Format Samsung T5 for Mac Title Image

Are you formatting Your Samsung T5 for Your Mac. Or MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or M1 Mac?

Read on and you’ll be led step by step through how to do it.

And when 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.

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.

How To Format Your Samsung T5 For Mac

Be aware that when you format your T5 drive. Any files that are on there will be wiped.

Do not go ahead with your Samsung T5 format for Mac if there are files on there you want.  Copy them off onto your Mac or onto another external 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 decide to. Copy those files off before you format.  Or you could always go onto the Samsung site. And download them direct from there if you ever wanted those files in the future.

Don’t be the one seeking data recovery software. Or the services of a data recovery company because you lost data.

Ready?  Let’s go.

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 solid state drive. Because, you won’t want your Mac running out of power part way through your formatting.

Connect up your T5 to your Mac’s USB port. Use the USB type C cable for your Mac with USB C ports. And the USB type C cable to type A, for your older Mac.

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 portable SSD drive icon?

Check your Finder Settings (Mac OS Ventura). In earlier operating system releases it’s called Finder Preferences.

Finder Settings

Check the box “External Disk” on the General tab.

Finder Settings Show External Disks

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 SSD 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. Then 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. MacBook Air or M1 Mac can see.

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

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 SSD drive.

The first arrow in the above picture shows you where.

You click on that arrow to contract or expand the number of levels 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 Show All Devices

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 external storage list expanded. 

You need to pick your Samsung portable SSD at the drive level. This is the top level in the expanded External drive’s 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 won’t be able format it. And you’ll get odd errors with Disk Utility.

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

Select Erase
Select Erase

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

5. Put In Your Options For Formatting Your Samsung T5.

Samsung T5 Format Popup Window
Samsung T5 Format Popup Window

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

Put in a name where Disk Utility shows Name.

The next option you choose is the Format for your external SSD.

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 traditionally used on Macs. 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.

Are you sure there is nothing on your solid state drive you want? Ready to go ahead?

Good let’s move on.

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 external SSD.

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.

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

Format Your Samsung T5 APFS For Mac

To format your Samsung T5 in APFS. First you format your T5 to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). With a GUID partition map for the scheme.

Otherwise, you won’t be able to pick the APFS file system format.

On your second pass through the formatting steps. You pick the APFS (Apple File System). It will appear in the list of options in the format field.

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

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.

So, yes, you can format your Samsung portable SSD with an APFS file system.

And since Mac OS x Big Sur you can use the Apple File System with Time Machine.  But a Windows PC won’t be able to see a Samsung T5 SSD in APFS file system.

So it’s not a Mac and PC shareable drive format.

Follow the steps 1 through 6 above twice. And on the second pass through you can format your Samsung SSD to APFS.

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) or APFS.

Only since Mac OS X Big Sur you can use an APFS formatted Samsung T5 portable SSD for a Time Machine backup.

Follow the steps 1 to 6 above. And when you want to format your Samsung T5 portable SSD to APFS. Go through the steps again and you’ll be able to pick APFS the second time through.

Then you can read this how to use article to connect your Samsung T5 to Time Machine.

Use the link to the article. 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 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.

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. As 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?


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 an APFS (Apple File System) or 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 external drive.

How Do I Partition My Samsung T5 On Mac?

You can partition your Samsung T5 as you can any external storage on your Mac.  First, you’ll need to follow the steps in this article to format your Samsung T5.  When 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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