Format Samsung T5 for Mac, How To Steps and FAQs

By Simon Irons / October 25, 2019
Format Samsung T5 for Mac Title Image
Format Samsung T5 for Mac Overview

1. Log onto your Mac and Plug in your Samsung T5.

2. Start Disk Utility.

3. Look for your Samsung T5 in Disk Utility.

4. Pick your Samsung T5 in Disk Utility. And then Erase.

5. Put in a Name for your Samsung T5. . Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for Format. And GUID Partition Map for Scheme.

6. Then click on Erase.

Formatting Your Samsung T5 for Your Mac

Or MacBook Pro, Air or IMac? Read on and you’ll be led step by step through how to do it.

And if you read on some more you’ll find some useful tips. And learn what formatting to use for the many ways you’d use your Samsung T5 on your Mac.

How to Format Your Samsung T5 for Mac

1. Log onto your Mac and Plug in your Samsung T5.

You’ll likely need to plug your MacBook into mains power while you’re formatting your T5. Because, you wont want your Mac running out of power part way through your formatting.

Connect up your T5 to your Mac’s USB port. A few moments later, you’ll find your Samsung T5’s drive icon on your Mac’s desktop.

Samsung T5 Drive Icon On Desktop
Samsung T5 Drive Icon On Desktop

No Samsung T5 drive icon?

Check your Finder preferences.

Finder Preferences
Finder Preferences

Check the boxes “Hard Disk” and “External Disk”

Finder Preferences Show External Drive
Finder Preferences pick to Show External Drive

And your T5 should now be on your desktop.

2. Start Disk Utility.

Disk Utility is the program on your Mac that will format your Samsung T5 drive.

You can find Disk Utility through a spotlight search.

Spotlight Search Symbol
Spotlight Search Symbol

You’ll find your spotlight search at the top of your Mac’s desktop.  Type in Disk Utility. Return.

And then double click on Disk Utility in your spotlight search to start it up.

Disk Utility In Spotlight Search
Disk Utility In Spotlight Search

3. Look for your Samsung T5 in Disk Utility.

The first Disk Utility screen you’ll see will list all the drives your MacBook Pro, Air or iMac can see.

The drives attached to your Mac are split into two lists. Internal and External.

Samsung T5 Internal External Drives List
Samsung T5 Internal External Drives List

On the left hand side of your Disk Utility screen you’ll find your Mac’s internal drive(s) under internal. Your Samsung T5 will be listed under External.

Samsung T5 List Arrows

There is a small arrow symbol along side your Samsung T5 drive. The first arrow in the above picture shows you where.

You click on that arrow to contract or expand the number of disk icons it shows you. You should see your Samsung T5 listed twice in the expanded list.

Can’t expand or contract the list? There is a setting you need to change.

Look toward the top of your Disk Utility window. There you’ll see an option called ‘View’.

Disk Utility View Option
Disk Utility View Option

Click to open up the View menu. And pick the option to show all devices.  The drive and the volume.  That should sort it out.

4. Pick your Samsung T5 in Disk Utility. And then Erase.

How you pick your Samsung T5 from the Disk Utility external drives list is important. This is why you needed your list expanded. 

You need to pick your Samsung T5 at the drive level. This is the top level in the expanded External drives view.

The second arrow in the above picture shows you where.

Take care. If you don’t pick your T5 at the drive level then you wont be able format it. And you’ll get odd errors with your Disk Utility.

Pick your Samsung T5 and then click on Erase at the top of your Disk Utility screen.

Select Erase
Select Erase

5. Put in your Options for Formatting your Samsung T5.

Erase is what your Mac’s operating system calls the formatting option.

And for good reason.

When you format your T5 drive any files that are on there will be wiped.

Do not go ahead with your T5 formatting if there are files on there you want.  Copy them off onto your Mac or onto another drive first.

For example your Samsung T5 comes with some Samsung software on it. Although I don’t recommend you use this software on your Mac.

You may still want to copy it off before you format.  Or you could always download it direct from Samsung if you ever needed it in the future.

Ready to go ahead and set up your formatting?  Good let’s move on.

Samsung T5 Format Popup Window
Samsung T5 Format Popup Window

The first thing to do is to give your Samsung T5 a name. This name will appear on your Mac’s desktop when you’ve finished formatting. And its how you’ll know your drive.

