Hard Drive For Mac External

For those who chose a MacBook over an ordinary laptop must be short for some storage space, right? Well, upgrading storage space through apple is as costly as purchasing a new laptop. In this case, an external hard drive is less expensive and beneficial for storage requirements.

You can switch your external hard drive from a Mac to a pc which makes data transfer for two different OS easier. Furthermore, external hard disks are less likely to get corrupted and are portable in nature.

Macbooks generally have SSDs which are capable of loading a program quickly but more likely to low on storage.

Furthermore, SSDs are quite costly and upgrading an SSD on a Macbook is definitely costlier than you could even imagine. An external hard drive is best for storing data such as photos, videos, movies, rendered projects and more.


  • 1 10 Best External Hard Drives for MacBook in 2020
    • 1.3 3. Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)
    • 1.4 4. Western Digital My Book (8 TB)
    • 1.5 5. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt
    • 1.6 6. G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)
    • 1.7 7. Adata SD700 External SSD
    • 1.8 8. LaCie Rugged USB-C
    • 1.9 9. Samsung X5 (1TB)
    • 1.10 10. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC external hard drive
  • 2 What things to consider while buying External Hard Drive For Mac?
  • 3 External Hard Drive Vs SSD: Which one is good for MacBook Pro?

Discover the world of external hard drives for Mac. Compare portable, USB and external hard drive models for office and home and shop online. To find your best external hard drive for Mac, you’ll want to decide how quickly you want to save and retrieve data. Consider how you’ll be saving and transferring files, such as photos, videos, files from tablets, files from PC laptops, or photos from top-rated cell phones.Drive speed is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm), based on how fast the drive can spin.

10 Best External Hard Drives for MacBook in 2020

Although choosing an external hard drive is a complicated process but we have made a list of 10 best external hard drives for Mac that you should consider before your final decision.

1. Samsung Portable SSD T5

Starting off Samsung Portable SSD T5 which is an outstanding storage device, it can reach up to a speed of 550 MB per second for data transfer which is amazing. You can directly plug it into a USB-C port or USB-A port.

External hard drive for mac walmart

It contains no moving parts therefore chances of getting damaged due to mishandling are less. Even though SSD is costlier than a hard drive, the speed it offers is commendable. You will notice a significant boost in the overall performance while doing stuff that requires you to load large files and programs.

Overall, the SSD is fantastic but only if you can spare a few more bucks than your actual budget. You can get the SSD ranging from 250 GB to 2 TB from Amazon with some additional discounts.

2. Western Digital My Passport 4TB external hard drive

Western Digital My Passport 4TB external hard drive is the newest generation of external hard disks and is available in capacities from 1 TB to up to 4 TB. It offers cloud storage and 256-AES encryption alongside WD’s software for backups.

The data transfer speeds won’t disappoint you and the drive offers speed similar to what an SSD provides. If you are looking for a drive with good data transfer rate and maximum storage, consider Western Digital My Passport 4TB as a choice.

3. Seagate Backup Plus Slim (2 TB)

If you are looking for a reliable, portable, and affordable hard disk, Seagate backup plus slim is the thing you should have a look at. It supports Windows and Mac both and perfect for storing your essential data right away.

With the Seagate dashboard backup system, you can schedule backups and never lose your important files anymore. Backup automation can be set for daily, monthly, weekly or your desired time-frequency.

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Alongside, Seagate also provides a two-month membership for adobe creative cloud photography plan and a one-year subscription to Mylio create to manage your photo library.

  • Affordable price
  • Metal body
  • Supports USB 3.0
  • Comes with an automation backup software
  • Doesn’t support USB 3.0 cables

4. Western Digital My Book (8 TB)

This Hard disk is probably for creators and organizations that require a lot of storage for various purposes. Faster data transmission rate will let you transfer data in the meantime, all thanks to USB 3.0 support.

It also offers 256 AES encryption for securing your data and makes sure your personal data is secured in the storage device. Even though it meets the requirements of a regular user, the only thing where Western Digital My Book (8 TB) lacks is portability.

Therefore, if you are looking for a hard disk for work purposes and if portability is not an issue, Western Digital My Book (8 TB) is definitely the right choice.

