So, the question in your mind is ‘How to format Seagate external hard drive for Mac and PC?
And have your Seagate drive for files you need to share between both your Mac. Maybe it’s a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. And your Windows PC.
Formatting is quick and easy for you to do on your Mac.
Read on and learn how to make your Seagate external hard drive. Or external SSD work for both your Mac and Windows PC.
How To Format Seagate Hard Drive For Mac And PC Overview
1. Connect your Seagate external hard drive to your Mac.
2. Open Disk Utility. First format your Seagate external drive to Mac OS Extended Journaled file system.
3. Next you format to ExFAT.
4. Then your Seagate drive is ready for your Mac and your Windows computer.
Before You Format Seagate For Mac And PC
It’s best to format your Seagate hard drive or external SSD (Solid State Drive) on your Mac. Rather than on your PC using Windows OS.
Macs are choosy about how their external drives are formatted. And this includes a drive you’re sharing with a PC.
Some Seagate drive are NTFS drives. This is a PC file format. Your Mac can read an NTFS drive. But you can’t fully share a NTFS drive between a PC and a Mac.
Some other Seagate drives are shipped ExFAT formatted. And so are on the surface ready to share. But for a drive that works for the long term. And to save issues with your Mac not recognizing your formatted Seagate drive.
Format all drives you plan to use on a Mac on your Mac.
How To Format Seagate Drive For Mac And PC
The steps below format your Seagate USB drive. So that your whole drive is shareable.
This means that both your Mac and PC can see all of your drive.
1. Connect Your Seagate External Hard Drive To Your Mac.
Depending on the type of Seagate external drive you have. And the age of your Mac. You may have the right cable you need in the box with your Seagate drive already.
Or you may need an adaptor. A USB type A to USB C cable to connect to your Mac.
If your Seagate is a desktop device with independent power. Then plug it into a power outlet before plugging into your mac.
If your drive is a Seagate portable drive, it takes its power from your Mac. So, check your MacBook Air or Pro is well charged before you start formatting.
Log into your Mac and connect your drive.
Formatting will wipe any files you have on your Seagate external hard drive or SSD. If there are important files on the drive you want to keep.
Copy them off onto your Mac computer. Or PC first (depending on the format your drive is currently in).
Otherwise, you’ll be seeking the services of a data recovery company. Or data recovery software to recover data. And with no guarantee you’ll recover files.
Can You See Your Seagate External Drive On Your Desktop?
The drive icon will look something like this.
No drive icon?
Open up a Finder window. You need to change your Finder window Settings (Mac OS Ventura). In earlier Mac OS X releases it’s called Preferences.
Check the option to show ‘External Disks’ on your desktop. You’ll see it under the General tab.
2. Open Disk Utility.
Disk Utility is your Mac’s disk management software. And is free for you to use as part of your Mac OS X operating system.
You’ll find it inside your Utilities folder. And you’ll find your Utilities folder inside your Applications folder.
To find. Open up a Finder window. Type Disk Utility into the search bar.
Click to search ‘This Mac”.
Then double click on Disk Utility in the Finder window.
The arrows in the above picture shows you where.
3. Pick Your Seagate Drive.
Once Disk Utility has started up. You’ll see its pop up window.
On the left hand side of your pop up window you’ll find the drives attached to your Mac.
Your Mac’s internal disk drive is under the heading ‘Internal’.
You’ll find your Seagate drive under the ‘External’ heading. Click to select your Seagate external drive.
Be sure to pick your drive at the top level. The arrow shows you where.
Can’t see the different drive levels as shown in the picture?
Look at the top of your desktop.
Click on View. And from the menu.
Choose ‘Show all Devices’.
This tells Disk Utility to show you the drive and the volume.
Now pick your Seagate drive under the ‘External’ heading at the top level.
You may need to click on the small arrow at the end of the drive’s name to open up the levels.
It’s important you choose your Seagate external hard drive. Or SSD at the top level. If you don’t, you’ll have all sorts of problems formatting your Seagate drive.
4. Select Erase.
At the top of your Disk Utility pop up window you’ll see a button for Erase. Click on that.
Worried about clicking Erase? Don’t. As the next window shows you some settings you need to set first.
5. First format your Seagate external drive to Mac OS Extended Journaled file system.
Put in a name for your shared Seagate external hard drive. Or SSD.
Choose a name that’s easy for you to remember. One that’ll help you know exactly what you’re using your Seagate drive for.
i.e. Sharing between a Mac and a PC.
You’ll format your external hard disk twice.
This first time round. You format your Seagate drive to Mac OS Extended Journaled file system.
Pick that Mac format under format.
There are up down arrows at the end of the format field. Click on those to open up a list. And you can see a list of available file system formats.
Next for Scheme. Pick GUID Partition Map for the scheme.
You’re now ready to format.
Quick check. There is nothing on the drive you want right? If you do press cancel and copy those files off first.
Then click on Erase on the bottom right of the pop up window.
Disk Utility now takes a few minutes to format your Seagate external drive.
Your drive now changes from the original format it was in to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system.
6. Now Format Your Seagate Drive As ExFAT.
Go through steps 3 and 4 again.
This time from the format option list. You select the file system format of ExFAT.
Choose the GUID Partition Map Scheme as you did before.
Click on Erase on the bottom right hand corner of the pop up window.
And in a few minutes your Seagate external hard drive. Or SSD is ExFAT formatted. And ready for you to use on your Mac and your Windows computer.
Your Seagate drive will be there on your Mac’s desktop. You’ll find the name you gave it under its drive icon.
Now your entire Seagate drive external hard drive is in a format both computers can use.
You can create folders. Copy files from your Mac onto your Seagate drive.
Plug your Seagate Technology drive into your PC. Work on documents on the drive and put documents from your PC onto the drive.
And when you plug back into your Mac your Mac can see and use those files.
What if You Want To Use A Seagate External Drive On Mac Without Formatting?
When the Seagate drive you want to share on your Mac already has files on it from a Windows computer. And it’s formatted as NTFS.
A Mac computer can read the files on an NTFS formatted Seagate drive.
But your Mac can’t write to your NTFS Seagate drive. Or update those files.
You don’t want to format, as that would wipe all the files already on your Seagate Technology’s drive. Your only choice then is to use a driver software solution.
Driver software translates the file update requests from your Mac to your NTFS Seagate drive. So, you can share the drive.
You’ll need to find and buy NTFS driver software to load onto and use on your Mac.
And now you can relax because you have your Seagate formatted for your Mac and PC.
You’ve formatted your Seagate Technology’s drive for a Mac and PC. And now you can get on with sharing your files between them both.
While you’re here check out the site. You’ll find other documents all about your Seagate external drive. Please take a look.
About Paul Gregory
I’ve been a system administrator for various corporates for 15 years. And as admin I’ve helped many with their Mac’s and there many Apple devices.
I’m excited by watching users, armed with a little knowledge take control of their Mac’s and their files. And why not?
When I’m not at work or working on the site I like to chill with few beers. And watch a bit of car racing. From Formula 1 to stock car racing. The competition is my thing.