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Your Backup Plus Desktop is formatted as NTFS for compatibility with Windows out of the box. Therfore, you can connect Backup Plus Desktop to a Windows PC without formatting the hard drive. However, NTFS is not fully compatible with Mac computers. If you want to connect Backup Plus Desktop to a Mac as well as a Windows PC, you can install special software that allows Macs to read and write files to NTFS hard drives similar to Windows PCs. For details and instructions, see our dedicated support page for the Paragon driver for Mac.
If you want to use Backup Plus Desktop exclusively with Mac computers, it is recommended that you use the format native to the Mac operating system, HFS+ (journaled).
For further information on hard drive file systems and instructions for formatting hard drives, review the section below.
NTFS: since it is the native file system for Windows, volumes created in NTFS are read and write with computers running Windows. Mac OS can read and write to NTFS volumes with the help of the Paragon driver for Windows.
Mac OS Extended (HFS+): the native hard drive file system for Mac. Windows users can read and write to HFS+ (journaled) hard drives by installing the Paragon driver for Mac.
exFAT: generally compatible with Mac and Windows. exFAT is not a journaled file system which means it can be more susceptible to data corruption when errors occur or the drive is not disconnected properly from the computer.
FAT32: compatible with Mac and Windows. However, FAT32 is a legacy file system designed for low capacity hard drives and it is not recommended for modern hard drives or operating systems. A FAT32 partition can reach up to 32GB when formatted on a Windows PC.
How to choose the file system format
Use NTFS if:
…the storage device is connected to Windows PCs. Install the Paragon driver for Mac for compatibility with Macs.
Use HFS+ if:
…the storage device is connected to Macs. Install the Paragon driver for Windows for compatibility with Windows PCs.
You can use exFAT if:
…the storage device is shared between Mac and Windows computers. However, Seagate recommends installing the Paragon driver when sharing hard drives between operating systems.
Use FAT32 if:
…the storage device is connected to older Windows and Mac computers. FAT32 is not recommended for modern operating systems and computers.
The steps below help you format and partition a storage device.