Large External Hard Drive For Mac

  • High storage
  • Data encryption
  • Compatible with the time machine
  • Requires power source to work
  • Not portable

5. Buffalo MiniStation Thunderbolt

Buffalo MiniStation thunderbolt offers data transmission at a speed of twice of what USB 3.0 offers. You can enjoy this feature if your device has a thunderbolt port. Another good thing about Buffalo MiniStation thunderbolt is its price. It is affordable and portable.

  • Also Check: 10 Best Cooling Pads For MacBook Pro Reviewed

However, it is a hard drive, not a solid-state, therefore, the data transmission will definitely be high but the overall performance of your pc will remain unchanged. Lastly, if you don’t have a thunderbolt port in your pc, you can use the traditional USB 3.0 port.

  • USB 3.0 port
  • Affordable
  • Formatted for Mac
  • Not a Solid State drive

6. G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB)

With the new products, Apple is on its way to completely shift to USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 ports but there are still some people who are using old hardware and for them, G-Technology G-DRIVE USB 3.0 (4TB) is going to work like a charm.

The body of the HDD is made up of metal which makes it durable and strong against accidents such as dropping off the drive on the floor or whatnot. It runs at a speed of 7200 RPM and can transfer data at a rate of 195 MB/s which is efficient for transferring music, videos and software.

  • Metallic body for durability
  • High data transmission rate
  • USB 3.0
  • Should be reformatted for Windows OS

7. Adata SD700 External SSD

Adata SD700 is an affordable External SSD which is IP68 rated which certainly makes it a water-resistant storage device. The overall performance of this SSD is commendable and as per our research, Adata SD700 External SSD is the only SSD with an IP68 rating.

You can expect faster transfer rates and better booting speed if you are planning to install an OS on the SSD. Don’t worry about the storage space as it is available in 1 TB capacity also. The maximum read and write speed is up to 440 MB/S, all thanks to the USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface.

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Shock resistant
  • Supports Android, Mac, and Windows
  • 3 years of Warranty
  • Mac users must format it to FAT32 to use this product

8. LaCie Rugged USB-C

Lacie rugged USB-C hard disk can be distinguished easily because of its unique rubber casing that makes sure your hard drive doesn’t get damaged when it drops from up to 1.3 m height. It can withstand rain, dust and can even survive 1-ton pressure. This is certainly the best choice for content creators.

Alongside hard disk, you will also get access to a one-month subscription to Adobe creative cloud all apps plan. The company also provides 3 years of warranty for the device and will also help you to restore the data if lost.

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In terms of speed, Lacie rugged USB-C hard disk is not very fast as it provides only 120 MB/s which is comparatively lesser than the HDDs mentioned in this listicle. However, there are various variants available for this hard disk on Amazon.

  • Durability
  • Affordable
  • Resistant to water
  • Lesser data transmission speed

9. Samsung X5 (1TB)

Samsung never disappoints with its amazing hardware capabilities. With Samsung X5, you can transfer data at a rate of 2,300 MB/s which is the fastest speed an SSD can provide you. The build quality is super amazing as it is made up of metal, making it stronger than storage disks that are made up of plastic bodies.

The shock-resistant capability can save up your drive from a fall of 2 meters. Alongside this, it comes with Thunderbolt 3 technology that is ideal for faster data transfer of up to 40 GB per second which is unbelievable. You can take full advantage of this SSD on your MacBook or Macbook pro without having to format anything.

  • High data transmission rate
  • Supports thunderbolt 3
  • Shock-resistant up to 2 meters
  • Heats up really quick
  • Comparatively expensive than the other disks

10. Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC external hard drive

In terms of flexibility, Buffalo MiniStation Extreme NFC external hard drive is really good as it supports both Mac and windows out of the box. The disk doesn’t get damaged due to dust and water which is again a positive point.

It encrypts the user data at 256 bit AES security which additionally makes everything on the drive, secure. Overall, it is a great drive for Mac owners as well as windows owners too.

  • Secure for handling user data
  • Protects from water and dust
  • Low-speed data transfer

What things to consider while buying External Hard Drive For Mac?

