There are several possible file system formats you can use for a USB flash drive, and changing them in Disk Utility is as easy as selecting the number of partitions you want on the drive usually just one , picking the format you want for the drive, and clicking "Apply.
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.
How to Format a Drive for Mac & PC Compatibility
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. 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.
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Virtually all cameras and videocameras support FAT32, too. 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. 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.
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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. I will definitely use this product again it will always be highly recommended to my colleagues. Thanks you again.
I bet some of you have this dilemma: Here is a question: Or in other words, how to make external hard drive compatible with Mac and PC? Then which File System should you choose? FAT32 is more compatible.
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As for exFAT, it is less compatible. In short, choose one according to your situation.
How to Format Your USB Flash Drive to exFAT?
Diskpart is a built-in tool that can manage your hard drives. You can use it to format disk including internal or external hard drive. Step 1. Step 2.
Mac Format choices for USB flash drives
In Diskpart window, input the following commands and hit Enter after each command. With Diskpart tool, you can format USB drive very quickly. However, if you use it to format partition over 32GB to FAT32, the error message that the volume is too big will appear. That is to say, you cannot use Diskpart to format volume larger than 32GB.