Put in a name where Disk Utility shows Name.

The next option you choose is the Format.

The little up/down arrows at the end of the format field pull up a menu. There you can choose different formatting options.

Pick “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”. This is the file system most often used on Mac’s. It’s the format Time Machine uses. It’s the format you can use to drag and drop your files to your T5. Or copy and paste files to your T5.

The next field is the scheme. Pick GUID Partition Map.  If the option isn’t shown right away use the up/down arrows at the end of the field to open the menu.

Pick GUID Partition Map from there.

6. Then click on Erase.

After you have set your formatting options click on the Erase button. It’s on the bottom right of your Disk Utility window.

Your Mac will take a few moments to format your T5.

When it’s done you can get rid of your Disk Utility screen and you’ll see your T5 drive icon on your Mac’s desktop. Ready for you to use.

There are some other formatting options you may want to know about.

Format Your Samsung T5 for Mac APFS

APFS is the short name for the Apple File System.  APFS was introduced by Apple as a fast file system for SSDs – solid state drives.

And yes you can format your Samsung T5 with an APFS file system.

You can’t use the Apple File System with Time Machine.  And a Windows PC won’t be able to see an APFS file system if you plug your Samsung T5 into one.

To format your Samsung T5 to APFS you’ll first need to follow the steps 1 through 6. First you format your T5 to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system with a GUID partition map. Otherwise you wont be able to choose the APFS file system format.

On your second pass through the formatting steps you pick the Apple File System. It’s in the list of options at the format field.

You still pick ‘GUID Partition Map for Scheme. And then click on Erase to format.

Time Machine

Formatting Samsung T5 for Time Machine on Mac

Using your Samsung T5 for Time Machine means you have to change the as sold formatting from ExFAT to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

Follow the steps 1 to 6 above and you’ll do that.

Then you can read this how to use article to connect your Samsung T5 to Time Machine. Use the link to the article and use the Table of Contents to drop down to the Time Machine section.

Format Samsung T5 for Mac and Windows

Your Samsung T5 comes delivered in ExFAT format. ExFAT formatting is a file system that both your Mac and a Windows PC can see and read and write to.

But, if for some reason you want to reformat your Samsung T5. Or clear off everything off the drive you can do that on your Mac.

Follow steps 1 to 6 above.  And pick ExFAT as the format. You do that from the menu of options on the up/down arrows at the end of the Format field.

Pick GUID Partition Map for the Scheme.

As this is the scheme your Mac likes to use. Then you click on Erase. After a few moments, you’ll have your Samsung T5 set up for both your Mac and a Windows PC.

Don’t choose FAT32 as the format for sharing between Mac and Windows. FAT32 is an old file system with file size restrictions. The last kind of file system you want on your lovely T5.

Frequently Asked Questions On Formatting Samsung T5 on Mac

Do I Need to Format My Samsung T5 for Mac?

No.

Your Samsung T5 comes in its box in an ExFAT format.  Your Mac can recognize and read the files on an ExFAT drive. And you can put all your documents on your Samsung ExFAT drive. So no you don’t ‘need’ to format your Samsung T5 to use it on your Mac.

You may ‘want’ to format your Samsung T5 for any of these reasons;

1. You want to use your T5 with Time Machine. Then you’ll need a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system on your T5.  Just follow steps 1 to 6 above.

2. You want to try the APFS file system on your T5 as it’s a file system designed for solid state drives. You follow the steps above to format to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) first. Choose a GUID Partition Map for Scheme. Then you’ll be able to format your T5 to APFS.

3. You want to partition your Samsung T5.  You’ll first need to format it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). And then you’ll be able to use Disk Utility to partition your T5.

How do I Partition My Samsung T5 on Mac

You can partition your Samsung T5 as you can any drive on your Mac.  First you’ll need to follow the steps in this article to format your Samsung T5.  Once you’ve done that you’ll be able to partition it.

The article here will take you through the steps of partitioning. You just choose the file systems you want for each partition.

Can’t Partition your Samsung T5?

Format it first.  You won’t be able to partition a drive that isn’t first in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system. The steps above show you how.

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