When you to want to know ‘How do I use Seagate Backup Plus on Mac?’
You’ll be glad to know that it’s easy.
And what’s even better is that you’ll need a mere 15 minutes to get started.
Knowing where to start is the key.
You’ll find pictures and a video. So by the end of this article you’ll find out how to use Seagate Backup Plus on Mac.
Ways You Can Use Your Seagate Backup Plus On A Mac
1. Use as a place for your Mac to take a Time Machine backup to.
2. Use to free up space on your Mac’s internal drive, by keeping your files there.
3. Take a copy of your Mac’s files to your Seagate Backup Plus. And take your documents and photos with you.
Take a look through the Table Of Contents and jump down to the section you need.
Plugging In Your Seagate Backup Plus Into Your Mac
All the Seagate Backup Plus’ external drives come with a USB cable to plug into your Mac.
There are different types of USB cables.
And they come with different plugs on the end that plugs into your Mac.
Older Macs have USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 ports. You need type A USB cables end to plug into those Macs.
Newer MacBooks and IMac’s 2016 and later have USB 3.1 (USB-C) ports.
If your Backup Plus portable drive has a type A connection on the end that goes into your Mac.
And your Mac has USB C ports.
Then you’ll need to get yourself an adaptor cable. You’ll need this before you can plug in your Seagate Backup Plus drive.
If you need more information about USB cables you can read more in this connecting article here.
Connecting Up Your Seagate Backup Plus To Your Mac
Switch on your Mac and log in.
Plug your Backup Plus’s USB cable (the end for your drive) into your Seagate backup Plus.
Here is the end for your Seagate Backup Plus drive.
And here is the port on the drive itself.
Do this before you plug your USB cable end into your Mac.
Your Seagate Backup Plus gets its power from your Mac via the USB cable. And your Backup Plus should power up as soon as you plug it into your Mac.
When You Connect Your Seagate Backup Plus Drive
When your drive powers up. You’ll see an icon on your desktop.
Note: Your drive may not say Untitled. What appears under the drive would depend on which Backup Plus drive you bought.
Can’t see your Seagate Backup Plus on your desktop after you’ve plugged your USB cable in?
You’ll need to change your finder preferences.
Open up a new finder window and go to your finder preferences.
Click on the options to show ‘External Disks’ on your desktop.
And your Seagate backup plus should now show up.
Read on to find out how to use Seagate Backup Plus on Mac.
Starting To Use Your Seagate Backup Plus On Mac
To put your documents on the Seagate Backup Plus the first thing to do is to open a finder Window. You do this by double clicking on the drive icon on your desktop.
A new finder window will open.
Your Backup Plus Pre-Loaded Files
In your finder window you’ll see you’ve some preloaded files..
Click on the ‘start_here_Mac’ files. And the Mac version of the Seagate Dashboard software will start up.
This software allows you to register your Seagate Backup Plus drive for warranty. Once you’ve registered the next screen asks if you want to download the Paragon driver for Mac OS.
Do You Install the Paragon NTFS Driver On Your Mac Or Not?
If your backup plus is a NTFS external drive and you want to install the Paragon NTFS driver go ahead.
But understand that you can’t use a NTFS drive for a Time Machine backup of your Mac.
NTFS is a file system made for Windows PCs. Using the Paragon driver allows you to use your Seagate Backup Plus external drive on your Mac. Without changing anything.
But you’re then restricted.
Don’t Want To Install The Paragon Driver?
Then you can skip right past this step.
Don’t download the software. And instead reformat your Backup Plus to a file system your Mac can use natively.
And use your external drive without any extra software to maintain on your Mac.
Format On Your Mac And Use Your Backup Plus
Changing the format of your Seagate Backup Plus drive is easy.
Takes only a few minutes.
Your Mac can read your drive direct.
And you can fully use your Backup Plus external drive.
Check out this document on the site ‘How To Format Seagate Backup Plus’. Head over, format your drive and head back here after.
Using Your Seagate Backup Plus For Your Time Machine Backups
The key thing to know about using your Seagate Backup Plus as a place to put your Time Machine backups. Is that Time Machine needs to use a drive formatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
Pick that as your format when you format your Backup Plus external drive.
The first time you plug your Backup Plus drive in. After you’ve formatted it to Mac OS Extended. Your Mac will ask.
Do you want to use your Backup Plus as a destination for Time Machine?
When your Mac asks this. And you plan to use your whole backup plus drive for your Time Machine backups.
And your Mac will set things up to use your drive for Time Machine.
But what if you’ve just decided.
And need to set things up yourself.
Then here’s an article that has you covered.
‘Seagate Backup Plus Time Machine‘. Click the link to find out how.
How To Use Your Seagate Backup Plus To Free Up Space On Your Mac
You can drag and drop files from your Mac to your Backup Plus. Move those files off your Mac and free up space.
But be aware.
If the files on your Seagate Backup Plus are the only copies of the files you have. And you lose your Backup Plus drive. Then you’ve lost those files.
Have a copy of them somewhere else. Either in a Time Machine backup.
