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How to format a flash drive for Mac and PC compatibility in macOS High Sierra

Macs and PCs use different file systems, which can make it tricky to put data from your Mac on a flash or hard drive and give it to a Windows user. Tricky, but not impossible. Here’s how:

  • Insert the flash drive or hard drive you want to format for Windows compatibility. Go to the Applications folder on your Mac’s hard drive, then go to the Utilities folder, and launch Disk Utility.
  • Select the drive you want to format. Warning: the following steps will delete any info you currently have on the drive.
  • Click the Erase button.
  • Click the Format menu, then choose either MS-DOS (FAT) or ExFAT. Choose the former if the size of the disk is 32 GB or less. Choose the latter if the size of the disk is over 32 GB.
  • Enter a name for the volume (no more than 11 characters).
  • Click Erase, then click Done.
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.
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