So those were some of the best external hard disk drive solutions for Mac. However, you must be confused about which external HDD to choose. But not to worry, let me just point some of the key factors that you need to consider while buying an external hard drive:

1. Storage

One of the first and the most important thing that you need to consider is the storage space of your external HDD. As you already know that Macbook does not come with a huge space. Hence, you better choose something which offers you enough space to store all your files.

For many users, 1 TB of space should be good enough. But if you need to store a huge number of files and save them for a longer period of time, then getting 2TB of HDD would be an ideal choice.

Apart from 1TB and 2TB of storage options, you can also consider getting huge storage options like 4TB. But for a day to day work, 4TB of HDD does not help much. Also, they are quite expensive.

2. Transfer speed

After the storing capacity, transfer speed is the second most important thing that you have to consider. You don’t want to get an external hard disk drive for Mac, which takes too long to copy files. Instead, you need something that can get the job done as quickly as possible.

So the first thing that you must do is avoid USB 2.0 powered external HDD. As they are outdated and not fast enough. Instead, you should get an external HDD with USB 3.0, 3.1 Gen 1 or USB 3.2 Gen 1. All of these are capable of offering an exceptional transfer speed. On the other hand, I would like to recoomend you to buy the best external SSD for Mac that offers good transfer speed.

3. Compatibility

The next thing you need to check its compatibility. External HDD formatted for Windows 10 may have connectivity issues with Mac OS and vise versa. So since you are using a Mac powered machine, I would recommend you to get an external HDD with Mac OS compatibility.

Although there is no need to focus on the compatibility part way too much. Since you can always format your external HDD using a Windows Computer with exFat Format. So you can easily use the HDD with your Macbook. But yes, if you get a pre compatible external hard disk drive then it saves you from extra work and headaches that you have to face.


4. Security

If you are someone who takes security really seriously, then you must look for security features. Most of the manufacturers do ship security software and backup software. So you can easily encrypt your drive or take a backup of it. Even, if you don’t consider encryption feature, backup feature is something that you must and should consider.

Even to make sure your HDD stays safe, they use strong casing from physical damage. So you can consider getting such external hard disk drives that save you from every side.

External Hard Drive Vs SSD: Which one is good for MacBook Pro?

Whenever it comes to a primary storage solution for computers, HDD and SSD’s are the only solutions we have. However, in the last couple of years, the usage of HDD has dropped drastically, and people are not moving to SSD’s for better performance.

But there are quite a lot of users who are still unaware of the difference between a hard disk drive and a solid state drive or SSD.

However, not to worry, let me just draw a quick difference between both and help you to understand better.

1. Storage Capacity

HDD’s are a great option if you want something for storage. HDD’s are available in a wide range of storage capacities like from 500GB to 12 TB. Even, for enterprise uses, you will find a large capacity of HDDs.

SSDs are also available with large capacities. However, when it comes to the costing of an SSD and an HDD, SSDs are quite expensive. Hence, if your main goal is to store huge amount of data, HDD is an ideal choice.

2. Speed

Good External Hard Drive For Mac

Whenever it comes to speed, SSDs are a better option. Since a hard disk drive uses a round plate with a layer of magnetic material. And the data is stored on this magnetic layer only. So the disk spins and the magnetic head is used for reading and writing data.

Also, the speed that the disk spins is measured in RPM. And on an average, an HDD has about 5,400 RPM, and it will have a read/write speeds of around 100 MB/s.

However, when it comes to SSD’s, there are no moving parts. As a result, it offers you a much faster data transfer rate. On average, it offers you around 550 MB/s and 520 MB/s of data transfer rate.

3. Reliability & Durability

There are quite a lot of factors that determine the lifespan of drivers. However, you should know that an SSD can sustain a limited number of write cycles compared to HDD which has no read/write limits.

But you should know that SSD has a write cycle limit between 3000 and 10,000 which is a high number. So it would not be a problem for you.

Also, SSD’s are lesser affected by any sort of damages compared to HDD. Since there are no moving parts in SSD, they tend to survive more. While HDD’s might stop working if it encounters any physical damage.

