The external hard drive is among the most vital and essential items that have gotten practically basic in today’s computing.
Unlike other storage devices, they are ideal for storage and backup for different files or videos or other data of even larger size. It is not only helpful for storage but the most convenient way to transfer data from one device to another.
There are many advantages of adding an external hard drive with your machine for maximizing performance and enhancing its configuration design. There are many excellent options when selecting the external hard drive for your device.
But the most common problem occurs for the people who want to interchange data between Mac and Windows PC because the drive compatible with PC cannot read the drive compatible with Mac and vice versa.
This issue is usual for people who use devices with different compatibility and configuration type and mac can’t recognize the disk formatting type of windows and vice versa. But don’t you worry as there are many solutions to this problem. In this article, we will tell you ways to enjoy the best of both worlds. Having one drive that is viable with both frameworks could be very valuable.
Best Cross Platform Compatible External Hard Drives For Mac And PC
For many individuals, the easiest option is to go for online storage administrations like iCloud or Google Drive; however, these are certainly not an extraordinary best for everybody, particularly in the event that you have a ton of documents or need to get to them shared on both your macintosh and PC machines.
For this situation, an external hard drive that is Mac and PC exchangeable is the most ideal choice, since you’ll have every one of your records close by consistently and it can store altogether more file information than any cloud storage. Below are some of the best External Hard Drives for Mac and PC that don’t need extra formatting and all.
1. Samsung T5 Portable SSD – Best Overall External Hard Drive
Accessible from the minimum of 250 GB size as far as up to 2TB, this external SSD by Samsung composes at 540MB/s, it’s an outstanding rate. It utilizes a USB-C like cable. This drives is labeled as one of the best portable SSD drive available today.
2. WD 2TB Elements – Best Portable Hard Drive for Gamers
It features the fastest data transfer rates. It has large storage capacity and connectivity option. Best external hard drive for video editing as it is extremely lightweight and is quite reasonable. Getting the best compatible external hard drive is actually not an easy job. To limit your search, let us disclose to you more about the WD 2TB Elements external hard drive.
3. Toshiba Canvio Flex – Best-Designed External Hard Drive
Expanded compatibility, USB C and USB A cable, sleek design and sturdier built. What more you want from external hard drive. The Toshiba Canvio Flex 4TB versatile external hard drive ought to likewise be deserving of your consideration. Allow us to disclose to you that it is intended for PC, Mac, and tablets.
4. MaxOne 1 TB Ultra-Slim – Best Budget External Hard Drive
With advanced heat management system and empowered by USB3.0 link. This external hard drive doesn’t need any further software installation. Sleek eye catching design of only 0.4 inches thickness. It’s an excellent portable external hard drive that is viable with Mac, Windows, Xbox One, PS4, etc.
5. Fantom Drives 2TB – Best Portable Hard Drive for Creative Pros
This external hard drive with 7200RPM combined with USB 3.0 link is an ideal decision in the event that you need really easy file move rates. All things considered, the hard drive upholds USB 2.0 too and is viable with Mac, Windows, PS4, and Xbox One.
Check it out and you’ll see that it is a simple to utilize, just insert and play external drive. Concerning the aluminum packaging and the upscale form, the two of them make the hard drive a significant looker as well.
6. Buffalo Drive Station Axis Velocity – Best High-Capacity Portable Hard Drive
Other than having support for both Mac and Windows gadgets, the Buffalo external hard drive likewise gloats of a 256-cycle AES encryption highlight too. It incorporates a 7200 RPM plate and is USB 3.0 and 2.0 viable as well.
Also, on account of the fanless plan, it will sit without making extra noise around your work area. Additionally, don’t leave aside that it accompanies both Turbo PC and Turbo Copy to upgrade record move execution.
Why you can’t use the same external hard drive for Mac and PC?
As external hard drives are becoming the essential storage medium for both mac and windows PC users. But normally it is impossible to read or write the data files from one hard drive between both mediums. You might be asking, why is it like that. Normally there are these main issues
- Macintoshes and PCs utilize totally distinct file frameworks. Window’s data system is non-functional by Mac. As, Mac uses the different system formats i.e. HFS file system, which is not recognized by windows without introducing outsider programs. Similarly windows utilize the NTFS record framework. They both use the distinctive record framework albeit a few configurations are general like JPG.
- Windows can read or write only those hard drives that are formatted on NFTS framework. Hard drive designed for Mac has either a HFS or HFS+ record framework. Thus, a Mac-organized hard drive isn’t straightforwardly viable, understandable or comprehensible by a windows PC. Because it’s HFS format is not discernible by PC.
