How to Fix the USB or Drive Compatibility for Mac & PC ?

Fix the USB or Drive Compatibility for Mac

fix the USB or Drive Compatibility for Mac & PC: Apple and Windows are serious competitors, which strives them to do better than one another. Windows has been there in the game for long and strong and Apple has come a long way to compete with windows. Apple may be a bigger brand but you cannot compare the number of windows users to the number of Mac Os users. As more people switch from windows to apple, they do face a few problems to get hands on the Mac Os.

One of the most common problems people face is that when they connect their USB or Drives in the Mac Os, it doesn’t allow them to copy or read files and it has a glitch of showing the wrong space information of the drive. That is all because of the compatibility issue. Now most of this USB or drives come in the format of FAT32 which works perfectly with windows and it also works for the mac’s but with a drawback which I’ll explain in a moment.

So if you are facing the compatibility issue which may include you not being able to copy data in the USB/drive or even unable to read the drive in Mac OS then your at the right spot. Before we go to the solution I would like to cover some important information and pre-steps:

How do you tell which format your USB drive has ?

Step 1: Connect the drive to your Mac

Step 2: Launch the Disk Utility app (Search spotlight or it is located in your Utilities folder < Applications).

Step 3: Your drive should appear in the left-hand column, Click it.

  • It will show you the format of it in short summary under USB name.
  • Or you can also click the info tab and see the format and other information.
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How to Fix the USB or Drive Compatibility for Mac

Note 1: If it shows you exFAT (Quiet unlikely) then leave it that way, and this USB shouldn’t cause any problem if you use it on both Mac & Windows.

Note 2: If it shows you some different format(not exFAT):  then you need to Erase and Re-Format the Drive.

Note 3: Now before you select a format, Understand this. 

Mac OS Extended (Journaled) – Choose only if you wish to use Macs in the future and not PC:  This is the default file system format for Mac OS X drives. The “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” option will have the highest degree of support for Mac OS X features, and there’s no limit to the size of files you can put on the drive. You can also boot your Mac with the right knowledge and files using this particular USB format.

Windows-running PCs can read files from drives formatted this way, but they can’t write to them. In short transferring files from Macs to PCs, this won’t be an issue but however, transferring files from PCs to Macs won’t be possible.

MS-DOS (FAT) – Good Enough but nor perfect: Disk Utility’s name for the FAT32 file system. FAT32 is available and working for almost every OS. You can transfer files between Macs and PCs or move files to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii or even to most of the cameras & etc. No wonder why this is the default format for USB’s

But FAT32 doesn’t support files larger than 4 GB, and that’s its greatest drawback. Moreover, You also can’t create a startup drive for your Mac using this format. FAT32 doesn’t support few of the features on mac as many users did complain about having a hard time when they write or work on a file stored in the Drive.

ExFAT – Somewhat a newer format: exFAT is somewhat like FAT32 in that it’s a disk format that avails compatibility and ease to work with Macs and PCs. exFAT supports file sizes larger than 4 GB.  As of now exFAT is supported by windows and the mac os and not the cameras and game consoles.  Since its a newer format it may not be available for anything older than Windows XP SP2 and Mac OS X 10.6.5 but seriously who still uses that? With this format, no one had any issue using/transferring files between windows or mac OS.

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How to Erase & Re-Format your Drive ? 

Step 1: Click the Erase tab after selecting your drive from the left column

  • A dialogue box will appear, Asking you Name and Format.

Step 2: Out of the 4 Format Options > Select exFat from the Drop Down (Since it is the most suitable one for Mac & Pc compatibility)


Step 3: Let it Erase and Reformat

Step 4: Enjoy / Problem solved , Now you can use your USB on both mac & PC and finally Fix the USB or Drive Compatibility for Mac & PC.

From the editor’s desk:

Well, it depends on your work and your comfort to choose which format suits you. Hope this article was helpful, let us know in the comments. So to fix the USB or Drive Compatibility for Mac & PC all you have to do is format the Drive to EXFAT.