Format usb for mac and pc

That means my Lexar disk is currently with the FAT32 file system.

Format USB drive to FAT32 or exFAT

Because the process of reformatting a disk drive will very likely erase all content and make recovery impossible. Also, since I don't know whether you are on a PC or Mac to perform this operation. I'm here to break down this guide into two parts. The first part is for Mac users, the second part is for PC users Windows 10 based. In no particular order. Please note: The app now has a new user interface that looks slightly different on Yosemite or earlier OS X versions. Step 1: Open Disk Utility.

Step 2: Under "External" tab, highlight your flash drive. Step 3: Now click the "Erase" button at the top.

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In the new pop-up window, choose the format to be "ExFAT". You may also change the device name if you want. Then hit the "Erase" button to continue. Kind reminder: Step 4: Wait until the erasing process to complete. It should be very quick only a few seconds to format my 32GB Lexar drive. Step 5: This step is optional.

I'm showing this to verify that the USB drive has been reformatted to the file system I wanted. I saved several files to the disk, and open Disk Utility again.

And yes I'm here t o use a Windows 10 based HP laptop to format my Lexar drive. If you are on an earlier operating system like Windows 7, XP, etc. The screenshots may look slightly different. A new window pops up prompting options you need to select before starting. The only thing you have to check is under "File system", make sure you have chosen "exFAT".

You may also rename the device drive under "Volume label".

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Mac 101: Format choices for USB flash drives

Then click the "Start" button to continue. You'll see this warning.

How to Format External Hard Drive for Mac & Windows (MS-Dos or ExFat?)

Once again, make sure you've backed up all important data stored in the drive. Click "OK".

Guide: Formatting a USB Flash Drive for Mac & PC Compatibility

Chances are that you may encounter some issues formatting a flash drive on a PC or the disk is malfunctioning. 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. That makes using the drive a bit troublesome on Mac machines.

Guide: Formatting a USB Flash Drive for Mac & PC Compatibility

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. The overwhelming majority of USB flash drives you buy are going to come in one of two formats: If the drive comes formatted in NTFS, which is the default file system for Windows, you're going to want to re-format the drive because Mac OS X can't write files to NTFS-formatted volumes at least not without a bunch of extra work that's beyond the scope of this article.

How do you tell which format your brand-new USB drive has? Hook it up to your Mac and launch the Disk Utility app, located in your Utilities folder which is in Applications. Your new drive should appear in the left-hand column, and clicking the "Partition" tab will bring up info on the drive which includes its current format. There are several possible file system formats you can use for a USB flash drive, and changing them in Disk Utility is as easy as selecting the number of partitions you want on the drive usually just one , picking the format you want for the drive, and clicking "Apply.

Unless you have extraordinary needs, you can safely ignore two of them: I'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the other three formats below. Formatting your USB flash drive this way will give you full interoperability with Macs. You can even set up an OS X startup drive if you have the right files, the know-how, and a big enough flash drive, which will allow you to boot your Mac off an external disk if something goes wrong with your built-in drive.

The "Mac OS Extended Journaled " option will have the highest degree of support for Mac OS X features, and there's no limit to the size of files you can put on the drive. Windows-running PCs can read files from drives formatted this way, but they can't write to them at least not without the same amount of work it takes to get OS X to write to NTFS-formatted drives. Otherwise, you may need to consider one of the file formats discussed below.

FAT32 offers near-universal interoperability with virtually every computing system on the planet. A drive formatted this way can easily transfer files between Macs and PCs. You can also move files to video game systems like the PlayStation 3, Xbox , and Wii.

Format USB drive for both Mac and PC use

Virtually all cameras and videocameras support FAT32, too. It's the closest thing we have to a universal file system format, which is why most flash drives are formatted this way right out of the box. FAT32 doesn't support files larger than 4 GB, and that's its greatest drawback.

You also can't create a startup drive for your Mac using this format.


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Furthermore, FAT32 doesn't support OS X Lion's Versions feature -- something users have discovered the hard way when working directly off of files stored on a USB flash drive something we recommend against doing.