How to Format a USB on Mac

Have you ever wondered how to format a USB on Mac®? Fear not! Formatting USB drives on a Mac is actually a simple process. Many USB (often called flash drives) are plug-and-play for Mac these days. However, there are still a few USB drives that need formatting in order to work with your Mac OS. If you need to format a USB on Windows, the process is slightly different, but we can help with that too.

Macs come factory loaded with a very handy program called Disk Utility. This program does many things, ranging from verifying a disk’s integrity and repairing it to formatting drives.

Format a USB on a Mac - 10 easy steps to format a USB flash drive with disk utility

Step 1: Select "Finder"

Finder Icon on Mac

Step 2: Select "Applications"

Find Applications folder on Mac

Step 3: Select "Utilities"

Find Utilities folder on Mac

Step 4: Select "Disk Utility"

You will see the main window with a list of available storage devices on the left and various disk management options on the right. At the bottom of the main window are storage device details, including disk description, connection type, USB serial number, total capacity, write status, S.M.A.R.T. status, and partition map scheme.

Find Disk Utility on Mac

Step 5: Select a drive from the list on the left

You won't be able to proceed until this step is completed.

Disk Utility dialog box

Step 6: Select "Erase"

Arrow pointing to erase button in disk utility dialog box

Step 7: Name the drive

Prior to erasing anything, you have to give the drive a name.

Erase Dialog Box appears to rename drive

Once you name the drive, select "ExFAT" for the format, and select “GUID Partition Map” for the scheme (unless your applications require another scheme for compatibility).

Dropdown to select desired drive format

Step 8: Erase

Rename drive in progress

Step 9: Verify, if needed

If another confirmation pop up appears, select "Erase" again

Step 10: Done!

Erase complete dialog box

Once the process is complete, click "Done."

Congratulations! You should be able to transfer files to the newly formatted flash drive. External SSDs such as the Crucial X10 Pro are another way to clear space on a Mac ttps:// or transfer files from one Mac to another, often offering more capacity and faster transfer speeds.

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