Skip to content

How to Format an External Hard Drive Using my MacOS Big Sur? – Reset the System

20 de January de 2022

As we already know, there are three operating systems, which are the ones that have the most demand in the market as they come to be. Windows, Mac OS and of course Linux free software with its various presentations. They all vary with respect to the formats they use for hard drives, although the fact is that for MacOS, they cannot use Linux or Windows applications to make a connection, and be able to recognize the disk.

That is why we must know how to execute a format, which allows us to use it in this case in MacOS Big Sur, without any problem. For this it is also necessary to know how to change the permissions to an external hard drive on a Mac computer, because it may happen that if these permissions are not properly configured we could have pProblems when accessing information that it contains.

How does the disk format affect formatting on Mac?

As for the internal formats that Mac handles, there are several and some have sub-formats that have their particularities, in their characteristics we observe that some are strictly for the operating system that Apple offers us. Since only with the MacOS Plus format we can make modifications via computers Mac, this influences our freedom to use the external drive, obviously we can’t use it on other operating systems.

Now the others disk formats such as Ms-DOS (FAT) and ExFAT they are much more dynamic and accessible. Because with these we have freedoms, so that we can interact with the other operating systems that we have at hand, without many limitations or compatibility problems. This is an advantage when we need to use our external drive on other computers that are not from the Mac range.

Mac OS X Extended

In this series we can get different formats that offer us different specific characteristics, in the case of Mac OS Extended, it is not compatible with Windows operating systems. Although it does support advanced features such as Unicode, rich metadata among others.

MacOS Plus with registration and MacOS Plus uppercase and lowercase, in these cases the one with registration preserves the integrity of the disk in its volumes and the latter recognizes the uppercase and lowercase letters of the volumes, allowing you to have a more accurate view of them.

laptop on desk


This format is supported by Windows, but has limitations regarding security and storage capacity. In any case, for security reasons, we must know how to put a password on an external hard drive, since if we do this previous configuration when we use it in another operating system it will ask us for a password


In the case of this format, it is the most used, because it has the ability to be the one that is compatible with all other operating systems, without problems. In addition to being light, fast and its security is improved, that is, with this format we will have problems with our hard drive nor with the operating systems that are available to transfer information.

This format also allows multiple connections, for example if we want to connect two computers to an external hard drive with two USB inputs, we can achieve it because it has no limitations between operating systems, and we can work this way if we need it.

What is the procedure to perform hard drive formatting?

Now, to execute this formatting, we will use as an example the last format what is the most common of all ExFAT, and thus give us a concrete idea of ​​how to carry out this procedure in Big Sur. It is worth mentioning that this procedure is fast without much procedure or routes to take, Let’s see:

  • We open the location of the disk and we right click and then delete.
  • Now we will see how the formatting is carried out, in this simple and short way.
  • Then we will be shown the actions that were done. And it will be all with this simple procedure the disk will be formatted.

use your external drive in big sur

How to check if the hard drive was really formatted on your Mac?

For this we only have to locate the disk, we will see that it will only have the letter assigned automatically, and will not have any file inside it will be clean On the other hand, the default format will be set to one that is compatible with the computer it was formatted on.