Stuck moving files from your MacBook Pro.
Or MacBook Air onto your Toshiba external hard drive?
Want to know how to setup and get your Toshiba portable hard drive working on your Mac?
Solve your how to use questions here.
4 Ways Use Your Toshiba External Hard Drive On Your Mac
1. For backing up your Mac.
2. To drag and drop to.
3. As a portable hard drive and take your photos with you.
4. To share your documents between a Mac and a PC.
Ahead Of Using Your Toshiba On Your Mac
You’ll find that it doesn’t matter whether you have a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac.
Or whether you’ve a Toshiba Canvio Basics, Canvio Advance or Canvio Slim.
When you’re asking yourself the question does Toshiba Canvio work with Mac?
The answer is yes.
But you’ll need to prepare your Toshiba drive for your Mac.
This is because your Toshiba drive as sold by Toshiba is formatted in something called NTFS.
NTFS is a file system format.
And one designed to be plug and play on a Windows PC.
Your Mac can see and read the documents on an NTFS drive. Giving you the illusion that all is ok.
But when you try to change anything in those documents your Mac will say no.
Or if you try to put new files on your Toshiba external hard drive your Mac will say no.
To your Mac your Toshiba external disk is read only.
So, you can copy the files off.
And change them when they’re on your Mac. But that’s it.
Ok then … So what are your options?
Using Your Toshiba External Hard Drive Without Getting Rid Of The Files On There
When you have files already on your external Toshiba storage. Files put there from a Windows PC. Changing the entire drive so your Mac can write to it may not be an option.
Because you’ll need to reformat your Toshiba drive.
And reformatting gets rid of the documents on there. But of course you need those files.
Your alternative is to install driver software on your Mac. That software will allow your Mac to write to your Toshiba external hard drive. And without changing anything on the drive.
But there’s a cost to the software. And when you upgrade your Mac you’re going to need to upgrade the software too. You’ll need the software to match the operating system level of your Mac.
It’s a great solution when you mainly use your Toshiba drive on Microsoft Windows. And less often on your Mac.
You can find out the pro’s and con’s of using your Toshiba external hard drive without reformatting in my article here.
Your other option is to reformat your Toshiba external drive on your Mac. You’d use disk management software on your Mac called Disk Utility. More on that a little further down this article.
How Do You Find Out If Your Toshiba External Hard Drive Is NTFS Formatted?
When you plug in your Toshiba storage into your Mac.
Right click on your Toshiba external hard drive icon and pick ‘Get Info’ from the menu.
If you see the drive is NTFS. Then you’ll either need to reformat your drive with Disk Utility. Or use NTFS driver software.
How To Install Toshiba External Hard Drive On Mac
Your first step to using your Toshiba external drive on your Mac. Is to plug your Toshiba drive into your Mac’s USB port.
Ok, Ok, I know you’re thinking this is obvious. But bear with me.
Is your MacBook from 2016 or later?
MacBook Pro 2017, MacBook Air 2018 or iMac 2016 or later? These Macs have USB C ports on them.
Your Toshiba external hard drive comes with a USB type A connection on the end that plugs into your Mac.
USB is backwards compatible and your USB 3.0 Toshiba external hard drive will work fine on your Mac. You just need to get yourself an adaptor.
Or a USB 3.0 cable with a USB C end for your Mac and a USB MicroB for the end that plugs into your Toshiba drive.
Once you have your cable. Put your Toshiba external drive on a firm surface. Log into your Mac and plug in your drive.
Your Toshiba drive should now show up on your Mac’s desktop as a hard drive icon.
It’ll look something like this.
If you can see no sign of your drive’s icon you should check your finder preferences.
Open a new finder window and go to finder preferences.
Click on the option to show ‘External Disks’ on your desktop.
And you should now see your Toshiba external hard drive icon on your desktop.
Formatting Your Toshiba Hard Drive For Your Mac
When you’ve plugged in your Toshiba drive for the first time your Mac may well ask you to format the drive.
You’ve a choice. You can say no and just copy files off the drive onto your Mac. If that’s all you want to do.
Or you can use driver software to read and write to the drive.
See my point above on using your Toshiba external hard drive without getting rid of the files on there.
Or you can reformat your Toshiba drive.
You use a piece of disk management software that’s free on your Mac to do it. The software is called Disk Utility.
You’ll find an article taking you through how to do that on this site. “Format Your Toshiba Hard Drive For Mac” Just follow this link.
And then you can head back here to find out more uses for your Toshiba hard disk drive.
Set Up Your Toshiba Hard Drive On Mac YouTube Video
Here is an 11 minute 36 second video from Tech & Design. Taking you through setting up your Toshiba external hard drive on Mac.
Toshiba External Hard Drive Setup Guide For Mac
Video Credit: Tech & Design
Using Your Toshiba Hard Drive To Backup To
You can use your Toshiba Canvio drive as a destination for your Time Machine backups.
