You’d like your Toshiba Canvio Basics Mac compatible. Or you’re really interesting in buying yourself a 1TB, 2TB or 4TB Toshiba Canvio Basics.
But before you do. You don’t want to be the crazy person crying when you can’t get it to work on your Mac.
So, you’re doing the due diligence. And checking this cheeky little external drive from Toshiba is compatible with Mac.
Rest easy, because you can get your Canvio Basics working in harmony on your Mac computer. Just read on …
Is Toshiba Canvio Basics Compatible With Mac?
Yes. Even though Toshiba ships this drive with an NTFS file system. You have a few options to make your Toshiba Canvio Basics portable hard drive Mac compatible.
1. Run NTFS driver software on your Mac.
2. Format your Basics Toshiba hard drive on your Mac. And make it Mac compatible in about 5 minutes on your Mac.
What You’ll Need To Connect Your Basics External Hard Drive So It Complies with Mac
The cable in the box with your Basics Toshiba external hard drive has a Type A USB connection at one end. The end that plug into your Mac’s USB port. And a type Micro B USB at the end that plugs into the Canvio Basics drive.
As NTFS drives are made to be Windows PC compatible. And many PC’s out there have type A USB ports.
This cable is fine for them. And it’s fine for you if you’ve an older Mac.
And by that, I’m talking about a Mac with USB 2.0 ports. As this USB 3.0 external drive is backwards compatible. And the cable fits.
But for modern Macs with USB C ports. You’re going to need a type A to USB C port adaptor. Easy enough to get on-line.
Or a USB C, 3.0 cable to micro B. Again, easy enough to source. Buy one when you buy your Basics drive.
One thing to watch for if you’re on an older Mac with USB 2.0 ports. There are reports from Mac users of the Canvio Basic external storage failing to power up. And not being compatible with some older Macs with USB 2.0 only ports.
This is because Macs conform strictly to the USB 2.0 port standards on power draw.
So, you may want to consider getting yourself a self-powered USB hub. And use the hub to plug this Basics Toshiba drive into before plugging into your Mac.
Making Your Basics Hard Drive Mac Compatible Without Changing Your Drive
Do you need to make your Toshiba Basics storage compatible with your Mac? But you’ve already got files on there put on by a Microsoft Windows computer?
A Mac can read files on your Basics Toshiba external drive with no issue. You can copy those files off onto your Mac. Then work on them on your Mac.
But what you can’t do with a Basics drive in its default NTFS file system format. Is copy those changed files back onto the drive.
Or work directly on your files on the Basics external hard drive and change them on there.
And that’s because a Mac can’t write to the Basics storage space in its NTFS guise.
Apple has a licensing agreement with Microsoft that let them put the Microsoft code into Mac OS x. And that code allows an Apple Mac to read NTFS drives. And copy files off.
But your Mac operating system doesn’t have the code to write to your Basics NTFS drive. And updating any file on there means your Mac has to write to the drive.
But, when you need your Basics portable external hard drive Mac compatible.
Then, what you’ll need to do is install and run something called NTFS driver software.
NTFS driver software is a 3rd party piece of software you buy and run on your Mac.
This software gives your Mac OS the software to write to your Basics hard drive.
You can find out about using an external hard drive without reformatting in this article on the site.
Click on the linked text to take a look.
It is extra software to run and keep up to date on your Mac. And when you mainly run your Basics Toshiba external hard drive on a Windows PC. And only once in a while on your Mac it’s a good solution.
Though, when you mainly want to use your Toshiba Basics on your Mac. And you don’t care about the files on there. Or you can copy them off somewhere else temporarily.
A better solution is to use the disk management software on your Mac called Disk Utility. And format your Basics drive to make it work in harmony with your Mac.
Make Your Basics Toshiba Hard Drive Mac Compatible By Formatting
When you’re looking to buy and use your Basics portable external hard drive mainly on your Mac. Or MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, M1 Mac or iMac you’ll need to change its file system to one that is Mac compatible.
It’s easy enough to do on your Mac. And you use disk management software that’s part of your Mac OS called Disk Utility to do it. Let Disk Utility format your drive and then you can use your Basics Toshiba external hard drive as a Mac drive.
