How to Format a USB Flash Drive Without Losing Data on Mac [3 Proven Methods in 2023]

This article will introduce 3 proven methods to format a USB flash drive on a Mac without losing data. Install the all-in-one backup and recovery software EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro to protect your essential files!

Table of Contents

How to format a USB flash drive without losing data on a Mac? USB flash drive is a common portable storage tool, but due to various reasons, the files stored on a USB flash drive may be lost, especially when the flash drive reports an error or becomes RAW format.

When encountering these situations, the most worrying thing for users is the loss of data stored on the USB flash drive. As we all know, an abnormally formatted or unreadable hard drive can be formatted for normal use, but formatting it will result in data loss.

Is there a way to change the Disk Format type from MAC OS EXTENDED to MAC OS EXTENDED (JOURNALED) without erasing or formatting the DATA on the EXTERNAL HD? from Apple Community

So, can you format a USB flash drive without losing data on a Mac? This article will explain 3 solutions that have been proven to work:

  1. Method 1: Use a backup tool to backup the USB data first
  2. 🔥Method 2: Use professional data recovery software
  3. Method 3: Ask for help from data recovery services

How to Format a USB Flash Drive Without Losing Data on Mac

When you are experiencing USB flash drive errors, the USB flash drive is not accessible on the Mac, and therefore, you can't read the data stored on it; the best way to fix this error is to format the USB flash drive, such as formatting a USB flash drive to FAT 32 on your Mac. Or you can choose other file systems that are compatible with macOS (APFS vs. Mac OS Extended).

Since formatting will result in the loss of files and data stored on the USB flash drive, many users hesitate to do so. However, with the following 3 methods, you have no worry about data loss after formatting a USB flash drive on your Mac. Check out!

Method 1. Back-Up the USB Flash Drive Before Formatting

The USB flash drive has become unusually unusable, and when it's plugged into your Mac, you'll get a prompt asking you to format the drive. It looks like you'll have to format it to get it back in working order.

But don't worry; in order to protect your data from being lost, you can make a backup of the data stored on the drive. Apart from iCloud and Time Machine, we would like to introduce an all-in-one backup and recovery software: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro.

Back Up Your Mac and Never Lose Data

Back up and restore your MacBook/iMac without Time Machine, iCloud, or external hard drives.

With the EaseUS Mac data recovery software, you can quickly back up your data with only 3 steps; take a look:

Step 1. Click "Disk Backup" > "Create Backup" > "Next" in EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac's main interface. You can create a drive backup image file in case the data is overwritten.

create disk backup with EaseUS

Step 2. Select an internal volume to back up, and click "Create Backup". If you want to create backups and recover data from an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or SD card, remember to connect the storage device to your Mac in advance.

choose a disk to back up

Step 3. Choose a place to save your backup files, and change the name of your backup file, then click "Save". It is not wise to save backups in the same storage device that you want to recover data from.

choose a destination to save disk backup

You can recover the formatted hard drive on a Mac with the backup easily. After making a backup of the USB flash drive, you can format it without worrying about data loss!

Check out the following steps to format your problematic USB flash drive without worrying about data loss:

Step 1. Open Disk Utility from the "Applications > Utilities" folder.

Step 2. Select the USB flash drive in the left list, and click "Erase" in the top menu.

erase the external hard drive

Step 3. Choose a new format, rename the USB flash drive, and click "Erase" again to confirm.

In addition, if you have enough storage space on your Mac or an external hard drive, you can recover data from the problematic USB flash drive to your Mac or an external hard drive before formatting it.

Read the next method to learn how to recover data from a corrupted or RAW USB flash drive on a Mac.

Method 2. Recover Data from the Corrupted or RAW USB Flash Drive

To recover data from the corrupted or RAW USB flash drive, you should use a professional Mac RAW recovery tool: EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro. In addition to the ability to quickly back up your data, the most important thing about this tool is its powerful and effective data recovery capabilities.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro can recover data from RAW SD cards on Mac, external hard drives, USB flash drives, etc. What's more, it can recover lost files from formatted USB drives.

If the data stored on your USB flash drive is particularly important and you can't afford to risk losing a bit of it, we still recommend you back it up before trying to recover the data on it with the EaseUS USB flash drive recovery tool. Check out the following steps:

Step 1. Connect your USB drive to your Mac

Correctly connect your USB flash drive to your Mac. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac. Start selecting the flash drive and click "Search for lost files" to let the software scan for lost files on it.

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your USB drive to avoid further data loss. After backing up the USB drive, the software can recover data from your USB drive backup, and you can remove the USB flash drive and use it again.

select your USB drive and search for lost files

Step 2. Find lost data on the USB drive

After the scan, all files will be presented in the left panel in the scan results.

Find lost data on USB using the filter function

Step 3. Recover data from flash drive

Select the files you want to recover and click the "Recover" button. Don't save the recoverable files to the USB drive itself in case of data overwriting.

recover flash drive data

After saving the recovered data to a safe storage location, you can format it using the Disk Utility on your Mac.

Share this article on social media to help others learn how to format a USB flash drive without losing data on a Mac.

 

Method 3. Format a USB Flash Drive Without Losing Data with Data Recovery Services

There is another solution to format a USB flash drive without losing data. If you don't want to format your USB drive for data security reasons, you can turn to EaseUS data recovery services.

EaseUS technical experts can repair your problematic USB flash drive without formatting it, ensuring that the repaired partition is identical to the original drive and that no data is lost. Feel free to contact a professional data recovery expert to solve any complex data loss problem.

Consult with EaseUS data recovery experts for one-on-one manual recovery service. We could offer the following services after a FREE diagnosis

  • Repair corrupted RAID structure, unbootable macOS, and corrupted virtual disk file
  • Recover/repair lost partition and re-partitioned drive
  • Unformat the hard drive and repair RAW SD cards and hard drives

Conclusion

You can format your USB flash drive without losing data on your Mac using 3 proven methods: backing up your USB flash drive with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro before formatting it, recovering data on the USB flash drive via the EaseUS Mac data recovery software, and formatting the USB flash drive with EaseUS data recovery services.

How to Format a USB Flash Drive Without Losing Data on Mac FAQs

Here are questions people frequently ask when they search for how to format a USB flash drive without losing data on a Mac:

1. Can I change the format of a USB without losing data on a Mac?

Yes, you can change the format of a USB flash drive without losing data on your Mac. Check out the following steps:

Step 1. Install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac Pro.

Step 2. Connect the USB flash drive on your Mac, and launch the EaseUS software.

Step 3. Scan the USB flash drive using the EaseUS software, and find the lost files you want.

Step 4. Click "Recover" and save the recovered data to a safe storage location.

Step 5. Open Disk Utility and format the USB flash drive using its "Erase" feature.

2. Can I format FAT32 on a Mac?

Yes, follow the steps below to format your external hard drive to FAT32 on a Mac:

Step 1. Open "Disk Utility", choose the external hard drive you want to format, and click "Erase".

Step 2. Choose the format as "FAT32" and rename the external hard drive.

Step 3. Click "Erase" again to confirm.

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Updated by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech lives easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. In her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

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