DaGrandMastah

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 19, 2011
643
13
Sorry, I've been searching around and can't seem to find a direct answer to this. I'm prepping my data for a new iMac coming in next week and plan to use a 4 tb external usb drive to store all my media and stuff - should I format that hard drive as mac os extended or APFS?

Additionally, I have an 8 tb hard drive meant for time machine storage - which should I format that one in?
 

dianeoforegon

macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2011
907
137
Oregon
Time Machine does not work with APFS. Format your Time Machine drive as HFS+.

Also format the USB drive as HFS+. APFS works best on SSD drives.
 

phairphan

macrumors 6502a
Sep 21, 2005
603
221
Reject Beach
If they were my drives, I'd format them as Mac OS Extended. APFS wasn't really designed for rotational drives and I'm not aware of any tangible benefits to formatting them as such. You should be able to convert them later if you choose to do so. Although, I'm not sure if you can convert a Time Machine drive after the fact. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if Time Machine will operate on an APFS-formatted drive—you might want to check into that one. I any event, I'd recommend good old HFS.

Edit: I see that dianeoforegon addressed the Time Machine question while I responded. Research done!
 

DaGrandMastah

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 19, 2011
643
13
Time Machine does not work with APFS. Format your Time Machine drive as HFS+.

Also format the USB drive as HFS+. APFS works best on SSD drives.
If they were my drives, I'd format them as Mac OS Extended. APFS wasn't really designed for rotational drives and I'm not aware of any tangible benefits to formatting them as such. You should be able to convert them later if you choose to do so. Although, I'm not sure if you can convert a Time Machine drive after the fact. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if Time Machine will operate on an APFS-formatted drive—you might want to check into that one. I any event, I'd recommend good old HFS.

Edit: I see that dianeoforegon addressed the Time Machine question while I responded. Research done!

Thank you both for the quick response. I'll keep them as mac os extended/hfs+.
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
15,267
7,559
Hong Kong
Depends, as the others pointed out, if you use it for something like Time Machine, then HFS+ is a MUST. And for any non SSD, there is not much reason to go APFS.

And if you want your media drive has maximum compatibility with other computers (or even with your won Bootcamp Windows) you may consider ExFAT.
 
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