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Format external drives to Mac OS Extended before using with Aperture

Tips on preparing a new external hard drive for use with Aperture.

You may wish to use an external FireWire or USB hard drive to store your Aperture Library, referenced images, or Vaults. Here are some suggestions on preparing the external hard drive for best performance with Aperture. Many external hard drives come pre-formatted as FAT 32. This is a native Windows file format that can be read by Mac OS X, but is not ideal for use with Aperture.

Before you begin to use your new external hard drive with Aperture, reformat it to the Mac OS Extended file system:

  1. Be sure your drive is attached and mounted.
  2. If you have already written any data to the drive, back it up before proceeding to the next step.
  3. In the Finder, choose Go > Utilities. The /Applications/Utilities folder will open.
  4. Launch Disk Utility.
  5. Click the icon for your external hard drive in the sidebar on the left.


  6. Click the Erase tab along the top of the window.


  7. From the Volume Format menu, choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled).


  8. Enter a name for the external hard drive in the Name field.
  9. Click the Erase button.
Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
Last Modified: Apr 14, 2009
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  • Last Modified: Apr 14, 2009
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