8/18/2021
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Microsoft NTFS is one of the primary Windows file systems. If you work on a Mac computer and need to read or write files from HDD, SSD or a flash drive formatted under Windows, you need Microsoft NTFS for Mac by Paragon Software. Write, edit, copy, move and delete files on.

  • To start with, connect your external device to your Mac and make sure it gets detected by your.
  • Format the External Drive to FAT32. This method is not very coinvent. Not at least for me.

Sep 28, 2020 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

'How to format MacBook Pro and reset all the partitions? I'm planning to resell my notebook, but don't know how to reformat Mac as of now.'

This is a recent query posted by a Mac user on a leading forum about formatting a MacBook Pro. Just like this, thousands of other people also encounter a similar situation as well. It doesn't matter if you wish to troubleshoot a disk problem or would like to resell your system – you might wish to format MacBook due to different reasons. The good news is that Mac provides a seamless solution to format its internal drive and even an external data source. In this guide, we will let you know how to format MacBook in every possible way and how to recover data from the formatted MacBook.

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Part 1. Common Scenarios for Formatting Mac

Before we discuss how to format HDD/NTFS on Mac, it is important to cover the basics. Ideally, there could be different reasons and scenarios for formatting Mac's storage. Some of them could be as follows:

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  • You might be reselling your Mac and by formatting it, you can get rid of all the unwanted data.
  • Your Mac might be running low on free space and formatting it will help you reclaim tons of available storage on Mac.
  • If a partition or storage unit has been infected by malware, then you can get rid of it by formatting it entirely.
  • It can help you troubleshoot a problem with your Mac's disk or any external device.
  • You can also defragment the disk and get back some free space on it this way.
  • By reformatting a drive, you can manage the partitions and the entire storage as well.

How to Format MacBook Completely?

To make it easier for users to format MacBook entirely, Apple has come up with an inbuilt tool – Disk Utility. Using it, you can erase a partition or format the entire hard drive. Apart from that, it can also help you manage the partitions or repair a broken disk. To learn how to format Mac entirely, follow these simple steps:

  1. If your Mac is already functioning, then just go to its Finder > Applications > Utility and launch the Disk Utility application. If not, then you need to boot it in the recovery mode instead.
  2. As the Disk Utility window will open, you can view all kinds of operations to perform. On the left panel, a list of all the connected devices and Mac's internal storage is displayed. Just select the root directory of your Mac's hard drive (like Macintosh HD or Fusion HD).
  3. Click on the 'Erase' button on the toolbar to get the following window. Here, you can change the scheme and file format of the drive as per your choice. Some commonly supported file formats are APFS, exFAT, FAT 32, HFS, etc.
  4. In the end, just click on the 'Erase' button and confirm your choice as the application would entirely wipe Mac's hard drive.
  5. Furthermore, if you wish to completely reset your system, then you can choose to reinstall the macOS on it as well. To do this, restart your Mac and hold the Command + R keys to boot it in the Recovery Mode.
  6. As the macOS Utility window will open, click on the 'Reinstall macOS' option and follow the simple on-screen instructions to install the latest macOS version on your system.

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How to Format NTFS on Mac

NTFS is a commonly used file format for Windows systems and external devices. The format is not used for the internal hard drives in Mac. Thus, if you wish to format NTFS on Mac, then you must be using an external storage unit. For instance, you might wish to format as SD card, pen drive, external hard disk, etc. with an existing NTFS format.

Also, you should know that while Mac can format the source, it will change its file format in the end. Some of the supported file systems in Mac are exFAT, FAT, and HFS+. Therefore, you should follow these steps to learn how to format NTFS on Mac if you are ready to take this risk.

  1. To start with, connect your external device to your Mac and make sure it gets detected by your system.
  2. Now, launch Disk Utility by visiting the Applications section on your Mac. From the left sidebar, select the device. It would be listed under the 'External' section.
  3. Afterward, click on the 'Erase' button to format NTFS on Mac. As the following pop-up would appear, you can click on the 'Format' section to select a supporting format. From the list, exFAT is the most compatible choice.
  4. When you are ready, click on the 'Erase' button again and confirm your choice as Disk Utility would format the connected source.

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If you want the target file format of the storage unit to be NTFS, then consider using a third-party tool instead (like Tuxera or OSxFuse).

How to Format HDD on Mac

Ideally, hard drives can either be of two types – HDD (Hard Disk Drives) or SDD (Solid State Drives). With the advancement in time, most of the systems use HDD these days. Since Mac also supports HDD, you can easily take its assistance to format a hard drive as well. Once you have erased the existing data, you can get rid of its partitions as well to completely wipe it. Here's how to reformat Mac HDD without using a third-party tool.

