Format flash drive for both windows and mac


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You could use an external hard drive for Mac, such as Seagate Backup Plus drives for Mac and WD my passport for Mac to back up your files, but do you know what makes a hard drive exclusive for Mac is not the disk itself but the file system of this disk? To answer the questions above and broaden your mind, this part will have a brief introduction to some common file systems.

Cons: FAT32 comes with file size limits and drive partition limits. Also, FAT is the standard file system for digital cameras. Pros: The largest partition and file sizes it supported are nearly unlimited by today's standards.

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Cons: exFAT file system is not compatible with older operating systems. It should be used in macOS As most users have upgraded operating system, it is actually quite easy to meet to lowest operating system requirements of exFAT.

It can be easily implemented in firmware that has low memory and low power requirements, such as cameras, mobile phones, media players, etc. Pros: It is an improvement for FAT32, and it is used as the default file system of Windows system hard drive due to its improved performance, reliability, and disk space use.


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It is optimized for flash drives and SSD with a primary focus on encryption. Warning: Formatting a disk or a partition will erase data on this drive. Make sure you have a copy of data backup in hand if you have important files on this external hard drive. However, if you have formatted this drive and are encountering data loss, you can recover data from formatted external hard drive with iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery.

Also, if you plug in an NTFS formatted drive to your Mac and you have a copy of data backup, then you can follow the following steps to format your external hard drive for both Mac and PC without worrying data loss. Click on Launchpad at the dock of your Mac, choose Other in the menu, and then select Disk Utility to open.

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How to Format a USB Drive as exFAT for Mac and Windows Compatibility

Tips: You can choose FAT when you need maximum compatibility with the widest range of devices and if you don't have any files larger than 4 GB. And for better performance, you can choose Guide Partition Map scheme if your disk or partition is larger than 1TB. Connect your external hard drive to your PC, and then select this drive from the list and right-click on it.

Check Perform a quick format and click OK to format the external hard drive. Except for having the whole external hard drive formatted, you can also split this disk with two partitions. Check Perform a quick format and click OK to format the external hard drive. Except for having the whole external hard drive formatted, you can also split this disk with two partitions.

One is formatted with the file system that is compatible with macOS, another partition is compatible with Windows conversely. By this means, you can use all the advantages each format has on the respective system. Warning: Still, you need to back up files on this drive before you begin to create two separate partitions to work for Mac and Windows PC. Step 1: Connect your external hard drive to your Mac, and then launch Disk Utility. Step 2: Click on the drive name in the left sidebar, and then click on Partition at the top.

Step 4: Click on the untitled half of the pie, give it a name, choose exFAT format, and decide the size according to your need. Step 6: Then click on another partition and format it with Mac OS Extended , and give it a name like "Mac" for your convenience. After saving all these changes above, there will be two partitions on your external hard drive. Step 1: Search for Disk Management and open it. Then you will find this external hard drive at the lower right column.

By creating two separate partitions, you can use this external hard drive on both Mac and Windows. You won't be able to write to the Mac partition from your Windows computer, and vice versa. Thus, it's a good solution for people who need to swap between two operating systems but with separate work. NTFS drive will be read-only on Mac and you can't write to this drive normally in this case. But formatting is not feasible as it includes several steps and you will lose data if you didn't back up your files.

How to format a flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility in macOS High Sierra — Apple World Today

Then, can you solve external hard drive read-only without formatting? It supports macOS Catalina With this useful tool, you'll have full access to NTFS drives on Mac and make your external hard drive interchangeable between Macs and PCs without formatting. Also, you can mount and unmount NTFS drives from the Mac menu bar with advanced and optimized options. One main difference is the file system. What do I mean?

In other words, you can access the drive and transfer data without any hassles. That file system is — exFAT.

How to Format External Hard Drive for Mac & Windows (MS-Dos or ExFat?)

Note that there is another file system called FAT32 that pretty much does the same thing but with one major flaw. See the table below for more info. As you can see, exFAT is the only file system that works with all versions of Windows and macOS and does not have any max file-size or partition-size limits. How to know what current file system your flash drive is with, and how to format it to exFAT? First of all, plug your flash drive into the USB port on your computer. Make sure your device can be detected and recognized.

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That means my Lexar disk is currently with the FAT32 file system. Important: make sure you have at least one backup of all the data stored on the device before you proceed. Because the process of reformatting a disk drive will very likely erase all content and make recovery impossible.

Read this USB drive data recovery guide for more information. The first part is for Mac users, and the second part is for PC users Windows 10 based. In no particular order.

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Please note: since OS X The app now has a new user interface that looks slightly different on Yosemite or earlier OS X versions. Step 1: Open Disk Utility. Note: right below your device name, it also shows information about the drive e. You may also change the device name if you want.

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