Technology

Formatting Flash Drive For Mac And PC Compatibility (Dual USB Format)

the Windows and macOS are two different operating systems and due to these differences, you can use flash drive or USB drive on PC and Mac. Luckily, you can format a hard drive or USB flash drive specifically to be compatible with Mac OS X computers and Windows PCs. In this guide you will learn format flash drive for mac and pc.

Although this excellent cross-platform compatible feature is unknown to many users, it is not a complicated operation, and if you often use Mac and Windows PCs, you will find it particularly useful because any data, media or files stored on the drive will always be accessible from any operating system. It only takes a few minutes to get started and it’s incredibly fast, and I’ll walk you through the process of formatting the flash drive for PC and Mac compatibility.

You might also like: How to Disable USB Ports in Windows 10 via Device Manager

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What you will learn in this guide:

USB key for Mac and PC compatibility

If you have a thumb drive or flash drive and you’re trying to use it on both a Mac and a Windows PC, you’ll likely run into issues. If your disk was originally formatted for NTFS on a PC (or HFS+ on a Mac), you’re more likely to encounter restrictions, such as being unable to read or write data from your drive on either computer.

Fortunately, there is a file system (exFAT) which allows you to format your USB drive to be fully Mac and PC compatible.

Meanwhile, exFAT is the only file system that works for both Windows and macOS versions and has no global file space or partition space restrictions. So it’s perfect for USB flash drive or external drive, especially when files need to be saved in size larger than 4GB. You can go ahead and format your storage drive with exFAT instead of FAT32, as long as all devices you choose to use exFAT authorize the drive.

How to check the file system of a USB flash drive?

First plug your USB drive into your computer’s USB port. Make sure your device is recognizable and can be detected.

On Windows PC:

Step 1. Go to This PC Where File Explorerfind your flash drive under Devices and Drivers. Right click on it and select Properties.

2nd step. When the Properties window opens, select the General tab and you will see what type of file system your flash drive is currently with next to the file system.

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Check file system of USB flash drive on PC

On Mac:

Step 1. Once the flash drive appears on the desktop, right click on the drive icon and click Obtain informations.

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2nd step. Now in the dialog box, you will notice the file system of your USB drive next to the Format option. In my case it shows MS-DOS (FAT32).

How to Check the File System of a USB Flash Drive

Check File System of USB Flash Drive on Mac

Formatting the flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility (exFAT)

Remember that formatting a drive erases all data on it, so back up important files before proceeding. However, ExFAT is not compatible with computers older than Windows Vista Where Mac OS X 10.6.5.

Meanwhile, since I don’t know if you are on PC or Mac to format flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility, I decided to show you both ways. So here is the flash drive formatting process for Mac and PC.

Format flash drive on Mac

Step 1. Open disk utility. You can either launch it from Dock or search disk utility on Projector.

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2nd step. Find your USB drive under the External tongue. Just below your device name, it also displays information about the drive, for example Cut, case system, etc.

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Step 3. Click on Wipe off at the top.

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Step 4. In the new pop-up window, click the drop-down menu next to Format and select ExFAT. You can also change the name of your USB drive.

Formatting the flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility (dual USB format)

Format flash drive for Mac and PC

Step 5. Finally, click Wipe off and Wait for the erasing process to complete. When you’re done, click Do.

Formatting the flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility (dual USB format)

As you can see in the screenshot below, the flash drive is properly formatted in ExFAT format and it is now fully compatible with Mac and Windows PC.

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Formatting flash drive on Windows PC

Step 1. Go to This PC.

2nd step. Locate your USB drive under Devices and Drivers so what right click on it and select the Format option.

Formatting the flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility (dual USB format)

Step 3. Now click on the drop-down menu next to file system and select exFAT. You can also rename the name next to the volume label. On the last click Begin.

Formatting the flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility (dual USB format)

Format flash drive for Mac and PC

Step 4. On clicking the Start button, you will see a warning message “Formatting will erase ALL data on that drive…” Click on OKAY if you have backed up all important data stored in the player.

Formatting the flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility (dual USB format)

As you can see in the screenshot below, the flash drive is properly formatted in ExFAT format and it is now fully compatible with Mac and Windows PC.

Formatting the flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility (dual USB format)

Wrap

That’s it. This guide was about formatting flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility. Thanks to the ExFAT format which allows you to easily transfer files between Mac and Windows PC. if you want to use USB flash drive or flash drive for PC and Mac, you need to format it to exFAT.

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