  1. Simply go to Finder > Applications > Utility and launch Disk Utility from here. Also, make sure that the HDD is well-connected and functioning beforehand.
  2. Select the connected HDD from the sidebar, click on the 'Erase' option, and once again confirm your choice. You can alter the disk format and scheme if you want to.
  3. Once it is formatted, you can get rid of its partitions as well. To do this, select the disk again and click on the 'Partition' option from the toolbar.
  4. A visual representation of the storage unit will be displayed. You can just drag to resize the volume of the disk or enter its numeric value as well. To remove a partition, just click on the minus '–' sign or the '+' sign to add a partition.

That's it! In this way, you can format MacBook's HDD and easily manage its partition as well.

How to Perform Mac Data Recovery After Format

As you know, when we format a hard drive or a partition, all the existing data in it is deleted by Mac. Sometimes, users end up formatting a hard drive by mistake or forget to take a backup of their important files beforehand. If you have lost your important files in the process, then take the assistance of Recoverit Data Recovery. Developed by Wondershare, the brand has recently released the latest update of the tool – Recoverit 8.0. Now, users can get back all kinds of lost or deleted content in less time using this remarkable data recovery tool for Mac. Here are some of the major features of Recoverit 8.0 that you should note.

  • Recoverit 8.0 is the latest update of the tool that provides faster and better data recovery results for Mac and Windows.
  • It supports the recovery of more than 1000 different kinds of content, including photos, videos, audios, and documents of numerous extensions.
  • The application will let you preview the recovered data so that you can save the files of your choice.
  • It performs excellent results in every data loss scenario like accidental deletion, formatted disk, lost partition, virus attack, and so on.
  • Apart from performing data recovery on Mac's internal storage, you can do the same on any external device (like SD card, pen drive, etc.) as well.

If you want, you can even try its basic version for free (it has a restricted data limit) and can later be upgraded to a premium version. Once you have installed Recoverit Data Recovery on your Mac, just follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Select a Location

Whenever you wish to recover files after format, simply launch the Recoverit application on your Mac. In case if you wish to recover data from an external drive, then connect it to your system beforehand. From the home of Recoverit 8.0, you can just pick a location to scan – a partition, external source, or the entire disk. If you want, you can browse to a particular folder to scan as well.

Step 2: Scan the Location

Once you select a source and click on the 'Start' button, Recoverit will extract all sorts of lost or inaccessible content from it. Simply wait for a while and try not to tamper with the process in between. An on-screen indicator will let you know the progress of the recovery process.

Step 3: Preview and Recover

When the recovery process is completed, Recoverit will automatically display the extracted data into different categories. You can even go to the search option to look for specific content as well. In the end, you can just select the files of your choice and click on the 'Recover' button to save them.

Tips for Formatting Mac and do Mac Recovery

By following the listed guide, anyone can learn how to format HDD on Mac and wipe its data entirely. Apart from that, you can also follow these suggestions for getting better results.

  • Since formatting will erase all the saved data on your Mac, make sure that you have taken a prior backup of your important files.
  • Choose the format for the disk wisely. Some formats like APFS or HFS+ are native to Mac and might not work on other systems. To get better compatibility, go for FAT or exFAT instead.
  • Just like formats, the scheme of the disk is also important. The GUID Partition Map is mostly recommended as it works with all the Intel-based computers.
  • Sometimes, formatting a disk is not enough. If you want to manage your disk, then consider deleting the existing partitions on it and reinstall macOS to reset it entirely.
  • Always keep a reliable data recovery tool (like Recoverit 8.0) handy. In case if you end up deleting something accidentally, then a recovery tool will help you get your important files back easily.

Conclusion

There you go! Now when you know how to format Mac entirely or a particular disk, you can easily make the most of your Mac storage. Since Disk Utility offers tons of features, it will certainly let you format NTFS or HDD on Mac. It can also help you repair a damaged disk as well. Also, if you never want to suffer from an unexpected loss or deletion of data, then use a reliable data recovery tool like Recoverit 8.0. The latest update of the tool is equipped with numerous high-end features and is available for free for Mac and Windows users to try.

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Erasing your disk: For most reasons to erase, including when reformatting a disk or selling, giving away, or trading in your Mac, you should erase your entire disk.

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Erasing a volume on your disk: In other cases, such as when your disk contains multiple volumes (or partitions) and you don't want to erase them all, you can erase specific volumes on the disk.

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Erasing a disk or volume permanently deletes all of its files. Before continuing, make sure that you have a backup of any files that you want to keep.

