How to transfer files from Mac to an external hard drive

How to transfer files from Mac to a HDD external. If you have purchased a HDD to store the files that you don't use every day and want to transfer files to win space, read on. his MacIn fact, you don't have a large internal disk and every time you want to download a new application, you have to delete some other files. Tired of continually seeing the message «Your startup disk is almost full.  Normal.

Still not very familiar with the world of Apple and your Mac in particular? Then you don't have to worry, I'm here to help you. In the following lines, in fact, I will tell you everything you need to do to move files from your Pc to the external drive. I will give you some helpful hints for using the stand on non-Mac PCs while maintaining compatibility with all systems.

So come on, take five minutes of free time, spend them reading the following paragraphs and you will find all the indications in How to transfer files from Mac to external hard drive. I can assure you that before you know it, you will be able to clear space on your PC and install all the applications you want without any worry. All I can do is wish you a good read and have fun!

How to transfer files from Mac to external hard drive. Step by Step.

Before going into the details of this guide and discover How to transfer files from Mac to external hard drive, you must ensure that the external disc you want to use is compatible with your PC. In fact, some file system formats are not supported by macOS and therefore external media needs to be formatted so that it can also be used on Apple PCs.

How to format external hard drive on Mac

To format your hard drive through Mac, press the icon magnifying glass present at the top right, type disk Utility in the search field. Alternatively, click on the item Plan your trip located in the top menu bar, select or Utility and press the Utility Disk option.

In the opened new window, find and select the name of the hard disk, and press the start button, located at the top. Now if you want to change the name of the external drive, enter it in the field name and choose the file system format through the drop down menu next to the option Format. Then choose the format Mac OS extended daily if you intend to use your hard drive exclusively on Mac. Otherwise, select one of the formats from MS-DOS FAT (FAT32).exFAT if you want to create a 100% compatible hard disk also with Windows PC.

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Once you have chosen, click on the button start, wait for the formatting to complete and press the Finish or End button.

How to transfer files from Mac to an external hard drive

After formatting your hard drive in the file system format that is most useful for your needs, you can proceed to action. transfer files on your Mac to external media.

If you have not yet connected the hard drive to your PC, enter a USB Cable in the corresponding entry and the device will be automatically recognized. If you have a next-gen Mac with only inputs USB-C and your disk has a standard USB input ( USB A ), in order to transfer files to it, you need to buy a USB-C to USB-A adapter - here are a few that are good value for money.

When the hard drive is connected, the support icon and the name you assigned to the hard drive will appear on the desk Mac during formatting. Then double-click the icon and the discoverer (macOS file manager) will allow you to see all the files it contains.

Create folders to organize

If your intention is to move a large number of files, I suggest that you create folders to better organize everything. For example, if you want to import party photos, your party files music and some work documents, you can first create three folders named "Photos", "Music" and "Documents" and transfer the respective files to them.

To create one or more folders inside the hard disk, double click disco as described above and right-click in the blank space of the open window. Now select the item New folder from the context menu and type the name attribute to the latter, then repeat the operation as many times as you want to create folders. Alternatively, to create a folder, you can click the icon gear wheel present at the top and click on the item New folder located in the menu that opens.

Transfer files from Mac

Now you can take action. Double-click the icon HDD from your Mac desktop. Locate the file you want to transfer, select it and drag it to the external disk window. Alternatively, you can "drag" the file directly to the icon on the desktop without having to open any windows.

If you want to transfer multiple files at the same time, you can make a multiple selection: hold down the left mouse button and select all the files that interest you; otherwise, press and hold the button cmd present in the keyboard Mac and select the files to be transferred with one click, then start the transfer as above and wait for it to complete. Transfer times vary depending on the number of files to transfer, their size and the performance of the disk.

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Another solution to transfer files through the Finder is to drag them directly onto the hard drive. Then start the Finder, go to the folder containing the files to be copied and select them. Hover over one of the selected files and drag them to the name of the external disk visible below the header devices in the left sidebar. When the hard disk name is selected (in color azul ) and the button appears (+) on a green background, drop the files to start the transfer.

Copy and paste.

If the file dragging procedure seems too cumbersome to you, know that you can copy files from Mac to external hard drive even through a copy and paste. Then the discoverer pressing its icon (the smiley face present in the Dock bar), go to the folder that contains the files to be copied, select them, right click on any of them and press the item Copy (number) articles from the context menu.

Then press the name of the HDD visible in the left sidebar. Right-click the blank space of the folder and press the item Catch present in the menu that opens. If you prefer to use keyboard commands, after selecting the files that interest you, press the buttons cmd + c copy them and cmd + v paste them.

In doing so, you should know that you have copied the files from one disk to another: you have not moved them, so the original files remained on the Mac. If you want to make space on the PC's hard disk, you must delete them manually or resort to file movement feature offered by macOS.

To move files with macOS, select them as explained above, then open the window discoverer related to external disc and right-click on an "empty" point in the latter while holding down the button. Option / Alt from the keyboard The «Paste» function of the context menu will become Move items xx (o Move item here, in the case of a single file).

Then click on this option and the files you selected from the Mac will be moved to the external disk leaving the internal disk of the PC. It was easy, right?

How to transfer the photo library to an external hard drive

If your passion is photography and your Mac is full of great photos, you should know that it is possible transfer the Photos app library to an external hard drive freeing up space on the internal disk of your PC. The procedure to be carried out is simple and safe, however, before continuing, I advise you to make a Backup. In this regard, my guide on how to backup on Mac might be helpful.

After protecting your precious memories, you are ready to transfer the Photos app library to the external drive connected to your Mac. First, find the folder containing your photos: start the discoverer pressing its icon ( smiley face ) from the link bar, select the item photos on the left. And locate the libraries of the Apple Photo application, such as Photos or iPhoto. Now, select the library of your interest and transfer it to the external hard drive following one of the procedures described above.

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Once the transfer is complete, you can delete the photo library on the internal disk, leaving space on your Mac. To view the photo library transferred to the hard disk, start the application photo holding the button Option / Alt present on the Mac keyboard and in the opened new window click on the item Another bookstore, then select the name external disk under option devices, Click the button open and ready

How to back up to an external hard drive

You can also use your external hard drive as a backup disk and have a copy of all the files, applications and settings on your Mac. This is possible thanks to Time Machine, one of the most functional macOS utilities.

After getting an external hard drive at least equal to your Mac's internal drive, connect it to the PC and start Utility Disk. In the left sidebar, select the name drive and click on the item initiate. Then assign a name to the disk by inserting it in the field name and, through the drop-down menu next to the item Format. Select option Mac OS Extended (Journaled). In this way, you will get a disk that is optimized for Mac backup.

Now, press the icon gear wheel present in the Dock to open the System preferences and press the voice Time Machine. Place the check mark next to the item Automatic backup, Press the button Select backup disk. And, in the new window that opens, select the external hard drive that you formatted at this time.

Protect backups

If you want to protect your backups from unauthorized access, put a check mark next to the item Encrypt backups and press the button Disk use the external hard drive as a backup disk.

After setting up the external hard drive, put a check mark next to the item Show time Machine in the menu bar. Press the button Options to exclude files or folders that you consider unnecessary from the backup and decide whether you want to backup even when your Mac is running battery.

The first backup will start automatically and you can view the status by pressing the icon on the clock present in the menu bar at the top.

So far the guide on How to transfer files from Mac to an external hard drive


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