It's a good idea to format your drive before you start using it. You'll usually be asked what format you want to use. Almost every device will recognize the FAT32 format, but it limits the individual file size to 4 GB. Go for exFAT if you have larger files. If you format a flash drive, it will completely wipe everything stored on it. Here’s how to do it manually:
On a Windows computer: Open File Explorer and look for your drive under This PC. Right-click on it, and select Format.
On a Mac: Type Disk Utility into the Search, or find it via Applications > Utilities. Select your drive from the list and click Erase at the top. Then you can rename and choose a format.
On a Chromebook: Open Files and right-click on your drive to choose Format device.
You're probably familiar with warnings about removing a drive without ejecting it first. But there’s a genuine risk your data will be corrupted, so here's how to do it properly:
On a Windows computer: You can click the Safely Remove Hardware notification icon in the taskbar and choose the Eject option. If you prefer not to have to eject, type Device Manager into the search bar and click to open. Expand Disk Drives and right-click on your USB flash drive, choose Properties, Policies, and set to Quick Removal.
On a Mac: You will see an eject icon listed next to the drive name in Finder, or you can simply drag the flash drive image on your desktop to the trash.
On a Chromebook: Open Files and right-click on your drive, then select Eject device.
On an Android device: You can open and expand the USB notification to find an Eject option.
On an iPhone or iPad: There is no eject option. Ensure no data transfer is in progress before you pull it. It’s a good idea to close the Files app or whatever app you were using to transfer files.