Format Toshiba Hard Drive for Mac, 5 Minute Guide

By Paul Gregory / September 16, 2019
Format Toshiba Hard Drive For Mac Title Image

You’ve got yourself a Toshiba Canvio Basics. Or Toshiba Canvio Advance or a Toshiba Slim. And you can’t use it on your Mac.

Well you can, if you reformat it for your Mac.

How to Format Toshiba Hard Drive for Mac Overview

1. Log Into Your Mac and Plug in your Toshiba Drive.

2. Start Up Disk Utility.

3. Pick Your Toshiba Drive in the External Drives List.

4. Click Erase.

5. Put in a Name. Choose Mac OS Extended file system and GUID Partition Map.

6. Click on Erase to format your Toshiba drive.

Whether you’re formatting. Or reformatting your Toshiba hard drive for your Mac this is an outline of what you’re going to do.


So whether you have a Macbook Pro, Air or iMac you’ll learn how. In this article “Format Toshiba Hard Drive For Mac, 5 Minute Guide” how to get your Toshiba drive working on your Mac.


How to Format Your Toshiba Hard Drive for Mac

1. Sign into your Mac. And plug in your Toshiba external hard drive.

You may need an adaptor cable to connect your Toshiba hard drive to your 2016 or later MacBook Pro.

Same for your iMac 2017 or later. And your 2018 MacBook Air.

As all these Macs have USB C (Thunderbolt) ports.

USB C Cable End
USB C Cable End

And your Toshiba external hard drive come with a USB cable that has a type A connector on the end.

USB A Cable End
USB A Cable End

Want to know more about connections needed for your different generations of Macs? Take a look at my article here.

2. Click on your Toshiba Drive.

A few minutes after you’ve plugged in your Toshiba drive, its icon will be on your Mac’s desktop.  

New Drive Icon On Desktop
Drive Icon On Desktop

Your Mac will probably offer to format your Toshiba drive.  If your Mac does. Say yes.

If your Mac doesn’t.

And your Toshiba hard drive is not on your Mac’s desktop?

Open a finder widow and choose preferences.

Finder Preferences
Finder Preferences

Next you’ll check the boxes ‘Hard Drive’ and ‘External Drive’ in the preferences window.

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

Your Toshiba drive should now appear on your Mac’s desktop.

3. Open Disk Utility.

You can find Disk Utility by:

Opening your Applications folder

Finder Application Folder Utilities
Finder Application Folder Utilities

Opening your Utilities folder.

Finder Disk Utility
Finder Disk Utility

Then double click to start up Disk Utility.

Note: Formatting your Toshiba external hard drive wipes any files you have on there. If there are files you need please copy them off first.

4. Pick Your Toshiba Drive In Your Disk Utility Window.

On the left of your Disk Utility pop up window is a list of all the drives you have on your Mac.  Both the internal drives and external drives.

Your Mac’s internal drive is there under the ‘Internal’ heading.

Your Toshiba drive will be under your ‘External’ heading.

Toshiba Internal External drive list
Toshiba Internal External drive list

If the list isn’t expanded in your pop up window. You can click on the small arrow head to the left of your Toshiba drive.

Is there no small arrow head?

There was a new Apple setting with the Mac Operating System version 10.13.

At the top left of your Disk Utility popup window you’ll find a ‘View’ option. It hides a drop down menu

Disk Utility View Option
Disk Utility View Option

Pick there and select to see the drive and the volume – show all devices.

Now pick on your Toshiba external hard drive.

Click on your Toshiba external drive at the top level.

What do I mean by that?

The yellow arrow in the Internal/External picture above points to where you click.

Take care to pick your drive at the right level. Because if you don’t you’ll not be able to format your Toshiba drive when you get to that stage.

5. Click on the Erase button

On the top of your Disk Utility Pop Up Window you’ll see a button with Erase on it.

Click on that next.

Select Erase
Select Erase

On the next screen you set up the options for formatting your Toshiba hard drive for your Mac.

6. Set Up Your Formatting Options for the Toshiba on Your Mac.

Toshiba Format Pop Up Window
Toshiba Format Pop Up Window

In this window you give your Toshiba external hard drive a name.

You type a new name. Type one in where it says name.

You then set the format you want for your Toshiba drive.

The up down arrows at the end of the format field opens up a list and you can choose your options.

The red arrow on the picture points to where.

File System Formats
File System Formats

Now you have a few choices depending on how you plan to use your Toshiba hard drive.

This means you want to use your Toshiba to drag and drop or copy and paste to.

Or you plan to use your Toshiba for a Time Machine backup on your Mac.

Then you choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

You choose ExFAT.

ExFAT makes your Toshiba external hard drive readable. And writeable on both your Mac and on a Windows PC you want to share the drive with.

Both systems will be able to share your Toshiba drive. Copy and paste or drag and drop to.

And without any special drive software.

Then choose GUID Partition Map for the Scheme.

Whether you’re planning on using your Toshiba drive only on your Mac. Or sharing it with a Windows PC you choose GUID Partition Map for the scheme.

Check the options you’ve chosen are what you want. Then.

7. Click Erase.

You click on the Erase button at the bottom right corner of your Disk Utility screen.

And then your Mac will start formatting your Toshiba external hard drive.

After a few minutes your formatting will all be done. And you can get rid of your Disk Utility screen.

You’ll see your Toshiba drive on your Mac’s desktop.

It’ll be  there as a drive Icon with the name you gave it.

Format Toshiba Hard Drive for Mac YouTube Video

You’ll find this 11 minute 36 second video a cool run through of how you can format your Toshiba external hard drive for Mac.

Tech and Design also shows you ExFAT formatting. Which is useful if you plan on using your Toshiba drive with both a Mac and PC. Enjoy!  

Toshiba External Hard Drive Setup Guide for Mac 2019

Video Credit: Tech & Design

Don’t Forget to Eject Your Toshiba External Hard Drive When You’re Done

When you’re done with your Toshiba drive. You’ll need to give your Mac a chance to write everything in memory down to your drive.

If you don’t you risk corrupting the files on your Toshiba drive.

You do this by right clicking on the drive icon on your desktop and choosing Eject from the menu options.

Right Click to Eject
Right Click to Eject

In a few seconds the drive icon will disappear. And your Toshiba will be fine for you to pull out the USB cable from your Mac.

Toshiba Canvio Advance White
Toshiba Canvio Advance

You can Click to find the latest Toshiba Canvio Advance Review

Format Toshiba Hard Drive For Mac Frequently Asked Questions

Why is My Toshiba External Drive Read only on My Mac?

Toshiba sells their external hard drives with an NTFS file system on them.

NTFS is plug and play on a Windows PC.

But your Mac can only read the files on an NTFS formatted Toshiba drive.

You can’t copy files onto an NTFS format Toshiba drive from your Mac. Or change any of the files on a NTFS Toshiba drive.

But using my steps above means that you can change your Toshiba drive’s formatting. You can reformat your Toshiba drive for your Mac using the steps in this article.

Last Words

Have you now formatted your Toshiba hard drive for your Mac?

I hope that by following the steps in this article “Format Toshiba Hard Drive for Mac, 5 Minute Guide” you’ve got your Toshiba drive all formatted.

And as you’re here. How about reading some of my other Toshiba articles.

Toshiba Canvio Advance for Mac A Review for a Mac User

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Review, 9 Points for a Mac User

How to Use Toshiba External Hard Drive on Mac – Solved

Toshiba External Hard Drive Not Working On Mac (13 Fixes 4U)