Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB

MacTakeAwayData Rank – 7.5 stars out of 10

7.5 Stars Out of 10 Stars

Your Toshiba Canvio Connect II portable external hard drive was replace in January 2019 by the Canvio Advance.

But you’ll find that the Canvio Connect Ii external hard drive continues to be popular with Mac owners. And in this article you can find out why.

You can buy the Canvio Connect II in 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB and 3TB sized drives. It’s worth your while thinking about buying the Canvio Connect II while stocks last.

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Pros

  • A lightweight and compact design with attractive colors
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • Easy to set up and use on a Mac
  • Shock protection and ramp loading technology. Means your Canvio Connect II will better survive life’s knocks and bumps

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Cons   

  • USB 2.0 backwards compatibility mode is not recommended for the oldest Macs with USB 2.0 ports (read why later)
  • No direct Thunderbolt connectivity (you will need an USB to Thunderbolt adaptor to connect to the newest (2017 or later) MacBook Pros
  • Preformatted in NTFS. NTFS can be read by your Mac but not written to.without reformatting. Or you’ll need to use the provided Tuxera driver software

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Verdict

When you’re looking for a portable external hard drive with decent storage capacity that looks good. And is easy to put on and use on your Mac.

Then the Toshiba Canvio Connect II 3TB portable hard drive certainly rocks.

Canvio Connect II YouTube Video

You may like to take a look at this YouTube Video.. A quick 15 second video showing the Canvio Connect II.

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Portable Hard Drive

    Video Credit: Toshiba USA

Review of the 7 Benefits of the Toshiba Canvio Connect II

1. Lightweight, Compact, and Attractive Design of the Connect II

You’ll find the size and weight important when you plan to port around your external hard drive.

The size of the Toshiba Canvio Connect II at 3.1″ x 4.3″ x 0.8″ means it easy fits in the palm of your hand.

Weighing in at 5.8 ounces compares well with the other portable drives in its class.

Toshiba certainly aimed this portable at the young of heart. The hipster and the trendy, by selling the Canvio Connect II portable in a range of colors.

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Range Of Colors

You’ll have the choice of  Red, Blue and Black.

The premium Canvio Connect sports a metallic Aluminum cover. Great when you want to match it to your Mac.

The outward colorful design is finished off with a blinking light to tell you when the drive is in use.

2. Canvio Connect II Hard Drive Capacities

You can choose from four drive sizes, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB. Plenty options for your documents, music and videos of granddad with the kids. 

3. Performance of the Canvio Connect II

The data transfer rate is good. You won’t find it’s blindingly fast.

With an average rate of ~110MBps over USB 3.0.  

And should you buy you’ll find that your Canvio Connect II remains cool. Even when your transferring lots of large files. And it’s relatively quiet when working.

4. Toshiba Canvio Connect User’s Opinions

Over 70% of those who have expressed an opinion on Amazon have given the Toshiba Canvio Connect II Portable hard drive a top star rating.

Which is a great testament for this hard drive.

5. Shock Protection on the Toshiba Canvio Connect II

Your Canvio Connect II is made with internal shock sensors. And has ramp loading technology.

What does this mean?

This means that your Canvio Connect II feels vibrations and tries to reduce them.

This technology does offer you some protection just in case something hits the drive while you’re using it. And is certainly a useful plus point for a portable hard drive.

Even with this technology, the fact is that your Canvio Connect II is a mechanical drive with moving parts.

And your best using this drive on a firm, level surface.

After all it is not a certified ruggedized drive. And when you’re taking it with you look after it with a good protective case. 

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Range Of Colors

6. Pre-loaded Backup Software and Password Protection On the Connect II

The Toshiba Canvio Connect II comes pre-loaded with NTI Backup software. The NTI software includes password protection and encryption of your files.

But for you as a Mac user this is not a plus.

Because this software does not run on your Mac.

If you want encryption to protect your files, then your Mac’s operating system has you covered.

When you formatting your Connect II on your Mac  you can add encryption and a password to protect your files at the same time.  

Plus for backup software Time Machine is the back up software of choice on a Mac.

7. What Comes in the Toshiba Canvio Connect II Box

Toshiba Canvio Connect II
  • Your Toshiba Canvio Connect II Drive
  • 1 x USB 3.0 cable
  • Quick Start Guide

Depending on how you want to use your Canvio Connect II you may find the supplied USB cable a little short. Don’t worry it is a standard cable and a longer USB 3.0 cable which is type A at one end and type USB micro B at the other end is easy to source and buy.

