Downside to formatting drives as Exfat?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by bellbound, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. bellbound macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    #1
    I want to format some drives and Flash drives that can be used to transfer files between Mac OS and Windows. Is there a downside to formatting ExFat? Does it slow anything down? Other potential issues?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #2
    I doubt you'll see any real negatives in terms of performance. ExFAT is the necessary format if you want to transfer files from Mac to Windows and vice versa. Windows can't read/write APFS or HFS+, and MacOS can't write to NTFS. FAT32 is your only other option, but it has file size limitations.
     
  3. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #3
    What about car manufactures (usb keys u attach to listen on the go)... do they support exFAT? That could be the other reason

    i've never really used or needed exFat, because i'd rather separate drives, vs same drive for everything.
     
  4. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #4
    You probably want to test it to see. exFAT has been around since 2006, so it's not exactly a new file format. Chances are you will have support on any modern OS, including cars and cameras.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    This is my standard reply when this subject comes up.

    If you have Mac files that are important to you, keep them on a MAC-FORMATTED drive (HFS+ with journaling enabled).

    DO NOT "trust" your important Mac stuff to drives that ARE NOT Mac format.

    If you need to exchange files between a Mac and a PC, use a cross-formatted drive that is specifically dedicated for this purpose. Usually a USB3 flash drive of sufficient capacity will do the job.

    But again, DON'T keep important Mac files on a "cross-formatted" drive.
     
  6. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
    Location:
    Tanagra
    #6
    Just curious, why you would suggest that? It’s not like the other formats are new or have issues with data loss/failure. I can see why with Mac-exclusive content, but there are times when it would be advantageous to have content accessible to other operating systems.
     
  7. Fishrrman, Apr 25, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    "Just curious, why you would suggest that?"

    I've seen a number of posts in this forum over time from users who used cross-formatted drives.

    Usually what happens is that the user connects the drive to a PC, then "does something" (although exactly what was done is a matter of uncertainty), and then takes the drive back to the Mac, and..... all the Mac files that were previously there, are now gone. Gone... as in "POOF"!

    Just like that.
     
  8. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #8
    FAT32 has 4 Gig file-size limitation, so i reckon its ok. I don't think any cross platform keeping importance, is better than anything else out there...

    This would basically also exclude NAS then, since NAS is formatted as EXT4.
     

Share This Page