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One main difference is the file system. What do I mean? In other words, you can access the drive and transfer data without any hassles. That file system is — exFAT.

Note that there is another file system called FAT32 that pretty much does the same thing but with one major flaw. See the table below for more info. As you can see, exFAT is the only file system that works with all versions of Windows and macOS and does not have any max file-size or partition-size limits.

How to Format USB Drive on Mac

How to know what current file system your flash drive is with, and how to format it to exFAT? First of all, plug your flash drive into the USB port on your computer. Make sure your device can be detected and recognized. That means my Lexar disk is currently with the FAT32 file system. Important: make sure you have at least one backup of all the data stored on the device before you proceed.

Because the process of reformatting a disk drive will very likely erase all content and make recovery impossible. Read this USB drive data recovery guide for more information. The first part is for Mac users, and the second part is for PC users Windows 10 based. In no particular order.

Can I Use Any Flash Drive on a Mac?

Please note: since OS X The app now has a new user interface that looks slightly different on Yosemite or earlier OS X versions. Step 1: Open Disk Utility. Note: right below your device name, it also shows information about the drive e. You may also change the device name if you want.


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Kind reminder: make sure you have backed up the data before you do this. 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.

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I saved several files to the disk, and open Disk Utility again. If you are on an earlier operating system like Windows 7, XP, etc. The screenshots may look slightly different.

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Step 2: A new window pops up prompting options you need to select before starting. Pro tip : 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. Macs and PCs use different file systems, which can make it tricky to put data from your Mac on a flash or hard drive and give it to a Windows user.

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How to format a flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility in macOS High Sierra — Apple World Today

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