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Separate hard drive for mac

These settings determine whether your Mac can start up from another disk. On Mac models from early or earlier, you can disable this security feature to load Option ROM firmware automatically. This removes an important protection against potential unauthorized access to your Mac by other people with physical access to it. If you want to remove this additional protection but keep your firmware password:. Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement.

Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products.

Top 5 Best External Hard Drives for Mac - Updated in

Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners. Of course, you can easily reformat almost any drive you buy, so you're not limited to buying only those intended for use with Macs.

How to Make a Bootable External Mac Hard Drive

If you really fancy a drive formatted for Windows which will usually come preformatted in the NTFS format , you can use the Disk Utility in macOS to reformat it after you bring it home from the store. Once you've settled on a file system, you then have to determine which storage medium you want: solid state or spinning disk.

Genius compatible.

Each has its advantages and disadvantages, and—unlike the file system—the type you buy is the type you're stuck with for the life of the drive. A solid-state drive SSD offers quick access to your data because it stores your bits in a type of flash memory rather than on spinning platters. SSDs are often smaller and lighter than spinning external drives, as well, which is also thanks to the lack of moving parts.

Their small size means they can often fit into a jacket or pants pocket, which makes them a better choice if you're looking for a portable external drive that you'll be carrying with you frequently. One major downside, however, is that they're more expensive. You could pay more than 30 cents per gigabyte for an SSD, while spinning drives can be had for less than 10 cents per gigabyte—and often much less. Compare that with external spinning drives, which are easy to find in capacities in excess of 8TB.


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For professional videographers who edit lots of 4K footage and gamers or movie buffs who have large libraries of multi-gigabyte titles, an external RAID array is worth considering, since it combines the speed of an SSD with the gargantuan capacities of a spinning drive. An array typically contains as few as two or as many as eight spinning drives, which all work together to speed up throughput, or guard your precious files against corruption via drive redundancy if one of the drives fail.

Use Startup Disk preferences

Or both; it depends on how the array is set up. You'll pay handsomely, of course. On the other hand, if you're looking to buy an external drive mainly to back up your files which you should definitely do and it will rarely leave your home office, an inexpensive spinning drive will work just fine. So, to recap: Faster, smaller both physically and in terms of gigabytes solid-state drives come at a premium, while spinning drives offer a much better value while sacrificing speed. But what happens when you throw yet another variable into the mix: the connection between your drive and your Mac?

Top 5 Best External Hard Drives for Mac in 12222

As you might have guessed, the answer is more tradeoffs. Almost every Mac laptop sold today comes with USB Type-C ports that support Thunderbolt 3, but other than a headphone jack, they are the only connectivity options available, which means you'll need an adapter to plug in any device that doesn't have a USB Type-C cable. Unfortunately, you won't find many Thunderbolt 3-compatible drives on the market currently. Even some Mac-specific drives are still sold with USB 3.

Moreover, the Thunderbolt 3 drives you can buy are constrained by the maximum throughput of the drive itself, rather than the Thunderbolt 3 interface. This means that for now, it's best to include Thunderbolt 3 support in your buying decision only if you're concerned about futureproofing. Drives intended for PCs sometimes come bundled with software that will automatically back up your files to the drive when it's connected, but such software isn't really a consideration for Mac users, who already have an excellent built-in backup option in the form of Time Machine.

Every journey needs a passport.

The first time you plug in an external drive, Time Machine will ask if you want to use it as a backup drive. While you can customize backup options in System Preferences, such as asking Time Machine to exclude certain folders, there's no action required on your part if you're happy with the default settings.

The next time you plug in your drive, Time Machine will automatically set to work creating a backup. Unless your drive is never going to leave your home or office, you should also consider its physical durability. Rugged, waterproof drives are a good option not just for surfers and BMX riders, as their marketing seems to suggest, but also for people who are carrying their drives to and from school or work, where they might occasionally get spilled on or dropped on the floor.

Check out our favorite rugged drives. Finally, you might want to consider how the drive will look when it's plugged into your Mac. Some drives come in a variety of colors. Many others feature copious amounts of aluminum and industrial-chic styling to match the design cues of your MacBook or iMac. We've selected a few of our favorite drives for Macs below; for more, check out our main list of best hard drives. You can also read our full list of hard drive reviews , as well as our top SSDs.

Certified waterproof and dustproof.


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  6. Comes with USB 3. Cons: Warranty limited to two years. SSD option is still unreleased. Pros: Comes in a variety of large capacities. Three-year warranty. Cons: Requires external power adapter. When complete, create a new account with the same name and details as the user account or accounts you want to host on the other, higher-capacity drive.

    Copy your user directories to the other drive. If you have an existing Mac and want to shift user files to a higher-capacity drive: Create a new administrator account on the drive that has your system on it.

    The Best External Hard Drives for Mac in 12222

    This will serve as an emergency account in case something goes wrong with the other drive. Move your user directories to the other drive at the root level, rather than nested inside a Users folder. You can do a simple drag and drop. Click the lock icon and enter your administrative password. Right-click the user for which you want to point to files on the other drive and choose Advanced.