Format a USB Drive on Mac

How to Format a USB Drive on Mac Best 10 Steps


Format a USB Drive on Mac may seem like a straightforward task, but choosing the right format and following the correct steps is essential to ensure smooth functionality.

In this concise guide, we present 10 easy steps to walk you through the process of Format a USB Drive on Mac. Whether you’re a novice or looking for a quick refresher, these steps will equip you with the knowledge to navigate through various formats and execute the process seamlessly.

Let’s try the essentials, ensuring your USB drive is formatted efficiently to meet your needs.

1: Overview of Format a USB Drive on Mac

Formatting a USB drive is a crucial task that ensures compatibility and optimal performance on your Mac.

Proper formatting is necessary before using a USB drive to avoid potential issues with data transfer and storage.

This section provides a brief overview of why and when you might need to Format a USB Drive on Mac.

2: Importance of Preparing Before Formatting

Preparing your USB drive before formatting involves safeguarding any essential data by creating backups.

Understanding the different formats available and selecting the most suitable one for your needs is a key preparatory step.

This part of the guide emphasizes the significance of being prepared before initiating the Format a USB Drive on Mac.

3: Format a USB Drive on Mac

Format a USB Drive on Mac

A. Understanding Different Formats

APFS (Apple File System)

  • Modern file system optimized for Apple devices, offering improved performance and security.
  • Mac OS X Extended (Journaled) & (Case-sensitive, Journaled)
  • Journaled provides enhanced data integrity with journal recording, while Case-sensitive is ideal for developers due to case-sensitive file naming.
  • Design a USB Drive on Macintosh operating system X Broadened (Journaled, Encoded) and (Case-touchy, Journaled, Scrambled)
  • Adds a layer of safety by encoding information, reasonable for touchy data.


  • Compatible with both Format a USB Drive on Mac and Windows, making it a versatile choice for cross-platform use.


  • Ideal for large file sizes and cross-platform compatibility, allowing seamless data transfer between Mac and Windows.
  • This section provides a brief yet informative overview of various Format a USB Drive on Mac, highlighting the unique features and best use cases for each.

4: How to Format USB to FAT32/ExFAT on Mac

USB Drive on Mac

A. Method 1: Using Disk Utility

  • Circle Utility is an inherent device on Macintosh, open through Locater > Applications > Utilities.
  • Select the USB drive from the left sidebar, go to the “Eradicate” tab, and settle on FAT32 or ExFAT as the configuration.
  • Adhere to the on-screen guidelines to finish the organizing system.

B. Method 2: Formatting via Terminal

  • Open Terminal through Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  • Type “diskutil list” to identify your USB drive’s identifier.

Utilize the order “diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 NAME MBRFormat/dev/diskX” for FAT32 or “diskutil eraseDisk ExFAT NAME/dev/diskX” for ExFAT, supplanting NAME with your ideal drive name and X with the proper circle identifier.

  • Affirm the activity and trust that the cycle will wrap up.

This section outlines two methods to format a USB drive to FAT32 or ExFAT on Mac, providing step-by-step instructions for both Disk Utility and Terminal approaches.

10 Easy Steps to Format a USB Drive on Mac

Step 1-3: Navigating Finder and Utilities

  • Open “Finder” on your Mac.
  • Navigate to “Applications.”
  • Access “Utilities” from the Applications folder.

Step 4-6: Accessing Disk Utility and Selecting Drive

  • Locate and open “Disk Utility.”
  • In Disk Utility, select your USB drive from the list on the left.
  • Choose the “Delete” option from the top menu.

Step 7-8: Naming and Executing Erase

  • Provide a name for your USB drive in the designated field.
  • Click the “Erase” button to initiate the formatting process.

Step 9: Verification Process

  • Optionally, verify the process by checking the details provided.

Step 10: Completion

  • Once the process is complete, your USB drive is successfully formatted.

This section breaks down the formatting process into 10 easy steps, guiding users through each action from opening Finder to completing the formatting in Disk Utility.

Bonus: Data Recovery After Formatting

1. Tips for Recovering Lost Data

  • Stop using the USB drive immediately after formatting to prevent overwriting data.
  • Use data recovery tools like Disk Drill or EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard promptly.
  • Recover data to a different drive to avoid potential conflicts.

2. Utilizing Recovery Tools for Mac

  • Choose a reputable data recovery tool compatible with Format a USB Drive on Mac operating systems.
  • Follow the tool’s instructions to initiate the recovery process.
  • Select the formatted USB drive as the target for recovery.
  • Preview and recover the desired files to a secure location.

This section offers valuable tips for recovering lost data after formatting a USB drive, emphasizing the importance of swift action and the use of reliable recovery tools compatible with Mac systems.


Mastering the art of Format a USB Drive on Mac is a straightforward process when armed with the right knowledge and guided by these 10 easy steps. From understanding various formats to executing the formatting through Disk Utility or Terminal, each section of this guide contributes to a seamless user experience. The bonus section on data recovery after formatting serves as a precautionary measure, ensuring that even if data loss occurs, there are practical steps and reliable tools available for recovery.

Whether you’re a Format a USB Drive on Mac novice or seeking a quick refresher, this comprehensive guide equips you with the essentials for efficiently Format a USB Drive on Mac and managing potential data recovery scenarios.

Follow these steps, and you’ll navigate the formatting process with confidence, ensuring your Format a USB Drive on Mac meets your specific needs effortlessly.


I’m Hafiz Awais, An innovative SEO Specialist with four years of experience, specializing in project management, copywriting, link building, and competitive analysis.



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