How long does it take to format a 5TB drive? [ANSWERED]

Question: How long does it take to fully format a 5TB external hard drive via USB 3.0?

Answer: It takes about 9.5 hours to fully format!

Details: This was an external “Seagate Expansion Unit” 5TB drive connected via USB 3.0 to a docked Dell E5450. I started the format (NTFS format, via Windows 10) at 9:30AM and it finished at 7PM.

5TB fotmatted!

5TB formatted!


  • Mitch

    Thanks for answering this. I searched for an answer; almost all posts just told people to do a quick format. Lots of judgement but no answers.

    • Dear Mitch,
      Thank you for your nice comment! I am very glad the formatting info was helpful to you. 🙂

      I agree with you, sometimes a full format is needed when a quick format is not appropriate (i.e. when you want to test an entire hard drive, or you want a somewhat more secure format).

      Have a GREAT week!

      Best regards,

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