How to partition an external hard disk in MAC – Basic Guide


If you have already learned how to partition your computer’s hard drive, we tell you that you can do the same, but on your external hard drive. We tell you that you can do the same, but on your external hard drive, this way you will be able to partition your disk in different parts to organize your data in a better way. One of the utilities can be the Time Machine saving, so that you don’t delete it by accident.

Here, we will be giving you the best tips for you to proceed to partition your external hard drive on Mac and you can use it in different ways to save information or install a second operating system.

What is the procedure to create a hard drive partition on Mac?

Before partitioning the external hard drive, you should have a backup of your drive. This way, when you are making the partition and something goes wrong with the process, you will have the possibility to recover all the information you had before with the backup.

With this advice we give you for your safety, Read on to learn how to partition your Mac.

Disk Utility

To begin with the creation of the partition of the external hard drive. You will have to click on the Dock of your Mac and look for the option Disk Utility. With this you can even repair a hard drive, as the options are extensive. When the program window opens, follow the steps below to proceed with the partitioning:

  • After opening the Disk Utility program, you will have to connect the external hard disk and click on it to access the options.
  • Inside, you will see multiple options, choose the Partition option and then click on the ‘+’ symbol below it.
  • Above the ‘+’ symbol, there will be a rectangle. This will be indicating the size of your partition, if you don’t want them to be the same size you can adjust them so that the partitions are of different sizes.
  • In the partition information you will have to name the partition. Here you will also see the size of the partition. After all this you will click on apply to start the process.
  • A box will appear where we will click on Create Partitions to start. Once the process is finished, in the left part where the hard disks and their partitions are shown, the one we have just made will be shown. 
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Boot Camp

With the use of the Boot Camp program, you can install on your Mac external drive, the Windows operating system and thus have access to two systems on your computer. To do this, you will need to follow the steps below to partition and have an operating system on your external drive:

  • To install Windows on your external hard drive you must have at least 128 Gb of free space for this installation and a Windows ISO image on a USB Flash drive to do the installation job.
  • Connect your USB drive and the external hard drive to start the task.
  • You will go to Disk Utility as indicated in the previous point. And you will create a partition with the parameters indicated in the previous step and with the USB Flash drive the Boot Camp wizard automatically creates a boot to install the Windows system.
  • When this wizard finishes, the computer restarts and the Windows installer will appear. You will have to map it on the external drive to start the process.
  • Once the installation is finished open the Boot Camp installer to install the compatibility software. Once finished, the computer restarts and you will see on your Mac desktop, a window with the Windows system booting.

How to recover lost data when partitioning on MAC?

If at some point you accidentally lost your data and want to recover it, you can do so by entering Disk Utility. This function in addition to partitioning has an option to help you if you mistakenly lose your data.

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During partitioning

  • Enter the Disk Utility, typing this name in the Dock of the Mac.
  • In the options bar on the left, we will select the partition that we want to recover.
  • We will give him in the option of Restore and we will give him OK
  • We will only have to wait a few minutes for the data to be recovered.
  • Formatting the unit
  • Download Disk Drill to start the recovery
  • When opening it, it will be showing the units to scan. Select the external drive to scan.
  • It will be looking for files that have been deleted from the drive, select them and click recover. After a couple of minutes, the files will be recovered.

How to delete a partition from my MAC hard drive?

If you no longer feel the need to use a partition, below, we will provide you with a series of steps that will allow you to delete the partition already created:

  • Enter the Disk Utility on your Mac and in the Show all devices option click to select the partition you want to delete.
  • Then, you will click in delete that is in the toolbar
  • Finally click OK to delete the partition from the hard drive.

Why resize or merge partitions on my MAC?

When we have a partition, it can happen that it reaches a point where it is saturated and it is necessary to optimize it to have more space to continue storing information. For this you will have to resize it by adding more capacity to the unit. 

  • Enter the Disk Utility as we explained in the previous steps.
  • Once in this program, click on the external drive.
  • You will see a white rectangle where the partition is. You will only have to move the bar in the middle of the two partitions to add more capacity.
  • Or you can choose to select the partition and in the partition description box, resize the partition to increase its size.
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