Although Disk Utility is the default disk manager app built into macOS, it has limited functions when it comes to advanced partitioning. For example, it won’t work when you want to resize Boot Camp partition to arrange free disk space, or when you need to partition an external hard drive only to find the option is grayed out.
We’d like to share with you some Mac partition managers that are better than Disk Utility, so you can deal with customized partitioning needs for both Macintosh HD (or Boot Camp) and any external hard drives. At the end of the day, your Mac hard drive will be more organized and efficient.
Why Use Third-Party Mac Partition Software?
Having extra space in your Mac drive allows you to store more precious photos and videos, and your Mac is likely to run faster with a decent amount of free disk space. However these days your hard drive can be used up faster than ever, especially if you back up your iPhone or iPad data to your Mac. Also, those media files are much larger in file size and need more space to store.
If your primary boot partition, either Macintosh HD or Boot Camp, is getting full, macOS (or Windows in Boot Camp) is going to run a bit sluggishly. The best solution is to rearrange space between volumes by resizing either Macintosh HD or Boot Camp. In this case, you need an advanced third-party Mac partition manager, as Disk Utility won’t cut it.
Other times, you may want to make several partitions or adjust the size on an external hard disk, you could try Disk Utility, but sometimes you’ll find the partition option has been grayed out, or it takes forever to complete during the erasing process. A third-party partition software will save you time and effort.
Best Mac Partition Manager Apps in 2020: What to Consider?
Security: the apps must be 100% virus-free and malware-free. Also, it must not contain any other bundled or embedded plugins that inject ads while you surf the Internet. These days adware has been notorious among many Mac applications.
Features: the best Mac partitioning app should do what Disk Utility can’t. Otherwise, there’s no point wasting time downloading a third-party app. It would be great if the app can resize Boot Camp partitions if your Mac has a dual operating system (macOS + Windows), so it should work with both NTFS and HFS volumes, create bootable media which can be used to perform partitioning on boot drives, and/or other standard features like create/delete/format any partition easily.
Compatibility: it must be compatible with all common macOS versions, including the latest macOS Catalina.
Ease of use: the software should be relatively easy to operate, quick in the partition resizing/deleting process.
Technical Support: dealing with hard drive operations often need extra technical skills. Any misoperation could cause unexpected data loss. Therefore, the provider/developer of the Mac partition software should respond to user requests.
Best Partition Manager for Mac: Our Picks in 2020
Important: editing partitions may cause unexpected data loss, it’s highly recommended that you back up your Mac data in advance. We’ve tested the apps recommended below and they are 100% secure to download and use.
1. GParted (Free)
GParted is a free partition editor to manage your disk partitions. It’s available for Windows, macOS and Linux. You can use the app to copy, resize, and move partitions without losing data. The best way to access all its features is by using the GParted Live bootable image, which enables you to use GParted macOS as well as other operating systems. This app is 100% free, if you find it helpful, consider making a donation to help the team make GParted better.
2. Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac
Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac was primarily designed to rearrange space between Macintosh HD and Boot Camp. The app works amazingly fast in resizing all types of NTFS and HFS based disk volumes. It is also an overall Mac data management solution that allows you to back up and restore your data, completely wiping out a partition, etc. The app is not free and requires $39.95 to buy.
3. Stellar Partition Manager
Stellar Partition Manager allows you to perform any partitioning operations like resizing, deleting, formatting, hiding/revealing a partition — except merging. What we like most is its ability to create a bootable media that can be used to partition the main boot drive, though you’re advised to backup your data before proceeding.
4. iPartition for Mac
With iPartition, resizing a partition is super simple. Simply select the disk, grab the resize handle and drag. You can also use the app to create, destroy, or format partitions on your Mac, whether the disk is the internal Macintosh HD or an external removable drive. The program seems like a paid software, but the developer actually shares a license on its official page (scroll down to the bottom). When you run the app, it’ll ask you to input a license first. Just download the license from its homepage and drag it to the window for activation.
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.