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How to make USB stick usable on Mac and PC

If you want your USB stick to be compatible with Apple Mac computers and Windows PCs, this is how you do it in Mac OS X Mountain Lion.

 
  Author: mat | Version: 10.8 Mountain Lion | 8th September 2012 |  
 
 
1.
 

First let me show you how to find out which drive on your Mac computer is the USB drive you want to erase, so you won't erase some other drive by accident.

If you already know that than skip to step 5.

Open the Finder.

 
 
2.
 

On the left side of the Finder window you have your shortcuts, shared network folders and drives. At the moment I don't have any external drives in my Mac ...

 
 
3.
 

... now put an USB stick you want to format so you will be able to transfer documents and files between a Mac and PC and observe the Finder window ...

Don't forget to backup your data that you might have on your USB drive/stick because the Format procedure completely erases all the data.

 
 
4.
 

... a new device should show up under Devices.

In my case it's an USB stick named MYSTICK, remember the name of the device that showed up in your Finder.

 
 
5.
 

Now click the Spotlight search button in the Mac OS bar notification bar and enter disk utility into the search field ...

 
 
6.
 

... click the Disk Utility in the search results.

 
 
7.
 

In Disk Utility find your device in the left pane and click it.


 
 
8.
 

Click the Erase button as we want to erase

 
 
9.
 

Choose the MS-DOS (FAT) for a file system and name your USB drive as well if you want.

Choosing MS-DOS (FAT) file system will make your USB drive/stick functional when used both in Mac and Windows PC computers, so you can copy the files from Mac to USB stick and from USB stick to a Windows computer and the other way around as well.

If you are completely sure you want to erase all the data from your USB stick click Erase...

 
 
10.
 

If really, really sure, click Erase again.

Wait a few seconds for the procedure to finish and you are done and your USB stick is ready to be used in Mac or a PC computer.


 
 
 
   
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