Format usb stick mac and windows

Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Macs support a variety of file systems. But, if you plan on using an external drive with both Macs and PCs, you should format the disk with the exFAT file system instead. So how do you know if your USB drive is using the right format?

How to Format a USB Drive as exFAT for Mac and Windows Compatibility

In the screenshot below, the drive is formatted with the exFAT file system. Again, formatting a drive will erase it completely, so make sure you have everything backed up that you want to keep. Then click the "Start" button to continue. Step 3 : You'll see this warning. Once again, make sure you've backed up all important data stored in the drive.

Click "OK". Chances are that you may encounter some issues formatting a flash drive on a PC or the disk is malfunctioning.

USB flash drive seen as 200MB

If so, the following articles may be of help to you:. Most of the external hard disks and flash drives are formatted for Microsoft Windows operating systems.


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That makes using the drive a bit troublesome on Mac machines. Like I said, if you want to use the device for both a PC and Mac, you should consider reformatting it to exFAT once you figure out the drive isn't with another file system.

Which File Format to Choose When Formatting USB Drive on Mac

Hope the above guide is helpful to you. Once again, as a kind warning: formatting a flash drive will likely erase all files and data stored in the device, it's important to ensure you have made at least one copy of the data before you get started. Influenced by the startup culture in the Silicon Valley, Jessica loves building things from zero to one and is keen on following news related to the Big Five tech giants and many SaaS startups. Mine can only be formatted in NTFS.


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Thank you Jessica for the informative article. The article was easy to read and understand. The screen shots also helped. I sent my mother to your article since she is new to Mac OS.

Format USB for Mac and PC on Windows Quickly and Securely

Good job once again, and keep informing us Novices. I have reformatted a Sandisk usb 2. I have a Mac I exported a screenflick movie to it. Afterwards the usb stick is not recognized by the mac. Now what? With the latest High Sierra on mac the ex-fat files system is not recognised on many devices, have had to return to fat 32 to use my memory sticks.

How to format a USB drive on a Mac

Also files sizes over 2gb are also rejected. When the erase operation is successful, click Done.

You can transfer files from Mac to PC or vice versa without any issue. Hence, if the storage drive contains any critical data, then back up those data to another storage drive before performing the erase operation to avoid losing your data permanently. R EMEDY : If you have not backed up your external USB storage drive data and erased the drive in a hurry, then you must stop using the external drive immediately to avoid overwriting. Recover your data using the backup; else consider a data recovery software on your MacBook or any Mac system you own.

How to Format a USB on a Mac

The choice of one over the other depends upon your need. If you do not use, create, or transfer files larger than 4 GB then formatting your external USB storage device in FAT32 file system format is satisfactory.


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  8. Moreover, FAT32 provides near-universal interoperability — this is because Macs, PCs, and popular gaming systems support this format. For external USB drive with large storage capacity, ex-FAT is the recommended choice, as you do not need to worry about file size anymore.

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