3. Cost

Finally, let’s talk about pricing. Well, if you look at the cost of both HDD and SSD, you would happily pick up an HDD. Why? Because SSD’s are expensive. When you choose an HDD, you will get a large amount of capacity for a lesser price. But on the other hand, if you choose an SSD, it would cost you 3-5x of an HDD price.

In the end, the conclusion is HDD’s are a better option when it comes to storing data. Of course, SSD’s are faster and more reliable. But they do come with a high price. But on the other hand, if you take care of your HDD in a good manner, it will offer you great performance for years.

Hard Drive For Mac External Hard Drive

Wrapping it up:

So, these were the 10 best external hard drives for Macbook Air and Pro. Every disk mentioned in this article has its own pros and cons, we have tried our best to list out the good and bad in every product. For Mac users, external SSD can be really helpful for storing content and transferring it to a different place.


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Sep 27,2020 • Filed to: Hard Drive Recovery • Proven solutions

'How to format an external hard drive Mac? What format system to use when reformatting my storage drive for a Mac?'

This is a frequent question asked by first-time, as well as the not-so-tech-savvy, macOS users. Learning how to format an external hard drive Mac is essential. Because saving all your data on the Cloud is nice and all, but physical storage is still popular. Especially if you don't have a stable internet connection or if most of your files are large.

Luckily, you don't have to learn rocket science to be able to format an external hard drive for Mac or PC. The operation is pretty straightforward. When it comes to your iOS device, we have listed two methods for you, read below and explore more.

Part 1: What Is the Best Format for External Hard Drive Mac?

The first step to formatting your external drive for a Mac computer is choosing the right format. There are four possible choices:

  • APFS (Apple File System)
  • HFS+ (Mac OS Extended)
  • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
  • FAT (MS-DOS)

To understand which is the best for you, let's have a comprehensive overview of each of them.

1. Apple File System

The APFS was first introduced in 2017 as a replacement for the HFS+. Nowadays, all new Macs come with the operating system preinstalled on APFS, as this system is optimized for use with SSD and flash storage drives. However, it still works with traditional HDD drives too.

Hard Drive For Mac External

This is the best format to pick if you have an external SSD or USB flash drive that you don't intend to use with a Windows device.

The biggest strength of this system is the speed, as well as the encryption and metadata handling. However, you won't be able to use this system with Time Machine.

2. Mac OS Extended

The HFS+, or Hierarchical File System plus on its real name, was the main file system used for Mac until 2017.

This type of file system is suitable to use with both HDD and SDD drives, but the latter will perform slightly better with the APFS mentioned above. If you have an older Mac, though, choosing the HFS+ is your best bet.

In general, all external drives formatted to HFS+ work nicely with older Mac versions but are incompatible with Windows.

3. Extended File Allocation Table

Designed by Microsoft, the exFAT is a good choice if you plan to use the external hard drive with both macOS and Windows systems. Yet, you won't get top performance on either. This choice is more appropriate for USB flash drives, although you can still use it for SDD and HDD units too.

The main issue with exFAT is that your drive will be more prone to fragmentation when used with Apple devices and is less stable than NTFS on Windows. If you really have to share the drive between Mac and Windows machines, that's your best option though.


Macs also support FAT32 drives, marked as FAT in Disk Utility. This format should be avoided at all costs unless you're dealing with a really old Windows computer, which you really have to use in parallel with your Mac system.

Hard Drive For Mac External

Typically, there is no reason to choose this option unless you're planning to use the external hard drive on a Windows XP or earlier machine.

Part 2: How to Format an External Hard Drive Mac?

Now that you know which format to choose, it's time to learn how to format an external hard drive for Mac. There are essentially two methods, with Disk Utility or Time Machine function.

Note: If you plan to format an older external drive, perhaps one you used with another device, make sure to backup all data before proceeding. Formatting is a permanent procedure that can't be reversed. While there are data recovery software you can use if you lost data, it is always better to prevent.

That said, here's how to format an external hard drive Mac:

Method 1: Format Mac Hard Drive with Disk Utility

Disk Utility is a utility application proprietary to macOS that is used to both format and manage internal and external disks. Here's how to use it:

Step 1 Connect the external hard drive you want to format to your Mac, then start the Disk Utility app that you can find under Applications -> Utilities.

