Format external hard disk mac time machine

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First, decide if you're going to put other data, or backups for multiple Macs, on the drive. If so, see question 3 or question 4 before proceeding.

How to Format , Partition, Transfer files , Set up time machine - external Hard Drive on Mac

Case-sensitivity on Time Machine backups. A case-sensitive format means upper-case letters in file names are seen as different from lower-case letters.

That's the default if Time Machine formats it for you, but non-case-sensitive also known as case-ignorant is the default for all other volumes. Do not use case-sensitive unless you're sure you need it.

How to Use a Time Machine Drive for Both File Storage and Backups

Click each partition in the sidebar indented under the main line of the drive , and you'll see the Format towards the lower left. Effective with Lion If ANY disk being backed-up is case-sensitive , then your backups must be case-sensitive also. So if you have, or think you might add, a case-sensitive disk, make your backup disk Mac OS Extended Case-sensitive, Journaled now.

Most of the time there's no difference, but if the backups are case-sensitive, there may be problems when restoring previous versions of files via the Time Machine browser the "Star Wars" display. See Troubleshooting item E7 for a detailed explanation.

Format Your Drive With Disk Utility

Formatting a Disk for use with Time Machine:. Select the Erase tab, then confirm.


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This will erase the entire disk. If you want, you can select Security Options , then move the slider on that window to the first position from the left or select Zero-Out Data on Snow Leopard and earlier to physically erase the entire disk by writing over everything.

Types of disks you can use with Time Machine on Mac

This may not work if the drive is already set up with a non-Apple Partition Map Scheme , such as is used on Windows. For details, check the documentation for your NAS device. If the disk isn't using the correct format, Time Machine automatically prompts you to erase it when you connect it to your Mac:.


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  2. Transferring a Time Machine backup to a new drive was never easier.
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  4. Time Machine can't back up to an iOS device or disk formatted for Windows. Backup disks you can use with Time Machine Time Machine can back up to an external storage device connected to your Mac or supported AirPort base station.

    Optional Formatting and Partitioning

    Open AirPort Utility, then select your base station and click Edit to view its settings. Click the Disks tab in the settings window. Click Update to restart your base station and apply the settings. From the list of services on the left, select File Sharing. From the list of Shared Folders on the right, Control-click the folder that you want to use for Time Machine backups. From the shortcut menu that opens, choose Advanced Options.

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