Format a Hard Drive Using Mac OS X Disk Utility

Posted May 9, 2008 at 12:08am by iClarified | Please help us and submit a translation by clicking here | 193395 views

These are instructions on how to format a hard drive using Mac OS X Disk Utility.

Step One
If your hard drive is an external drive, connect it to the computer. Launch Disk Utility from the Applications:Utilities folder.

Step Two
From the list on the left select the drive you would like to format

Step Three
Click to select the Erase tab.

Step Four
From the Volume Format dropdown select the format you would like the drive to be in.

Step Five
Enter the title for your volume in the Name field.

Step Six
Press the Security Options... button to specify how to erase the drive. You can choose: Don't Erase Data, Zero Out Data, 7-Pass Erase, or 35-Pass Erase. Click the OK button to continue.

Step Seven
You are now ready to begin the format. Click the Erase... button to start.

Step Eight
From the popup that appears click the Erase button to confirm you would like to format.

Step Nine
You will notice a status bar appear with the progress of your format.

Step Ten
Once the format has completed you will notice the disk remount in Disk Utility!

Add Comment
Mason - January 15, 2015 at 4:45am
Thank you so so much. I was terrified that I couldn't use my new $100 hard drive because I had a Mac. You saved my buns.
paxton - January 8, 2015 at 3:57am
The steps are easy to use and fruitful for the Mac novices to format Mac HDD. But few situations like “unable to format disk”, “couldn’t mount disk”, “File System Format failed” don’t allow a user to format Mac hard drive with these steps. To get rid from these situations, use third party software like Stellar Partition Manager software.
Coleman - November 28, 2014 at 11:08pm
I tried and tried to get this working - wasn't letting me unmount the drive, but found a post on Apple forum (from Kappy) that gave a command from terminal to stop Spotlight from using the disk. (Spotlight indexes the external drive and so disk utility couldn't unmount the drive to reformat until I turned that off). The link to the post is - in case it helps someone else... THANK YOU
Di - November 13, 2014 at 6:38am
The BEST advice on doing this. Thank YOU!!!
Meagan - October 28, 2014 at 6:38am
I have been trying to do this for about 2 hours until I stumbled across your post - thank you! The easiest and smoothest way by far.
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