Not Able to Copy MacBook’s Files to External Hard Drive

By | April 3, 2017

Are you having problems copying files from your MacBook or MacBook Pro onto an external hard drive? You most probably are trying to pair this external drive with your Mac for the first time, right? If yes, your solution is pretty simple.

How to fix issue of not being able to copy MacBook files onto external hard drive?

The simple solution is to format your external hard drive. Please note that formatting will wipe out the contents of your external hard drive. If the external hard drive contains data and you are able to access it, you must copy it onto another PC, Mac or another sort of storage device.

Once you have copied the contents of your external drive, you can proceed with a format to use it to copy files from your Mac.

To format your Mac’s external drive, connect the drive and to go Disk Utility in Applications and under Utilities. Within Disk Utility, select your drive from the list and click on “Change Format” and choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as the type of format that you want to proceed with.

Please note that the above problem can occur if you are trying to use an external hard drive that you normally use with your Windows computer. Windows uses mostly NTFS formats when formatting external hard drives or any hard disk for that matter. So, you might have first formatted your external hard drive on a Windows based machine. Changing it to HFS+ format using the Disk Utility format function will make it workable with a Mac. Unfortunately, this will render your external hard drive useless on a Windows computer!

If you actively work with both Mac and Windows, you just might need to get two separate external hard disks! You can also use a Fat 32 format that will allow you to use your external drive on both a Mac and Windows PC. But, Fat 32 presents a serious limitation in that it has a 4 GB limit on individual files. In this day and age where file sizes can be massive, your external hard drive can easily become useless when you desperately need to use a file that is more than 4 GB in size.

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