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    Senior Product Manager


Formatting USB flash drive means emptying all files in the drive and returning to the initial state. How to format USB flash drive on Windows or Mac OS? In the essay, we will talk about how to format USB flash drive on Windows and on Mac OS and how to recover USB data. By the way, we will talk about production USB and non-production USB.

How to Format USB on Windows?

format usb on windows
Step 1. Connect the USB to the computer; click [Computer] to select the target USB flash drive.
locate usb flash drive
Step 2. Right-click the USB flash drive to select [Format]; then click [Start] in the pop-up window to format the USB flash drive.
click start to format usb
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How to Format USB Flash Drive on Mac OS?

Step 1. Open [Disk Utility] on Mac.
Encrypt USB Drive in Mac OS open disk utility in macos
Step 2. Select the target USB flash drive in the left sidebar, then click [Erase] at the top bar.
how to format usb or sd card on mac
Step 3. Select [MS-DOS (FAT)] in the [Format] selectbox. Check all options one more time, then click [Erase] to format the USB flash drive on Mac.
how to format usb or sd card on mac

Which File System to Choose When Formatting?

USB is a common, small, portable, plug-and-play storage device. Which file system should we choose when we want to format a USB flash drive? FAT32 or exFAT?
USB file system
FAT32 – When you go to format the USB flash drive, Windows will suggest FAT32 as the default system. It is a common file system supported by many devices but individual file save to USB disk is up to 4GB in size.

exFAT – It is the specific file system developed by Microsoft Inc, which can support the individual file larger than 4GB. However, it has poor compatibility, so Windows needs to install packs to recognize such USB flash drive.

All in all, if each file in the target USB is less than 4GB, you can choose FAT32.

How to Format Encrypted USB?

If you want to format a encrypted USB flash drive, you can try the above methods. When it doesn’t work, please click here for more information. If all these methods fail, you can follow these steps to change the encrypted USB to make USB production. The production USB tool can preformat the USB flash drive.
Step 1. Download the tool [chipgenius]; connect the target USB to the computer; decompress and open the downloaded tool.
download and decompress chipgenius
Step 2. The tool will automatically check the USB information. Then in the [The details information of the selected device] box, find out the [Controller Part Number] and copy the link of [Tools on web].
check usb information via chipgenius
Step 3. Link to the address and find out the production tool corresponding to the controller chip. Download and decompress the file. Then run the production process to make USB production.
TipsSince the production tool will spoil all files in the USB, please back up the important data in the USB before you work with these steps.

How to Recover Formatted USB?

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  • Files recoveryRecover files from emptied Recycle Bin or deleted by mistake without data backup.
  • Formatted recovery – Scan the whole partition and list all files, especially for the formatted partition or inaccessible issue.
  • Partition recovery – Scan entire disk to find out all partitions’ information and simulate the partition table.
  • Image creation – Clone a partition image which can be used in case that reading partition is slow or need a backup.

download button mac clear2        download button win

Step 1. Download and install Renee Undeleter.
Step 2. Open the software and click [Whole Partition Scan].
select whole partition scan in renee undeleter
Step 3. Select the target USB flash drive, then click [Next].
select target disk to process scan
Step 4. Your USB will be scanned automatically.
scan disk with whole disk scan of Renee Undeleter
Step 5. Select the target files and the saving position to recover.
preview before recovery
recover the whole disk data
TipsKeep in mind! Stop to put new files into the USB disk which has been formatted. It is impossible to recover the data once it is covered by new files.

What is USB Production?

USB production means modifying manufacturer and preformatting USB controller chip. The tool used for these steps is called USB production tool. Once the USB manufacturer information and the display size are modified, the controller chip will be reset correspondingly. The USB production tool can be used to recover unrecognized, unread and unwritten USB flash drives caused by controller data errors.

Mainstream USB Brands and USB Production Tools

There are many USB disk brands whereas each USB disk brand does not share merely one controller chip. Only making sure the controller part can you find out the corresponding USB production tool. A production tool may contain several versions, so you need to try if the one you downloaded fails to work. The followings are mainstream USB brands and their production tools.
BrandProduction tool
AlcorMPAlcorMP USB production tool
Download link:
MPAllMPAll USB production tool
Download link:
SMISMI USB production tool
Download link:
ChipBankChipBank USB production tool
Download link:
You can check the controller vendor and chip number via Chipgenius and find out the corresponding production tool.