Setup Your Samsung T5 Like a Boss on Your Mac

By Simon Irons / October 24, 2019
Samsung T5 Setup Mac Title Image

Learn the simple easy steps to setup your Samsung T5 on your MacBook Pro, Air or iMac. Learn the things you need to know that are unique to using your Samsung T5 on your Mac.

And get your Samsung T5 set up like a boss.

Are you ready? Let’s get started.

How to Setup Your Samsung T5 on Your Mac

1. Sign into your Mac.

2. Plug in your Samsung T5’s USB cable.

Connect your T5 to your Mac. Your Mac powers your Samsung T5. And as long as your Mac has enough battery power you can run your Samsung T5.

Otherwise plug your MacBook into a power outlet.

3. You should see a blinking blue LED.

After you’ve plugged in the USB cable for your T5 look at your drive. The blinking blue LED tells you that your Samsung T5 is powered up and working.

In a few moments you should see your T5’s drive icon on your Mac’s desktop.

New Drive Icon On Desktop

Your T5’s drive icon may look a bit different to the one in the picture above. How it looks on your Mac depends on your Mac’s operating system version.

4. No T5 drive icon on your Mac’s desktop?

Take a look at your finder preferences. As often this is the main cause of your T5 not showing up on your desktop.

You do that by opening up a new finder window.

Then look at your finder preferences.

Go to the top of your desktop then choose Finder then Preferences.

Finder Preferences
Finder Preferences

On the next menu look at ‘Hard Disks’ and ‘External Disks’.

See that both boxes are checked. 

Then your T5 drive should be on your Mac’s desktop.

Finder Preferences Show External Drive
Finder Preferences pick to Show External Drive

Now you’re ready to use your Samsung T5 SSD drive.  Not sure how to?

Then read my article here all about it.

Because using your Samsung T5 well is the best thing about this SSD drive.

Other things to Know about the Setup of Your T5 on a Mac

Is Your Samsung T5 Compatible with a Mac?

Yes.

When you buy your Samsung T5 it comes with an ExFAT file system. 

This file system formatting mean’s that your Mac can read the files on your T5.

And your Mac can put your files onto your Samsung T5.

That’s because your Mac can read and write to an ExFAT file system.

You can drag and drop your documents, photos, videos.

And copy and paste any file you want to your Samsung T5 too.

And if you want to reformat your Samsung T5 you can.

You would want to do this to make your Samsung T5 compatible with Time Machine. So then you can use your T5 for a backup of your Mac.

Using Your Samsung T5 on Your MacBook Pro, Air or iMac

What are the key things you need to know?

Your Samsung T5 has a USB C port on it. And the T5 comes with two USB cables. One cable is a USB C to USB C. The other is a USB C to USB A cable.

What does that means for a Mac owner?

If your Mac is a MacBook Pro made in 2016 or later. Or a iMac made in 2016 or since then.

Or you’ve a MacBook Air from 2018 they all have USB C ports on them.

And you use the USB C to USB C cable to plug straight in. 

One end into your Samsung T5, the other into your Mac.

USB C Cable End
USB C Cable End

If your Mac was made earlier than the years listed. Then you’ll be using the USB C to USB A cable.

That’s the other USB cable in the box.

USB A Cable End
USB A Cable End

Which Macs Can Use the Speed of the Samsung T5?

Your Samsung T5 is a USB 3.1 Gen 2 drive.

And this means that your MacBook or iMac made from 2016 can support the speed of a USB Gen 2 drive.

Woohoo for you.

And Woohoo for you if you have a 2018 MacBook Air.

As that can also support the speed of a USB 3.1 Gen 2 drive.

What if My Mac has a Thunderbolt 3 Port. Can I use the Samsung T5?

Yes you can. 

Your Samsung T5 is not as fast as a Thunderbolt 3 drive.

But because of backwards compatibility your fine. Your Mac will send and read files on the Samsung T5 at Gen 2 speed.

This means you can use your T5 SSD drive as fast as it will go on your Mac.

And using the Samsung T5 means the cost of the drive is not as expensive as a Thunderbolt 3 drive.

Which is fine if you don’t need that all out speed.

What if my Mac is Older? Can I use the Samsung T5?

Yes.

It’s not all sad if your Mac is older and has USB 3.0 or USB 3.1 gen 1 ports.  You can still use your Samsung T5 on your Mac. 

Your Mac will still see a speed bump compared to you using a mechanical external hard drive.

And your Mac will send out your files to your Samsung T5 at the speed your Mac is able to go at.

But what if your Mac is Older than That?

And has USB 2.0 ports.

Mmmm.

