How to Use Flash Drives on Mac

Posted on Friday, May 28 2021 @ 9:28 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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A USB or flash drive enables you to download a large data dump and store it elsewhere apart from a system. This feature was specially designed to enable data portability and not to forget an easy access point for data that is not available or stored on a particular device. These tiny devices are perfect for file storage and safety, and with the large variety of storage options, you can pick the ones that suit your needs the most.

USBs have been around for a long time and are used extensively for various business purposes. It is equally important to ensure safety while one uses them to transfer or store data. Upon chances that you changed your system from a Windows to Mac, you may have noticed some differences in file reading, compatibility, and accessibility.

Check compatibility with Mac

As you insert a flash drive into your Mac system for the first time, it will show a popup notification and open a folder called Kingston. Upon an occurrence that the notification does not pop up, chances are the settings on your device need a bit of rehauling. Change the settings or simply go to 'Finder,' click on 'Preferences' and then tap 'General.' This will automatically open your USB drive content.

Owing to the laptop OS system and specifications, a particular USB drive may not work at all on your system. This will require you to know how to format flash drive on Mac before using it again. A simple way to do it is by launching disk utility, erase the older format, and then proceed with selecting either of the compatible formats to format the drive and make it suitable for the new system.

Flash memory cards

Remember to save data as backup

Before you proceed with formatting a memory stick to make it compatible with use on Mac, ensure that you have a backup. As you insert the drive onto the system and opt for formatting it as per specifications it accepts, you must know that the present data on the drive will be lost and completely formatted.

You could save the data on a cloud service, store it in another drive or simply use your email backup to store the data. At times, users have formatted crucial data without a second backup of any kind, and in the transition process from using Mac from windows, lost data on the way.

Check for faulty drives

A memory stick that has been lying around or used for a long time can get faulty and not work on any machine at all. Upon multiple occurrences of formatting or re-inserting a drive still displays no results. The chances are that the drive is damaged and beyond use. Most USBs can withstand long years of use, but the changing formats, systems and damage can cause them to stop functioning.

Be careful about the faulty drives, and rather take a quick test before you start to carry out a process of changing compatibility. Invest in a memory stick that is compatible with your new system and functions smoothly for you to enjoy the benefits and transfer or share data seamlessly.

Make use of desk utility

An incompatible file system will lead to an error in the display of files even when the drive is connected. To solve this. Click on the ‘utilities’ tab, and tap ‘desk utility’ and that will open the OS Disk Management programs. If the files show up in this disk utility, all you gotta do is erase the specifications and reformat the drive.

On a Mac system, some features also help repair the disk. Select the ‘First Aid’ tab and then select the ‘Repair Disk’ option. This allows the system to completely check for errors on the drive and fix them. It takes about 30 minutes or so to complete the check and repair process. Once done, you are all set to use the memory stick on your Mac device and enjoy the benefits without worrying to re-invest in a new external drive.

Scan for viruses on your Mac

Your external hard drive can be a potential threat to your system and thus, it becomes important to scan for viruses beforehand. The antivirus software available for Mac systems will enable you to carry out a proper check and run through with a device only when it is safe.

Mac OS does not come equipped with an autorun function when a new device is connected. Therefore, install antivirus software and run a check before using any external disks and drives to keep it away from damage from the use of an infected file.


These above-mentioned tips and ways are best suited to enable ease of use and enjoy the functions a Mac system has to offer. Once you are versed with the methods of an Apple system, you will be able to use the external as well as internal software facilities for work or any other personal purpose.