How to use Disk Utility to Format a Mac Drive

We all know about Mac Disk Utility, don’t we? For those of you who do not know about it, it is an Application inbuilt in Mac’s OS. It's a free OS cost and has many uses. This tool facilitates the usage of hard drives, disk images and SSD’s. It is also used to erase, repair, format or create partitions in hard drives.

In this article, we will introduce to you how to use Disk Utility to format a Mac’s Drive in detailed steps. Also, it is necessary to understand at the very onset that Disk Utility is mostly for creating volumes in disks wherein disk refers to the drives. If you erase only a single volume from the drive/disk, the rest of the contents of the drive remain unaffected, but in this article we will learn how you can use Disk Utility and format a Mac’s Drive, hence this process will affect/change the entire drive/disk and all its volumes.

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Using Disk Utility to format a Mac Drive

Mac Disk Utility can be used for varied purposes and all these are related to disks, their volumes or partitions. In this segment we will talk about using the Disk Utility application to format a Mac’s Drive, both hard drive and SSD. The process of formatting is not complicated when using Mac Disk Utility to format a Mac’s Drive as it just creates a map of all partitions and uses or applies a suitable file system for the Mac and drive. Many users get confused between formatting and erasing a drive. Well, in a layman’s language, formatting will affect the entire disk, its partitions/volumes and their contents, however, erasing a single partition will not tamper with the rest of the disk. To clear further misunderstandings, in the OS X El Capitan and above, both formatting a drive and erasing a volume are referred to as “Erase”. Therefore, when we move on to see how to use Disk Utility to format a Mac’s Drive, we will put to use the “Erase” option.

Please take a kite that when you format a drive, it will wipe off all the content saved in it. It is advisable to take a backup of the data just in case you would like to keep certain elements of the drive secure. Technically speaking, formatting and erasing a drive are one and the same thing, the only difference being that formatting is for the whole drive/disk and erasing function is mainly used for volumes and partitions. Also, while formatting the Mac Drive using Mac Disk Utility, one needs to select an appropriate disk/drive, meaning hard drive or SSD.

Given below are detailed instructions as to how to format a Mac’s Drive with Mac Disk Utility.

How to format a Mac Drive with Disk Utility?

Let us now understand how to use Disk Utility to format a Mac’s Drive. Follow these simple steps carefully and you’re good to go:

  1. Open the Disk Utility interface on your Mac from Applications or Utilities.
  2. Use Disk Utility to Format a Mac Drive-1

  3. Now from the left side of the interface, choose the Drive which needs to be formatted.
  4. Use Disk Utility to Format a Mac Drive-2

  5. Once you select a Drive, its corresponding information shall be displayed on the main screen. You will also view the partition map and the status as S.M.A.R.T.
  6. Now, click on “Erase” located towards the top at the interface. You will then see a pop-up warning message telling you that you are about to erase all data from the Drive. Also, you will be able to name the new Volume that will be created. Then you need to choose the type of format and map scheme for the partitions.
  7. Feed in a name you wish to the newly created Volume.
  8. Now select OS X Extended (Journaled) from the drop down list in the Erase Panel as it is the most commonly preferred Mac File system.
  9. Use Disk Utility to Format a Mac Drive-3

  10. Now comes the time to select the partition map. Choose GUID Partition Map as it is the default setting. After all this, hit “Erase”.
  11. You will now observe that the entire Drive which was selected has been wiped clean. Only a single Volume will be created. This will be mounted on the Mac. In the end, click “Done” to end the format a Mac’s Drive process using Mac Disk Utility.

How to recover a Mac Drive?

Moving on, let us now understand what to do incase important data is lost after using Mac Disk Utility to format a Mac’s Drive. You can use Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac. It is a hard drive recovery tool to instantly retrieve the lost contents from the Mac Drive. Its process is secure and it has reliable Mac data recovery solutions. It provides tons of options for how to recover files and how to search for lost data. It streamlines the whole process and facilitates faster results. It can recover data from Hard Drive, Removable Disks, Flash Drives, Memory Cards, etc. It can recover music, photos, e-mails, videos and such other files from the Mac’s Drive.

Follow the steps given below to use Wondershare Data Recovery toolkit for Mac:

  1. Download and install the software. Launch it and select a specific file type that you want to recover or click “All File Type” to scan all the lost data.
  2. Recover a Mac Drive-1

  3. Now choose the path of the lost data as shown below. Once you’re done, click “Start”.
  4. Recover a Mac Drive-2

  5. Finally, all the files will be scanned. You will be able to preview the results on the interface before you. Once you’re satisfied with the quality and quantity of files recovered, select the ones which need to be restored. Mark them and hot “Recover” as shown in the screenshot below.
  6. Recover a Mac Drive-3

Note: Always save the revered files in a different drive/disk.


To say the least, the steps listed above will make it simpler for you to format a Mac’s Drive using Mac Disk Utility. You can follow the instructions and format any type of Drive easily. Also, Wondershare Data Recovery for Mac is a trustworthy software to recover the lost data and never lets you suffer from data loss due to formatting a Drive.

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Note: Recover Lost Mac Data under Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra)

Due to macOS High Sierra (macOS 10.13) requirement, Mac users are not allowed an access to the built-in system drive from any apps. Therefore, if you need to restore lost data from the system disk under macOS 10.13, please "disable System Integrity Protection" first.

How to disable "System Integrity protection"? Please follow the steps below.

Step 1Reboot the Mac and hold down"Command + R" keys simultaneously after you hear the startup chime, this will boot OS X into Recovery Mode.

Step 2When the "OS X Utilities" screen appears, pull down the "Utilities" menu at the top of the screen instead, and choose "Terminal".

Step 3In the "Terminal" window, type in "csrutil disable" and press "Enter" then restrart your Mac.

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