How to Reformat a Usb on Mac

Joel Mason

Mac, Tutorials

In this tutorial, we will learn how to reformat a USB drive on a Mac. Whether you want to erase the contents of your USB drive or change its file system, reformatting is the way to go. Follow the steps below to get started.

Step 1: Connect the USB Drive

First, connect your USB drive to your Mac using an available USB port. Ensure that the drive is properly connected and detected by your Mac.

Step 2: Open Disk Utility

To reformat the USB drive, we will use the built-in Disk Utility application. Open Finder and navigate to Applications -> Utilities. Then, double-click on Disk Utility to launch it.

Step 3: Select the USB Drive

In Disk Utility, you will see a list of all connected drives on the left-hand side. Locate and select your USB drive from this list. Be careful not to select your Mac’s internal hard drive by mistake.

Step 4: Erase the USB Drive

To reformat the USB drive, we need to erase its contents first. Click on the Erase button at the top of the Disk Utility window.


This action will permanently delete all data on the selected USB drive, so make sure you have a backup if needed.

Step 5: Choose File System and Name

In the Erase window, you can choose a new name for your USB drive if desired. Then, select the desired file system from the Format dropdown menu.

For compatibility with both Mac and Windows, choose ExFAT. However, if you only plan to use the USB drive on Mac devices, you can select Mac OS Extended (Journaled).


If the USB drive is larger than 2TB, you will need to choose Mac OS Extended (Journaled) as ExFAT is not supported for drives larger than 2TB on macOS.

Step 6: Start the Formatting Process

Once you have chosen the file system and given your USB drive a new name (if desired), click on the Erase button at the bottom right of the Erase window. Disk Utility will ask for confirmation before proceeding.

Step 7: Wait for Formatting to Complete

The formatting process may take a few moments to complete, depending on the size of your USB drive. You can monitor the progress in Disk Utility.

Step 8: Eject the USB Drive

After formatting is complete, Disk Utility will display a message indicating success. You can then safely eject your USB drive by right-clicking on its icon on the desktop or using the eject button in Finder.


Ejecting the USB drive ensures that all changes are saved and that it can be safely removed from your Mac without causing any data loss or corruption.

Congratulations! You have successfully reformatted your USB drive on a Mac. It’s now ready to be used with its new file system and name.


  • If you encounter any issues during formatting, it’s possible that the USB drive is experiencing hardware problems. In such cases, you may need to replace the drive.
  • Make sure to double-check that you’ve selected the correct USB drive before proceeding with formatting, as this action cannot be undone.
  • Remember to back up any important data from the USB drive before formatting, as it will be permanently deleted.

We hope this tutorial has been helpful in guiding you through the process of reformatting a USB drive on a Mac. Happy formatting!

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