iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 Include Support for Formatting External Drives

Apple wants iPhone and iPad users to be able to format external drives connected to their device, without the need for a Mac, based on the latest find in the iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 developer betas (via MacStories).

iPadOS 18 on iPad Feature
Writing in his ByteBits substack, Kaleb Cadle said he made the discovery of new file format options while tinkering with the Files app:

Now in the Files app on iPadOS 18, when we right click or hold press on an external drive and select "Erase", new options appear for reformatting the drive. Currently, the format options here are APFS (with options for Case Sensitive or Encrypted), ExFAT, and MS-DOS (FAT), the same format options available in Disc Utility (with the exception of macOS extension formats which wouldn't make much sense for this feature on iPadOS). This is a major improvement for iPad power users and it will be interesting to keep an eye out for new improvements to this functionality and others within the Files app over the course of the iPadOS 18 beta cycle. It seems Apple may be taking a similar tact to the way they incorporated much of the functionality of the Preview app into the Files app via Quick Look, but now with functionality from Disc Utility.

files app format drives

File format options in the Files app on iPadOS 18 (Image: Kaleb Cadle).

iPadOS 18 and iOS 18 are currently in beta. Apple plans to release the second betas to developers on Monday.

Update: Added iOS 18 beta references after confirmation that the formatting options are present on iPhones as well as iPads.

Related Roundups: iOS 18, iPadOS 18
Related Forums: iOS 18, iPadOS 18

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 17 Pro Max Will Be First Model to Feature Three 48MP Cameras

Thursday July 11, 2024 12:20 am PDT by
Next year's iPhone 17 Pro Max will feature an upgraded 48-megapixel Tetraprism camera for enhanced photo quality and zoom functionality, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his n-iphone-tetraprism-upgrade-ca62dd37e364">latest investor note published to Medium, Kuo said the key specification change would be a 1/2.6" 48MP CIS sensor, up from the 1/3.1" 12MP sensor expected to be used...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

10 Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Monday July 8, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models simultaneously, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different – already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...

Apple's AirPods Pro 2 vs. Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro

Saturday July 13, 2024 8:00 am PDT by
Samsung this week introduced its latest earbuds, the Galaxy Buds3 Pro, which look quite a bit like Apple's AirPods Pro 2. Given the similarities, we thought we'd compare Samsung's new earbuds to the AirPods Pro. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, you could potentially mistake Samsung's Galaxy Buds3 Pro for the AirPods Pro. The Buds3 Pro have the same...
primeday2020 feature3

The Best Early Prime Day Deals on Apple Products

Saturday July 13, 2024 6:23 am PDT by
Amazon is soon to be back with its annual summertime Prime Day event, lasting for just two days from July 16-17. As it does every year, Prime Day offers shoppers a huge selection of deals across Amazon's storefront, and there are already many deals you can get on sale ahead of the event. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may...

Top Rated Comments

cicalinarrot Avatar
3 weeks ago
Gee, I never realised iPads couldn't autonomously perform basic OS tasks like this.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kylo83 Avatar
3 weeks ago
but you can’t eject a drive
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Carrotstick Avatar
3 weeks ago
Wow, this should have added when the files app was introduced.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Alfred.Woodden Avatar
3 weeks ago
Fantastic and FINALLY!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DaniTheFox Avatar
3 weeks ago

but you can’t eject a drive
This eject is a thing from the past. On iOS and iPadOS you never had to do it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
3 weeks ago
Maybe in another 15 years we’ll finally be able to replace our Macs with an iPad ?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)