Best formatting for external disk as a backup?

I got a Wd elements portable HDD. Since I also have Windows installed on my iMac with Bootcamp, could formatting in ExFAT be worth it since this way I could access to Western Digital Dashboard to fix potential issues with my disk or not? Or is better MacOS Extended or APFS in any case?

If you want to format your primary drive (with your OS), you must use NTFS (New Technology Files System), the default and modern Windows file system. NTFS is also a good choice for external drives, because it’s compatible with a wide range of devices.

  • With basic file security and support for files over 4 GB in size, NTFS is the best option when transferring large files. If you want to put a movie on a USB drive to play it on your TV, you should use NTFS. Also, NTFS lets you set helpful advanced permissions.
  • FAT32 file format: FAT32 (File Allocation Table 32) is an older file system dating back to Windows 95. It’s compatible with the largest range of file types, but it can’t store anything over 4 GB.
  • exFAT: The exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) file system is designed for removable storage like USB drives, SD cards, and other external hard drives. It’ll let you transfer files between different operating systems. Use the exFAT file system if you want to move files between Windows and Mac devices, or if you want your files to be compatible on both operating systems.

Hi, thanks for answering, but I’m afraid the premade answer is not really relevant to my question.

APFS is a new format developed by Apple, is designed for optimizing SSD and flash memory. APFS is only available on Mac running macOS 10.13 and later. If you want to upgrade to the latest macOS (Monterey), you must format the drive as APFS. After that, you can continue to install macOS and complete the whole process.

Further, I suggest you to check the below link that explains all the methods to format your external drive for mac without any data loss:

Hope it helps!