How to Format a Drive or Partition with the HFS+ File System.
This quick guide will show you how to use Disk Utility to format an HFS + disk or partition. It is worth noting that starting with Mac OS High Sierra (10.13) Apple will move to the new APFS or Apple File System. Given that HFS + has been around since 1998, it’s time to update it.
If you are formatting a USB storage device (external hard drive or memory card), memory card, etc., make sure it is connected. This tutorial will use a USB stick as an example. Launch Disk Utility by going to Applications Utilities Disk Utility. Or you can press the CMD + spacebar key combination to open Spotlight search and enter Disk Utility.
Select the drive you want to format from the list on the left. Important: Make sure to select the correct drive. You do not want to format the wrong drive, as formatting will erase all data on that drive. Any external drive will always be listed under the “External” heading in the left pane.
Note that you can either click the drive name (in the example “Media”) or click one of the partitions (in the example “Data”). If you want to reformat the entire drive and remove all partitions, be sure to click the drive indicated at the top of the tree. If you only want to format a specific section, select it.
Click the Erase button to open the Remove Media dialog box. Here you will be able to give your disk a name, choose a format and partition scheme. For our purposes, be sure to select OS X Extended (Journaled) as the volume format. If you also want to enable encryption, you can also select the (Logged, encrypted) option.
For the schema, you can choose between GUID Partition Map, Master Boot Record, or Apple Partition Map. It should be GUID by default, and you should leave this value if you do not plan to use the disk as bootable. The schema only matters when you want to boot from the device. Select GUID for OS X (Intel) boot, MBR for Windows / Linux boot, and Apple for OS X (PPC) boot.
Click “Erase” and the process will start automatically. The drive will first be unmounted, cleaned, formatted, and then plugged back in.
You can view detailed information about a process by expanding the arrow next to the Show Details field. In the Disk Utility window, you should see more detailed information about the formatted disk.
In addition, your drive will appear on the desktop with the name you assigned it. If you get information about this drive (select the drive and press CMD + I), you will see that it is formatted as HFS + (OS X Extended – Journaled).
That’s all. Please note that when you try to connect this drive to a Windows computer, you will receive an error message that says “The volume does not contain a recognized file system” and you will be prompted to format it. OS X allows you to view data stored on Windows formatted drives, but unfortunately Windows does not support HFS +. Enjoy!