What Disk Format Works on Both Mac and PC
06.05.2024 | JEYI Innovation | Tech

1. exFAT: It is a format compatible with Mac and Windows. Both Mac and Windows can read and write on it. And there is no file size limit.

2. FAT32: It works with all versions of Mac, Windows, Linux machines, and gaming devices. But it has a file size of 4GB.

3. NTFS: It is the default system for Windows system. And it can only read but not write on Mac.

The best file formats supported on Mac and Windows are exFAT and FAT32. If you want the drive to be compatible with Mac and PC, you will need to format the drive for both systems. ExFAT32 has a limit on file size, while exFAT supports maximum partitions and can also store files larger than 4GB.


How Do I Set the Format to Work on Both Mac and PC


By the above part, do you know what format works on both Mac and PC? Yes, the formats supported by both Mac and PC are FAT32 and exFAT. Then do you know how to format the drive to a common file system for both Mac and PC? I will provide a ways next.

It is possible to create a universal format for both systems on PC and Mac. So, let's see the specific step-by-step guide next.


Method. Format with Disk Utility on Mac

In Mac, two ways to format drives can be used for both Mac and PC. I will introduce a simple method. Disk Utility is a tool for Mac that can change the file system or format internal and external drives. The steps are as follows.

Step 1. Link the drive to your Mac.

Step 2. Type "Command + Space" to open Disk Utility. 

Step 3. Select the USB drive on the left side. And click "Erase" on the top.

Step 4. Give the drive a name. And select "exFAT" or "FAT" format. Then click on "Erase."

Step 5. Finish creating a format to work on both Mac and Windows.

These are the simple steps on Mac. If you want to use the terminal command on Mac to set the exFAT format, you can click the link below.



FAQs About What Format Works on Both Mac and PC

1. Does exFAT work on Mac and PC?

Yes, exFAT can work on both Mac and PC. Both FAT32 and exFAT are compatible with Mac and PC. However, FAT32 will not support files over 4GB, while exFAT solves this problem very well.

2. Can you format a drive for both Windows and Mac?

Of course, you can format the drive for both Windows and Mac. In Windows, the best format tool I recommend is EaseUS Partition Master, and in Mac, Disk Utility is a better choice to format the drive to exFAT format for both Mac and Windows.

3. Can Mac read NTFS?

Yes, Mac can read NTFS format. Although NTFS is the default system for Windows and cannot be written on a Mac, reading is fine. You can copy files from an NTFS drive to a Mac.