Flash disk format mac windows

Available Mac File Systems Explained

A common issue discussed by users within various technical support forums is that of USB flash drives not working on their computers. This is a cross-platform problem that Windows and macOS users often experience.

How to Format a Drive on a Mac

For example, a photographer may provide you with a USB flash drive with stored photos and videos from your birthday party, but you cannot access them on your system. This is the result of differences between operating systems on computers.

Part 2: Which Format to Choose When Formatting?

Windows and macOS use separate file system formats. By default, USB flash drives and external storage are formatted with the NTFS file system - this works flawlessly on PCs, while Mac computers are able to read data in the format, but struggle to write using this type of storage.

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In this article, we describe the differences between these two file systems and how to format external storage using a Mac computer. Table of Contents:. Naturally, the question is: which should you choose? To make the choice easier, we describe both file systems and their features below.

Format a USB Drive as EXFAT for Mac and Windows Compatibility

This particular file system does contain file size restrictions. For example, the maximum size of supported files is 4GB you cannot write files larger than 4GB. Also, you cannot create a startup drive for Mac computers within storage media that uses the FAT32 file system. If, however, you are not planning to use external storage to transfer large files or create any executable partitions such as a Mac startup drive the FAT32 file system might be an option, since this format is supported in all versions of the operating system.

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Therefore, you can write a file of, for example, 1TB size and create partitions of 5TB within the device. 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 drive for Mac and Windows

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. Select the drive by clicking its name. In addition, we cover topics relevant to niches like developers, designers and others. AWT's writers and editors are trusted worldwide for their fair reviews, and AWT reviews everything from hardware to software to accessories and bags.

Best 5 USB flash drive formatting software for Mac

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How to Format a USB on a Mac

Insert the flash drive or hard drive you want to format for Windows compatibility. Select the drive you want to format.

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