Best Flash Drive Format For Both Mac And Pc

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If you’re both Mac users, swell; with Mac and Windows in the mix, you might be tempted to pick FAT32 when formatting that thumb drive. But FAT32 is distinctly out of date. Designed for an earlier.

format flash drive in Exfat for transferring files between Mac and Pc.




FORMAT TYPES


FAT32 (File Allocation Table)

  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
  • Maximum file size: 4GB.
  • Maximum volume size: 2TB
  • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.


NTFS (Windows NT File System)

  • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
  • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
  • To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
    • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
    • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
  • Maximum file size: 16 TB
  • Maximum volume size: 256TB
  • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
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HFS+ ((((MAC FORMAT)))) (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)

  • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
  • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! backups of Mac internal hard drive.
  • To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
  • Maximum file size: 8EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
  • You can use this format if you only use the drive with Mac OS X, or use it for backups of your Mac OS X internal drive, or if you only share it with one Windows PC (with MacDrive installed on the PC)


EXFAT (FAT64)

  • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
  • Not all Windows versions support exFAT.
  • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
  • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
  • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
  • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
  • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See 'disadvantages' for details.

Jan 19, 2014 12:17 PM

Have you ever ran into a problem where you’re trying to use a flash drive on both Windows and Mac? Here’s how to correctly format the drive to work on both.

Compatibility between macOS and Windows have never been better. Both use many of the same industry standards and technologies, providing greater ease for users of both platforms. Examples of the increased compatibility include Boot Camp software for running Windows on a Mac and the Microsoft Office productivity suite. Unfortunately, both still maintain some legacy standards that don’t play nice with each other.

macOS uses the HFS+ file system, while Windows uses the NTFS file system that shares little in common. This makes it difficult to move data between the two unless you have them networked together. If you’re working in a mixed environment, where you might need to work on files between both systems, a handy solution is to use a thumb drive. Before you start, though, make sure your thumb drive is formatted so it can work on both Windows and macOS.

Prepare a Thumb Drive for Both Windows and OS X or macOS

On Windows, connect your thumb drive. Click Start > File Explorer > This PC. Right-click your flash drive and then select Format.

In the File System list box, choose exFAT, type in a Volume Label if you want, and then click Start.

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Click OK to the format warning and wait until the process is complete.

Prepare Thumb Drive on Mac

Mac Flash Drive To Pc

If you only use a Mac computer, you can format your thumb drive to work on Windows systems.

Best Flash Drive Format For Both Mac And Pc

Connect the thumb drive to your Mac. Launch Disk Utility; press Command+Space then type:disk utility. Select your thumb drive in the Disk Utility window, then click the Erase tab. In the Format list box, select ExFAT, enter a Volume Label if you want, then click Erase.

Now you’ll be able to save and copy files to your thumb drive on both Windows and OS X.

Best Flash Drive Format For Both Mac And Pc Download

Microsoft introduced exFAT in 2006; it’s an optimized version of FAT, providing better performance advantages over FAT32. It is also widely supported by memory storage technology companies and third-party operating systems like OS X and Linux.