Windows and Mac Format on Single Drive?

Just wondering if both Mac and Windows formats can be stored on a single storage drive without using the exFAT formatting. Thanks

Sure if you partition the drive. Assuming you are asking if both mac and windows file systems can be store on the same drive. Being able to access data across those two partitions on the other OS will however could be difficult.

I'm not storing the OSes, it's just a drive for storage. How would I partition that though? I tried making a partition in Windows for Mac specifically and then booting into OSX and trying to make that partition formatted for Mac and it wouldn't let me. Are you sure that can work?


You want to give a little more information on how you are trying to do it? OS versions, tools that you are using, GPT or MBR, are you formatting the whole drive as NTFS and trying to resize under OSX, are you using HFS Plus or a dev version of APFS?

Windows 7 and earlier will only 'see' the following filesystem formats:

  • NTFS
  • FAT32
  • exFAT

Windows 8 and later will 'see' all of the previous filesystem formats, including:

  • ReFS

OSX can only 'see' with following filesystem formats:

  • HFS
  • HFS+
  • exFAT
  • FAT32

OSX can 'see' NTFS but only with 3rd party applications.

If you are trying to store data on external storage that can be used by both Windows and OSX, without having separate partitions, then the best format to use is hands down exFAT. I'm not sure why you are not wanting to use exFAT, becuase the only other alternative is FAT32; which can only handle single file sizes less than 4GiB, and is gurenteed to have severe fragmentation (i.e making data access times ungodly slow).

I actually solved this a while ago, thanks though

I formatted the drive in Mac recovery with 2 partitions, the first mac format and the second ms-dos (FAT), I later in windows formatted the ms-dos (FAT) partition to NTFS and got around it that way, went into mac recovery and it recognized it as well so everything seems okay