Although your T5 is backwards compatible with your Mac.

You’d be better plugging in your Samsung T5 into your Mac via a self powered USB hub.

You’d be better plugging in your Samsung T5 into your Mac via a self powered USB hub.

Why?

This is because your T5 is USB powered from your Mac. It’s unlikely your Mac will support the power needs of the Samsung T5.

And you’ll find your Mac drops power to the drive or struggles to power your T5 at all.





Should you Setup the Samsung T5 software on Mac?

Your Samsung T5 comes with Samsung supplied software.  This software is how you enable Samsung’s hardware encryption and password protection.

Should you install it?

One word. Don’t.

Why?

First, you can read all on the web the problems people have on their Mac’s with this software.  Once they removed it, their issues with their T5’s went away.

Mac’s are typically not happy with third party kernel software.

And anyway you don’t need it.

Your Mac will work quite happily with your Samsung T5 without it.

And if you want password protection and encryption. Then use the tools available as a standard part of your Mac’s operating system.

They are secure and work for Mac.

One exception to this is if you need to upgrade the firmware on your T5.

What You Should Know About the Samsung T5 Software on Mac

1. It installs kernel code on your Mac.

This makes the T5’s hardware encryption and password protection work.

The code needs to sit on each Mac you plan to use your T5 drive on.

Or you can’t access your drive.

Bit of a pain if you’re sharing the drive with many Macs. Or for that matter Macs and PCs

2. That code needs to be compatible with your Mac’s operating system.

When you want to upgrade your Mac’s operating system you’d better wait until Samsung has a version that’s compatible.

Or you could be in a world of trouble.

3. The software is a pain to de-install.

Why.

Because you have to go into your Mac’s terminal screen. And put in a stream of code.

Not a techie?

Then you won’t want to go there.

4. There is no password recovery option for the Samsung T5 hardware encryption.

Forget your password and you’ll need to contact Samsung direct. And ask their support to reset the drive.

And when they do that, you’ll loose everything on the drive.

Ok to be fair …  If you loose your encryption password using your Mac tools. You’ll be a world of trouble too….

So always have a backup of your files.

So How Do you Setup Hardware Encryption and Protection on Your T5?

When you want to protect the files on your Samsung T5 on your Mac you have a few options.

1. You can encrypt your Time Machine backup using your Mac’s Time Machine software.

Simple and easy to do as part of the Time Machine set up.

Samsung T5 Time Machine Encrypt
Samsung T5 Time Machine Encrypt

The red arrow in the above picture shows you where.

Or use Disk Utility.

Format your Samsung T5 and set the file system to be encrypted.

Then you’ll have encrypted and password protected your files on your Samsung T5 drive.

Setting up Your Samsung T5 with Time Machine

You can absolutely setup your Samsung T5 with Time Machine.

To do that you’ll need to reformat your Samsung T5 to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system.

As Time Machine will only backup to Mac OS Extended (Journaled)

Not sure how to do that?

You can find out in this document here.

And when you have your Samsung T5 in Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system. Then this how to use article on the site walks you through connecting it to Time Machine.

Use the link and find out how.

Other FAQ’s on Setting Up A Samsung T5 on Your Mac

Will my Samsung T5 work as fast as my Mac’s internal solid state drives?

No.

And the reasons are:

1. It’s an external drive. Yes, it’s solid state. But your Samsung T5 is connected out on a USB port on your Mac.

2. Not only that there is a cable between your Samsung T5 and your Mac.

3. There are overheads associated with the USB standard.  And your T5 on its external USB C bus can’t go as fast as your internal SSD inside your Mac.

My Samsung T5 is Setup But Working Slow on My Mac. What Do I Do?

If your T5 drive is working unusually slowly check your USB cables.

There’s been a few complaints about the supplied in the box cables from Samsung.

Get yourself a USB 3.1 Gen 2 cable from a good supplier such as Belkin. And get a smile back on your face with a speed bump in performance.

Where can I find a copy of the Samsung T5 Manual?

Here’s a link where you can look at the pdf and download from the Samsung site.

Samsung T5 Manual

What do The Flashing LED’s Mean on my Samsung T5?

The LED’s on your Samsung T5 tell you what your drive is doing.

Last Words on Your Samsung T5 Setup For Your Mac

How does it feel to be the boss? You’ve found out the key things to know about setting up your Samsung T5 on your Mac.

P.S. There are some other articles on the site you may find useful.

Samsung T5 on Mac Review, Bust Waiting times on your Mac

How to Use Samsung T5 On Your Mac, 4 Ways

What is the Best External Hard Drive for Mac – Don’t Risk It