How To Use Seagate Backup Plus On Mac Title Image

When you 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 5 minutes to get started.

Knowing where to start is the key.

Read on and you’ll find out how, with images to help you along.

Ways You Can Use Your Seagate Backup Plus On A Mac

1. Use your Backup Plus for your Mac to take a Time Machine backup.

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 want.

How To Use Seagate Backup Plus On Mac

Plug Your Seagate Backup Plus Into Your Mac

All the Seagate Backup Plus external drives come with a USB cable to plug into your Mac. And an adaptor.

So what?

Older Macs have USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 ports. You need a type A USB cable end to plug into those Macs. Your Backup Plus comes with this cable in the box.

Newer MacBooks and iMac’s 2016 and later have USB 3.1 (USB type C) ports.

USB C Thunderbolt 3 Ports
USB C Ports

For those Macs use the supplied USB type C adaptor.

Plug your Backup Plus’s USB cable (the end for your drive) into your Seagate backup Plus.

Then connect your Backup Plus to your Mac’s USB port.

Do this before you plug your USB cable end into your Mac.

Because 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 computer.

Look For Your Seagate Backup Plus Drive Icon On Your Mac’s Desktop

When your drive powers up. You’ll see an icon on your desktop.

New Drive Icon On Desktop

The text that appears under the drive will depend on which Backup Plus drive you’ve 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 Settings for Mac OS Ventura.

In Mac OS Monterey, Big Sur or earlier it’s called Finder Preferences.

Open up a new Finder window. Or click in a Finder window you have open.

Then from the top of your Mac’s desktop pick Finder Settings.

Finder Settings

Or Finder Preferences for earlier Mac OS releases.

Finder Preferences

Click on the General Tab. Then pick ‘External Disks’ on your desktop.

Finder Settings Show External Disks


Finder Preferences Show External Disks

And your Backup Plus external hard drive should now show up.

Should You Format On Your Mac To Use Your Backup Plus?

The Backup Plus portable external hard drive models – the Backup Plus Portable, and Backup Plus Slim are now delivered ExFAT formatted. The Backup Plus Hub is NTFS formatted.

ExFAT is a file system format that both a Mac computer and a Windows computer can understand. That means you can use your backup plus as a shared drive between the two systems.

But you can’t use ExFAT for a Time Machine Backup of your Mac.

And if you’re only using the Seagate external hard drive for your Mac. Then you’re better formatting your hard drive into a Mac OS format.

Changing the format of your Seagate Backup Plus drive is easy.

Takes only a few minutes.

One thing to note: There are some Seagate Technology preloaded files on your drive. The Seagate Toolkit allows you to register your Seagate Backup Plus drive for warranty. And has some Seagate backup software on it.

The ‘start_here_Mac’ files are the Mac version of the Seagate Dashboard software.

Start Here Mac
Start Here Mac

You don’t have to use this software on a Mac. But if you’d like to then copy that software off somewhere safe first before you format your external hard drive.

Here Is An Overview Of How To Format A Backup Plus Storage Device On Mac:

1. Open Disk Utility.
2. Pick Your Backup Plus Then Click On Erase.
3. Pick Your Format Options.
4. Click On The Erase Button To Start Your Seagate Drive Formatting.

Check out this document on the site ‘How To Format Seagate Backup Plus’. For the full run though of how to format your hard drive. And after head back here.

Time Machine

Using Your Seagate Backup Plus For A Time Machine Backup

The key thing to know about using your Seagate Backup Plus as a place to put your Time Machine backup files. Is that Time Machine needs to use a drive formatted in a Mac format.

And that means APFS (Apple File System) since the Mac operating system Big Sur.  Or Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

An Overview Of How To Setup A Backup Plus Storage Device With Time Machine On Mac:

With Your Seagate Backup Plus Connected.

On Mac OS Ventura
1. Open System Settings.
2. Scroll down to General.

Click there. Then Scroll down to Time Machine and click that option.

3. Click The Button Add Backup Disk.
Mac OS Monterey or Earlier
1. Go To System Preferences > Time Machine.
2. Click Select Disk. Pick Your Backup Plus USB Drive.
3. Click The Use Disk Button.

Here’s an article that covers the whole thing. ‘Seagate Backup Plus Time Machine‘. Click the link text.

How To Use Your Seagate Backup Plus To Free Up Space On Your Mac

You can free up storage space on your Mac computer by putting some of your files on your Seagate Backup Plus.

You’ll need your Backup Plus drive formatted as Mac OS Extended, Or APFS or ExFAT.

