Formatting an external hard drive is a simple task and can be done from your computer in a few easy steps.
Whether you’re looking to get rid a virus or malware, run a clean install of windows or clear your device to give away, knowing how to format your hard drive can be a pretty neat trick to learn.
In the videos below we’ll show you how to format a hard drive for both Mac and Windows PC, so you’ll be able to work with a clean hard drive in the future.
Warning- Reformatting a hard drive is effectively re-writing or deleting the contents of the entire device. Remember to remove any valuable information of data from the hard drive before you reformat. These methods are for a ‘quick reformat’.
So let’s start with formatting an external hard drive for Windows, we’ve done this process on a Windows 7 machine but the process is similar across the board:
If you can’t view the video, here are the steps below:
- Plug your device into the computer. (some drives may also need power from the wall socket)
- Open Windows Explorer, click the “Computer” section in the sidebar, and find your drive.
- Right click on the drive and choose “Format”.
- Under “File System”, choose the file system you want to use
- Give your drive a name under “Volume Label” and check the “Quick Format” box.
- Click “Start” to format the drive. It should only take a few seconds and you’ll get a notification when it’s done.
Again if you can’t view the video, here are the steps for formatting a MAC external hard drive.
- Plug your drive into the MAC
- Open Finder and go to /Applications/utilities and double click on “Disk Utility”
- Select your drive in the left-hand sidebar and go to the “Erase” tab
- Under the “Format” menu, chose the file system you want to use.
- Give your drive a name a name and click the “Erase” button. It should only take a few seconds to format your drive.