Seagate Backup Plus Desktop User Manual
Seagate Backup Plus Desktop 

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Optional Formatting and Partitioning

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.

About file system formats

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.

Formatting instructions

The steps below help you format and partition a storage device.

  Caution: Formatting erases everything on the storage device. Seagate highly recommends that you back up all data on your storage device before performing the steps below. Seagate is not responsible for any data lost due to formatting, partitioning or using a Seagate storage device.
  Note: Refer to your operating system's documentation for more information on formatting and partitioning storage devices.


  1. Make sure the storage device is connected to and mounted on the computer.
  2. Go to Search and then type diskmgmt.msc. In the search results, double click Disk Management.
  3. From the list of storage devices in the middle of the Disk Management window, locate your Seagate device.
  4. The partition must be available to format. If it is currently formatted, right click on the partition and then choose Delete.
  5. To create a new partition, right click on the volume and select New Simple Volume. Follow the on-screen instructions when the New Simple Volume Wizard appears.


  1. Make sure the storage device is connected to and mounted on the computer.
  2. Select Go > Utilities in the Finder menu bar.
  3. In the Utilities folder, double-click Disk Utility. 
All connected storage devices, partitions or disk images are displayed in the left column.
  4. Select the Seagate drive in the left column.
  5. Click the Erase tab.
  6. Choose a format from the drop-down window.
  7. Enter a name for the volume.
  8. Click Erase and confirm your selection in the pop-up window.