Mac OS

How to format a USB on macOS

The below are steps on how to format a USB on a macOS. Most USB will not not work out of the box with your mac device when it is not formatted using macOS’ preferred file system (either Mac OS Extended or APFS, and this depends on which version of macOS you’re running).

The basic reason for this is because most devices (PCs’) run the Windows Operating System and this uses a different file system.

Insert the USB into your device, this will appear on your device depending on your settings.
For me, I want external drives to appear on the screen as shown below.
Now you can see the inserted USB displayed on the desktop. Note: If the USB does not have the write file format, you cannot read and write into it.

Note: The process we wish to embark on will wipe any data currently on the USB. You can choose to have the data copied to a different location before proceeding to format it.

Next, launch the “Application folder” from Finder or from the “LaunchPad“. I decided to use the LaunchPad,
– My Utilities are categorized under the “Other” as shown below,
– Select “Disk Utility” as shown below

Double click on the “Disk Utility” to open it up.
– Click on the USB drive in the sidebar and
– Select “Erase” from the toolbar at the top of the window as shown below

This will prompt the Erase format
– Enter a name for the formatted drive in the box shown below

– Choose a format from the dropdown menu
Here are the various file system supported as shown below

Note: You can optionally click on the “Security Option as shown below” This will ensure that sensitive data on the drive cannot be recovered with a disk recovery tool.

With the slider, you can select the security level. The further to the right you move the slider, the more ‘passes’ the erase tool will make and the more securely files will be deleted. However, it also increases the time it takes to format the drive.

– Click on Ok
– Click on Erase.

This will work through the format process of the USB as shown below.
– See the details tab for more information.

The below image shows that the formatting of the USB is complete.
– This will display the green mark as shown below.

The right format type to choose from is paramount in this case.

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