[FIXED] Erase Process Has Failed on Mac

“I get a message saying Erase Process Has Failed on Mac. I get it when I try to format my Mac with Disk Utility. What’s the best way to fix this issue? Need a piece of expert advice urgently. TIA”

Erase Process Has Failed on Mac

In fact, the above is not an issue you would come across every day. However, if you notice that message on your Mac, things can be pretty frustrating for you.

This issue appears when you try to format your external hard disks, such as Macintosh HD. This issue can emerge as a result of a hardware or firmware issue too.

So, let’s learn to diagnose the issue and fix it with some practical solutions.

Part 1: Erase Process Has Failed on Mac: potential causes

Before getting into the fixes, it is always better to know the potential causes behind the issue. To give you a good idea about it, we list those potential causes below.

  • The hard disk of your Mac has become faulty.
  • The Mac’s system has a malware infection.
  • You were trying to format an external hard disk, but you removed it during the process.
  • You were trying to format a disk in Mac that is not logically present.
  • A security process interferes with the formatting.
  • Your Mac is run on an outdated macOS.
  • The essential components of the Disk Utility are not initiated as they should be

When you see “Erase Process Has Failed on Mac,” you cannot move forward with the formatting process. So, you will not be able to erase the drive on Mac with Disk Utility. As a result, you will need to find special fixes to overcome this issue. The main purpose of this article is to explain those fixes.

PS: let’s learn more about how to clear the cache on Mac effortlessly.

Part 2: Most common solutions to fix “Erase Process Has Failed on Mac”

It is true that there are several reasons behind Erase Process Has Failed on Mac issue. So, there should be different ways to address these issues. That said, mentioned below are the suggested fixes to address this issue.

Solution 01: Use Terminal to erase the disk to fix ‘Erase Process Has Failed on Mac’

If you cannot format the disk using Disk Utility, you can perform the same through the Terminal option. In fact, it is a pretty clean and straight forward option to erase your disk.

  • First, you should go to the Finder and then choose Applications. After that, choose Utility and launch the Terminal with administrator privileges.
Use Terminal to Erase the disk
  • After launching the Terminal app, you should enter the command “diskutil list” and hit Return. You can now see detailed information related to the volumes included in your Mac. You can then note the disk you intend to format.
  • That’s it. After noting the identifier, you should use the command called “Erase Disk” to proceed. That will erase the disk. However, if you need to erase a volume, you should just enter the command “erase volume.”
  • The complete command you should use is “diskutil erase disk.” So, if you need to format disk1, with HFS+ format, you should use “diskutil eraseDisk HFS+ DISK disk2“. After that, please hit the “Enter” key.
  • Once you have done that, you should wait for the process to take place. The disk will be formatted with the compatible version.

Solution 02: Update your macOS to fix ‘Erase Process Has Failed on Mac’

As we mentioned above, you can come across an “Erase Process Has Failed on Mac” error due to outdated firmware. If that is the case, you should fix it simply by updating the firmware to the latest version.

Thankfully, you can download the latest update for macOS through your Mac’s App Store itself. If not, you can even click on the Apple logo located at the top of the screen.

Then, go to the option called “System Preferences.” Go to “Software Update,” and you can check for available updates.

Upate macOS to fix Erase Process Has Failed on Mac

Solution 03: Erase the volumes that are selected to fix ‘Erase Process Has Failed on Mac’

When users see this message when they format the entire disk, as a result, you will have to consider formatting the selected volumes instead of the disk. With this approach, you can diagnose if the issue is related to a volume or a disk.

Mentioned below is how to do it.

  • First, you should open Finder and choose Applications. Then, go to Utility and launch Disk Utility.
  • Once the Disk Utility is opened, you can go to the top-left corner. In the dropdown menu, you will be able to select all the volumes or external devices.
  • You can then select a volume from the sidebar but not the disk. Then, you should click on the option called “Erase” and format it.
Erase the volumes seleted to fix Erase Process Has Failed on Mac
  • In the same way, you can erase the entire disk. Eventually, you will be able to identify if the issue is related to the disk or volume.

Solution 04: Change the level of the security to format the external drive

If you still see the Erase Process Has Failed on Mac error, this is another solution to follow. In some cases, this error can appear as a result of a strict security level.

