Toshiba Canvio Basics Format For Mac Title Image

You’ve got your Toshiba Canvio Basics in your hands. You bought it to use on your Mac.

And now you’re thinking – ‘How do I format my Toshiba Canvio Basics 3.0 for Mac?’

It doesn’t take long to change this NTFS drive for your Mac. And get your Toshiba Canvio Basics Mac format done.

And reformat if you want to.

With the know how here you’ll have your Basics external hard drive up and running on your Mac in a wink.

How Do I Format A Toshiba Canvio Basics Portable Hard Drive For Mac?

This is how you go about formatting your Basics drive. Whether you’ve a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or iMac the way you do it is the same.

You’ll find a how to YouTube video after these steps.

1. Connect Your Basics Toshiba External Hard Drive To Your Mac.

You’ll need a USB C to USB type A adaptor. Or a Micro B to USB C cable to replace the one that comes with your Toshiba hard disk drive.

That’s because the Toshiba Basics hard drive comes with a cable with a type A connector on the end. Fine for Macs before 2016 as those Macs have type A USB ports. But you’ll need an adaptor for your modern Mac.

Sign Into Your Mac.

A few moments after you’ve connected up your Basics Toshiba hard drive. It’s drive icon appears on your Mac computer’s desktop.

Toshiba Basics Drive Icon

If your drive icon doesn’t appear. Then check your Finder Settings (Mac OS Ventura). In previous Mac OS releases it’s called Finder Preferences. Open a Finder widow and choose Settings or Preferences from the Finder menu.

Finder Settings

From the pop up window click on the General heading. Then put a check in box ‘External Disks’

Finder Settings Show External Disks

Your Toshiba Basics external drive icon should now show on your Mac’s desktop.

You can Click here to check out the latest Toshiba Canvio Basics 1TB Review

2. Start The Disk Utility Software.

Disk Utility is your Mac’s disk management software. It’s a standard part of your Mac OS – Mac operating system. You’ll use it to format your Toshiba Basics external storage.

To start up Disk Utility you can do a spotlight search from the top of your Mac’s desktop.

Spotlight Search Symbol

And then type in Disk Utility.

Disk Utility In Spotlight Search

Understand that:

When you format your Basics Toshiba drive you clear everything on there.

Formatting wipes any files on your external storage device.

If you’ve any file or files on the Basics external hard drive you need.

Copy them all off first.

Because you don’t want to be the one feeling sorry you’ve lost your files. And looking for the services of a data recovery company. Or data recovery software to get back your files. And with no certainty you’ll recover data.

3. Pick Your Toshiba Drive In Your External Drives List.

To the left of your Disk Utility pop up window. You’ll find a list of all the drives on your Mac.

You’ll see your Mac’s internal drives under the Internal heading. Look past that as you won’t be doing anything with your Mac’s internal drive here.

Further down you’ll find the External heading.

You’ll see your Basics external hard drive listed there.

Toshiba Basics In External Drive List

The key thing is. When you’re looking at the list that you see the entry for your Basics external disk expanded.

You can click on the arrow to the left of your drive to expand the list.

If you can’t expand the list then you’ll need to change your Disk Utility View setting.

This setting was turned off by default since Mac Os x version 10.13. And if this is the first time you’re formatting an external disk drive on your Mac you’ll need to turn this setting on.

You do that from the Disk Utility menu. Pick View.

Toshiba Disk Utility View

From the drop down menu. Choose the option to see the drive and the volume – show all devices.

Then expand the list by clicking on the small arrow to the left of your drive’s name.

Next click on your Basics Toshiba hard drive where you first see it. At the top level. Right where it appears under the External heading.

Be sure to do this. Because if you don’t. You’ll have all sorts of trouble formatting your Toshiba drive.


You can Click here to check out our Best External Hard Drive Review

4. Click The Erase Button Along The Top Of Your Disk Utility App Window.

Along the top of your Disk Utility pop up window you’ll see a button with Erase on it.

Click on that next.

Select Erase

Don’t worry you’re not erasing your Basics external hard drive yet. You’ve a few more settings to put in first.

5. Set Your Basics File System Format Options For Mac.

The first thing to do is to put in a name for your Basics external hard disk.

Why not pick a name that makes it easy for you to remember what you’re using your Basics storage device for?

Toshiba Basics Format Popup Window

You type the name into the Name field.

