one of the best free disk managers. If you want to use other tools to format to exFAT on Windows, you can also choose Disk Management or File Explorer. And you can click the links below to see the exact steps.
In Mac, two ways to format drives can be used for both Mac and PC. I will introduce a simple method. Disk Utility is a tool for Mac that can change the file system or format internal and external drives. The steps are as follows.
With this guide, do you know what format works on Mac and PC? Both FAT32 and exFAT are good choices. FAT32 is outstanding in compatibility, but it is limited to 4GB of files. While exFAT supports partitions larger than 2TB and 4GB files. Moreover, formatting compatible drives for Mac and PC is not a difficult task. You can do it with EaseUS Partition Master on PC or use Disk Utility to format on Mac.
A file system is simply a way of organizing and storing data or files on a computer hard drive. When you format your external hard drive, your computer knows where to store, access, and manage files. It also helps your computer install software and manage its internal operations efficiently.
Hierarchical File System Plus (HFS+) was developed by Apple for Mac OS X. It was first released with macOS 8.1 in 1998, where it replaced HFS as the default file system for Macs. In 2017, however, it was replaced by APFS (Apple File System). Also known as macOS Extended, HFS+ actually has four file format subcategories.
If you want to format your external hard drive to work with Mac and Windows computers, you should use exFAT. With exFAT, you can store files of any size, and use it with any computer made in the last 20 years.
The file format standard you use for your external drive will depend on how you plan on using the drive. But before I can dig into what makes sense when, look over this quick rundown of the different standards and which OS each one is compatible with.
If you keep your hard drive's out-of-the-box NTFS format, you'll be able to read the drive when it's connected to a Mac, but you won't be able to write to it. In other words, you can look at files saved on the drive, but you can't save any new files from your Mac. In order to enable read/write access, you'll need to purchase a third-party solution such as Paragon NTFS. It's $20, and is compatible with all Macs, even the more recently announced M1 Macs.
On your M1 Mac you have the choice to format your external hard drive. Or SSD drive as Mac OS Extended. And the best choice if you plan to share your drive with a Mac running Sierra or an older Mac operating system.
You can use APFS formatting to make an external drive bootable. So, you can boot your Mac from an APFS drive if you want. Or you can use an APFS format external drive to hold your files. Photos, spreadsheets, music, movies anything you like.
Please note that APFS can only be read by Macs running macOS High Sierra or later. If you intend to use your external drive to move files between Macs running different OS versions, it is recommended that you format your drive in HFS+ instead.
* When you are using Windows 7 running on a virtual machine (VM), the QuickTime Player is required to be installed for playing MP4 video files. (Read Download QuickTime for Windows, on the Apple site, for more information.)
Certain older video file formats may not compress or export properly in Office on a Windows RT PC. Instead, use modern media formats such as H.264 and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), which PowerPoint 2013 RT supports. PowerPoint 2010 supports the AAC format if the correct codec (such as ffDShow) is installed. Want to see what version of Office you're using?
Windows Media files (.wmv, .wma) aren't supported on PowerPoint for macOS. There are a number of third- party tools for Mac that can convert your .wmv or .wma file to one of the supported formats listed above.
Once you have a converted media file in a suitable format with the correct encoding, go back to the PowerPoint slide where you want to insert your video or audio file. On the Insert tab of the ribbon, click Audio or Video. (For complete details about inserting the media file, see Insert and play a video file from your computer or Add audio to your slides.)
The GIF file format is limited to supporting 256 colors. Therefore, it is more effective for scanned images such as illustrations. GIF can also be good for line drawings, black and white images, and small text that is only several pixels high. GIF also supports animation.
PNG was approved as a standard by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to replace GIF. PNG does not support animation as GIF does, and some older browsers do not support this file format. PNG supports transparent backgrounds.
A presentation outline as a text-only document that provides smaller file sizes and the ability to share macro-free files with others who may not have the same version of PowerPoint or the operating system that you have. Any text in the notes pane is not saved with this file format.
You can save PowerPoint files so they can be opened in presentation applications that use the OpenDocument Presentation format, such as Google Docs and OpenOffice.org Impress. You can also open presentations in the .odp format in PowerPoint. Some information might be lost when saving and opening .odp files.
The GIF file format is limited to supporting 256 colors. Therefore, it is more effective for scanned images such as illustrations. GIF can also be good for line drawings, black and white images, and small text that is only several pixels high. GIF supports animation and transparent backgrounds.
The overwhelming majority of USB flash drives you buy are going to come in one of two formats: FAT32 or NTFS. The first format, FAT32, is fully compatible with Mac OS X, though with some drawbacks that we'll discuss later. If the drive comes formatted in NTFS, which is the default file system for Windows, you're going to want to re-format the drive because Mac OS X can't write files to NTFS-formatted volumes (at least not without a bunch of extra work that's beyond the scope of this article). 2b1af7f3a8