How to Format a Drive on a Mac
Unless you have extraordinary needs, you can safely ignore two of them: I'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the other three formats below. Formatting your USB flash drive this way will give you full interoperability with Macs.
You can even set up an OS X startup drive if you have the right files, the know-how, and a big enough flash drive, which will allow you to boot your Mac off an external disk if something goes wrong with your built-in drive. The "Mac OS Extended Journaled " option will have the highest degree of support for Mac OS X features, and there's no limit to the size of files you can put on the drive.
Windows-running PCs can read files from drives formatted this way, but they can't write to them at least not without the same amount of work it takes to get OS X to write to NTFS-formatted drives. Otherwise, you may need to consider one of the file formats discussed below.
USB - How do I format my USB Flash Drive on a Mac?
FAT32 offers near-universal interoperability with virtually every computing system on the planet. A drive formatted this way can easily transfer files between Macs and PCs. You can also move files to video game systems like the PlayStation 3, Xbox , and Wii. Virtually all cameras and videocameras support FAT32, too.
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It's the closest thing we have to a universal file system format, which is why most flash drives are formatted this way right out of the box. FAT32 doesn't support files larger than 4 GB, and that's its greatest drawback.
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- How to Format USB Flash Drive on Mac.
You also can't create a startup drive for your Mac using this format. Furthermore, FAT32 doesn't support OS X Lion's Versions feature -- something users have discovered the hard way when working directly off of files stored on a USB flash drive something we recommend against doing. However, those downsides may be more than outweighed by FAT32's near-universal support, and if you don't think you're going to be dealing with files bigger than 4 GB, this may be the optimal choice.
It has one big advantage over FAT If you won't be dealing with older Macs or PCs, this may not be a problem. Of greater issue is that most consumer electronics cameras, camcorders, video game systems don't support exFAT, either. If you need to transfer files between your Mac and one of these non-PC devices, you're almost certainly going to have to format your flash drive in FAT32 instead. Here's a basic rundown of which format we recommend for your USB flash drive, broken down by use case. Macs and PCs use different file systems, which can make it tricky to put data from your Mac on a flash or hard drive and give it to a Windows user.
How to Format a USB Flash Drive on Mac
Tricky, but not impossible. Your purchase of items from Amazon benefits and supports Apple World Today through affiliate payments. Apple World Today brings together veteran Apple bloggers to a new venue for news, reviews, how-tos, and community. AWT publishes news stories, credible rumors and how-to's covering a variety of topics daily.
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