Next you pick the file system format you want for your Basics Toshiba hard drive.

Click on the up down arrows at the end of the format field. That opens up a list.

Depending on how you plan to use your Basics external drive. You’d pick one file system format rather than another.


  • APFS (Apple File System) or Mac OS Extended (Journaled). For a Basics Toshiba external hard drive, you can drag and drop your files to. Or copy and paste to.

These file systems are only for Mac.

APFS or Mac OS Extended (Journaled) is also fine for external hard drives used for a Time Machine backup of your Mac.

APFS is a new Apple file system. And has only been available since Mac OS Catalina.

And only since Mac OS x Big Sur can you use APFS for a Time Machine backup.  This isn’t supported on earlier Mac OS releases.

  • ExFAT when you want to have your Basics external drive and copy files to and from it both from a Mac and a Windows PC.

ExFAT is readable and writeable by both Mac and Microsoft Windows. You can copy and paste or drag and drop to a Basics drive in ExFAT. From both a Mac and Windows PC.

There’s just the one drawback. You can’t use a Basics drive formatted in an ExFAT file system for a Time Machine backup on Mac.

But it is possible if you’ve a larger 2TB Toshiba Canvio Basics or a larger 4TB drive to create partitions. And have one partition to backup to. And a separate partition in ExFAT you share with Microsoft Windows.

Toshiba Basics File System Format

Note: When you’re formatting your Basics storage for the FIRST time on your Mac. Only the Mac OS Extended Journaled or ExFAT file system options will show.

If you want to format to APFS you’ll need to format to Mac OS Extended Journaled first. Then run through these steps again to format to APFS.

Also Remember: Formatting your Basics Toshiba portable hard drive erases all data on there. If there are files you need, please copy them off first.

The next setting is Scheme. Choose GUID Partition Map for the Scheme.

Check the options you’ve picked are what you want.

Toshiba Basics Pick GUID Partition Map

6. Click The Erase Button.

Then Click on the Erase button to the bottom right of your Disk Utility window. To start your Toshiba Canvio Basics format for Mac.

Toshiba Basics Erase To Start Format

Your Mac will then format your Basics external hard drive.

It only takes a few short moments and you’re done.

And a few moments after that, you’ll see your Basics external drive icon on your Mac’s desktop.

Then you can exit Disk Utility.

Would You Find A YouTube Video Useful?

When you’d like to follow along watching a video. Then this 2 minute 13 seconds is for you.

How To Format Toshiba Canvio Basics For Mac

Video Credit : MacTakeAwayData

Opening Your Newly Formatted Basics Portable On Mac

Double click on your Basics drive icon and you’ll open up a Finder window.

Copy and paste or drag and drop files into this Finder window. And you’re putting files on your Basics external hard drive.

When you’re done using your Basics external drive don’t forget to Eject your drive.

Ejecting tells your Mac to write everything in its memory down to your Basics drive.

If you don’t. You risk corrupting the files on your Toshiba drive.

You do this by right clicking on the drive icon on your desktop and choosing Eject from the menu options.

Toshiba Right Click Eject

In a few seconds your Basics drive icon will disappear. And you’ll be fine to take out your Basics USB drive cable from your Mac’s USB port.

How To Reformat Toshiba Canvio Basics For Mac?

Whether you’re reformatting a Basics NTFS drive. Or you want to clear all the files from your drive by reformatting you do the same thing.

Plug in your Canvio Basics into your Mac’s USB Port. Open up the Disk Utility Software.

Find and click on your Basics Toshiba external drive under External.

Click Erase at the top of the Disk Utility popup window.

Set the Basics file system format options you want. Click on the Erase button.

Yes, it’s basically the same process as outlined here in this article. Whether you’re formatting or reformatting your Basics Toshiba external drive. You follow the same steps in this document.

In Closing

Now you have your Toshiba Canvio Basics Mac format all sorted. Why not take a look at the other Toshiba related articles here on the site.

Related Articles

Toshiba Canvio Basics Mac Compatible [Can You And How To]

Toshiba Canvio Basics Mac Setup [Turn On And Put To Use]

Toshiba Canvio Basics Mac [Or MacBook Prepped]

Format Toshiba Hard Drive For Mac And PC [Lazy Guide]

How To Delete Files From Toshiba External Hard Drive On Mac

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

Toshiba External Hard Drive Not Allowing File Transfer Mac