How to Empty a Flash Drive on a PC or Mac (with Pictures)

Table of contents:

How to Empty a Flash Drive on a PC or Mac (with Pictures)
How to Empty a Flash Drive on a PC or Mac (with Pictures)
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This wikiHow teaches you how to delete all files from a flash drive in Windows and macOS.

Steps

Method 1 of 2: Windows

Step 1. Connect the flash drive to your PC

You can plug your flash drive into any working USB port on your computer.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 2

Step 2. Double click on This PC

It's the computer icon on your desktop.

  • If you don't see this icon, press ⊞ Win+E to open File Explorer, then double click This PC in the left sidebar.
Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 3

Step 3. Right click on your flash drive

It's under the "Devices and drives" heading in the right panel. A drop-down menu will appear.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 4

Step 4. Click Format…

The Format window appears.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 5

Step 5. Click Start

This is located at the bottom of the window. A confirmation message will appear informing you that all data on the drive will be erased.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 6

Step 6. Click OK

Windows will now delete all data from your flash drive. Once the disk has been erased, you'll see a message saying "Format completed."

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 7

Step 7. Click OK

This closes the window.

Method 2 of 2: macOS

Step #1. Connect the flash drive to your Mac

You can plug your flash drive into any working USB port on your computer.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 9

Step 2. Open Finder

Macfinder2

It is located in the Dock.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 10

Step 3. Open the Applications folder

click on Programs in the left sidebar, or double-click on Programs in the right pane.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 11

Step 4. Double click on the Utilities folder

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 12

Step 5. Double click on Disk Utility

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 13

Step 6. Select your flash drive

This is located in the left panel.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 14

Step 7. Click on the Clear tab

It is located at the top of the right panel.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 15

Step 8. Select a format

The default format option OS X Extended (Journaled) should work for most people.

  • If you want to delete all files and use the drive on a Windows PC, select MS-DOS (Fat).
Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 16

Step 9. Click Clear…

It's in the lower right corner of the window. A confirmation message appears.

Clear a Flash Drive on PC or Mac Step 17

Step 10. Click Clear

This will delete all files from your flash drive.

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