How to Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac

This ementes teaches you how to delete all files from a flash drive in Windows and macOS.

Method 1 Windows

1. Insert the flash drive into your computer. You can connect your flash drive to any USB port on your computer that is operational.

2. Double-click This PC. It’s the computer icon on your desktop.

If you don’t see this icon, press ⊞ Win+E to open the File Explorer, then double-click This PC in the left sidebar.

3. Right-click on your flash drive and select Properties. It’s in the right panel, under the “Devices and drives” header. There will be a drop-down menu.

4. Click Format…. The Format window will appear.

5. Start by clicking the Start button. It is located at the bottom of the window. A message will appear informing you that all data on the drive will be erased.

6. Click the OK button. Windows will now erase all data on your flash drive. Once the drive has been cleared, you will see a message that says “Format Complete.”

7. Click OK. This closes the window.

Method 2 macOS

1. Connect the flash drive to your Mac. You can connect your flash drive to any USB port on your computer that is operational.

2. Open Finder. It’s on the Dock.

3. Navigate to the Applications folder. In the left sidebar, click Applications, or in the right panel, double-click Applications.

4. Double-click the Utilities folder.

5. Double-click Disk Utility.

6. Select your flash drive. It’s in the left panel.

7. Click the Erase tab. It’s at the top of the right panel.

8. Choose a format. Most people should be fine with the default formatting option, OS X Extended (Journaled).

Select MS-DOS (Fat) instead if you want to erase all of the files and use the drive on a Windows PC.

9. Click the Erase button…. It can be found in the bottom-right corner of the window. A confirmation message will be displayed.

10. Click Erase. This removes all of the files from your flash drive.

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