USB flash drive for PC and Mac

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I'd like to use a 4GB USB 2 flash drive to move files between my Mac and Windows 10 machines. From what I've read, it should be formatted as exFAT. When I format it as such on the Mac and insert it in the PC a window pops up saying it has to be formatted. When I format it first on the PC, the Mac won't recognize it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I always found it funny in Star Trek when the crew encountered an alien ship and within minutes was able to access its computer. And I can't even get a flash drive to work on a Mac and a PC.
 

Growltiger

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You should be formatting the drive as FAT32. This is by far the most compatible file system to use between different devices, it will work on everything from PCs, Macs, Linux, TVs, game consoles, automobiles, etc.
I don't know if your Mac can format as FAT32, but try that first.

Unfortunately Windows 10 File Explorer no longer offers formatting as FAT32. So on the PC you need to download a program that does FAT32 formatting. I'll have to look up what I use and I'll come back and tell you. But try it first using the Mac to format.

The main limitation of FAT32 is that you can't have a file of more than 4GB, but most people never need to have single files that large. It also can't cope with drives of more than 8TB, but your drive isn't that large.

PS. Alien civilisations always use FAT32, on Star Trek they are all taught that at the academy.
 
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I'd like to use a 4GB USB 2 flash drive to move files between my Mac and Windows 10 machines. From what I've read, it should be formatted as exFAT. When I format it as such on the Mac and insert it in the PC a window pops up saying it has to be formatted. When I format it first on the PC, the Mac won't recognize it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I always found it funny in Star Trek when the crew encountered an alien ship and within minutes was able to access its computer. And I can't even get a flash drive to work on a Mac and a PC.
That's because Star Trek takes place roughly in the 23rd century.
That will not be a problem by then.

This may be of help:
https://www.anysoftwaretools.com/format-usb-for-os-compatibility/
 

Growltiger

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Here is the progam I use on Windows 10 to format USB drives as FAT32.
https://macrorit.com/partition-magic-manager/free-edition.html
Click on the link, then press Free Download.
It is completely free for home users.
Just select the (correct) drive, click on Format Volume, and choose FAT32.

By the way I agree that exFAT is better and everyone should use it. But until it actually works everywhere, I keep clear of it. I know my TV, my Blu-ray player and my car don't even try to support it. As Morty says, this will have been fixed by the 23rd century.
 
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Here is the progam I use on Windows 10 to format USB drives as FAT32.
https://macrorit.com/partition-magic-manager/free-edition.html
Click on the link, then press Free Download.
It is completely free for home users.
Just select the (correct) drive, click on Format Volume, and choose FAT32.
I downloaded the program and formatted the drive as FAT32 on the PC. It then wouldn't mount on the Mac and I had to format it again there. Unless there's something else that's easy to try, I think I've expended enough energy on this. Maybe by the 23rd century Microsoft and Apple will have worked something out. Or maybe Mr. Spock can time travel back to the year 2019 and help me out.
 

Growltiger

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Given that it is a tiny old drive, it may have some sort of problem. Anyway it is time for a new one. This time get a USB3 one and at least 32GB. Mine are mostly 64GB or 128GB. SanDisk is a reliable make.
 
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Given that it is a tiny old drive, it may have some sort of problem. Anyway it is time for a new one. This time get a USB3 one and at least 32GB. Mine are mostly 64GB or 128GB. SanDisk is a reliable make.
That's what I was suspecting. My other drives are USB3 and larger capacity but those are encrypted and dedicated to other tasks. I'll try again with a newer drive. Thanks.
 
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So I happen to have a newer SanDisk 32GB USB 2.0 flash drive available. I formatted it for exFAT on the Mac (FAT32 was not available), plugged it into the PC and it worked there. I put a test file on it and plugged it back into the Mac and all was good. That was easy and as speculated it may have had something to do with the older flash drive. No need for Mr. Spock to time travel.
 

Growltiger

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The W10 default format for a 4GB USB is FAT32, at least is on my 1909 machine. FAT32 limitations make it not work on larger drives, so it may not show up in the type pulldown for those, but 4GB is fine.
That's right. The formatting options change depending on the size of the drive. With the larger drives you only get NTFS and exFAT. With an old 128MB drive you get FAT (default), FAT32, exFAT and NTFS.
If you have a larger drive you need an external program like the Macrorit one I listed to be able to format with FAT32.
FAT32 can be used with drives of up to 8TB so it isn't obvious why Windows won't itself support formatting a 128GB drive as FAT32.
 

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