Plug In USB Icon

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Connection to Mac

Now you know some of  the benefits of the Toshiba Canvio Connect II take a look at how you connect it to your Mac.

Setting up your Toshiba Canvio Connect II on your Mac is easy and straight forward as long as you bear a few things in mind.

Things to Bear in Mind When using on a Mac

There is no external power supply for this drive as the hard drive is designed to be powered via the single USB 3.0 port. The USB 3.0 port and cable is also backward compatible with USB 2.0.

Beware though, Apple USB 2.0 ports on older Macs are strict on the USB 2.0 power draw standard. And there have been reports of the drive failing to power up reliably. 

I would suggest that if you have an older Mac with a USB 2.0 port that you look elsewhere for a compatible hard drive preferably something that doesn’t wholly rely on being powered via the USB 2.0 port.

Plugging in your Connect II on your Newer Mac (2017 and later)

These Mac have Thunderbolt ports.

You’ll need a Thunderbolt/USB C to USB adaptor to connect this Toshiba Portable hard drive.

The Thunderbolt port is compatible with USB 3.0 so there is no issue with that.

But your Thunderbolt ports are physically different to USB 3.0 ports so you’ll need an adaptor.

Thunderbolt native drives are more expensive and having an adaptor is a good option as it means you can choose a cheaper drive.

Question: Leave the Canvio Connect II as NTFS Formatted or Reformat for Mac

Fundamentally this Toshiba Portable hard drive is compatible with both Mac computers and Windows computers.

It comes pre-formatted as NTFS, which both Windows and Macs can read. Macs cannot write to NTFS drives natively. Toshiba does provide you with the Tuxera driver. You load the driver onto your Mac and your Mac can then write to the Canvio Connect II.  

If you want to share the drive between several Macs then the software has to be loaded onto each Mac.

Great you say so why wouldn’t I do that?

What to Beware of with the Tuxera NTFS Support

1. NTFS does not support back up on Macs with Time Machine. For that the drive will need to be reformatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system (also known as HFS+).

2.  Use the latest version of this driver. 

3. You’ll need a version of the Tuxera driver compatible with any future updates of the Mac operating system before you can access the files on the drive.

4. And that updated driver will need to be available before you update your Mac’s operating system.

The driver can be downloaded here from Toshiba direct.

Click on the Knowledge Base tab and select the link How to Update Tuxera NTFS for Mac OS X “El Capitan” or “Sierra”.

And you’ll find the software driver there and related instructions or use the link below directly.


To be honest I think the Tuxera NTFS driver is a bit of a distraction for a Mac user.

It is so easy to reformat hard drives on a Mac I truly think you’re better off reformatting the Canvio Connect II to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system and it only takes a few minutes to do when you know how.

I have an article on the site, which will show you how easy it is to do here.

Or if you want to share the Toshiba Canvio Connect II between a Mac and a Windows PC. Then formatting to ExFAT will allow you to do it.

And you won’t need a special driver on your Mac and your Mac will be happier. You can take a look at my document on sharing external hard drives between Macs and Windows PC’s.

When you format your Canvio Connect II.

Formatting will remove the PC software on the hard drive and the preloaded manuals.

Copy the software off the hard drive if you still want access to the software to use on a Windows PC.

You can do that by copying that software onto a Windows PC before connecting up to your Mac.

Or when your Toshiba Connect II  is first connected to your Mac say no to using the drive with Time Machine.

Your Mac can read the NTFS format of your Canvio Connect II. So you can copy and paste those files into a folder on your Mac before using Disk Utility to format the drive.

Then once you have formatted your Connect II for your Mac you can copy them back.

Connecting Your Canvio Connect II to Time Machine

Time Machine

Time Machine needs your Canvio Connect formatted as to Mac OS Extended (Journaled) file system.

Once you’ve done that your Canvio Connect II is easily connected to Time Machine.

Drag and Drop or Copy and Paste to the Toshiba Canvio Connect II

Once formatted your Toshiba Canvio Connect II will appear as an icon on your desktop and you can double click to open.

Or you can open a finder window and select the Toshiba from the left hand side of your finder window.

You can then create folders, drag and drop files to the Toshiba Canvio Connect II as you would on your Mac’s internal hard drive. 

Toshiba Canvio Connect II Review for Mac Last Words

The Canvio Connect II is made by Toshiba a well recognized manufacturer in the electronics consumer space.

Toshiba is known for their reliable products, good performance and durability from their laptops through to their external hard drives.

Your Toshiba Canvio Connect II should do a good job for you on your Mac.

And at an excellent price.

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