Your Backup Plus USB drive must be in a format your Mac can write to.

And that can’t be NTFS unless you have the Paragon NTFS driver installed on your Mac.

Create A New Folder On Your Plus External Hard Drive

Create folders to organize your files.

First double click on your Plus drive icon on your Mac’s desktop.

Seagate Backup Plus Drive Icon
Seagate Backup Plus Drive Icon

You’ll see a clean finder window like this one. With no files or folders inside.

Seagate Backup Plus Empty Finder Window

The Finder window is how you access your Backup Plus drive.

You create new folders just as you would on your Mac’s internal drive.

Click inside your Seagate Backup Plus Finder window.

Go to the top of your desktop and select File, then New Folder.

Finder Create New Folder

You can give your untitled folder a name by clicking on the text under the folder. And type in a name.

To Drag And Drop To Your Seagate Backup Plus

In a Finder window on your Backup Plus. Move to the folder you plan to use on your external drive.

Open up a new Finder window on your Mac. Browse to the files or folders you want to drag across to your Seagate external drive.

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 copied 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.

Create Selection Window
Create 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.

Or 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 your Mac’s desktop. Click Edit, then Copy from the Edit menu.

Then click into your Finder window on your Seagate Backup Plus.

Go to the top of your desktop again.

Pick Edit. Then pick Paste. That pastes your files onto the Seagate external hard drive.

Copy And Pasting Many Files From Your Mac To The Seagate Backup Plus

In a Finder window on your Mac. 

Click on the first file or folder you want to copy and paste.

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.

Backup Plus Right Click Copy

Then move to the Finder window on your Backup Plus external storage.

You right click in the Finder window on your Seagate Backup Plus.

And pick Paste from the menu.

Example of Pasted files
Example of Pasted files

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 copied across.

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

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 hard drive on your Mac. This article ‘Backup External Hard Drive To Another External Hard Drive‘ shows you how. Click the link.

Need a 2nd Backup Plus? Simply click through to this review article on the Backup Plus. Then click the link there to get a second Seagate portable drive.

How To Eject Your Backup Plus External Storage

When you’re finished using your Seagate Backup Plus on your Mac. Don’t just pull out your USB cable.

Your Mac holds information for your external hard drive in memory.

Ejecting tells your Mac to write anything it has for the external drive in memory down to it.

You eject your drive from your Mac by right clicking on the Seagate external hard drive icon on your desktop. Then you select Eject from the right click menu.

Right Click to Eject
Right Click to Eject

Wait until your Backup Plus drive icon disappears from your desktop. And then you’re safe to remove your Seagate Backup Plus.

One more thing.

If you have deleted files from your Backup Plus. You’ll need to empty your Mac’s bin before ejecting your 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

Previous Backup Plus drives were shipped NTFS formatted. The Backup Plus Hub is shipped NTFS formatted.

Put those drives on a Mac and your Mac’s operating system will see your drive connected.

Your Mac can read anything that’s already on your external drive. But you can’t copy any of your documents, videos or photos ONTO your NTFS Backup Plus drive.

Or use your NTFS Backup Plus as a place for your Time Machine backups.

You can:

  • Use the Paragon driver from Seagate to read and write to your NTFS Seagate Backup Plus drive. Hop over to my article here to find out more about it.
  • Change and format your drive to a Mac format. Mac OS Extended (HFS+) or APFS. So that you can use your drive without a driver on your Mac.
  • Or format your Backup Plus as ExFAT. If you plan to share your drive between a Mac and a Windows PC.

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 to find on your desktop when you want to use it.

Change Your Drive's Name On Desktop

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 the name of your Seagate Backup Plus.

How to Use A Large 4TB Or 5TB Backup Plus On Your Mac

You can create sections on a large Backup Plus external hard drive. And use those sections – known as partitions for different things.

You could use part as a Time Machine backup destination for your Mac.

Or make part of the drive ExFAT formatted. So you can share and or store files from a Windows computer.

And you can find out how to do it in this Backup Plus Partitioning article here.

Seagate Backup Plus For Mac? How To Find Out If You Have An ExFAT Or NTFS Drive?

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.

Right Click Get Info
Right Click Get Info

And check what it says alongside format.

In Closing

By now you know all the ways to use your Seagate Backup Plus on Mac.

You’ll have your external drive plugged in. Know how to transfer files from Mac to a Backup Plus.

And you’re putting your Backup Plus Seagate external drive to good use.

Well done.

Feel free to check out my other articles on the site about the Backup Plus.

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