Tuesday, December 23, 2014

How to Format USB flash drive on MAC terminal

File transfer and sharing is common these days.  If someone is using a MAC and he needs to transfer files from his MAC to some other device or wants to copy some files to MAC, USB drive is used.  USB flash drives are very handy and easy to use.  Apple computer has a program “Disk Utility” through which you can format the USB drive on MAC easily.

Formatting a USB Flash drive in Mac OSX can be little different from formatting it in windows.  Formatting a USB flash drive in Mac OS can be done by a GUI app called Disk Utility. This tool is used in all latest versions of Apple Mac OSX including 10.9 Mavericks, 10.8, 10.7 and 10.6.
If you are using a MAC OSX and want to format your USB Flash drive then the steps are easy. There are certain steps which you need to follow.  
You need to reformat it to HFS+ (Mac OS Extended (Journal)) which allows larger file sizes.

One important thing to Note: Keep a backup of your data before beginning the format procedure.  

However, once you have formatted your USB drive and just cannot retrieve your files back then do not panic. In order to get back your precious photos, audios or videos back, the best possible solution to go for will be to download and run Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery Software.

Steps to follow for formatting the USB flash drive on Mac terminal.

1.       Since many USB flash drives are meant to be formatted by windows, so the first step required is to change the drive's formatting to the standard used by OS X (Mac OS X Extended journal). This is so because, the USB drive available in the finder section comes to be formatted as Windows NTFS drive. On This drive, OSX can only read, so we need to reformat it to read and write.
2.        Connect your USB flash drive to your MAC and go to the finder option. Here you will find the applications folder. Go to

Applications>Utilities> Disk Utility

3.       Once you are in Disk Utility application, select the USB drive name and click the erase option. The flash drive should be listed on the left side of the window. 
4.       Make sure that the format dropdown menu has “MS-DOS (FAT)”.option.
5.       Once done, last but not the least, click on the erase tab and you’ll get your USB drive formatted.

Formatting the USB flash drive on MAC by command line.

Formatting the USB flash drive can also be done  using the command line by using diskutil which is the command line interface to Disk Utility, launch Terminal, Applications/Utilities/Terminal – to see a list of your disks:

Command : diskutil eraseDisk JHFS+ myUSB disk2

diskutil eraseDisk erases the USB flash drive, formatted as JHFS+ which is the Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and is named as myUSB  and the destination disk is defined by its identifier disk2. 


Formatting is a common procedure and can be required anytime. Formatting can be used for freeing up storage space, memory card error handling, taking care of memory cards at regular interval or  erasing existing data. The above guide can help you to guide you through once you need to format your USB flash drive.

No comments:

Post a Comment