- You just have perused authority to external hard that is formatted on different file system.
- You cannot write or add anything to the mac’s external hard drive due to hard drive’s file and data corruption.
Now, you must be thinking how to make the same external hard drive compatible with Mac and PC without formatting. In such a way that it can easily work for mac and pc. Furthermore, to make it easily compatible and exchangeable. The easiest approach for that was to format it but other than that there also many other options.
Read also: Best External Hard Drive For Gaming Laptop
How to make external hard drive compatible with mac and pc without formatting:
Fortunately there’s a viable neutral ground that is exFat file system. One of the most convenient options is to go for external drive with exFat format. It is best for both worlds. External hard drive made up on ExFat system can be easily shareable among Max and windows without any problem.
You transfer data and files among two operating system freely. Purchase an external hard drive previously organized as ExFAT. For instance the Samsung T5 Portable SSD is ExFAT designed and you can utilize directly. ExFat is also best option for compatibility even with Linux also but you need some additional software for it.
By splitting a portion of your external drive for windows and mac. It best when you are agreed dividing your external hard drive in different sections for PC and mac. You can section up your drive for different dedicated file systems. It is perfect option when you have external hard drive larger size.
A few drives accompany different programs and software that can be downloaded easily and they delivers same compatibility and interchangeability. But the problem is that, the point at which you update your mac or pc’s working framework. Would the product be still viable? Sometimes it won’t.
Another most ideal approach to do it is Tuxera’s NTFS for mac. It utilizes smart sharp and perceptive reserving to keep information move as quick as could really be expected and works with every OS X rendition since 10.4 Tiger. It costs only 31$, you can easily download a demo first to perceive how it works.
If you are a handyman and tight on budget, we have a free route option for you. It’s Sourceforge project known as Native NTFS-OS X that takes care of business effectively. But is not for youngsters: It’s a slam content that necessities to run from the terminal order line and expects you to have complete admin’s admittance to your PC.
Different File System Compatibility Between Operating Systems
Windows to Mac
The Go Flex line of desk external hard drive incorporates a NTFS driver, which can make make mac operating system to easily understand NTFS document frameworks. This is the excellent arrangement Seagate drives offers for moving information among mac and window PCs. You may likewise setup your external hard drive into FAT32 for easy usage among windows and mac.
You check further guidelines online. It is simply conceivable to understand Fat32 and FAT designed hard drives in a mac with OS 10.2 or prior. Utilizing a FAT32 arranged drive inside the Max climate is just suggested for a brief timeframe to move information. A data debasement will conceivably happen when utilizing FAT32 throughout an all-inclusive timeframe in a Mac.
Likewise remember, that you can get a 4 GB document move limit. Try not to utilize NTFS arranged drives. For the drives other than GoFlex, Mac OS X 10.3 Panther or higher version works with NTFS designed volumes; however it will work as peruse only. You can easily copy or duplicate information from the external hard drive, however not to it. For FAT32, it is suggested that the volume and segment size of the hard drive should not surpass 32 GB.
Macintosh to Windows
Seagate is one of the best data storage solutions company. Its FreeAgent is a line of external hard drives. It FreeAgent GoFlex external hard drives incorporates the Paragon drivers, which enables the NTFS document frameworks to read, write and understandable in Macintosh operating system. You can easily follow the guidelines and install it.
It is one of the best formatted arrangements Seagate provide for moving files and data among window PCs and Mac devices. For non-GoFlex external hard drives, windows don’t uphold the Mac’s document framework and it can’t be perused. Notwithstanding, windows and macintosh can peruse the FAT32 document framework.
Utilizing a disk setup with outsider but most relevant utility that permits you to see Mac designed volumes is an option in contrast to utilizing FAT32 document framework for the external disk drives.
Mac to Mac
Few external hard drives by Seagate, for example, the FreeAgent Go for Mac and FreeAgent Desk for Mac, come previously organized in Macintosh’s OS extended arrangement, which is upheld by Mac OS 8.1 and later versions. Other than that, hard drives which come arranged in NTFS should be reformatted to Mac OS before you endeavor to store information to the drive.
At the point when you design your outside hard drive, it ought to be organized for Mac operating system and extended framework. On the off chance that you are moving files from an OS 10 framework to an OS 9 system, or attempting to get to the information through OS 9 (with a drive arranged through OS 10), you should have introduced OS 9 drivers when you eradicate the drive. Something else, moving information between OS 10 working frameworks must work.
