The process of formatting a drive is often confused with erasing a volume. The difference is that formatting affects an entire drive, including any volumes and partitions that have been created on it, while erasing a volume affects just that volume, and doesn't destroy partition information. That being said, the version of Disk Utility included with OS X El Capitan and later actually doesn't use the word format; instead, it refers to both the formatting of a drive and the erasing of a volume with the same name: Erase.
So, while we're going to be formatting a drive, we'll use Disk Utility's Erase command. That's all there is to the basics of formatting a drive using Disk Utility. Remember, the process outlined here creates a single volume using all available space on the selected drive. Also be aware that the Format and Scheme types listed in the Erase option of Disk Utility will have changes as time goes on.
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Some Known Problems using FAT32 Formatted Hard Drives with Mac OS Apps
Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About. He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc. Updated November 15, Warning The process of formatting the drive will erase all data currently stored on the device.
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From the left-hand pane, which contains a list of drives and volumes connected to your Mac, select the drive you wish to format. Drives are the top-level devices, with volumes appearing indented and below the drives. Drives also have a disclosure triangle next to them that can be used to reveal or hide the volume information. A panel will drop down, warning you that erasing the selected drive will destroy all data on the drive.
It will also allow you to name the new volume you're about to create. Ron Grimm says:. January 27, at pm. February 21, at pm. Mitch says:. March 9, at am. Grailmoore says:.
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Format a Mac's Drive With Disk Utility (OS X or Later)
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How to Format USB Flash Drive on Mac
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