You can use external drives formatted as Mac OS Extended Journaled file system for a Time Machine backup. And since Mac OS x Big Sur you can also use the Apple File System (APFS) file system.
But watch out. There is no APFS Time Machine backwards compatibility for earlier Mac operating system releases.
Or if you’ve partitioned your Toshiba external hard drive. You can use a partition formatted as Mac OS Extended Journaled or APFS to backup to.
You won’t be able to use your Toshiba drive for a Time Machine backup if you’re using NTFS driver software. As your Toshiba hard disk drive is still NTFS formatted.
And if you formatted as ExFAT because you plan to share your drive with a Microsoft Windows computer. You can’t use an ExFAT file system for a Time Machine Backup.
Check out this link here to connect your Toshiba drive to Time Machine.
How To Use Your Toshiba On Your Mac – Create Folders
You’ll want to create folders on your Toshiba external hard drive to organize the files you drag and drop. Or copy and paste.
Double click on your Toshiba’s drive icon on your desktop.
That will open up a finder window for you.
You’ll see your Toshiba external hard drive is lovely and empty. Ready for you to use.
You can create new folders by clicking in your Toshiba’s finder window. Click on ‘File’ at the top of your desktop and choose ‘New Folder’ from the menu. Your Mac will create a new folder on your Toshiba external hard drive that you can use.
How To Transfer Files To Your Toshiba External Hard Drive On Your Mac
You should know that only a Toshiba drive formatted as Mac OS Extended, APFS (Apple File System). Or as ExFAT can have files transferred to the drive without driver software on your Mac.
Mac OS Extended and APFS are native file systems your Mac uses. A Windows PC won’t be able to read a Toshiba drive formatted as Mac OS Extended or APFS.
But both a Mac and a Windows PC can read a Toshiba external hard drive formatted as ExFAT.
How To Use Your Toshiba On Your Mac – Drag And Drop
Or to copy and paste.
With your Finder window on your Toshiba drive open.
You open up another Finder window on your Mac and go to the folder you’d like to drag and drop or copy and paste from.
Drag and Drop 1
Click and hold over the document you’d like to Drag to your Toshiba drive.
While holding down your cursor. Move to the open Finder window on your Toshiba external hard drive. Let go of your cursor in the Toshiba’s Finder window.
You’ve just dragged a file to your Toshiba hard drive.
To Drag Several Files
Click on the first file.
Then hold down your shift key to select more files.
Click and hold and drag them across to your Toshiba’s Finder Window and let go of your cursor there.
Drag and drop moves your files from your Mac to your Toshiba external hard drive.
How To Use Your Toshiba On Your Mac – Copy And Paste
When you want to copy and paste files to your Toshiba external hard drive you.
Open up two finder windows.
One on your Toshiba external drive.
The other on your Mac.
Then on your Mac you go to the file you want to copy to your Toshiba drive.
Right click on the file to highlight it. Choose copy from the menu.
Then put your cursor onto the Finder window of your Toshiba external hard drive.
Right click and choose Paste from the menu.
You’ve just pasted a file to your Toshiba external hard drive.
To pick several files you pick the first file you want to copy and hold down the shift key while you pick more.
And you do the same thing.
You can also select several files by clicking in an empty space near the files you want to choose.
And drag your cursor across the files you want.
And you can use the same ways to transfer folders from your Mac to your Toshiba drive.
Just as it’s best not to have the only copy of your files on your Mac. In case something happens to your Mac.
That’s why a backup is a good idea.
If the only copy you have of your files is on your Toshiba drive.
Think about getting another one as backup. And have a copy of your files on there as well.
Because you don’t want to be seeking the services of a data recovery firm. Or data recovery software to recover your lost data.
How To Use Your Toshiba External Hard Dive On Mac And PC
You’ve found out earlier in this article about using driver software. So that you can read your Toshiba NTFS external hard drive on your Mac.
But what if you’d prefer not to buy and maintain separate software on your Mac. Or vice versa for your Windows PC.
As long as you’ve no files already on your Toshiba external storage you can format your drive to ExFAT.
Mac and a Windows PC can read and write ExFAT. So there’s no need for driver software.
When You’re Done With Your Toshiba Drive Eject
Whether you’re using the drive on your Mac or on a Windows PC don’t just plug your Toshiba out when you’re finished.
You risk corrupting the files on the drive.
This is because your Mac holds all sorts of information in its memory while you are using the Toshiba drive.
Eject tells your Mac to write down what it needs to to your Toshiba hard drive. And when it’s done that you’re free to disconnect.
To eject your Toshiba drive, you right click on the drive’s icon on your desktop.
Choose Eject from the menu.
And once the drive icon has gone from your desktop. You’re free to plug out your USB cable.
By now you should be confident that you could use a Toshiba external hard drive perfectly well on your Mac.
Use it to store your precious documents, for a backup or take it with you and share files with a Windows PC.
As you are here.
How about taking a look at other Toshiba 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.