How to Format USB Stick on Smart TV

Now all TVs are equipped with at least one USB port. The latter can be used to connect different devices to the TV. For example, you can connect an external hard drive or USB stick to the TV and see the contents saved on the peripheral.

Making the TV read a device connected via the USB port is really very simple. However, in the case of a storage device, it must be formatted using a certain file system.

As you surely know, there are different file systems, each of which has different characteristics that make it more or less compatible with the latest generation Smart TVs or with those a little older.

In this article, I will talk about this topic, and I will explain how to format a USB stick to use it on the Smart TV.

File system for USB stick to connect to TV

As mentioned initially, there are different types of file systems: FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, APFS, ext3, ext4, etc. Not all of them can be used to format a device you want to connect to the TV. In fact, the TV will only be able to read certain types of file systems.

Most TVs are FAT32 compatible, but newer smart TVs can also read exFAT and NTFS formatted devices. Generally, by formatting the key with the FAT32 file system, you should almost never have problems. However, I recommend that you read your TV’s instruction manual and see which file system it is compatible with.

Each file system has its own characteristics. For example, FAT32 is certainly the most compatible, but it has different limitations, among the most important, the inability to manage single files with dimensions greater than 4GB. Things that don’t happen with exFAT or NTFS.

How to format USB stick on Windows

After choosing the file system to use, you can format the USB stick with Windows or macOS. If you do not know how to do it, you will find the procedures to be carried out on both operating systems below.

On Windows

  • Open the “My Computer” or “This PC” folder ;
  • From the menu on the left, select the item “This PC” ;
  • Locate the USB stick icon and right-click on it;
  • Select the item “Format” ;
  • From the drop-down menu under “File system,” select the file system you want to use, then click the “Start” button.

On macOS

  • Press the COMMAND + SPACE keys from the keyboard to start the Spotlight search;
  • Type “Disk Utility,” then press ENTER on the keyboard;
  • From the menu on the left, select the icon of the USB key to format;
  • Click on the “Initialize” button ;
  • From the drop-down menu under the “Format” item, select the “exFAT” or “MS-DOS (FAT)” item ;
  • Click the “Initialize” button.

At the end of the format procedure, you are ready to use the USB stick on your TV.

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