I was making a piratebox and the USB needed to be formatted in FAT32, MBR format. Apple’s disk utility wasn’t co-operating, so I moved over to Terminal.

In this article, we will be discussing how to format a USB drive to FAT32 MBR. Formatting your hard drive can give you more room on it for storage and also make the device faster.

  1. Terminal

    Command prompt: How to Format USB drives

    In Terminal, search for your USB flash drive using the command:


  2. Fat32 Format

    Fat32 Format

    Find your USB drive name and disk number, then enter the following command (be careful you don’t select the wrong drive! It will erase it for good.):


    diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 DISKNAME MBR /dev/disk#


    *changing out the bolded text.


    diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 IsaacsUSB MBR /dev/disk2



    This will make your USB a FAT32 formatted drive.

“FAT” stands for File Allocation Table, which is a computer file system architecture. It offers good performance even in lightweight implementations. It is supported for compatibility reasons by nearly all currently developed operating systems for personal computers and many mobile devices, thus is a well-suited format for data exchange between computers and devices of almost any type and age from 1981 up to the present.

file explorer - fat32 format
Disk management: Adding a fat32 file system

Please let me know if you run into any issues in the process to format a usb flash drive.