The Best Formats for External Hard Drives for Mac and PC
Choosing an ideal file system and format for external hard drives can be really befuddling. Picking some unacceptable one can transform into a genuine agony when you need to reinforcement and reformat a whole drive since it will not work for its proposed reason. One of the middle ground and best format when you need to interchange and share data between mac and windows pc is ExFat.
Both working frameworks can peruse and compose data to the ExFat external hard drive. You can easily transfer your data files, video and photos. Tune into and enjoy the similar mp3s. Work on similar documents, insofar as you’ve appropriate applications that can peruse those records.
In the event that you need your hard drive viable with macintosh and pc without any additional formatting and designing, you should utilize exFAT. With that, you can easily save documents of any size, and use it with any PC made over the most recent 20 years. Another best external hard drive formats compatible for mac and PC both are FAT32 or MS-DOS FAT as it is approached on mac computers.
FAT32 File Format
File Allocation Table commonly known as FAT is surely one of the most common compatibility format and framework option available today. It is a perpetuation of the first DOS design utilized on floppy disks, drives and storage medium. FAT32 exists significantly to broaden the outright data size that more former variants of FAT can deal with.
The single maximum record size that FAT32 can deal with is 4gb. That is presumably all right for most documents, videos and pictures particularly in case you’re utilizing a thumb drive as compare to external disk drive.
But, it’s really typical nowadays to have video documents or other larger data sets that demand more storage capacity than 4GB, which makes it unacceptable for drives that are probably going to have larger records.
Nonetheless, in the event that you need to peruse and compose records from a mac computer to windows pc to a similar hard drive, this is generally your most ideal alternative.
ExFAT File Format
Extended file allocation table is the file system, introduced by Microsoft in 2006, to give same compatibility as FAT without the annoying storage restrictions. ExFat is the one of the best file format for external hard drive compatible with Mac and PC without formatting. Both the operating systems can easily understand compose to exFat formatted external hard drive.
The issue with exFAT is that it is more inclined to segmentation than utilizing an Apple-restrictive document framework. Now, it’s on you to decide whether this compromise is awesome, or whether you’d like to utilize other drivers all things considered.
ExFAT is unquestionably steadier than other alternatives of NTFS or HFS drivers, and numerous other customer gadgets like multimedia gadgets and TV already handle ad uphold exFAT framework.
It is awesomely useful for drives especially flash ones or those divided among mac and windows computers. It can easily settles the record size constraint of FAT32 and figures out how to stay a quick, portable and lightweight design that do not stall even essential gadgets with USB stockpiling support.
While exFAT isn’t exactly as generally upheld as FAT32, yet it is viable with numerous television sets, cameras and other comparable gadgets. In particular, exFAT deals with the windows and mac operating systems. The most genuine drawback of exFAT for hard drives is its absence of journaling capacity.
This implies it cannot track document changes. One of the outcomes of this is that exFAT drives are somewhat more helpless against information debasement from abrupt potency dropping misfortunes. Don’t forget to either make your drive protected against elimination or to abstain from unplugging it while it’s perusing or composing to the drive.
Macintosh likewise incorporates assistance for FAT32, which is classified as MS-DOS (FAT). You ought to by and large try not to utilize FAT32 for any reason except if you are handling an old PC.
Sometimes you may have to move records to an external hard drive for use with a previous version of Windows; however that’s the most needed time you ought to think about this alternative.
FAT32 vs. exFAT
One of the earliest systems for data record and transfer, FAT32 can easily deal with all kinds of mac and windows operating system. Yet, it is not truly viable with new innovations and tech. advancements. One of the top drawbacks of FAT32 is that it can just assist records that are up to size of 4GB.
So in the event that you get an issue saying that the record is excessively huge for the particular document framework, at that point it’s presumably on the grounds that the document you’re attempting to move or duplicate to a FAT32 drive is above 4GB capacity. Although its compatibility and configurations is a consequence has a great long history, its record size and segment constraints truly show its age.
Indeed, even the filenames in it are restricted, just permitting up to 8 characters. An additional drawback is that it cannot make drive allotments bigger than 32GB in windows. In spite of the fact that it can make a 2TB drive segment in Mac, yet it has the record limit of only 4 GB. Presently, exFAT is the more current variant of FAT32, and it takes care of a large portion of the issues with the past design.
While it might seems like a little packed format with less features, exFAT is an external hard drive design that feels like the offspring of NTFS and FAT32. ExFAT takes all that is phenomenal about FAT32, like interchangeability, compatibility and usability, and leaves out all that was awful about it, similar to the 4GB document size limit.
