How to reformat mac disk utility

Disk Utility supports many different functions, all involving one or more disks, volumes, or partitions.

How to erase a disk for Mac

We're going to use Disk Utility to format a drive, regardless of the type. The formatting process will format the selected drive by creating a partition map, and apply an appropriate file system that your Mac can work with to the drive. While you can format a drive to contain multiple file systems, volumes, and partitions, our example will be for a run-of-the-mill drive, with a single partition formatted with the standard OS X Extended Journaled file system.

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The process of formatting the drive will erase all data currently stored on the device. Make sure you have a current backup if you intend to keep any data already present on the drive. The process of formatting a drive is often confused with erasing a volume. The difference is that formatting affects an entire drive, including any volumes and partitions that have been created on it, while erasing a volume affects just that volume, and doesn't destroy partition information.

That being said, the version of Disk Utility included with OS X El Capitan and later actually doesn't use the word format; instead, it refers to both the formatting of a drive and the erasing of a volume with the same name: So, while we're going to be formatting a drive, we'll use Disk Utility's Erase command.

Format a Mac's Drive Using Disk Utility (OS X El Capitan or Later)

That's all there is to the basics of formatting a drive using Disk Utility. Erasing a disk deletes all its volumes and files. Erasing a volume deletes all the files on that volume, but does not affect other volumes. If you have any files you want to save, be sure to copy them to another disk before you erase the disk they are on.

Erase or Format Your Mac's Drives Using Disk Utility

Select the disk or volume in the sidebar, then click the Erase button. Mac OS Extended Journaled: Uses the Mac format, requires a password, and encrypts the partition.


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Uses the Mac format and is case sensitive to folder names. Uses the Mac format, is case sensitive to folder names, requires a password, and encrypts the partition.

Why to erase a disk

To prevent the erased files from being recovered, click Security Options, use the slider to choose how many times to write over the erased data, then click OK. All you need is a connection to the Internet.

get link This menu is also available in macOS Recovery. Install the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. Release the keys when you see the Apple logo, a spinning globe, or a prompt for a firmware password.

Disk Utility erases, formats, repairs, and partition hard drives and SSDs

When you see the Utilities window, you've started up from macOS Recovery. If you need to erase your disk before installing macOS, select Disk Utility from the Utilities window, then click Continue.


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You probably don't need to erase, unless you're selling or giving away your Mac or have an issue that requires you to erase. Learn more about when and how to erase. If your Mac restarts to a setup assistant, but you're selling or giving it away, press Command-Q to quit the assistant without completing setup.