QNAP External Drive Format – Which One Do You Need?

If you want to format QNAP external hard drive or USB drive, you can scan through this post, which not only tells which format is proper for QNAP external hard drive, but also shows how to format the QNAP drive successfully.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Find the right QNAP external drive format

Many users want to format their external hard drive or USB drive for QNAP NAS backup. However, they have no idea when it comes to choosing the partition format for the external storage. In QNAP NAS, the external device can be formatted as EXT3, EXT4, FAT32, NTFS, or HFS+ (Mac only) file system. Then, which format is the most suitable one?

As a matter of fact, that depends on the things you care for and the environment you’re using. To be specific, you can tell which the proper format is based on following cases.

  • Format to HTFS+ file system if you want to access the drive from a Mac OS machine.

  • Format to FAT32 or NTFS file system if you want to access the drive from a Windows PC. Further, format to NTFS if you’ll place files larger than 4GB in size into the partition. Besides, NTFS file system has secure property comparing to FAT32.

  • Format to EXT3 or EXT4 if you care of the performance and stability of backups. Note that these two formats cannot be read by Windows. To make it readable, ask a bootable Linux CD for help.

  • For disk volumes larger than 2TB, it is recommended to format them to the EXT4, NTFS, or HFS+ file system.

Some users want to make an exFAT format external drive recognized and used by QNAP NAS. In general, the QNAP NAS does not natively support exFAT devices. But it has collaborated with Microsoft and Paragon Software Group to provide a customized exFAT driver for the QNAP NAS. With that driver purchased and activated, QNAP can read exFAT devices and use them with QNAP NAS applications.

How to format external drive under QNAP NAS?

Actually, it is very easy to perform QNAP external USB formatting or hard drive formatting.

1. Connect the external drive to a USB or an eSATA port of the NAS and you can see its details in Storage Manager.

2. There are four options available in the toolbar. Click Format in the second place.

3. Select file system options from the drop-down menu. Start the formatting and wait for the process completes.

Tip: Starting with QTS 4.1, labeling is supported for external USB devices. Click “Storage Information” to edit the drive’s label and the label will become the shared folder name of this USB device in File Station.

As simple as the method is, sometimes accidents happen. For example, you may encounter “Formatting failed (Cannot unmount disk)” or the unknown file system error during formatting the external disk in QNAP NAS. It is a wise move to turn to other helpful disk formatting tools if you unlucky to facing one of those problems.

Easier way to do QNAP external storage format

A workaround solution for formatting external HDD for QNAP is to use a professional format tool in another operating system like Windows OS. After all, it is quite easy to access to a Windows-based PC nowadays. For this task, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is recommended. It allows you to format external hard drive to EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, FAT32, exFAT and NTFS with ease.

Connect the external drive to the Windows PC and make sure it can be detected.Download the free format tool, install it on a Windows PC (Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista) and format the external drive for QNAP NAS quickly and securely.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant on the same Windows PC. In the main interface, find the external drive, right click it and select Format Partition.


Format Partitoin

2. Edit Partition Label, choose the proper File System from the drop-down menu and select Cluster Size.


Fat32 128gb Usb

3. Preview the result. Click Apply to execute the pending operations.


▸You have choice to convert NTFS to FAT32 without losing data.
▸To format QNAP external drive in Command Line, please turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.


It is fairly easy to perform QANP external drive formatting as long as you know the right file system. Except for formatting external disk, you can wipe a hard drive totally and erase an SSD securely with AOMEI Partition Assistant Pro.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.