Sometimes, you should format your hard drive, especially if you want to use it in your Windows 10 computer. When you format a hard drive, all the information in it will be wiped out and erased. Other than that, formatting it sets up a file system so that the operating system of your computer can write data to the drive and also create data from it.
You might think that it’s complicated to format an external hard drive for Windows 10 – it’s not. Here is the step by step guide for you.
Format Your Hard Drive
Important Note: All the existing files on your drive will be erased when you format it so make sure that you back all the important files in it first before you proceed to the formatting.
1. In a Windows computer, connect the external hard drive that you will format. Your computer will automatically detect the hard drive if it is already working. The hard drive will be located below the Devices and Drives in the This PC panel. If you look at your File Explorer, you can also find the installed hard drive in it, located at the left sidebar.
As mentioned above, make sure that all important files and data should be backed up so it won’t get wiped out.
2. Click Format. To do this, right-click the external hard drive and choose Format on the pop-up menu that will appear.
3. Under the File System, choose the format that you want to use. Windows will automatically choose the New Technology File System or NTFS by default because it is the usual filing system used by Microsoft. You should choose exFAT, on the other hand, if you want your hard drive to work on a Mac as well.
4. Put a check on the box with an option that says “Quick Format”. Click Start afterward. It can take a couple or more minutes to finish, depending on the files that need to be deleted and the size of your hard drive.
5. A pop-up notification will appear, informing you that that format was fone. When the format is complete, just click OK.
Partitioning the External Hard Drive
If you also want to use your external hard drive on a Mac, you should partition it so that it can both work to a Windows and a Mac computer. Partitioning just simply means you are splitting the external hard drive into two types of formats – one for Windows computer and one for Mac. Here’s the step by step guide.
1. In the Windows search box, type the word “diskmgmt.msc”. Hit enter afterward. If you don’t know where the Windows search box is located, it is in the bottom left corner of the screen, with a magnifying glass icon.
2. Go to your external hard drive and do a right-click. Select Shrink Volume when a pop-up menu appears. Reformat the drive to NTFS if ever this option isn’t available on your computer.
3. Enter how much you would want to shrink your hard drive’s volume.
4. Click the Shrink button once you have set and decided the volume that you want to shrink. This will partition your hard drive. The other part of it will be unallocated space.
5. Go to the unallocated space on your drive and right-click it. Choose the New Simple Volume option.
6. Once done, click Next.
7. Put how big you want the split to be and click Next afterward. Enter the max disk space indicated if you want to use the rest of the space.
8. Select the type of drive letter you want to use. If there are missing letters on the drop-down list, then it is an indication that these letters are already assigned to other drives. Choose one of the available letters on the drop-down list.
9. Choose a file format by going to the File System. Since NTFS is the usual filing system of Microsoft, Windows will automatically choose it for you. You should choose exFAT, on the other hand, if you want your hard drive to work on a Mac as well.
10. Put a check on the box with an option that says “Quick Format”. Click Next afterward. It can take a couple or more minutes to finish, depending on the files that need to be deleted and the size of your hard drive.
11. A pop-up notification will appear, telling you that you should format the disk. Just click the Format Disk button and wait. When the format is complete, the disk will automatically open.