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Solving Mac to External Hard Drive File Transfer Problems: A Comprehensive Tutorial

iBoysoft author Connie Yang
Written by Connie Yang
Professional tech editor
Approved by Jessica Shee

Learn how to transfer Mac files to an external hard drive. The reason files can't be copied is often due to the NTFS file system. Reformatting the hard drive to a system compatible with Mac is necessary, but be sure to back up all files first.

Solving Mac to External Hard Drive File Transfer Problems: A Comprehensive Tutorial Timestamped

1. 00:00 💻 Files cannot be copied from a Mac to an external hard drive because the file system is NTFS, so reformatting the hard drive is necessary, but make sure to backup all files first.

You actually don't need to reformat the NTFS drive, using iBoysoft NTFS for Mac can automatically mount the NTFS drive in full read and write mode on your Mac. Then, you can copy or add files to the NTFS drive seamlessly and for cross-platform use.

2. 00:49 💻 Recommend using Backblaze as a cloud backup, not sponsored but has a small commission, use it myself and am happy with it, ask questions in the comments.

3. 01:14 💡 Format your hard drive to a file system that your Mac can read and write using disk utility.

4. 01:28 💻 Select the correct drive, erase it, and backup your files before transferring to an external hard drive.

5. 01:56 💻 Choose the exFAT file system for compatibility between Mac and PC, or HFS plus/APFS for Mac-only use, then format the drive and start transferring files.

Solving Mac to External Hard Drive File Transfer Problems: A Comprehensive Tutorial Video Summary

💾 Reformatting the hard drive will result in the loss of all data, so it's important to make a backup before proceeding.

🔧 Formatting the hard drive to a file system that Mac can read and write is essential for transferring files to an external hard drive.

💻 Selecting the correct drive is crucial as the process will erase everything on the selected drive, emphasizing the importance of backing up files.

💻 Choosing the right file system for your external hard drive can determine its compatibility with different devices, including PCs and smart TVs.

FAQs about Solving Mac to External Hard Drive File Transfer Problems

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NTFS is read-only support on Mac. If you want to copy files from Mac to an NTFS external drive, you need to use iBoysoft NTFS for Mac. This tool can automatically make the NTFS drive both readable and writable on Mac.

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Either your external hard drive is NTFS formatted, the external hard drive is read-only for you, or the drive is corrupted or not connected properly.

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You can use Time Machine to back up your Mac to an external hard drive:
Erase the external hard drive to APFS.
Go to System Settings > Time Machine.
Click Select Backup Disk and then choose the external hard drive as the backup destination.
Check Encrypt backups at the bottom (it's up to your needs) and then click Use Disk.
Wait for Time Machine to finish backing up your Mac to the external drive.