Rather, it has huge data document and segment size capacity, same like NTFS, however none of its additional highlights to keep up its smooth record framework. Similar as the past variant, it additionally works great with both Mac and windows working frameworks. However, as it is new, it’s not viable with former working frameworks.
The most previous operating system of windows that exFAT can deal with is Windows XP SP3, whereas the earliest mac operating system is Mac 10.6.5 snow leopard. However, on condition that you got your PC or Mac during the last twenty years, it’s certain to say that FAT32 and exFAT are the ultimate champions.
ExFAT is a decent alternative on the off chance that you work regularly with windows and mac machines. Moving records between the two working frameworks is relaxed and easy, as you don’t need to continually back up and reformat every time. Moreover, Linux is additionally upheld and assisted, but you should introduce proper software and programming to install it.
Sadly, exFAT didn’t acquire the entire framework of FAT32’s benefaction incompatibility option since it might not be able to deal with older gadgets, for example, the PS3 and Xbox 360. It manages the job of the today’s generation of gaming devices, like the PS4 and the Xbox One.
Interchangeable External Hard Drive for Mac and PC
Mac is very particular and choosy about its connectivity especially with write and composing option. It is needed to configure the external hard drive before connecting. You must be thinking how to transfer file from mac to external hard drive or how to move photos from mac to external hard drive, or any other data when you attach you drive.
Normally an external hard is attached to your Mac visa USB. But there is also restriction in it. Most common external hard drive acceptable standards are USB 2.0, USB 3.0, USB3.1 and USB C. You must purchase a hard drive that fits the ports your mac and PC possess. Also, consider the speed you need for the drive. USB 3.0 and USB 3.1 are totally different ports. You might also require a link connector when your Mac has a USB-C port yet the Windows PC you need to impart to have a USB 3.0 port.
Reasons for getting external hard drive compatible with mac and PC?
Some of you must be thinking why you need an external hard drive that is compatible with pc and mac both without formatting, here are the few reasons:
- Your PC must be eased back down due to being over loaded with data records you’re not really utilizing constantly. You can transfer it to your external hard drive and use whenever with any computer even with different operating framework.
- You might want to back up your workstation, particularly in case you’re stressed over any crash or incident soon because of the age of your machine.
- Your cloud storage monthly fee is not worth the measure of capacity you are getting.
- You need to clean out the old record files that you just infrequently reference.
- Need a superior spot to run huge apps from, or have software programs you need to run on more than one PC?
In the event that you are saying yes to any of the above, there’s a decent possibility you would profit by a compatible external hard drive. It will give you enough space and privacy that you need.
Nonetheless, an external hard drive probably won’t be the most ideal decision for you on the off chance that you just have a couple of documents that need stockpiling, or on the off chance that you already have a backup of your PC for instance by means of any software or program. In this respect, utilizing a little flash drive, USB drive or an online storage supplier may be the good option.
What to Look For in an External Hard Drive Compatible With Mac and PC
The main thought when purchasing an external hard drive is how much storage capacity it has to bring to the table. Contingent upon what kind of records you’ll be putting away and how long you need the drive to last, you may need pretty much space. Be that as it may, when purchasing an outside drive you ought to get at least 128GB, as anything less will also be offered by flash USB drives.
Numerous individuals will be significantly more happy with more like 1 TB of capacity however since space will in general vanish quicker than you would might suspect.
HDD or SSD
External hard drives usually come in two sorts, HDD and SSD. The previous is the thing that is regularly alluded as a “hard drive”, since it utilizes an actual turning plate to peruse and compose information, while the latter mentioned, now and then called a strong state drive, really utilizes flash disc and stores everything electronically without any moving parts. A HDD will in general be less expensive, yet SSDs are quicker, portable and more durable.
An external hard drive is usually design and formatted for either Windows or Mac computers. Still there are many external hard drives that works for both operating systems, most tend to be reformatted to be useful on the contrary framework, and that will delete all your information.
Designing in any case can likewise be troublesome, so search for a drive that is previously arranged to work with your mac and PC both and realize that you might have the option to get to your records on machines of a different sorts.
Most external hard drives are evaluated for read and compose speeds, which is the way quick than which they can store, recover, and show data. Higher rates are better, however a little distinction will not be observable. A HDD is for the most part not equipped for the higher rates like SSD, however they do will in general be a lot less expensive.
Regardless of whether you lean toward HDD or SSD, you’re searching for your first drive or your third, an external hard drive compatible with mac and pc without formatting is normally an incredible option for information backup and record stockpiling on both your Mac and PC.
