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How Do Reformat a USB Flash Drive?

Hello, I recently purchased a 256 flash drive. I wanted it to work with Windows and Mac, so I put it in the iMac USB port. Computer displayed the drive as “Untitled” in Finder. I went to disc utility, selected the thumb drive, I put the new name in (clients), then selected ExFat. I remember seeing a notification of an error, and the drive disappeared. It won’t show up in Finder or disk utility. In fact, the only place I can see there’s a flash drive is if I click on About this Mac>Storage. It only shows a thumbnail image of a drive entitled “Clients” and the size of the drive. How do I fix this, so it’s once again visible in Finder and formatted properly? Thank you so much.
Chris Caldwell

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Do Reformat a USB Flash Drive?”

    1 year ago

    Go back into Disk Utility with the drive attached. Choose View, Show All Devices. Do you see it in the sidebar now? Make sure you select the drive itself and not the volume on it when you Erase the drive.

    If it still doesn’t show up, quit Disk Utility, try removing the drive, waiting a few seconds, and then plug it in again. Then launch Disk Utility again. If that still doesn’t bring it up, try a restart.

    If all that fails, then the drive is probably bad. These things are cheap and then have a pretty high failure rate.

    chris caldwell
    1 year ago

    Hi Gary,
    Your solution worked perfectly. I never knew about that View all devices section. I found the drive and formatted it to work with both Mac and Windows (MS-DOS FAT32). I thought if I wanted the flash drive to work with both windows 10 and Mac, that EXfat was supposed to work, but when I chose EXFAT is when the drive disappeared. This is the best site, so helpful. Thank you.

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