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macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 19, 2019

I recently bought a 250GB USB flash drive. It works - but I noticed it is extremely slow on my 2015 MacBook Pro (running High Sierra). Yet, it's very speedy with a Windows 10 machine. Attached is a screen capture showing a transfer of 53GB (from my MacBook to the USB drive) - it has been running for about five minutes but has only transferred 28MB and the estimate is 5 days. (about 10 min. later the estimate dropped to 15 hours - with 700MB transferred - UPDATE: after about half an hour 1GB transferred and the estimated time is "about a day")

If I am patient enough to wait for the transfer to complete - then copy from the USB drive to a Windows 10 machine the subsequent copy will be very fast - minutes instead of days (or hours).

So, what should I suspect is wrong?

Bad USB drive?

Incompatible file system formatting?

I don't know if this is USB 3.0 or not. Maybe that is the issue. I really don't know - but 3.0 or not - it's VERY fast on a Windows 10 machine and extremely slow on my 2015 MacBook Pro.

The USB Drive has the name "Glyde" on it - and "Patriot" printed on the other side.

This is what my USB flash Drive looks like:



  • Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 12.54.54 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2020-01-04 at 12.54.54 PM.png
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macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 19, 2019
No, I haven't. Not sure which OS to use to reformat - macOS or Windows 10.


macrumors 601
Sep 25, 2012
Slapfish, North Carolina
No, I haven't. Not sure which OS to use to reformat - macOS or Windows 10.
You format it based on what you want to store in the USB drive.

If you are going to back up strictly Mac stuff, best bet is to use Apple's HFS (plus I think?) format.

If you want to use the USB drive back and forth like storing universal JPEGS/MP3s/videos from your PCs and Macs, then you are best using a Windows-friendly format like FAT32 (which any modern Macintosh can also read and write to).

As for USB drive performance.... they are all over the place. Years ago, I used to rely on the Kensington DataTravelers which were great and reliable in those days. But ever since the USB 3.0/3.1 platform came, the Kensingtons performed like slow crap, even though their newer USB drives are marketed as "USB 3.1"

So I ditched the Kensingtons and.....I went with the Samsung USB drives called the BAR Plus, I use the 32GB, 64GB, 128GB. They dramatically outperformed my older Kensington USB sticks. It's possible there are now much faster USB 3.1 drives faster than my BAR Plus.... but keep in mind that the BAR Plus are very reasonably-priced for their great performance.

Also note.... when you store hundreds or thousands of photos/images onto USB flash drives (or even Memory cards like the SDHCs), a few of them will get corrupted over time. There are dozens of reasons for that, and I won't dwell on it. But I know that my older Kensington branded USB sticks corrupted quite a bit of my old photos (hundreds of archived family photos, images, etc etc). The Samsungs have done much better, only noticed one or two corrupted images once in a rare many months.



macrumors 68020
Feb 26, 2016
Bloomingdale, GA
There are so many no-name fake USB drives it’s not even funny. How much did you pay for that one?

Usually the larger capacity low priced drives are fake and they actually only store around 16 GB but they have been flashed so that the computer recognizes it as more. As soon as you pass the 16 GB, it will corrupt data.

Reminds me of this old video I saw a few years ago.

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macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2019
Liverpool, UK
If it is formatted as FAT, then it will be really slow on a Mac.

If it was me, and I needed to use it on both Mac & Windows, then I'd format it as EXFAT or NTFS - but for NTFS you will need a 3rd party plug-in (e.g. paid versions of these NTFS drivers from Tuxera or Paragon, or free/slower version of Tuxera's NTFS 3G) to be able to write to it on the Mac.


macrumors 604
Nov 23, 2012
Format it for the machine and OS you will be using it on. If you are using it on your Mac along with High Sierra, then use HFS+.

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