Flash Drive Works On Pc But Not Mac

More and more people are finding themselves using both Macs and Windows based PCs. While compatibility is almost a non-issue now days between Macs and PCs, as well as Macs and third party peripherals, there is one area that may still cause confusion. In this tutorial I will explain the “Read Only” error you may run into while using external storage devices, and also show you how simple it is to fix.

  1. Can You Use The Same Flash Drive On A Mac And Pc
  2. Access Mac Drive On Pc
  3. How To Fix A Flash Drive That Won't Read Mac
  4. Usb Flash Drive Works On Windows But Not On Mac

Can You Use The Same Flash Drive On A Mac And Pc

Download and install Recoverit Flash Drive Recovery on your computer, follow the next simple steps to perform flash drive data recovery on Windows computer. Launch Recoverit Data Recovery program, select the ' External Device Recovery ' mode to get started.

Quick Tip: Solving “Read Only” External Drive Problems on Your Mac

The Cause of 'Read Only' Disk Errors

I have a USB drive that I purchased and use with various PCs at work and school. I am able to open the drive and can even copy files from the drive. But if I attempt to copy a file to the drive on my Mac, I get an icon telling me that I am not able to copy the file. If I try to delete a file, by pressing Command+Delete, nothing happens and, if I right click the file, the option to move it to the trash can is missing. Something is obviously not right with the storage drive.

If you right click the drive and select Get Info, you can see at the bottom of the info window under the sharing and permissions twirl down, you only have permission to read from this drive and nothing else.

The cause of this is due to the filing system the storage device is formatted in. If you look in the general twirl-down under format you can see that this drive is formatted in the windows NT file system. The NTFS file system is a system specifically optimized for Windows in the way that it organizes the data on the drive. While this file system is readable on Macs because OS X can rearrange the data as it is reading it, the way that NTFS writes the files to the storage device is not; hence, you can read, but not write.

Many storage devices such as USB drives and external hard disk drives come pre-formatted in NTFS because a larger number of consumers are using them on PCs. However, making your storage device Mac compatible, and even cross compatible with Macs and PCs, is as simple as reformatting the drive.

Correcting the 'Read Only' Disk Error

First and foremost before proceeding any further, you are about to format your storage device. Be sure to copy any and all file from the drive as all the data on the drive will be erased. This can be a simple task or a long undertaking depending on the size and usage of the storage device, but is a necessary and important step.

You can reformat a hard drive on Mac OS X by using Disk Utility. In the left-hand side inside of Disk Utility you will see a list of all the connected hard drives. Each physical drive is shown with the partitions of that drive nested below. Highlight the physical drive you wish to reformat and on the menu at the top to the right select erase.

You are about to format your storage device. Be sure to copy any and all file from the drive as all the data on the drive will be erased.

You will see two fields where you can choose a file system format and a field to name the new partition you are going to create. If you are just going to use your drive on Mac computers, you can select one of the Mac OS options. If you wish to create a partition that is cross compatible with Mac computers as well as PCs, you can select either the MS-DOS Fils System format or the exFAT format. You can rename the hard drive to whatever descriptive name you like then click erase and now the drive is formatted in a cross compatible filing system. If you click on the drive and select get info you can now see that the permissions are set to read and write.



The NTFS file system format is a great format to use if you are using your drive solely on Windows based PCs. But if you need to use your drive on Mac OS, or on both PCs and Mac OS, NTFS will unfortunately not be the best format to use. In this tutorial I’ve identified the cause of the “read only” error that Mac users may find when using external storage devices, and also how to easily fix the problem by reformatting your drive to a fully Mac OS compatible format.

Have you ever ran into a problem where you’re trying to use a flash drive on both Windows and Mac? Here’s how to correctly format the drive to work on both.

Compatibility between macOS and Windows have never been better. Both use many of the same industry standards and technologies, providing greater ease for users of both platforms. Examples of the increased compatibility include Boot Camp software for running Windows on a Mac and the Microsoft Office productivity suite. Unfortunately, both still maintain some legacy standards that don’t play nice with each other.

macOS uses the HFS+ file system, while Windows uses the NTFS file system that shares little in common. This makes it difficult to move data between the two unless you have them networked together. If you’re working in a mixed environment, where you might need to work on files between both systems, a handy solution is to use a thumb drive. Before you start, though, make sure your thumb drive is formatted so it can work on both Windows and macOS.

Prepare a Thumb Drive for Both Windows and OS X or macOS

On Windows, connect your thumb drive. Click Start > File Explorer > This PC. Right-click your flash drive and then select Format.

In the File System list box, choose exFAT, type in a Volume Label if you want, and then click Start.

Access Mac Drive On Pc

Click OK to the format warning and wait until the process is complete.

Prepare Thumb Drive on Mac

If you only use a Mac computer, you can format your thumb drive to work on Windows systems.

How To Fix A Flash Drive That Won't Read Mac

Connect the thumb drive to your Mac. Launch Disk Utility; press Command+Space then type:disk utility. Select your thumb drive in the Disk Utility window, then click the Erase tab. In the Format list box, select ExFAT, enter a Volume Label if you want, then click Erase.

Usb Flash Drive Works On Windows But Not On Mac

Now you’ll be able to save and copy files to your thumb drive on both Windows and OS X.

Microsoft introduced exFAT in 2006; it’s an optimized version of FAT, providing better performance advantages over FAT32. It is also widely supported by memory storage technology companies and third-party operating systems like OS X and Linux.