We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,862 Tutorials

How to format a USB stick on a Mac using Disk Utility

Get the full storage space of your USB back

USB sticks can sometimes display less free memory available than you know to be true, even after you've deleted everything on it. When this is the case you need to format your USB to fix the problem. This is where we should you how to format a USB stick on a mac. See all storage tutorials.

See also Group test: what's the best USB hard drive?

How to format an USB stick on a Mac

Step one:

Once you've put the USB stick into your Mac, you need to open the Applications folder, which can be located in the Finder - or by pressing ‘cmd’ and ‘spacebar’ keys together then typing "applications".

Step two:

In Applications, scroll down to the Utilities folder and open the Disk Utility application. Alternatively, search for the application using OS X's built-in search function.

Step one: How to format an USB stick on a Mac

Step three:

Once in the Disk Utility application, you need to select your USB drive in the column to the left of the window. Once you have done this you need to select the Erase tab, which is found at the top of the large column to the right of the window.

Step four:

When in the Erase tab, you need to make sure the Format dropdown box is displaying “MS-DOS (FAT)”. You can also give your USB stick a personalized name in the field below.

Step four: How to format an USB stick on a Mac

Step five:

Then next and last thing you need to do is press the erase button and you will have formatted your USB stick - it will then go back to displaying it’s full capacity as being available.

Step five: How to format an USB stick on a Mac

IDG UK Sites

How to get a free EE Power Bar: Mobile and broadband customers eligible for free smartphone charger

IDG UK Sites

Why Netflix won't terminate your account for using a VPN, probably

IDG UK Sites

Forever 21 denies pirating Adobe, Autodesk and Corel software, accuses companies of 'bullying'

IDG UK Sites

New Apple TV 2015 release date rumours: Apple's WWDC invite shows Apple TV