The majority of the USB drives come in two formats – FAT32 and NTFS. The first file format is compatible with the old Macbook and iMac models. And, this indicates that Mac OS X users can only format their USB drives in FAT32. However, certain limitations are associated with this format.
Go with NTFS format if the storage media isn’t formatting to FAT32. Do you use NTFS-formatted USB flash drives? Then, you have to reformat it to ExFAT or FAT. Otherwise, you can’t transfer the important files from drives to Mac devices. NTFS is the default file system for Windows 10/11 computers.
Thus, Mac OS X can’t write files in this format, leading to incompatibility issues. There is no need to reformat the drive if it has the MS-DOS (FAT) format. Moreover, the ExFAT drive users also don’t have to take up the hassle of file formatting.
Need to know which file format option will be compatible with the USB drive? It might vary depending on the macOS version the device has.
Follow this guide to know whether the USB drive needs to be formatted or not.
How to Check the USB Flash Drive Format from Mac Devices?
Before you format any USB drives, check their format first. It will help you acknowledge whether you can restore the Mac files in this storage medium. And, there are many compatible flash drives available for Mac. Choose the right one and contact MacBook repair in Chennai when it causes an issue.
There are two ways to find out the USB flash drive’s format. The format type is mentioned in the product label in most cases. However, sometimes you might not get this information there. Use the Disk Utility app in such circumstances to know the brand-new driver’s format.
Don’t know how to open this macOS app? Connect the drive to the MacBook’s USB port and head towards “Finder”. Write “Applications” and double-tap on “Disk Utilities”. Locate “Partition” when the new window appears on the Mac screen.
Go to “Format” to check the brand-new USB flash drive’s format. Additionally, you can also check storage capacity and driver name from this tab. Alternatively, Mac users can check the USB drive format without using Disk Utility. Move to the taskbar after attaching the USB drive and tap on “Get Info” to check its format.
Why Should You Format the USB Flash Drives on Mac?
The latest USB drives hold up to 256 GB of space and are compatible with every device. Do you want to transfer the Mac data to a Windows PC? Then, you have to reformat the external hard disk to export the files without hurdles. Moreover, a FAT-formatted drive won’t support the latest Windows OS.
You have to format the USB drives into the correct format. Otherwise, you won’t be able to move files between the two operating systems. Besides, formatting the drive wipes out the existing data and creates more space. Thus, change the format if you want to remove the Mac files and restore the Windows device’s data.
Which USB Format Choice is Ideal for the Mac Devices?
Mac’s Disk Utility allows the users to choose from five different choices. Select “Mac OS Extended” or “Free Space” if the MacBook uses OS X Lion.
Do you use a Mac OS X device? Choose either macOS Extended or FAT as the drive format option. Besides, the macOS Big Sur users need to choose APSF. Because ExFAT or macOS extended doesn’t work in the latest MacBooks or iMacs. And, you need to convert the drive format to HFS+, exFAT or Ext2 if you use a macOS Catalina device.
All these file formats have some benefits and drawbacks. Thus, you should know about these before you reformat the drives. Otherwise, transferring the files from one device to another will be challenging. Mac file systems aren’t compatible with Windows, and they know about them to avoid further inconveniences.
Why Should You Format the USB Drive to Mac OS Extended (Journaled)?
This file format is compatible with all Mac devices. And, it also supports the features of the older macOS versions, including OS X Lion.
Do you want to edit the documents using the Versions app? Mac OS Extended (Journaled) lets you do that as well.
Moreover, it will save a new version of the document after sharing it via USB drives. Mac users can set up an OS X startup drive if there is enough space. And, you need to format the files to boot the MacBook from an external disk when the SSD fails.
Moreover, this file system supports the Mac OS X features, including Dark Mode. The users can also use the screenshot tool and security features in this drive format.
Do you know the best part about Mac OS Extended (Journaled)? It has no storage limit. And, this means you can store up to 1TB file in this format.
What are the Disadvantages of using a Mac OS Extended-Formatted Drive?
Windows devices can read the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) files. But, it can’t write them to the other PCs or laptops.
Do you want to transfer files from MacBook to a Windows 10 computer? Then, it won’t cause any issues. However, you can’t share the data from Windows to Macs if the drive is formatted in this way.
Why Should You Format the USB Drive to MS-DOS (FAT)?
This is the default name for the FAT32 file systems in the Disk Utility app. And, it is compatible with every operating system, including Windows. This indicates you can transfer the files from Windows to Macs without issues. Moreover, the Mac users can move other media to game consoles using this format.
Do you use PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360? Then, you can share the important game files to USB drives easily. Besides, this file system also works on Nintendo-owned consoles, like Wii. FAT32 also supports the latest cameras and video cameras. Thus, most flash drive manufacturers use this format for users’ convenience.
What are the Downsides of MS-DOS (FAT) or FAT32?
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t format the drive to FAT32. It doesn’t allow the users to store more than 4GB of files in the drive. Besides, you can create a startup disk in this file format. The users can’t use the OS X Lion’s features in MS-DOS (FAT) drive format. However, this format will be the ideal choice if you need less than 2GB of storage on the device.
Why Should You Format the USB Flash Drive to ExFAT?
This is a new file format which is compatible with Mac OS X 10.6.5 or later versions. It works similarly to the FAT32 disk format. And, you can move files from Windows to Mac and Mac to Windows in ExFAT. It supports documents or audio that are larger than 4GB.
Select “ExFAT” as the file format if you have to restore ample files. ExFAT is compatible with the older Windows OS, including Windows XP and Vista. Additionally, it will work on Windows 7 and 8 devices smoothly. Do you use a macOS X Snow Leopard laptop? Switch from FAT to ExFAT to avail more benefits.
What are the Drawbacks of ExFAT File Format?
ExFAT doesn’t support the older MacBook or iMac models. Besides, it isn’t compatible with the computers which use Windows XP SP2. Don’t choose this disk format if you use outdated PCs or laptops. Besides, the cameras and gaming controllers don’t use this format. So, reform the drive to FAT32 to move files from Mac to other devices.
Need to Reformat the USB Flash Drive on Mac? Here are the Steps to Do it
Insert the USB drive to the Mac port and open the Disk Utility app. Look for the correct USB drive name and tap on “Erase” afterwards. Write the disk name, choose the format option, and click “Erase” when prompted. A progress bar will open on the Mac screen when Mac initiates the formatting process. Select “Done” after a few minutes, and close the Disk Utility application. Reconnect the USB drive, and tap on “Get Info” to check whether its format has changed.
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