Take a look at the following list:
- Easily store and access 2TB to content on the go with the Seagate Portable Drive, a USB external hard drive
- Designed to work with Windows or Mac computers, this external hard drive makes backup a snap just drag and drop
- To get set up, connect the portable hard drive to a computer for automatic recognition no software required
- This USB drive provides plug and play simplicity with the included 18 inch USB 3.0 cable
- Adding extra storage for your videos, music, photos, and files..Date transfer rate:5Gbps.Operating temperature: 5°C to 35°C, Non-op. temperature:...
- Transfer data at maximum speed with USB 3.0; USB 2.0 compatible
- Improve PC performance - When your internal hard drive is almost full your PC slows down. Don’t delete files. Free up space on your internal hard...
- Plug-and-play ready for Windows PC
- High capacity in a small enclosure – The small, lightweight design offers up to 5TB* capacity, making WD Elements portable hard drives the ideal...
- Sleek profile design with a matte, smudge-resistance finish
- Plug & Play - Easy to use with no software to install
- Quickly add more storage capacity to your PC and other compatible devices
- USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 compatible with no external AC power cord needed
- Pre-formatted NTFS for Windows PC (reformatting required for Mac computers)
- Shock, drops up to 4 feet, dust and water resistant for all-terrain use.Specific uses: Personal
- For Mac compatibility this Hard Drive requires reformatting. Refer to Application Guide for more details
- Password protection built in
- Uses USB 3.0 which is up to 4 times faster than USB 2.0 (USB 2.0 compatible)
- Includes 1-month complimentary membership to Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps Plan. Must redeem by January 31, 2020
- Slim Design.Specific uses: Personal, gaming, Business
- Software for device management and backup with password protection. (Download and installation required. Terms and conditions apply. User account...
- 256-bit AES hardware encryption
- SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port (5Gbps); USB 2.0 compatible
- 3-year limited warranty
- Get NVMe solid state performance with up to 1050MB/s read and 1000MB/s write speeds in a portable, high-capacity drive(1) (Based on internal testing;...
- Up to 3-meter drop protection and IP65 water and dust resistance mean this tough drive can take a beating(3) (Previously rated for 2-meter drop...
- Use the handy carabiner loop to secure it to your belt loop or backpack for extra peace of mind.
- Help keep private content private with the included password protection featuring 256‐bit AES hardware encryption.(3)
- Easily manage files and automatically free up space with the SanDisk Memory Zone app.(5). Non-Operating Temperature -20°C to 85°C
- Designed for PC, Mac, and Tablet (check compatibility at Toshiba's Consumer HDD website).
- Formatted exFAT for cross-device compatibility (2).
- USB-C ready, USB 3.0 compatible.
- Versatile design. Includes USB-C and USB-A cables.
- Available in capacities up to 5TB that can hold up to 125 games, so that you can save old favorites and still have room for new titles (As used for...
- Comes with an 18-inch (457mm) USB Type-A to Micro-B cable with SuperSpeed interface up to 5Gbps (Cable length may vary.)
- Compatible with Xbox Series X/S (play and store Xbox One games, archive Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S games) and PlayStation 5 (play and store PS4...
- Portable form factor with sleek metal top covering that provides fast access to your growing game library
- Premium HDD with 3-year limited warranty, purpose-built for gamers based on WD_BLACK quality and reliability
- PORTABLE STORAGE ON THE GO: The light, pocket-sized Portable SSD T7 delivers fast speeds with easy and reliable data storage for transferring large...
- TRANSFER IN A FLASH: Transfer massive files with the incredible speed of USB 3.2 Gen 2; PCIe NVMe technology delivers blazing fast sequential...
- STRONG & SECURE: Unlike HDDs, the Portable SSD T7 has no moving parts so it's more resistant to shock; Plus, its solid aluminum unibody adds more...
- RELIABLE THERMAL SOLUTION: The T7’s advanced thermal solution uses the Dynamic Thermal Guard to withstand and control heat, so the portable SSD...
- SLEEK & COMPACT STYLE: Roughly the size of a credit card and only weighing 2 ounces, the T7 fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and is light...
- This external drive includes a USB cable that works seamlessly with Windows, Mac, and Chromebook laptops (purchase adapter separately for use with...
- The perfect complement to personal aesthetic, this portable external hard drive features a minimalist brushed metal enclosure.
- Up to 5TB capacity helps keep all your memories in one place—simply plug in via USB 3.0 to back up with a single click or schedule automatic daily,...
- Organize your photos with a Mylio Photos complementary subscription and enjoy automatic backups with a Dropbox Backup Plan free trial. (Must redeem...
- Enjoy long-term peace of mind with the included limited warranty and Rescue Data Recovery Services.