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How to erase your disk

  1. Start up from macOS Recovery. Then select Disk Utility from the Utilities window and click Continue.
    If you're not erasing the disk your Mac started up from, you don't need to start up from macOS Recovery: just open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. Choose View > Show All Devices from the menu bar in Disk Utility. The sidebar now shows your disks (devices) and any containers and volumes within them. The disk your Mac started up from is at the top of the list. In this example, Apple SSD is the startup disk:
  3. Select the disk that you want to erase. Don't see your disk?
  4. Click Erase, then complete these items:
    • Name: Type the name that you want the disk to have after you erase it.
    • Format: Choose APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default.
    • Scheme: Choose GUID Partition Map.
  5. Click Erase to begin erasing your disk and every container and volume within it. You might be asked to enter your Apple ID. Forgot your Apple ID?
  6. When done, quit Disk Utility.
  7. If you want your Mac to be able to start up from the disk you erased, reinstall macOS on the disk.

How to erase a volume on your disk

  1. Start up from macOS Recovery. Then select Disk Utility from the Utilities window and click Continue.
    If you're not erasing the volume your Mac started up from, you don't need to start up from macOS Recovery: just open Disk Utility from the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  2. In the sidebar of Disk Utility, select the volume that you want to erase. The volume your Mac started up from is named Macintosh HD, unless you changed its name. Don't see your volume?
  3. Click Erase, then complete these items:
    • Name: Type the name that you want the volume to have after you erase it.
    • Format: Choose APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Disk Utility shows a compatible format by default.
  4. If you see an Erase Volume Group button, the volume you selected is part of a volume group. In that case, you should erase the volume group. Otherwise, click Erase to erase just the selected volume. You might be asked to enter your Apple ID. Forgot your Apple ID?
  5. When done, quit Disk Utility.
  6. If you want your Mac to be able to start up from the volume you erased, reinstall macOS on that volume.
Mac

Reasons to erase

You can erase at any time, including in circumstances such as these:

  • You want to permanently erase all content from your Mac and restore it to factory settings. This is one of the final steps before selling, giving away, or trading in your Mac.
  • You're changing the format of a disk, such as from a PC format (FAT, ExFAT, or NTFS) to a Mac format (APFS or Mac OS Extended).
  • You received a message that your disk isn't readable by this computer.
  • You're trying to resolve a disk issue that Disk Utility can't repair.
  • The macOS installer doesn't see your disk or can't install on it. For example, the installer might say that your disk isn't formatted correctly, isn't using a GUID partition scheme, contains a newer version of the operating system, or can't be used to start up your computer.
  • The macOS installer says that you may not install to this volume because it is part of an Apple RAID.

About APFS and Mac OS Extended

Disk Utility in macOS High Sierra or later can erase using either the newer APFS (Apple File System) format or the older Mac OS Extended format, and it automatically chooses a compatible format for you.

How to choose between APFS and Mac OS Extended

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Disk Utility tries to detect the type of storage and show the appropriate format in the Format menu. If it can't, it chooses Mac OS Extended, which works with all versions of macOS. If you want to change the format, answer these questions:

  • Are you formatting the disk that came built into your Mac?
    If the built-in disk came APFS-formatted, Disk Utility suggests APFS. Don't change it to Mac OS Extended.
  • Are you about to install macOS High Sierra or later for the first time on the disk?
    If you need to erase your disk before installing High Sierra or later for the first time on that disk, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). During installation, the macOS installer decides whether to automatically convert to APFS—without erasing your files.
  • Are you preparing a Time Machine backup disk or bootable installer?
    Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for any disk that you plan to use as a Time Machine backup disk or as a bootable installer.
  • Will you be using the disk with another Mac?
    If the other Mac isn't using macOS High Sierra or later, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Earlier versions of macOS don't work with APFS-formatted volumes.

How to identify the format currently in use

If you want to know which format is currently in use, use any of these methods:

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  • Select the volume in the Disk Utility sidebar, then check the information shown on the right. For more detail, choose File > Get Info from the Disk Utility menu bar.
  • Open System Information and select Storage in the sidebar. The File System column on the right shows the format of each volume.
  • Select the volume in the Finder, then choose File > Get Info from the menu bar. The Get Info window shows the Format of that volume.

If your disk or volume doesn't appear, or the erase fails

  1. Shut down your Mac, then unplug all nonessential devices from your Mac.
  2. If you're erasing an external drive, make sure that it's connected directly to your Mac using a cable that you know is good. Then turn the drive off and back on.
  3. If your disk or volume still doesn't appear in Disk Utility, or Disk Utility reports that the erase process failed, your disk or Mac might need service. If you need help, please contact Apple Support.

Learn more

  • If you can't start up from macOS Recovery, you can use a different startup disk instead.
  • If Disk Utility shows a Security Options button in the Erase window, you can click that button to choose between a faster (but less secure) erase and a slower (but more secure) erase. Some older versions of Disk Utility offer the option to zero all data instead. These secure-erase options aren't offered or needed for solid-state drives (SSDs) and flash storage.
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