In other words, the security system of the Mac can prevent you from formatting it. If this is the case, you should adjust the security levels to fix the erase process that has failed on the mac issue.

  • First, you should open the Disk Utility on your system. You should also make sure that the respective external device is connected to the system by now.
  • Then, select the respective external device using the sidebar. Click on the option called “Erase.” Once the following popup is opened, you should go to the option called “Security Options.”
Change the level of the security to format disk to fix Erase Process Has Failed on Mac
  • Now, you can change the level of the security settings that relate to formatting external devices. It is recommended to lower the security levels so it won’t put any restrictions.

Part 3: A complete method to erase your Mac’s hard drive

With the assistance of all the options listed above, you will be able to overcome the issue. However, if you want to prevent the same from appearing in the future, there are several steps to take.

For a mac user, there are several reasons for formatting an external hard drive. Mentioned below are some of the reasons for a Mac user to format a hard drive.

  • You expect to troubleshoot a possible issue on your hard drive by formatting it.
  • There is a failure in the external device, and you intend to fix it by formatting.
  • You expect to change the existing file system on the hard drive.
  • You want to alter the partition system on the respective hard drive by formatting it.
  • Your hard drive is infected by malware, and you want to format it and fix it.
  • You are going to sell your used Mac, and you want to get rid of the available data.

Regardless of the reason why you are formatting the hard drive, the process you should undergo is very easy. You can use the following steps to format a hard drive on your Mac.

01. Open your Disk Utility

You already know that the Disk Utility is used to format and perform other operations. You can go to the Finder and choose Applications. Then, go to Utility and choose Disk Utility.

Erase Disk Completely to fix Erase Process Has Failed on Mac

02. Select a disk that should be formatted

The system will now display a list of disks that are installed in your system. These disks are displayed on Disk Utility’s sidebar. So, you can click on the dropdown menu located at the top-left corner.

And view the volumes. You can then choose the disk that should be formatted. Also, you can even choose an external device or volume.

03. Erase the disk

Once the disk (internal or external) device is selected, click on Disk Utility and choose “Erase.”

It will open up a popup window. It allows you to make various changes to the drive. For instance, you can even change the file name or the partitioning scheme as well. You can then click on the option labeled “Erase” so the drive will be erased.

Part 4: How to erase the disk without causing a data loss

It goes without saying that the data stored on the hard disk gets deleted after formatting. So, what if you are going to format a hard disk that has valuable data? The solution here is to back up the existing data before proceeding with the format.

In this case, there are two options to consider. For instance, you can either copy the data manually or use the Time Machine feature. With the former, you can back up a volume or a hard disk. On the other hand, the latter allows you to back up the entire drive so you can restore it.

Recovering data that has been lost already

With that said, what if you formatted the device before taking a backup? Should you give up hope? Probably not! As long as you have a tool like Wondershare Recoverit, you can recover deleted data back.

This special tool is reliable, safe, and powerful to deal with your valuable data files. It is compatible with all the macOS versions. It also features an excellent user-interface.

You can use it to recover data such as music, documents, videos, documents, and so on. It can also recover files from an external hard drive not detected.

Steps to use Wondershare Recoverit and recover data

Please follow below simple steps in order to recover lost data from your hard drive.

• Decide what to scan

As the first step, you should download and install Wondershare Recoverit on your Mac. Then, you should launch the app to see its home screen. Now, choose a drive, external device, or volume to scan for lost files. If not, you can even scan a particular folder as well.

• Start extracting data

Once the source is selected, you should proceed to the data recovery to get your data back. The software will start to perform a scan, so you should wait for it. Once the scanning is done, you can view the results. If not, you can even pause the process whenever you need.

In addition to that, the application will provide you with several filters to perform a better scan. For instance, you can filter your search by date, size, type, etc.

• Restore the files

Once the process is completed, you will see a list of files that are recovered by Recoverit. You can now preview the files individually. For instance, you can preview photos, videos, documents, etc. Choose the exact files you intend to get back. Then, click on the option called “Recover.” Then, choose a location to restore those files.

So, that’s how to overcome Erase Process Has Failed on Mac issue. We hope the information in this article will help you. Also, you can use Wondershare Recoverit to recover the data you have lost due to any reason.


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.