Step 2 On the left side of the Utilities screen, find the name of the external hard drive you want to format and select it. Then, on the top side under the Disk Utility, click on the Erase button.

Step 3 Follow the on-screen prompts to select the desired file system and allow the drive to format. That's it! After the process is complete, you can either start using the drive or choose to create partitions on it.

Method 2: Format Mac Hard Drive with Time Machine

Formatting an external hard drive with Time Machine is as easy as formatting it with Disk Utility. Time Machine, however, gives you the possibility to create an automatic backup of the data on your hard drive before formatting it.

Before you proceed, therefore, you should first set up the external drive to use with Time Machine. To do this, open System Preferences and select Time Machine after you've connected the external drive to your Mac.

Now, click on Select Disk and select the desired drive from the list. Click on the Use Disk button. At this point, the system will run an automatic backup two minutes after you've clicked on the Use Disk button, or you can proceed with the formatting if the hard disk is empty.

To format an external hard drive for Mac with Time Machine, you must follow the steps below.

Step 1 Open Finder, Applications, then go to Utilities and Disk Utility.

Step 2 Follow the steps above to format the drive, and then you can use it with Time Machine on your Mac system.

Part 3: Bonus Tip – Data Recovery from Formatted Hard Drive on Mac

Sometimes, it may happen that you accidentally formatted an external hard drive containing important data. Whether it's your wedding pictures or your bachelor's degree thesis, chances are you want to get that data back as quickly as possible.

If you have a newer version of Mac, you can use the Apple Time Machine to recover your canceled files, or you could choose to use external software, such as Recoverit Data Recovery.

1. Recover Data with Apple Time Machine

In the former hypothesis, you can try to recover your data with the Time Machine. This app is Apple's backup feature present on the newer systems. If you followed the steps above before formatting the hard drive with Time Machine and allowed the app to execute the backup, then there are high chances that you can recover any lost data without too much hassle.

To do so, just launch the Time Machine and browse through the folders to see if it has saved the files you require.

For easier browsing, you can use the time stamp feature on the right side of the screen and select the date or time when you executed the backup. Once you found the files, simply click on Restore to get them back.

2. Recover Data with Recoverit Data Recovery

External Hard Drive For Mac Not Showing Up

If you didn't use the Time Machine function or couldn't find the files you need, you can try to recover any lost files with trusted third-party software, such as Recoverit - Data Recovery.

Recoverit (IS)

A Life Saver to Solve Your Data Loss Problems!

  • It allows you to recover unlimited lost or deleted files from your Mac device, including photo, video, and audio data, document files, and more.
  • It supports all types of Mac files irrespective of their extension.
  • Compatible with both internal and external drives, USB pens, memory cards, and other hardware, so you can rest assured it will retrieve your data if it's there.
  • Retrieve data from accidentally deleted files, lost or formatted partitions, data lost due to virus attacks, system crashes, or data lost by the Time Machine.
  • It is free to download and supports all leading macOS versions, including the 10.14 release.
3,165,867 people have downloaded it

This system is also very easy to use, in just three easy steps:

Step 1Install the application and choose the desired location

Download and install the software on your Mac computer, then open it and select the external hard drive, partition, or location where you want to retrieve data.

Step 2Start the scan to retrieve your lost data

Click the Start button. The software will now scan the selected drive and display all retrieved data in an easy-to-scour list.

Step 3 Preview the recovered files and save them in your chosen location

Review and select the target files, then launch the recovery process. That's it. The software will restore your lost data.

External Hard Drives For Mac Air


As you can see, how to format an external hard drive Mac is not particularly complicated. The Disk Utility allows you to format the desired drive to the desired system in a blink of an eye. Backing up the data on your drive with Time Machine also allows you to avoid the recovery hassle. If you still lost some data, you even know which software to use to recover all lost files.

Now it's your turn. Use this guide to format your unreadable external drive, download, and use the data recovery software if needed, and don't forget to share this article with your Mac-addicted friends. They might make good use of it too.

Windows External Hard Drive For Mac