How to Format USB Flash Drive to FAT32 in Mac OS

How to Format USB Flash Drive to FAT32 in Mac OS

To format a USB drive, follow these steps: 

1. Connect USB drive into the given socket. The latest MacBook Pro or MacBook Air have only USB-C type connectors, so if you have the recent Mac’s, you will require an adaptor to convert from USB-C to USB-A. 

2. Click the fresh Finder window. Then select the drive.

Note: – Formatting will wipe the entire data, so make sure the drive contains no important data on it.Copy any crucial data on your Mac. 

3. Next navigate to Applications and select Utilities, then select Disk Utility by double-clicking on it. 

4. From the sidebar menu, select USB drive. Now select Erase from toolbar that is situated at top of window.Next a window will drop down; here type a specific name for formatted drive. 

5. Next from the drop-down menu, select the type of format you want.If the USB flash drive, has some sensitive data, click on Security tab. This will let you choose how securely you want the files to be deleted.Just move the slider to right, the further it moves, the more passes the erase feature will make meaning that the files will be removed discreetly. But keep in mind this step will increase the time of the format. 

6. Finally, click on OK and then select Erase.This is a complete process of formatting a USB drive on Mac.

Steps To Format A USB Drive To Fat32 On Mac:

Before we learn how to format a USB drive to FAT32 on Mac, it is necessary to learn why to do? And the reason behind this is as follows: 


  • FAT32 format can be read and written to on both the operating system- Mac and Windows. 
  • There are many people who like to use the drive on both Mac and Windows, and others use it as a device for storage for TV shows and thus reformatting to FAT32 is necessary. 
  • The only limitation with FAT32 is that the individual files should have a 4GB size and not more which poses a problem when USB drive has bigger size files. 
  • However, in such cases, exFAT can be used as it no such limitation and can run on OS.



MS-DOS (FAT) - This is Disk Utility's name for the FAT32 filesystem. 


Advantages:  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 360, and Wii. Virtually all cameras and video cameras 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.


Here Are The Steps You Should Follow : 



  1. Into your Mac, plug in the USB drive
  2. Next, select Applications>Utilities and then launch Disk UtilityFrom the disk utility sidebar, select the USB drive 
  3. From the disk utility toolbar, chose Erase 
  4. Give the formatted disk a name and select either MS-DOS (FAT32) or ExFat from the format menu.
  5. Finally, select erase. Now your disk/drive will be reformatted to either FAT32 or ExFAT depending upon your selectionSo, these are steps that you will need to follow while reformatting your USB drive. 
  6. Remember that before formatting; check the drive for important data so that nothing crucial is deleted. For clarity on any doubts, feel free to connect with us in the comments section below.


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