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Seagate Mobile Drive is preformatted exFAT for compatibility with Chrome OS, Windows, and macOS.
Chrome OS supports a number of file systems for external storage devices. It can read and write to the NTFS file system used by Windows, as well as cross-platform formats such as exFAT and FAT32. Chrome OS can read (but not write to) the HFS+ file system used by macOS.
If you use Mobile Drive with both Chrome OS and Windows (but not with macOS), you can optimize file copy performance between Mobile Drive and Windows by formatting the drive for NTFS. Formatting Mobile Drive for NTFS should be executed using your Windows PC. (Your Chromebook will format Mobile Drive for FAT32, which is not recommended.)
NTFS—The native file system for Windows. Chrome OS can read and write to NTFS volumes. macOS can read NTFS volumes but cannot natively write to them.
Mac OS Extended (HFS+)—The native hard drive file system for macOS. Chrome OS can read HFS+ (journaled) volumes but can't natively write to them. Windows cannot natively read or write to HFS+ (journaled) volumes.
APFS (Apple File System)—An Apple file system optimized for solid state drives (SSDs) and flash-based storage systems. Chrome OS and Windows cannot natively read or write to APFS volumes.
exFAT—Compatible with Chrome OS, Windows, and macOS. 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 Chrome OS, Windows, and macOS. 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. File sizes are limited to 4GB.
Use the steps below to manually format and partition a storage device in Windows.