Or by backing up your Seagate Backup Plus to another external drive on your Mac.
This article ‘Backup External To Another External Hard Drive‘ shows you how. Click the link.
Need a 2nd Backup Plus? You can head over to this review article on the Backup Plus to get a second Seagate external portable drive. Simply click through the link there.
You’ll be grateful for the suggestion.
Just in case an accident happens to your Backup Plus.
First things first. Organize your files on your external drive.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve formatted your Backup Plus drive as Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
Or you’ve a drive. Or a partition on that drive formatted as ExFAT.
Or you are using the Paragon NTFS driver.
Or you have a partition formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled). You create folders, drag and drop, copy and paste the same way.
Use Your Seagate Backup Plus By Creating A New Folder
When you’ve a freshly formatted Backup Plus drive.
Create a folder. First double click on the drive icon on your desktop.
You’ll see a clean finder window like this one. With no files or folders inside.
The finder window is your window onto your Backup Plus drive.
Inside that finder window you can now create new folders. And use them to organize your documents, photos or music you store on your Backup Plus drive.
You create new folders just as you would on your Mac’s internal drive.
Click in your Seagate Backup Plus finder window.
Go to the top of your desktop and select File, then New Folder.
You can give your untitled folder a name. Click on the text under the folder. And type in a name.
How To Use Your Seagate Backup Plus To Drag And Drop On Mac
Using Seagate Backup Plus on Mac is as easy as using your own Mac’s internal drives.
To Drag And Drop To Your Seagate Backup Plus
With a finder window open on your Backup Plus. Move to the folder you want to drag your files into.
Then open up a new finder window on your Mac.
Click in the window on your Mac.
And move to the files or folders you want to drag across to your Seagate Backup Plus.
Click and hold your cursor key over the file you want to drag. You’re effectively ‘picking it up’.
Holding your cursor down move to the finder window on your Seagate Backup Plus. And release your cursor there.
The files are then moved across.
It’s as simple as that.
To Drag And Drop Several Files To Your Seagate Backup Plus
Click on the first file or folder in your list of files. Hold down your shift key. Click on all the files you want.
Create a selection window.
Click in an empty spot in your Mac’s finder window. And while holding your cursor drag a window across all the files you want to pick.
Once you’ve picked the files you want.
Click on your files and hold.
Move your cursor to the finder window on your Seagate Backup Plus drive.
You’ll see the files moving with your cursor.
Lift off your cursor key.
And you’ve dragged the files there.
How To Use Your Backup Plus To Hold A Copy Of Your Files.
This option is great when you’ve a portable Backup Plus external drive. And want to have your files with you.
Copy And Paste A File From Your Mac To Your Seagate Backup Plus
Open a finder window on your Mac and find the file you want to copy and paste across to your Backup Plus drive.
Go to the top of the finder window on your Mac and click edit. Then pick copy from the edit menu.
Then open up and click into your finder window on your Seagate Backup Plus.
Go to the top of your desktop.
This time when you pick Edit you then pick Paste. That pastes your files onto the Seagate Backup Plus.
Copy and pasting takes a copy of your files. Saving the originals where they are.
And it is as easy as that.
Copy And Pasting Many Files From Your Mac To The Seagate Backup Plus
Just like dragging dropping.
In a Finder window on your Mac.
Click on the first file or folder you want.
Hold the shift key down and then click on all the files or folders you want.
Right click on the highlighted files and pick copy from the menu that comes up.
Then head over to the finder window on your Seagate Backup Plus.
You right click in the finder window on your Seagate Backup Plus.
And pick paste from the menu.
If you’re copying and pasting a lot of files from your Mac to your Seagate Backup Plus. It could take a while for them all to copy across.
But don’t worry your Mac will show you the progress as the files copy.
YouTube Video Clip On Copying And Pasting To Your Seagate Backup Plus
Would you prefer to see how it’s done.
You’ll find this YouTube video starts where you’re shown how to copy and paste your files. Enjoy!
Seagate – Backup Plus Slim – Guide for Mac
Video Credit: Tech and Design
How To Eject Seagate Backup Plus Drive
When you’re finished using your Seagate Backup Plus on your Mac you need to tell your Mac. This is because your Mac holds information for the drive in memory. Just in case you ask for it again.
Ejecting tells your Mac to write anything it has for the drive in memory down to it.
And stops you from corrupting your files on the Backup Plus. You eject the drive from your Mac by right clicking on the drive icon on your desktop.
Then you select Eject from the right click menu.
Wait until the drive Icon disappears from your desktop. And then it’ll be safe to remove your Seagate Backup Plus.
One more thing.
If you have deleted files from the Backup Plus you’ll need to empty your trash before ejecting the drive.
This is so that the deleted files clear properly from your Backup Plus.
Other Useful To Knows On Using Your Backup Plus For Mac
How To Use Seagate Backup Plus NTFS On A Mac
When you buy a Backup Plus drive that’s shipped NTFS formatted.
Mac OS will see your drive connected.
Your Mac can read anything that’s on your external drive.
