How to format your USB flash/hard drive to be used for Windows and Mac? exFAT

Do you want to move data between Windows and Mac? Do you use an USB hard drive for this?

If yes, I am sure you wonder what is the best way to do it. If you format your drive in FAT32, you will face all limitations of this old protocol (e.g. max file-size of 4GB) … if NTFS you will get all the Windows options available but will be read-only for Mac… if you format it in Mac OS Extended you will not be able to use it in Windows. The solution is a to make a compromise and use exFAT.

exFAT is a newer format that FAT32 and is designed for flash-drives. It doesn’t offer all the fancy security stuff like NTFS and Mac OS formats but it can be used both on Windows and Mac and also is not limited like FAT32. A lot more details can be found on this How-to Geek article.

If you want to format your USB flad/hard drive in exFAT on you Mac you need to:

1. Open Disk Utility (Go -> Utilities or from Spotlight Search)

2. Select your external drive and click on Erase.

3. Name your drive and choose ExFAT format from the menu

4. This operation will finish a a couple of seconds. Click Done and start using your drive.

Have fun!