Toshiba Canvio Advance For Mac Review Title Image

MacTakeAwayData Rank – 8 stars out of 10


You’ve got a lot of files on your Mac, and you want to make sure they’re safe.

You’ll get in the Toshiba Canvio Advance the perfect solution to back up your Mac. Or share files with work buddies or friends. You’ll find a sleek design that looks great in any home or office.

And it comes in five colors so you can match your style!

You won’t be disappointed with its high-speed USB 3.2 Gen 1 interface. You’ll save time transferring all your important files from one place to another. And without hassle.

Plus, it’s an external hard drive that’s stylish and compact enough to take on the go with you with ease.

Read on and you’ll see in this review how the Canvio Advance stacks up, for you a Mac user.

Toshiba Canvio Advance Verdict

The Toshiba Canvio Advance is a mid range drive in the Toshiba external hard drive line up. Though if you compare it to the other models. Like for example: The Canvio Basics. Then you’ll notice that there’s not much difference in features. And performance between them.

But in the Canvio Advance you get nice colors and a flashier looking drive.

And if that’s important to you as a Mac user then, pay your dollars. And step up to the Toshiba Canvio Advance.

Toshiba Canvio Advance Pros

  • You’ll find a portable external hard drive with a clean design and a bright textured finish. A step up from the previous piano gloss finish.
  • You can buy your Advance in an array of colors. Great for those of you who are fashion conscious.
  • You’ll get a decent level of performance. Fine for storing your documents, photos, music and for a Time Machine backup of your Mac
  • You’ll enjoy Toshiba’s shock protection and ramp loading technology. More protection for all your precious documents stored on your Canvio Advance

Toshiba Canvio Advance Cons

  • As a Mac owner the NTFS preformatting means reformatting your Canvio Advance.
    You’ll need to do this on your Mac before you can write to. Or use your drive for your Time Machine backup. You’ll find it quick and easy enough to do.
  • The downloadable Auto Backup and Password Protection software is for Windows PCs only.
  • Your Canvio Advance comes with a USB A cable. And this means that connecting to your Mac with USB C means you’ll need to buy an adaptor. You should get one at the same time as buying your drive.

*Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. And at no extra cost to you this site earns a commission through image links, Amazon button and text links should you buy.

Toshiba Canvio Advance White

Toshiba Canvio Advance

Use for your backups. Store your photos, music and docs.

A great performer.

Your Canvio Advance will need a protective case.

My favorites for the Canvio Advance are the Lacdo Waterproof EVA shockproof carrying case. Or the AmazonBasics External Hard Drive Case (Commissions Earned)

Toshiba Canvio Advance YouTube Video

Toshiba produced a video all about the Canvio Advance.  You’ll find it a fun introduction into this portable hard drive.

So how about taking a look at this one minute 32 second video.

Toshiba Canvio Advance Take Life Anywhere

Video Credit: Toshiba TAEC

Plugging Your Toshiba Canvio Advance Into Your Mac

Your Mac’s USB port powers your Canvio Advance.

Fantastic as you won’t need to carry another plug around with you.

And as long as your Mac’s battery is charged, you’re good to go.

Your Toshiba Canvio Advance Is A USB 3.2 Gen 1 Drive

And the USB cable provided has a USB 3.0 type A connector at the end that goes into your Mac.

USB A Cable End
USB A Cable End

So what?

Let’s take your MacBook as an example. MacBook Pro’s since 2016 have USB C ports.

And so have iMac’s since 2017. And 2018 MacBook Airs.

Your USB C ports look different.

USB C Cable End
USB C Cable End

And use a different connector to USB type A’s. But are compatible.

You just need an adaptor.

This means an adaptor with USB-C at one end and USB A at the other.

The adaptor goes onto the USB cable at the end you plug into your Mac.

Or you could buy a replacement USB 3.0 cable, with the right ends on it.

This means a USB 3.0 cable with a USB-C connection at one end and USB micro B for plugging into your Canvio Advance.

That way you’ve the one cable from your Toshiba Canvio Advance to your Mac.

The adaptors or replacement cables are all easily sourced on-line from Amazon. I quite like this one. 

The AmazonBasics USB Type-C to Micro B 3 foot cable. (Commissions Earned)

I like this one because it’s a longer cable than the one sold with the Canvio Advance. Meaning you’ve more flexibility on where you put your Advance drive. It’s not stuck a foot away from your Mac.

Does The Toshiba Canvio Advance Work With Your Mac?

Yes. But you need to reformat it for your Mac.


Your Toshiba Canvio Advance as sold is NTFS formatted.

You’ll find in the marketplace that most external hard drives are NTFS formatted.

NTFS is a file system set up that Windows PC’s can use right away.

When you plug your Toshiba Canvio Advance into your Mac. Your Mac will see the drive.

And realize that it’s in NTFS.

Your Mac should offer you a choice. Do you want to format your Canvio Advance? Yes or No.

If you say yes your Mac takes you to Disk Utility where you can set the formatting of the drive. And you can go ahead and reformat the Canvio Advance to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system.

Do you need to find out how?

Then follow this link. And And take a look at an article all about formatting your Toshiba external hard drive for your Mac.

After a few minutes of formatting your Toshiba Canvio Advance is ready for you to use.

Your Mac not offering to automatically reformat your Canvio Advance?

You can kick off the formatting yourself using the link above to find out how.

Toshiba Canvio Advance Red

Why Reformat Your Toshiba Canvio Advance On Your Mac?

Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system, also known as HFS+ is a format your Mac uses.

Once you have reformatted your Toshiba Canvio Advance on your Mac, you can then hook up it to Time Machine.

Or drag and drop. Or copy and paste your photos, music, movies or documents onto your drive.

