How to format a USB memory or flash drive

File systems are ways that your partition will organize data. For better performance, people should choose a certain file system in different situations . Sometimes it can present reading problems and indicate that the drive must be formatted, that’s why we show you how to format a flash drive or USB memory on a PC using Windows 10 or Mac safely.

How to Format a USB on Windows or Linux PC

Some users may try to format or change USB flash drive to NTFS for different reasons. For example, change the file system to copy large files to FAT32 , repair RAW USB drive, restore USB drive to full capacity, etc. But performing these tasks without losing data is really a bit difficult if you know little about computer and hard drive. However, it is always a good idea to check if the memory can be repaired before formatting it.

Index(  )

  1. Methods to format a USB stick or flash drive on a PC with Windows 10 or Mac.
  2. Methods to Format USB in Windows 10
    1. Method 1: Convert File System to NTFS with Command Line
    2. Method 2: Convert USB Drive to NTFS with EaseUS Partition Software
    3. Method 3: Format with Disk Management Tool (Windows)
  3. Method to Format USB on MacOS
  4. Steps to format a Mac flash drive
  5. Method to Format a USB in Linux

Methods to format a USB stick or flash drive on a PC with Windows 10 or Mac.

On this page, we will introduce you several easy ways to format USB stick or flash drive with Windows 10, Mac and others to NTFS. Some of them allow you to keep your data.

1. Methods to Format USB in Windows 10

Method 1: Convert File System to NTFS with Command Line

  1. Right-click and choose “Run as administrator”to open an Administrator mode command.
  2. Type “convert (drive letter): /FS:NTFS”, for example, convert G: /FS:NTFS.
  3. After the two simple steps, Windows will immediately startconverting the file system.
  4. It may take a while, especially when your device storage is large.

Method 2: Convert USB Drive to NTFS with EaseUS Partition Software

Here we recommend you to try EaseUS magic partition software . The program is a powerful and easy to use disk management tool. It can help you format or convert USB drive to NTFS on Windows 10/8/7 or other earlier versions successfully with just a few simple clicks.

  1. Select a FAT32 partition, right click on it and select “Convert to NTFS”.
  2. If you need to convert a storage device such as SD card or USB flash drive to NTFS, please insert it into your PC first and repeat the above operation.
  3. Click “OK” on the popup dialogto continue.
  4. Go to the top left corner
  5. Click on the “Execute 1 Trade”button and you will see the details of the trade.
  6. Click “Apply” and “Finish”when the process is complete.
  7. You can also do it with Windows’ free built-in disk management tool.

Method 3: Format with Disk Management Tool (Windows)

  1. Right-click on “My Computer” and select “Manage”.
  2. Open “Device Manager”and find your USB drive under the Disk Drives heading.
  3. Right click on the drive and select “Properties”.
  4. Choose “Policies”,select the “Optimize for performance” option and click “OK”.
  5. Open “My Computer”, select “Format” on the flash drive.
  6. Choose “NTFS”from the File System dropdown box.
  7. Click “Start” and wait for the process to finish.

2. Method to Format USB on MacOS

  1. Connect the hard driveor USB key to the Mac
  2. Launch Disk Utility, located in Applications > Utilities.
  3. Locate the drive nameon the left side of Disk Utility.
  4. Click the “Erase”tab at the top
  5. Next to “Format:”, click the context menu and select “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”
  6. Givethe drive a name if you want.
  7. The name can be changedat any time.
  8. Click the “Delete” button and confirm again on the next pop-up window.

Users of the Mac OS X operating system sometimes have problems when transferring their data and programs via USB sticks or flash drives. If any external storage device has errors and needs to be formatted, then we have to learn how to format Mac flash drive.

Sometimes Mac computer users have problems as many programs and tools are designed for Windows operating system . This can cause incompatibility conflicts on Mac. To avoid problems when taking information from one place to another on an external memory or flash drive, it is important to have it correctly formatted. Most of the pen drives for Mac are also compatible with Windows, and if the format is correct, there will be no problems reading or transferring data from one device to another.

3. Steps to format a Mac flash drive

Before formatting a USB flash drive, we have to know that what we are looking for is to have a compatible device for both reading and writing data. On certain occasions we manage to have a flash drive that is read correctly, but due to format complications we cannot record new information inside.

The most important thing to format a flash drive on Mac and make it compatible with both Windows and Mac is to check that the file system of the flash drive is FAT32 or exFAT . Otherwise some of the devices will not be correctly identified by the computers. The FAT 32 format limits us to not being able to copy files larger than 4 GB, while the exFAT file system enables larger files but it will only be compatible with Mac OS X and Windows if we format from a Windows computer. If when formatting a Mac flash drive in exFAT we do it in Mac OS X, the flash drive will only be compatible with Apple computers.

IF you want to format a Mac flash drive so that files can be recorded and read from any computer, what we are going to do is connect the USB to the computer. We open the Disk Utility application (from the Applications/Utilities menu) and choose the Unit that we want to format.

Choose the tab that says Erase and select the MS-DOS (FAT) format, this will allow you to read the flash drive on any computer regardless of the operating system we have. Again, the only limitation of this format is that we will not be able to transfer any file that is larger than 4 GB in size. Other than that, it’s a simple procedure. On the other hand, if you want to choose exFAT Mac pendrive formatter, you have to do it from a Windows computer if you want it to be compatible with both systems. Otherwise you can only read it on your Mac computer.

The formatting process usually takes a few minutes, it always depends on the size of the flash drive that we are going to format. Once the process is finished you can start filling your USB flash drive with the files you need to take from one computer to another. The FAT format, despite its size limitation, is the easiest to choose since you won’t have any reading problems and you won’t have to do the formatting from any special device.

4. Method to Format a USB in Linux

  1. Using disk utility
  2. Click the Dash button and search for “disks”. You will see discs appear in the results of the applications.
  3. Launch Discs from the search results.
  4. A list of connected devices will appear in the box on the left.
  5. Select yourUSB drive from the list of devices.
  6. Your details will appear in the box to the right.
  7. Select at least one volume on the USB drive.
  8. Most USB drives will only have one volume, but if yours has multiple volumes, you can select one or all of them.
  9. Click the gear button under the volumes and select “Format”.
  10. This will open the format options.
  11. Select what you want to delete.
  12. A quick format will not erase any data on the drive.
  13. A slow format will erase all data and scan the drive for errors.
  14. Select the file system.
  15. There are several different file systems you can choose from.
  16. For maximum compatibility with other devices, select “FAT” (FAT32).
  17. This will work on all computers and pretty much any other device that works with USB drives.
  18. If you’re only planning to use the drive with Linux, select “ext3”.
  19. This will allow you to use the advanced file permissions of Linux.
  20. Format the drive.
  21. Click the Format button and wait for the USB drive to be formatted.
  22. This can take a while for larger drives and erasing all the data will add to the time it takes.





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