File system mac pc compatible

This file system is still suitable for use with both mechanical and solid state drives, though SSDs will perform better when formatted to APFS.


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If you have older Macs pre , particularly those too old to update to a recent version of macOS, choosing macOS Extended will enable you to use your external drive with these machines. FAT32 vs.

Mac OS Extended

A file system is the tool that lets an operating system read data on any hard drive. Many systems use FAT32, but is that the right one, and is there a better option? Good for: Drives shared between Mac and Windows machines, especially flash drives. Bad for: Drives that are predominantly used with a Mac a third-party driver may be worth it, in this instance.


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  • APFS: Best for Solid State and Flash Drives.
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  • This makes it unsuitable for modern purposes. You have been warned!

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    What’s the Difference Between FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS?

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    Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software

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    It's more prone to disk errors and its larger cluster sizes make its storage slightly less efficient than other format types. However, if you want to read and write files from a Windows and a Mac computer to the same external hard drive, this is usually your best option.

    If you want to format a blank external drive from a Mac computer, launch the Disk Utility, located in the Applications Utility folder. If you want to only format a portion of the hard drive, click the "Partition" button and then use the controls to select a partition size and which format you prefer.

    To open this utility, right-click the bottom-left corner of the desktop and select "Disk Management" from the menu. After you locate the drive in the list on the left, right-click its name, select "Format" and then select "FAT32" from the File System menu. To format only a part of the drive, create a new partition on the drive, right-click the drive name and select "New Simple Volume. Any partition you make that is not in FAT32 is visible from a Mac computer, but the Mac can't write to it.