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Time Machine: No FAT or exFAT drives, only HFS+ and APFS

Macworld Thursday, 12 September 2019
To judge by a recent spate of email, Mac users are using Windows and Unix/Linux compatible drives more than ever. Many people have asked why their external drive appears and is grayed-out in the Time Machine preference pane’s excluded list. (Open the Time Machine preference pane and click Options to see that list.)

That’s because the drive isn’t formatted in a way that Time Machine can back up files from. While I’ve covered this in previous columns, it’s worth a quick refresher, given how many people are apparently currently dealing with this.

· Time Machine volumes must be HFS+ formatted, listed in Disk Utility as “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”.

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