And it’ll work just as good. As if you’d paid extra dollars for an external hard drive that came already formatted for Mac.
Understand, when you format your Basics Toshiba drive. You wipe all the data on your Basics external storage. So copy any files you want off first.
Don’t be the one looking for the services of a data recovery company.
The way to format is:
1. Plug in the Basics Toshiba External Hard Drive Into Your Mac.
Wait a few moments for your Basics drive icon to show up on your Mac’s desktop.
If it doesn’t. Then check Finder Preferences.
On the Finder Preferences pop up window click the General heading. Put a check in box ‘External Disks’
2. Open Disk Utility.
You can do a spotlight search for the Disk Utility software.
3. Click Your Basics External Storage In Your External Drives List.
Just before you do that. First check the settings of your Disk Utility View.
Be sure ‘Show All Devices’ is the option chosen.
Then on the left of your Disk Utility window. Look under the External heading.
Check you can see multiple entries – levels for your Basics Toshiba external hard drive. You can expand the list by clicking on the small arrow to the left of your drive’s name.
Then 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 Basics Toshiba drive.
4. Click The Erase Tab At The Top Of Your Disk Utility Window.
5. Then Set Your Basics File System Format Options For Mac Compatibility.
Type in a name for your Basics Toshiba external hard drive.
Pick the file system.
When you change the format from NTFS to something that’s Mac compatible. The first time you format you’ll need to pick Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
For scheme pick GUID Partition Map.
6. Click The Erase Button.
And your Mac will format your Toshiba Basics storage capacity in a few moments.
You’ll find an article here on the site with a fuller explanation. Click on this linked text to head on over to it. Toshiba Canvio Basics format for Mac.
Compatible Mac Formats For Your Basics External Hard Disk
There are other Mac compatible file system formats you can use for your Basics portable external hard drive.
And once you have formatted your drive for the first time to Extended Journaled.
You can take a quick jog through the steps again and pick one of these formats. If you think they’ll fit better with what you plan to use your Basics drive for.
- APFS (Apple File System) is a new Apple file system. And has only been available since the Mac operating system Catalina. APFS was originally designed to take advantage of the faster speed of solid state drives (SSD’s).
But will work just as well on a hard disk drive.
Only since Big Sur is APFS compatible with your Mac’s Time Machine backup software. APFS isn’t supported on earlier Mac OS releases. So, watch out if you need backwards compatibility with an older Mac.
APFS is only for Mac’s. A PC won’t see your Basics APFS external storage.
- ExFAT is the file system to use when you want to have your Basics compatible with both your Mac and a Windows PC. As both Mac and a PC can read and write to a Basics drive in ExFAT.
But you can’t use a Basics drive in ExFAT for a Time Machine back up.
- Mac OS Extended Journaled is the original Mac file system. It’s backwards compatible with older Macs. And you can use for a Time Machine backup of your Mac. A PC can’t see an Extended Journaled file system.
Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Mac Compatible
When you have a larger Basics portable hard drive. Like a 2TB or even a 4TB drive. You could be more flexible about how you use the extra storage capacity.
You can consider partitioning up your drive. Have one partition as Extended Journaled or APFS for example. And another partition as ExFAT.
That way if you want to use the storage capacity of your Basics drive for Time Machine backups. And have part that you can see and share on a PC. You have the option.
Of course, you can still format your entire drive in a Mac native format. Because your storage needs mean you need the whole drive.
One thing. If the only copy of your data is on your Basics external USB drive. Think carefully about getting a second. And have one as a copy of the other.
The Toshiba drives are reliable and work well on Mac. But it’s never a good idea to have your precious data in only one place. Just in case.
When it comes to backing up your data, you’ve got a lot of options for external storage.
And the Canvio Basics is a great option when you need a well priced drive.
Yes, it’s shipped to plug and play on Windows.
But your Mac has all the tools built in for you to make it compatible on your Mac.
And use it to store your important documents, photos, and other data.
While, you’re here. Why not check out our other Basics and Toshiba related articles on the site?
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.