How can I format my MacBook laptop

Format USB stick on Mac: Here's how

Kris Wallburg

You can find out here how to format a USB stick under macOS and which file system you should use.

EnlargeFormatting a USB stick under MacOS is very easy.

You can easily format your USB stick under macOS. This will delete all files, remove potential dangers such as viruses and also change the file system. Sometimes this is necessary because not all file systems are compatible with all operating systems.

How to format a USB stick on a Mac:

  1. Connect a USB stick

  2. Open Disk Utility. You can find this either by searching or under "Applications" in the "Utilities" folder.

  3. On the left you can see an overview of the connected data carriers. Select the stick or hard drive to be formatted.

  4. Select "Delete" above.

  5. You can select the desired file format under "Format". You can find out which one is right for you below.

  6. Under the item "Security Options" you can also select how the data carrier should be formatted. If you do not want the data on the stick to be restored using recovery programs, set the control to "Most secure". Otherwise you can leave the controller in its default setting.

  7. Finally, click on the "Delete" button and your stick will be formatted.

The correct file system:

Which file system is best for formatting your stick depends on the area of ‚Äč‚Äčapplication. The following file systems are available:

  1. MacOS Extended (journaled): A file system developed by Apple. Works very well in the Apple ecosystem. However, it is not compatible with Windows or devices based on Linux (e.g. Smart TVs).

  2. MS-DOS file system (FAT): Developed by Microsoft. Suitable for most areas of application, as FAT (also called FAT32) can be used by Windows, Linux and macOS systems. Caution: Individual files on the FAT file system may not exceed 4 GB in size.

  3. ExFat: Similar to FAT, but specially designed for flash memory. Often not supported by older operating system versions.

The most common file format is FAT as it is compatible with almost every system. However, if you work exclusively with Apple devices, MacOS Extended (journaled) may be more suitable. One advantage over FAT is that the maximum file size is virtually unlimited. However, Windows and Linux systems cannot read data carriers that are formatted in the MacOS Extended.