How to reformat a usb memory stick on mac

Apple is the primary source for this type of adapter, but as USB-C gains popularity, you will be able to find third party suppliers at reasonable prices for the adapters. Most USB flash drives are formatted for use with Windows. The process for formatting your flash drive is very similar to what is outlined above.

We prepared the USB flash drive by partitioning and formatting it and then enabling ownership. The flash drive will now appear to the OS X installer as just another hard drive that is ready for installation of OS X. Having said that, we recommend that you customize the software packages that OS X will install.

Before you begin the installation, a few notes about the process. As we mentioned earlier, USB flash drives are much slower at writing data. When we performed the installation, it took about two hours. You can expect to see plenty of beach balls and slow responses as you work your way through the installation process.


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If speed is a big issue for you, you can entertain the idea of purchasing a small SSD in a portable enclosure. Some manufacturers are making SSDs that are just slightly larger than the standard flash drive. Of course, you will pay a premium for the speed.

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A bootable USB flash drive will help you get your Mac back to working condition, by letting you use all of the tools a fully-working Mac has available. In addition to being able to use Disk Utility, the Finder, and Terminal, and have access to the Internet, you can also load some specific emergency tools onto your USB flash drive. Here are some of the utilities we suggest installing.

Share Pin Email. Tom Nelson has written hundreds of articles, tutorials, and reviews for Other World Computing and About. He is the president of Coyote Moon, Inc. All data on your flash drive will be erased.

How to Format USB Flash Drive to FAT32 on Mac without Data Loss?

In the list of drives attached to your Mac, select the USB flash drive device. Like lumber, hard drives and flash drives are actually slightly smaller than their specs would have you believe. Enter a descriptive name for your flash drive; we chose Boot Tools. Click OK. A sheet will drop down, warning you that you are about to erase all data from the disk.

Click Partition. One main difference is file system.


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  8. What do I mean? Fortunately, there is a file system actually two, I'll explain that you can format your flash drive in order to be fully compatible with Mac and PC. 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.

    How to Format a Drive on a Mac

    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. Therefore, it's perfect for a USB flash drive or external disk especially you need to save files more than 4GB in size.

    Now that you've learned exFAT is the ideal file system to go. 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. Once the Lexar disk shows up on the desktop, right click on the drive icon and select "Get Info".

    How to Reformat a Flash Drive on a Mac

    Alternatively in case the disk does not show up on your desktop , open Finder, on the sidebar menu locate your USB drive under Devices, right click and select "Get Info". 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. 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: 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. Step 2 : Under "External" tab, highlight your flash drive. Note: right below your device name, it also shows information about the drive e.

    Step 3 : Now click the "Erase" button at the top. In the new pop-up window, choose the format to be "ExFAT". You may also change the device name if you want.

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    Then hit the "Erase" button to continue. 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. 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