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How Should I Format a Flash Drive?

I just got a SanDisk 128gb Flash Drive that I’m going to use to backup my photographs while I’m on a trip. I’ll be using a MacBook Air running High Sierra for my main transfer of images from my DSLR memory cards, but how should I set up the flash drive? Should I format it to Mac OS Extended (Journaled), Mac OS Extended Case Sensitive Journaled, or MS-DOS (FAT)? (I’m using Lightroom Classic CC 2018 and PHotoshop CC 2018)
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Marj Green

Comments: 2 Responses to “How Should I Format a Flash Drive?”

    12 months ago

    Use Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

    There’s no need for typical Mac users to ever use “case sensitive.” And FAT is only for people that need to connect the Flash drive to both Mac and Windows computers, but then you’ll lack some features that you’ll need for 100% Mac compatibility.

    Joss
    12 months ago

    Since you’re staying within the macOS ecosystem, you should follow Gary’s suggestion. For other cases: if you want Mac-Win exchange, you should use the exFAT format, which was developed specifically for flash drives. To retain macOS functionalities & (extended) attributes, you can create an HFS-formatted (encrypted or non-encrypted) growable sparsebundle on the ExFAT flash drive; mount the sparsebundle for Mac transfers that need HFS+ or use the main ExFAT volume for all other transfers.

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