How To Erase, Change Format Of USB / External Hard Drive In Mac OS X


Here's how you can erase and change format of an external hard drive or USB stick on Mac OS X.

Disk Utility

Completely erasing a disk drive / formatting it is a rather easy task to pull off on OS X, but for a lot of users, it can be a rather daunting routine to follow. But don't fret, we're here to help and we will thoroughly guide you through the process, making sure you get everything right in the first go.

Erase, Change Format Of USB / External Hard Drive In Mac OS X

1. First of all, you need to launch the 'Disk Utility' app on your Mac. In order to do this, simply bring up Spotlight search using the Command + Spacebar key combination and type in 'Disk Utility.'

2. With your USB or hard drive connected to your Mac, you'll see your disk on the left hand side of Disk Utility.

3. Click on the disk you wish to erase / format, and then click on the 'Erase' tab on the top right hand side.

4. Click on the 'Format' drop-down menu and select the format you wish to go for. If you're planning to use the drive with your Mac only, then choose 'Mac OS Extended (Journaled).' If you plan to use your drive with both Windows and a Mac as well, then opt for 'MS DOS (FAT).'

5. Set the 'Name' of the device, if you so wish.

6. Now click on the 'Erase' button on the bottom right. Confirm your action by clicking on the 'Erase' button once again, as shown in the screenshot below.

Note: if you're planning on selling or giving away your hard drive then you would want to click on the 'Security Options' button first and set the level of security in order to prevent disk recovery by someone else, keeping your data as secure as possible in return.

And that's it, you're done. After a few seconds, or minutes, depending on the size of your disk or the level of security you've selected, your drive will be wiped clean and ready to be used again in a brand new fashion.

If you just switched to a Mac from any other operating system, then knowing how to erase / format your device should be at your fingertips. And if you were able to follow the above steps in one go, then you've already become a Disk Utility master!

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