What If You Don’t Reformat Your Canvio Advance On Your Mac?

Say no to the formatting and your Mac can read the files that are on your Canvio Advance.

You can copy them off onto your Mac.

But you’ll see the drive as read only.

You can’t put any files onto the drive.

Or change any files on there.

There is software that allows you to use your drive on a Mac and keep it in its NTFS formatting. Useful if you’re mainly going to use the Canvio Advance for a Windows PC.

Take a read of my article here to learn more.

Benefits Of The Toshiba Canvio Advance For Mac

Your Canvio Advance Looks First

Your Canvio Advance is available in the fashionable colors of Blue, Red and White. And the usual Black.

Toshiba Canvio Advance Range of Colors
Toshiba Canvio Advance Range of Colors

You’ll find the drive is now finished in what Toshiba describes as textured finish. Previous versions had a piano gloss finish.

The top of the Canvio Advance has this high gloss surface. It has a contrasting matt surface on the back.

On the Canvio Advance you’ve a circular LED. The LED lights up so you can see when the hard drive is working.

And finishing the look are the logo words of Toshiba in white along one side.

Your Toshiba Canvio Advance Over All Size

Convenient enough to put in your backpack or purse. You can carry it along with your Mac. Here are the over all sizes.

  • 1TB and 2TB drives are 4.3 in wide x 3.1 in long x 0.55 in deep.
  • 4TB drives are 4.3 in wide x 3.1 in long x 0.77 in deep.

The Canvio Advance (1TB and 2TB) are the same size as the entry level model of the Toshiba Canvio Basics.

The Toshiba Canvio Advance 3TB was replaced with the larger 4TB sized drive.

Great because now you’ve a larger capacity drive in the same footprint as the 3TB drive. When you compare the 1TB and 2TB drives to the 4TB. The 4TB drive is 0.22 of an inch deeper.

Not that much difference in size for when you’ve lots of files to save.

Your Toshiba Canvio Advance Weight

Your Canvio Advance weighs in at:

  • 5.28 oz. for the 1TB and 2TB capacity external hard drives.
  • And 7.7 oz. for your 4TB capacity drive.

Toshiba Canvio Advance White
Toshiba Canvio Advance White

What Do Those Who’ve Bought The Canvio Advance Think?

You’ll find plenty of good reviews on Amazon. Including reviews from Mac users.

You’ll see the rare though inevitable shipping problem or dead on arrival issue.

The good news for you is that the 2 year warranty has you covered.

I’ve provided a link below so that you can go onto the sales page and check on the Amazon reviews.

Scroll down to the bottom of the sales page and choose the star rating you’d like to have a look at.

Click through to select the most recent reviews. (Commissions Earned)

Toshiba Canvio Advance Inbuilt Protection

Your Canvio Advance gives you a level of protection against the odd knock or bump.

Exclusive to Toshiba is their internal shock sensor and ramp loading technology.

And the Toshiba Canvio Advance has it too.

Your Canvio Advance is a mechanical drive. And mechanical drives are not like solid-state drives. They’ve moving parts inside.

Knocks and shakes not only cause drive errors.

They can over time lead to your drive failing.

Your Toshiba Canvio Advance has some protection against the mild mishaps.

Even with this extra protection. You’ll find it’s best to use the Canvio Advance hard drive on a flat stable surface.

And protect your Canvio Advance drive when you take it with your Mac. Or when you store it in your home use a protective case.

You’ll find the Lacdo Waterproof EVA shockproof carrying case or the AmazonBasics External Hard Drive Case for your Canvio Advance great for protecting your drive. (Commissions Earned)

The Toshiba Canvio Advance Auto Backup And Password Protection

This downloadable software from Toshiba for the Canvio Advance sounds great.

But I have one word for you as a Mac owner.  Don’t.

Don’t bother downloading this software.

As these pieces of software won’t work on your Mac.

They are Windows PC only.

Can I Password Protect My Toshiba External Hard Drive?

Don’t worry your Mac allows you to set up your backups and password protect your files.

You’ve the included Mac software Time Machine for your auto backups.

And Disk Utility that allows you to encrypt and password protect your Canvio Advance.

Use those. They work on your Mac.

Toshiba Canvio Advance Performance

The Canvio Advance drive performs reasonably well for a 5400 rpm laptop type drive.

In testing 136 Mb/s file transfer speed was seen which is good for this type of drive.

And on the small file transfer test the Canvio Advance did 133 Mb/s write and 153 Mb/s read.

Certainly fine for you storing photo’s, files, movies and music on the drive. And for your Time Machine backups.

But if you’re a heavy user of video editing or Photoshop you’ll most likely want a faster drive.

Warranty on the Toshiba Canvio Advance

The same as its forerunner the Canvio Connect II, you get two years warranty. This meets the industry standard on these 2.5 inch portable laptop type external hard drives.

In Closing

Toshiba Canvio Advance is the perfect solution for backing up your files!

You’ll find five colors to match your style.

Save your files, music, photos and your Mac’s backups. Or use to transfer those important documents between devices.

And you’ve got a portable external hard drive that’s stylish. And compact to take with you wherever life takes you.

As a Mac user I find the Toshiba Canvio Advance capable. I hope you do to.

Related Articles

While you’re here check out some other Toshiba Canvio related articles on the site.

Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Review, 9 Points for a Mac User

Toshiba Canvio Connect II vs Canvio Basics vs Advance on Mac

Toshiba Canvio Connect II on Mac? (Review)

How to Use Toshiba External Hard Drive on Mac – Solved

Format Toshiba Hard Drive for Mac, 5 Minute Guide

Toshiba External Hard Drive Not Working On Mac (13 Fixes 4U)