Fastest Mac USB Thumb Drives : Hi-Speed Flash Disks

Fast Mac USB 3 Flash Drives

Apple Compatible USB 3 Keychain & Thumb Drives

Mac Compatible USB 3.x Flash Drives

High-speed USB 3 thumb drives are ideal for smaller files, select backups of mission critical accounting or business data, or for offsite storage. Apple compatible USB flash memory disk drives can be an affordable, compact and simple solution for transferring files Mac to Mac - or Mac to PC. Compact storage to go for easy transfer of photos, data and music, and cross-platform use.

Thunderbolt Compatible NVMe USB-C Flash Drives

2022's Fastest Flash Drive Ever?
NVMe SSD Keychain Drive

Extreme Performance : Thunderbolt 3/4 USB-C Connector
The newest generation of ultra-fast keychain thumb drives have begun using SSD caliber NVMe flash modules and sophisicated PCIe controllers to give external USB-C SSD backup drive performance in an ultra-slim form factor. They're ideal for Thunderbolt 3 and 4 equipped modern Mac computers.

Fastest Budget Flash Drive To Date?
Full SSD Speed To 500MB/s!

Dual Plugs for USB-C or USB-A Ports

Above, one of the more versatile faster keychain style flash drives for Mac available -- Approaching SSD-caliber Read/Write speeds rivaling a standalone SATA solid state drive. With both Type-A and Type-C retractable plugs it's usable on any older Mac's USB 2.0, 3.0, or the latest USB 3.3 and Thunderbolt 4 or 3 ports.

Below, some of the top performing Apple compatible USB flash drives in the new year:

Corsair Ultra-Fast Drive SanDisk Top Performer Hi-Speed Flash Drive
Voyager GTX

Speeds To 440MBps
SanDisk Extreme Pro

Reads To 420MBps
VisionTek XT Flash

Reads Over 400MBps

Most USB thumb drives come pre-formatted for PC in a FAT file format for instant, out-of-the-box cross-platform PC AND MAC compatibility. But if your needs are strictly Macintosh, re-formatting a thumb drive explicitly for Mac OSX is slightly more efficient and will copy files a bit more quickly. For most Apple computer users, just plug the flash drive in and it will show up on your Mac's desktop, ready for file copies.

USB Flash Drive Speeds

Like all types of memory - and Flash memory in particular - not all thumb drives are created equal. How fast do you want to go? How much are you willing to pay? affects this market because there are premium priced Super-Speed USB 3.0 drives that are significantly faster - especially at Writes - which tend to lag Read speeds. So not all USB thumb drives are created equal.

Fastest USB Flash Drives

NAND flash memory is now capable of exceeding USB 2 speeds. Forward thinking Mac users may want to consider a SuperSpeed USB 3.1 or Type-C USB 3.1 Flash Drive. Enjoy USB 2.0 backward compatibility if needed while being ready for the SuperSpeed+ on Macs that offer built-in USB 3.0 / 3.1 ports. Some USB keychain drive are stressing the theortical limits of USB 3.0 port transfer speeds with Read speeds of up to and over 400MB per second and admittedly slower but faster Write speeds than ever before bringing a significant performance edge over previous generation thumb drives.

How To : Format Flash Drive For Mac

This is optional: Most drives are aready preformatted in DOS-FAT format for cross-platform use that a Mac can read. However if you want to prepare it exclusively and optimally for Mac use you may wish to reformat it.

+ Insert the USB drive and wait for it to appear on the MacOS Desktop.

+ Go to your Applications folder. Scroll down to the Utilities Folder (this is nested in Applications) and click it. This will expand the Utilities folder and show it's contents. Scroll down to "DISK UTILITY" and double click it.

+ Select the drive that you wish to manage in Disk Utility. The available drives will be listed in the left hand column. In this case, click on the drive labeled "USB Flash". Be careful here: You really need to verify and make sure you have the Flash drive selected - and not another SSD or hard drive on your system!

+ After the flash drive has been selected click on the "Erase" tab at the top of the screen in Disk Utility. This will open a screen with formatting and naming options for your drive. Give your USB drive a name by typing it into the field provided, and select "Mac OS Extended Journaled " as the Volume Format. Then click the "Erase" button on the lower right of the screen to begin the formatting process.

FYI: If you have an Intel CPU Mac - AND a Flash Drive large enough to hold an OSX install (Ideally 32GB or larger) - you may want to create a BOOTABLE flash drive for emergency startup - and backup as well. In this case it's critical to PARTITION the drive with a GUID Partition Table in the Partition options of Apple's Drive Utility to make it bootable on Intel Macs. Hold OPTION key at startup to allow you to choose when you want to boot from the flash drive.