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How to Format a USB Drive on Mac


How to format a USB Drive on Mac? Do you want to erase data from the hard drive? This article will tell you how to format the USB drive on your mac without losing data.

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Not every flash drive out there can be used with a Mac computer right out of the box. Some flash drives have to be formatted first before you can store files on them. Besides, Formatting indeed repairs a corrupted, damaged, inaccessible and even RAW USB or SD card but will erase all saved data. However, losing data is something we don't want. So is it possible to format USB flash drive on Mac without losing data?

Is it possible to format USB flash drive on Mac without losing data?

Sometimes, the USB drive gets corrupted and become raw or inaccessible due to various reason. And you will find the USB drive cannot be recognized, or the system will prompt an unformatted error after plugged the drive. Then should we format the USB drive and lose all of the data?


The answer is no, and you are recommended to perform fast data recovery to recover files from the flash drive before formatting it if you want to keep all your data. Now let's talk about how to restore the lost data first.

How to restore the lost data from the corrupted USB flash drive?

Bitwar Data Recovery for Mac can be used to recover data lost due to deletion, partition errors, formatting, virus attacks, system failures, and a variety of other reasons. Bitwar Data Recovery is the best data recovery software for Mac. And it is compatible with many devices such as digital cameras, hard drives, SD cards, Memory cards, media players, and portable drives. Moreover, this program allows you to preview scanned out data to make a selective recovery.


Free download the USB flash drive recovery software; Bitwar Data Recovery and then install it to the Mac OS X. After installation, connect the USB flash drive to the Mac. Make sure Mac OS X can recognize the USB flash drive. Then follow the below tutorials to recover data.

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1. Launch Bitwar Data Recovery, and then find the USB flash drive on the program, click "Next" to continue.

Select Device

2. Choose a quick scan and choose the file types that you want to be recover, and then click "Scan" to start.

Select File Type

3. The scanning runs to search all existing files from the USB flash drive, and in the meantime, the scanned data show on the window one by one. After the process finished, double click the thumbnails to preview each file, and then choose the data you want and hit "Recover" to save these files.

Tips: Please DO NOT save the files backup to the USB flash drive to prevent further data loss.



After the recovering, you can format the USB flash drive on Mac.

Steps to format the USB flash drive on Mac?

Format/Convert USB to FAT32
After extracting or backing up USB data to a safety device, you can easily format the Mac USB drive by following the steps mentioned below. Now try to convert USB to FAT32 with below methods:

Method 1. Format USB to FAT32 with Disk Utility

Here are the detailed steps to format USB to FAT32 now:
1. Connect the USB flash drive to your Mac computer.

2. Go to Applications > Utilities > Double click and open Disk Utility.

Disk Utility


 3. Select your USB flash drive on the sidebar, choose "Erase."

 4. Rename the USB flash drive, choose the format as MS-DOS (FAT) for Format, Master Boot Record for Scheme.
Then click "Erase."


Waiting for the process to complete, then you'll get an empty new USB flash drive with FAT32 as the file system. You can reuse it for saving data again.

Method 2. Convert/format USB flash drive to FAT32 by using Mac Command Line

1. Connect your USB flash drive to your Mac computer.

2. Hit cmd + space to run Spotlight, type: terminal and hit Enter.



3. Type: diskutil list and find out which disk is your USB drive. In the below picture, you can see that /dev/disk2 is the USB drive.

4. Type: sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 MBRFormat /dev/disk2.
            sudo gives you user right.
            Diskutil calls disk utility program.
            eraseDisk commands to format.
            FAT32 sets the file system.
            MBRFormat tells disk utility to format with a Master Boot Record.
            /dev/disk2 is the location of the USB drive.


Wait for the process to complete, and after this, you can type: diskutil list in command again to check if the formatting was successful. After this, you can use the USB with the FAT32 file system to save files again.


USB format on Mac can sometimes go wrong, and you may accidentally delete some data. And sometimes, we may mistakenly erase something. In this case, Bitwar Data Recovery will be the best choice to recover deleted data from formatted or damaged USB drives. Bitwar can recover all kinds of files from USB and other devices safely and easily.

So, if you have any data loss problems, try Bitwar Data Recovery!

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