How to Format Fat32 on Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Formatting a drive to the FAT32 file system on a Mac can be a useful task, especially if you want to use the drive on both Mac and Windows systems. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps to format a drive to FAT32 on your Mac. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Connect the Drive

Before formatting the drive, make sure it is connected to your Mac. You can use an external hard drive or a USB flash drive for this purpose.

Step 2: Open Disk Utility

To format the drive, we will use the built-in Disk Utility application on macOS. Open Finder and navigate to “Applications” > “Utilities” > “Disk Utility”. Alternatively, you can use Spotlight and search for “Disk Utility”.

Step 3: Select the Drive

In Disk Utility, you will see a list of drives connected to your Mac. Locate the drive you want to format as FAT32 from the left-hand sidebar and click on it.

Step 4: Erase the Drive

In the main window of Disk Utility, click on the “Erase” button at the top. This will open up a new dialog box where you can configure the formatting options.


Make sure that you have backed up any important data from the drive before proceeding with this step, as erasing will delete all existing data.

Step 5: Choose File System Format

In the erase dialog box, you can now choose various options for formatting your drive. From the “Format” drop-down menu, select “MS-DOS (FAT)”. This option corresponds to FAT32 file system format.

Step 6: Choose Scheme (if applicable)

If you are formatting an external hard drive, you might also see an option to choose a scheme. For FAT32, select “Master Boot Record”.

Step 7: Name the Drive

You can now give a name to your formatted drive in the “Name” field. Choose a descriptive name that will help you identify the drive easily.

Step 8: Start Formatting

Once you have configured all the necessary options, click on the “Erase” button. Disk Utility will now format the selected drive to FAT32.


The time taken for formatting will depend on the size of the drive. Larger drives may take more time compared to smaller ones.

Step 9: Formatting Complete

After the formatting process is complete, you will see a confirmation message. Your drive is now formatted as FAT32 and ready to be used on both Mac and Windows systems.


In this tutorial, we learned how to format a drive to FAT32 on a Mac using Disk Utility. Remember that formatting erases all data on the drive, so make sure to back up any important files before proceeding. Now you can enjoy using your formatted drive across different platforms without any compatibility issues!

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