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 because it’s not formatted for your Mac computer.

Well not yet …

But you can get your Toshiba to work on your Mac. If you reformat it.

So, whether you’ve a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac. You’ll find out how in this 5 minute guide. You’ll learn all about formatting your Toshiba external hard drive for Mac.

And get your Toshiba drive working on your Mac in a flash.

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 APFS or 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.

Now for a bit more little detail …

How To Format Your Toshiba Hard Drive For Mac

Note: Formatting your Toshiba external disk drive, wipes. And clears any files you have on there. If there is any data on the drive you need.

Be sure to copy them off first.

If you don’t, you’ll be needing the services of a data recovery company. Or data recovery software to get back your files. And with no certainty you’ll recover data.

1. Sign Into Your Mac. And plug In Your Toshiba External Hard Drive.

You may need an adaptor cable to connect your Toshiba hard disk 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 ports.

USB C Cable End
USB C Cable End

Because some Toshiba external hard drives come with a USB cable that has a type A connector on the end. Which is fine for older Macs but you’ll need an adaptor for modern Macs.

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. You’ll see its icon 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, then continue on with the how to steps below.

Can you see your Toshiba’s drive icon on your Mac’s desktop?

No. Then make sure your USB cable is well seated into your Mac. And into your drive.

After that, open a Finder widow and choose Settings (Mac OS Ventura). In earier Mac OS versions it’s called Preferences.

Finder Settings
Finder Preferences

Click to see the General heading.

Next, check the box ‘External Disk’ in the preferences window.

Finder Settings Show External Disks

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

3. Open Disk Utility.

Disk Utility is your Mac’s disk management software. It’s a standard part of your Mac OS – Mac operating system. You’ll use it to format your Toshiba storage device.

To start up the software:

Open your Applications folder.

Finder Application Folder Utilities

Open your Utilities folder.

Finder Disk Utility

Then double click to start up Disk Utility.

Remember: Formatting your Toshiba portable hard drive erases all data on there. If there are files you need please copy them off first.

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

Look to the left of the Disk Utility pop up window. You’ll find there 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.

Don’t touch anything under that heading. You’ll find your Toshiba drive under the ‘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 of your Mac’s desktop. And from the Disk Utility menu click on View.

Toshiba Disk Utility View

From the drop down menu. Choose the option to see the drive and the volume – show all devices.

Now Click on your Toshiba external hard drive on the left hand side of the pop up window. Expand the list using the small arrow to the left of your drive’s name.

Click on your Toshiba external drive at the top level. Right where it appears under the External heading.

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 have all sorts of trouble formatting your Toshiba drive.

5. Click On The Erase Button.

Along 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 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 file format you want for your Toshiba drive.

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

The red arrow on the picture above points to where.

File System Formats
File System Formats

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

For Your Toshiba Hard Drive Compatible With Mac

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

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

Choose APFS (Apple File System). This also allows you to drag and drop and copy and paste to your drive. (But you may need to format to Mac OS Extended first.)

Only since Mac OS x Big Sur can you use APFS for a Time Machine backup.  APFS for a Time Machine backup isn’t supported on earlier Mac OS releases.

But, it’s only since Mac OS x Big Sur that you can use APFS for a Time Machine backup.  This isn’t supported on earlier Mac OS releases.

Choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) if your Mac is running Mac OS x Catalina or earlier.  Mac OS Extended is perfect for a drive you need for compatibility with earlier Mac OS releases.

To Format Your Toshiba Hard Drive For Your Mac And A Windows PC

You choose ExFAT.

ExFAT makes your Toshiba external hard drive readable. And writeable on both your Mac and on Microsoft Windows.

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

And without any special driver software.

But understand that you can’t use an ExFAT file system for a Time Machine backup on Mac.

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 Microsoft Windows you choose GUID Partition Map for the scheme.

Check the options you’ve picked 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 moments you’ve done your formatting.

And shortly after that, 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.

Then you can exit Disk Utility.

Format Toshiba External Hard Drive For Mac YouTube Video

You should take a look at this 2 minute 13 second video. It’s a cool run through of how you can format your Toshiba external hard drive for Mac.

How To Format Toshiba Drive For Mac

Video Credit : MacTakeAwayData

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 its memory down to your drive. Telling your Mac to Eject the drive does this.

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.

You can Click to find the latest Toshiba Canvio Advance Review

Formatting Toshiba External Hard Drive For Mac Frequently Asked Questions

Why Is My Toshiba External Hard Disk Drive Read Only On My Mac?

Toshiba sells many of 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. And that’s why it seems read only.

You’ll need to change the format of your Toshiba external drive. Format it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Or APFS so that you can use your drive on your Mac.

To Close

And now you know how to format your Toshiba hard drive for your Mac?

By following the steps in this article. You’ll have your Toshiba external hard drive working great on your Mac.

And as you’re here. How about reading some of the other Toshiba drive articles on the site?

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