Just bought a new Samsung T7 SSD 1TB which I'm using for my MacBook Air. Before I stored anything on it, space was 1TB, after storing around some files of around 2GBs, things were okay. But once I removed those files from the SSD, it still occupies that 2GBs of space. So, can anyone explain:-

  1. Why these 2GBs of space was still showing even after the files were removed? Also, can we factory reset the device?

  2. Also, the format it is using is ExFAT, does Mac uses it by default or it depends on the SSD? The other ones are listed in the below screenshot:-

enter image description here

  • 2
    Did you empty the Trash after deletion? – Tetsujin Nov 3 '20 at 14:37
  • This was on an external drive, so I cut pasted from it to my HDD. So, after cut pasting, there shouldn't be any occupied space in the external SSD, still its occupying 2GBs. That's my concern. So, if in the future, I have many files on the external drive occupying 100s of GBs and if I want to remove some files from it, then even after removing this specific file, space would still be occupied. I can't use Disk Utility, as it does the work but erases everything. – Shashankk Shekar Chaturvedi Nov 5 '20 at 11:01
  • macOS doesn't have a cut & paste function. Please add precise details of exactly how you did this to your question. – Tetsujin Nov 5 '20 at 11:05
  • It was just for the explanation. I used the command button to copy and option+command+v to paste it. This combination is similar to the cut paste in Windows. Hope this gives some clarity. – Shashankk Shekar Chaturvedi Nov 5 '20 at 11:09
  • I still don't have enough to guess from. Anyway, the reason you're seeing only those 4 format options is because the underlying disk structure is set to MBR, not GUID. If you're going to use it exclusively on Mac, then format it GUID/APFS. See what happens after that. – Tetsujin Nov 5 '20 at 11:19

I am not sure if I completely understand what you're asking, but I'll try to answer your questions:

can we factory reset the device?

If you are talking about the SSD, then there is something like a factory reset. It is called formatting and you can do it in the disk-utility app (pre-installed on macOS)

You can follow Apple's guide or this guide. In short, I recommend formatting in MacOS Extended and using the GUID table, but I am no expert whatsoever. This process will delete all files on the drive.

Also, the format it is using is ExFAT, does Mac uses it by default or it depends on the SSD? The other ones are listed in the below screenshot

ExFat is a format type. Formatting types are mentioned in the second article. In short, ExFat can be read from both windows and Mac, yet it doesn't always play nicely with Mac and may eventually lead to compatibility issues. Therefore, I would not recommend it, also because with compatability software like Paragon you can read MacOS Extended drives in Windows.

  • Also due do how drive manufacturers measure drive capacity and the differences in the different kind of formats used (EG exFAT vs. HFS+) the amount of available space on any drive is going to be less than its stated capacity. This is normal and nothing more than an idiosyncrasy. But possibly different from the particular issue you are seeing. – Steve Chambers Nov 3 '20 at 15:21
  • Why and how does ExFAT not play nicely with Mac? Paragon makes software so you can read NTFS and you're saying that built in ExFAT is less stable/reliable than 3rd party NTFS support? This is not correct. – Allan Nov 3 '20 at 16:41
  • I literally just talked to a Seagate/LaCie support guy yesterday, telling me that exFat and/or Catalina may not play nicely with drives formatted that way. As I said in my post, I am no expert, but this is what I was told. – X_841 Nov 3 '20 at 18:12
  • It sounds like that tech is conflating the inherent limitations of ExFAT in general and macOS’ implementation of it. ExFAT is probably the easiest to corrupt out of the formats supported by macOS, but in no way does it “not play nice”. That tech is giving you wrong info or more likely a biased opinion. Can you find reports online of issues with Catalina to support that statement? – Allan Nov 3 '20 at 21:16

Why these 2GBs of space was still showing even after the files were removed? Also, can we factory reset the device?

There can be many things that cause that space to appear used like not emptying the trash, the utility you used, how you formatted it, etc. I need to see what you did to give you a good answer.

Drives don't have a factory reset like a phone but you can erase them very easily with a tool like Disk Utility.

Also, the format it is using is ExFAT, does Mac uses it by default or it depends on the SSD?

There is no format that's dependent on an SSD. APFS is made for SSDs but one SSD isn't going to work with one format while another won't. ExFAT is just an option; there is really no default. You have to define what you want. If you want to share this device with Windows and Linux, then ExFAT is good. If not, JHFS+ or APFS are perfectly fine too.

  • This will make things a lot clearer:- I have Android Studio (2GB) in my Applications folder, so I cut pasted it to my external SSD. At this point in time, the SSD only contained Android Studio with 998 GBs of space still left. Now, just to check, I again moved or cut pasted Android Studio to the Applications folder on my Mac HD. Now, the external SSD is empty but it still shows 2GBs of space as occupied. This experiment looks weird, but in the long term, I might face space issues as even after removing things from the external drive, space is still not free. Please advise – Shashankk Shekar Chaturvedi Nov 4 '20 at 18:25
  • For my 2nd question, I saw ExFAT as default, so asked if I should go with that only or select between Mac OS Extended (Journaled) or Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled). Would appreciate your advice. Also, how external SSD can be changed to APFS? Many questions here. Thank you – Shashankk Shekar Chaturvedi Nov 4 '20 at 18:29

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