But you’ll not be able copy any of your documents, videos or photos ONTO your Backup Plus drive.
Or use your Backup Plus as a place for your Time Machine backups.
- Use the Paragon driver from Seagate (supplied on your drive). To read and write to your Seagate Backup Plus drive. Hop over to my article here to find out more about it. – link to seagate backup plus ntfs mac
- Change and format your drive to Mac OS Extended (HFS+). So that you can use your drive without a driver on your Mac
- Change your Backup Plus’ file format to something called ExFAT. Useful if you plan to share your drive between a Mac and a Windows PC. And you don’t want to use a driver to do that.
Give Your Seagate Backup Plus A Name
You’ll find it useful to give your Seagate Backup Plus drive a name. A name that is easy for you find on your desktop when you want to use it.
To change the name.
Click on the text under the drive icon. Click twice on the text and you can type in what you want.
And there you have it. You have changed your Seagate Backup Plus’ name.
How to Use A Large 4TB Or 5TB Backup Plus On Your Mac
Unless you’ve a large high definition photo or movie collection you want to store.
A large Backup Plus drive is great parceled up into sections.
You could use part as a Time Machine backup destination for your Mac.
Or have several Mac backup sections. If you’re a multi user Mac household.
You could make part of the drive ExFAT format. So you can share and or store files from Windows PCs.
Creating sections or segments on your Seagate Backup Plus is called partitioning. And you can find out how to do it in this Backup Plus Partitioning article here.
What Seagate Backup Plus Do You Have? And Why It Matters on Mac
When you want to know the best way of using your Seagate Backup Plus on Mac, it pays to know which Backup Plus you have.
Here’s an example of products in the Seagate Backup Plus range. And the way they are set up when you buy means they either plug straight in and work on your Mac. Or there is a little work to do first.
This table below shows you the file systems installed.
|Backup Plus Drive||File System Format|
What Is A File System On The Backup Plus
And why knowing the file system you have is important to using your Backup Plus?
Let me explain.
A file system is how your Mac understands what’s on the Seagate Backup Plus. And how it stores your documents, photos and videos.
It’s the software layout of the external hard drive that allows the Mac to see and understand. And read from and write to your drive.
In the table above you’ll see that the Backup Plus’ drives come with either NTFS or ExFAT file systems.
Seagate Backup Plus For Mac? Which File System?
What is the difference between ExFAT and NTFS on the Seagate Backup Plus?
When you plug in your ExFAT formatted Backup Plus drive, your Mac can copy files. Or drag and drop your files onto your drive.
ExFAT is a file system that a Windows PC can read as well. This means you can share files on your ExFAT Backup Plus drive with a PC.
But you can’t use an ExFAT formatted Seagate Backup Plus to backup to with Time Machine
But don’t worry. You can easily change this format if you want.
Please read on …
The Other Type Of File System On The Seagate Backup Plus Is NTFS.
NTFS is a file system made for a Windows PC.
When you use your Seagate Backup Plus with a NTFS file system on your Mac your Mac can see it.
Your Mac can read the documents, photos etc on there.
But your Mac can’t put new files onto the drive. Or change files that are already on there.
Not without you changing the NTFS format on there first.
Or you use special driver software. Software like the Paragon software. It translates your Backup Plus’ drive so that your Mac can understand it.
Want to find out about using the Paragon software with your NTFS Seagate Backup Plus? Take a look here.
How Do You Find Out If You Have An ExFAT Or NTFS Seagate Backup Plus?
How do you discover which file system you have preinstalled?
Right click on your Backup Plus desktop drive Icon.
Pick ‘Get Info’ from the menu that comes up.
And check what it says alongside format.
Frequently Asked Questions
Seagate Backup Plus Not Recognized
You may plug your Seagate Backup Plus into your Mac and see no drive icon on the desktop.
What do you do?
1. Unplug the USB cable and try again – you may just have got a bad connection.
Another device plugged into that port before may have hung the port software. Or sometimes it wasn’t ejected properly.
2. Try another USB port if you have one.
3. A reboot of your Mac will reset the USB software at the port and can clear problems.
4. Are you sure you don’t have a broken USB cable? Try another cable
5. Check if you can see the drive in Disk Utility.
Sometimes an NTFS formatted drive doesn’t appear on the desktop. But you can see it in Disk Utility. And you can select the drive from there.
6. Can you see the drive appear under devices in a finder window? Make sure your finder preferences has the external disks check box checked.
7. Try your Seagate Backup Plus drive on another Mac or Windows PC.
Can you see it? If not you may be unlucky and have a corrupted drive.
The USB Cable Sold With The Seagate Backup Plus Is Too Short?
Yes, it is only 18 inches long.
And depending on where you want to place the drive compared to your Mac you may want a longer USB 3.0 cable.
By now you’ll know how to use Seagate Backup Plus on Mac.
You know how to transfer files from Mac to a Seagate Backup Plus.
And have your external drive plugged in and you’re putting it to good use.
Feel free to check out my other articles on the site.
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.