How to reformat a usb stick on a mac

Last Updated: Mar 2, 2024 by

If you’re a Mac user, you may have encountered the need to reformat a USB stick at some point. Whether it’s because the drive is not working properly or you want to use it for a different purpose, reformatting a USB stick on a Mac is a simple process. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to format a USB stick on a Mac.

Step 1: Connect the USB Stick

The first step is to connect the USB stick to your Mac. Make sure it is properly inserted into the USB port. If the USB stick is not recognized by your Mac, try using a different USB port or a different USB stick.

Step 2: Open Disk Utility

Once the USB stick is connected, open the Disk Utility application on your Mac. You can find it by going to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 3: Select the USB Stick

In the Disk Utility window, you will see a list of all the drives connected to your Mac. Select the USB stick you want to reformat from the list. Be careful not to select the wrong drive, as reformatting will erase all data on the selected drive.

Step 4: Erase the USB Stick

Click on the “Erase” button at the top of the Disk Utility window. A pop-up window will appear, asking you to confirm the action. Click on “Erase” again to proceed.

Step 5: Choose the Format

In the next window, you will be prompted to choose the format for your USB stick. The default format is usually “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”. If you want to use the USB stick on both Mac and Windows computers, choose “ExFAT” as the format. This will allow you to transfer files between the two operating systems without any issues.

Step 6: Name the USB Stick

You can also choose to give your USB stick a name in this window. This is optional, but it can help you identify the USB stick easily in the future.

Step 7: Erase the USB Stick

Click on the “Erase” button to start the formatting process. This may take a few minutes, depending on the size of your USB stick.

Step 8: Eject the USB Stick

Once the formatting is complete, you will see a message saying “Operation successful”. Click on “Done” and then click on the “Eject” button next to the USB stick in the Disk Utility window. You can now safely remove the USB stick from your Mac.

Step 9: Use the Reformatted USB Stick

Your USB stick is now reformatted and ready to use. You can transfer files to and from your Mac without any issues.


Reformatting a USB stick on a Mac is a simple process that can be done in a few easy steps. Just remember to double-check the drive you are formatting to avoid accidentally erasing important data. With these steps, you can easily reformat any USB stick on your Mac and use it for your desired purpose.

Have you ever had to reformat a USB stick on a Mac? Let us know in the comments.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.