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File System Format Comparisons


Drives can be setup with various file systems and each file system has pros and cons. Here is a list that includes a few of these pros and cons.
 

File Systems
           
  NTFS Apple File System (APFS) MacOS Extended Journaled (HFS+) exFAT FAT32 (MS-DOS)
           
Pro(s): Native to Windows Native to macOS Native to macOS Can be used between Mac and Windows Can be used between Mac and Windows
  Supports Journaling Keeps track of permissions Supports Journaling  No longer limited to files 4GB or less  
  Keeps track of permissions Default file system for Time Machine for macOS 11 Big Sur and later. Keeps track of permissions    
      Supported on older versions of macOS 10.6 to current.    
      Default file system for Time Machine for macOS 10.15 Catalina and eariler.     
           
Con(s): Write protected on Mac operating systems (Can be overcome with NTFS driver) Will not mount on Windows computer Will not mount on Windows computer (Can be overcome with HFS+ driver) Does not see resource and data forks correctly (Potential risk when going between Mac and Windows) 4GB size limit for single files
  Does not work with Time Machine Not supported on older versions of macOS. APFS is not supported on macOS 10.12 or eariler. When used with Time Machine the drive becomes write protected (read-only). More information can be found in this article. Does not work with File History or Time Machine Does not see resource and data forks correctly (Potential risk when going between Mac and Windows)
    When used with Time Machine the drive becomes read-only.    Requires driver for Windows XP Does not work with File History or Time Machine
        Does not keep track of file permissions Does not keep track of file permissions