Are you wondering ‘How do I format a Seagate Expansion drive for Mac?’
And find out the formats that are right for your Mac.
Look no further. This article will guide you through with images and an easy to follow step by step guide. So you can get your Seagate Technology’s Expansion drive formatted on your Mac computer.
It’ll only take you a few minutes to do. And you’ll have your drive up and running and ready to store your files.
Seagate Expansion Format For Mac – At A Glance
1. Connect your Expansion’s hard drive. Or SSD’s USB cable to your Mac.
2. Start Disk Utility.
3. In Disk Utility click your drive under External.
4. Then click Erase in the Disk Utility pop up window.
5. Set up your Seagate Expansion Mac format. Give your drive a name. Pick the format, pick GUID Partition Map. Click Erase.
How To Format Seagate Expansion Drive For Mac
Check that there is nothing on your Seagate Expansion you want to keep. If there are any files on the Expansion external hard drive. Or Expansion SSD you want to keep. Be sure to copy them off somewhere safe first.
Because formatting your Seagate external drive on your Mac, wipes any files on there.
Copy any files you want off your drive before you start.
Now to get down to the essentials of your Seagate formatting.
1. Connect Your Hard Drive Or SSD’s USB Cable To Your Mac.
You’ll likely need an adaptor to convert the Seagate Expansion’s USB cable. From a USB type A cable end to a USB C, so you can plug into your Mac’s USB port.
In a few moments you’ll see your Expansion Seagate drive icon on your desktop.
If after waiting a few moments. And you can see your Seagate external hard drive. Or external SSD’s LED flashing happily. But no drive icon on your Mac’s desktop.
Then check your Finder preferences. Especially if this is the first time you’ve connected up an external drive to your Mac computer.
Open up a Finder window. And go to Preferences.
Click on the General tab heading.
And put a check in the box show ‘External Disks’,
Then your Expansion’s drive icon will show on your desktop.
2. Start Disk Utility.
Disk Utility is disk management software that’s part of your Mac OS. You use Disk Utility to format your external Expansion Seagate drive.
You can spotlight search for Disk Utility.
You’ll find your spotlight at the top of your Mac’s desktop.
Then type in ‘Disk Utility’ and then return.
Double click on Disk Utility to start up the software program.
3. In Disk Utility Click Your Drive Under External.
When Disk Utility starts, you’ll see a pop up window.
On the left hand side, you’ll see two headings. Internal and External.
The Internal heading shows all the drives your Mac has internally. You won’t be working on those so scroll on past. Down to the External heading.
Your Seagate Expansion will be listed under the External heading.
You should see several levels listed for your drive.
Click on the arrow to the left of your Expansion drive to expand the levels.
If you can’t do that, you’ll need to change a setting in Disk Utility.
Click on ‘View’ from the Disk Utility menu at the top of your desktop.
From the drop down menu pick ‘Show All Devices’.
That will show the levels you need. The drive and the volume.
Click on your Seagate Expansion at the top level.
This is important.
Because if you don’t select your drive at the right level. You can get random errors when formatting your Seagate storage device.
4. Then Click Erase In The Pop Up Window.
You’ll find the Erase button at the top of your Disk Utility popup window.
Don’t worry you’re not actually erasing your external disk drive yet. You’ll need to set up your formatting settings first.
5. Set Up Your Seagate Expansion Mac Format.
In the name field, give your Seagate Expansion a name.
Pick something that’ll help you remember what you’re using your drive for.
Then enter the format you want for your Expansion external disk.
If your Seagate Expansion is formatted as ExFAT or an NTFS drive. Then you’ll have to pick Mac OS Extended (Journaled) the first time you reformat it.
Even if you want to format as APFS (Apple File System). Or even reformat as ExFAT on your Mac.
You’ll need to format as Extended Journaled first.
For your drive’s scheme pick GUID Partition Map.
6. Click The Erase Button.
Then click on the Erase button on the bottom right of the pop up window.
Your Mac will now do its work. And within a few moments you’ll have your Expansion Seagate drive formatted.
7. To Format as APFS.
Or to reformat an ExFAT Seagate Expansion with the wrong partition map.
Skip through the steps again. And the second time around you can pick APFS (Apple File System) or ExFAT for the format.
Be sure to pick GUID Partition Map in Scheme.
Only Using Your Seagate Expansion On Your Mac?
When you’re only using your Expansion drive on your Mac then pick a native Mac format as your file system.
Pick Mac OS Extended Journaled when you’re only using your external drive on a Mac. And for compatibility with older Macs. For example, if you’re formatting your drive on a Mac running Sierra or an older version of Mac OS X.
Pick APFS for an SSD (Solid State Drive) Expansion. APFS was designed for SSD drives and will give you the fastest performance on your Mac.
APFS will run on a hard drive based Expansion but Mac OS Extended is better optimized for a hard drive.
APFS formatted external drives are not supported on older Mac operating systems like Sierra.
For your Seagate backup, you can pick Mac OS Extended Journaled. Or APFS for a Time Machine backup on a Mac running Mac OS Big Sur, Monterey or later.
Older Mac operating systems like Catalina or earlier. Only support a Seagate backup to Time Machine with the Extended Journaled file system. Not APFS.
No matter which you choose. APFS or Extended Journaled pick GUID Partition Map for the scheme.
You can find out how to set up Time Machine in this article here on the site. Seagate Expansion Mac Time Machine. Click on the linked text.
When You Plan To Share Your Expansion Drive With A Windows Computer
ExFAT is the file system format designed for sharing. Both a Mac and a Windows PC can read and share files on a drive formatted with the ExFAT file system.
ExFAT will run on both external hard drives and an SSD Expansion drive.
The latest Seagate Technology Expansion drives come ExFAT formatted. But I’ve noticed some come with a Master Boot Record as the partition map.
A Mac needs an ExFAT drive with a GUID Partition Map. Or you may well get issues with your drive on Mac over time.
Those drive will need to be formatted on your Mac. Just be sure to use GUID Partition Map for the drive scheme.
Modern Windows PCs use a GUID Partition Map as well.
But you can’t use the ExFAT file system for a Time Machine backup on your Mac.
Eject Your Seagate Expansion When You’re Finished
Eject your Expansion USB drive before you take out your USB cable.
Your Mac holds information in its memory for your drive, the entire time it’s connected. Ejecting tells your Mac to copy everything in memory down to your Seagate. Leaving your drive in a safe state.
You eject your Expansion Seagate disk drive by hovering your cursor over the drive icon on your Mac’s desktop. Right click. And choose Eject from the menu that comes up.
Wait for the light on your Seagate external hard drive Or Expansion SSD to go out. Then take out the Seagate Expansion drive’s USB cable.
Now you have the answer to your question how do I format a Seagate Expansion drive for Mac.
And your drive is ready for you to copy and paste your work documents, holiday photos or music to it.
Or drag and drop your Excel spreadsheets. Or backup your MacBook Pro to your Seagate Expansion with Time Machine.
While you’re here why not take a look at our other articles all about the Seagate Expansion.
About Simon Irons
As an admin I spend my day helping folks with their Mac issues. From the guy at work, through to unofficial 911 support for family and friends. I swear they have me on speed dial.
For fun I like testing out and playing with new stuff. I think Apple make the best products on the planet.
In my spare time I like to fish and play around with boats.