This site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, We earn a commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.
Gone are the days of floppy disks, and, although CD-ROMs still exist, they are rarely used. As we rapidly advance into the era of cloud storage, it’s important to have a reliable USB Flash Drive in our storage solutions.
USB Flash Drives provide dependable storage even when the Internet is unavailable, files are too large to upload, or when your password slips your mind.
In this buying guide, we will assist you in selecting the best flash drive for MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. We’ll also share valuable tips and tricks to maintain the drive in optimal condition.
- If you’re a forward-thinker who appreciates cutting-edge technology, consider the SanDisk offers 256GB Ultra Dual USB C Drive. This sleek device not only provides ample storage but also seamlessly integrates with newer MacBook models, eliminating the need for dongles. Its dual interface accommodates USB Type-C and Type-A ports, making it highly versatile and future-proof.
- If you’re looking for as much space as you can get at great value and reliability, the PNY Turbo 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive gives you a sleek design with 256 GB of storage.
- Just need something that will last a while and have enough space for your old photos and videos? The Samsung BAR Plus 64GB is durable, and it includes a keychain attachment so you don’t lose the drive anytime soon.
- If you’re seeking a balance between storage capacity, performance, and value, then the Kingston DataTraveler could be your ideal choice. It provides a solid blend of storage space and speed, making it a reliable choice for everyday use.
- Finally, for those who appreciate a blend of style and function, the Verbatim 256GB Pinstripe USB 3.0 Flash Drive is a top contender. Its USB 3.0 interface guarantees faster transfer speeds, while its retractable design protects the USB connector when it’s not in use.
Best USB Flash Drive for MacBook: Top Picks in 2023
Kindly note that all the products recommended below are chosen based on the criteria above (plus our own personal preferences). They are, however, by no means ranked in this order.
SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive with USB Type-C brings together high-speed performance, dual USB compatibility, and impressive capacity options, making it a valuable tool for anyone managing a substantial amount of data across various devices.
The progressive design is made for the future and uses USB-C, so you can copy, read, and store files even faster than USB-A 3.0.
The most striking feature of this drive is its dual-sided design. On one end, you have the USB Type-C connector that works seamlessly with modern smartphones, tablets, and laptops that support this interface.
On the opposite end is the traditional USB Type-A connector that ensures compatibility with older devices. This dual functionality truly takes the hassle out of transferring files between different types of devices.
Speed is another area where the SanDisk Ultra Dual Drive shines. With the USB 3.1 performance, file transfer speeds are swift and smooth.
Whether you’re moving large video files or backing up an extensive photo library, this drive can handle it without a hitch.
- Dual connectivity allows it to work with a wide range of devices
- High-speed performance makes it efficient for handling large file and performing backups
- Available in several capacities, from 32GB up to 1TB
- The SanDisk Memory Zone app could be more intuitive
PNY is a prominent player in the USB flash drive market due to its ability to offer higher capacity drives at lower costs, making it a tough competitor to beat.
The PNY Turbo Attache USB flash drives can hold up to 512GB of data, yet still conveniently fit onto a keychain.
While this much capacity may not be necessary for everyone, the availability of 256GB of storage in such a portable and reasonably-priced device makes it a highly recommended option.
While the read/write speeds are not particularly fast at 185/80, respectively, the USB 3.0 architecture allows for backward compatibility with computers of all ages.
However, with such a large amount of data stored, it would be ideal to see a more robust build.
- Sliding cover is attached and cannot be lost
- Read and write speeds are much faster than a USB 2.0 model
- Has enough space to store thousands of songs or other file types
- Needs a USB converter to work with latest MacBooks.
Samsung continues to impress with the BAR Plus USB 3.1 Flash Drive in Titan Gray, a combination of style, durability, and performance.
It is clear from the onset that Samsung has taken a premium approach to what could otherwise be a mundane digital storage solution.
The Samsung BAR Plus drive hits all the important points. It’s extremely damage resistant, easily attaches to a keychain so you can keep track of it, and the slim design leaves plenty of space for peripherals in other ports of your MacBook.
This USB 3.1 Flash Drive is no slouch when it comes to performance. It offers read speeds of up to 300 MB/s, which is more than adequate for most uses, be it transferring large multimedia files or running applications directly from the drive.
With its robust metal body and water-proof, shock-proof, temperature-proof, magnet-proof, and x-ray-proof design, the Samsung BAR Plus promises to keep your data safe under various conditions.
However, it’s worth noting that while it’s resistant to these elements, it’s not completely indestructible.
- Waterproof, shock-proof, and magnet-proof to keep your data safe no matter what
- The built-in key ring makes it hard to lose
- The 64 GB is sufficient data storage space
- Doesn’t work with MacBooks with type USB C ports only, unless you have a converter
The perfect balance of speed, capacity, and design, Kingston DataTraveler is a must-have for anyone who needs to transfer and store large amounts of data on the go.
One of the main selling points of the Kingston DataTraveler Max is its USB 3.2 Gen 2 performance, and it does not disappoint. With read speeds of up to 1,000 MB/s, this USB C flash drive significantly reduces the time it takes to transfer large file.
The 1TB capacity of the DataTraveler Max is a game-changer. For professionals dealing with high-resolution photography, video editing, or data-intensive projects, having this much storage in such a compact device is invaluable.
The design of the DataTraveler Max is sleek, with its zinc alloy casing offering a professional look and a durable build.
The USB-C connector slides into the cover snugly, ensuring it doesn’t get damaged during transport. The integrated keyring loop is a nice touch, making it easy to attach to a keychain or lanyard for quick access.
- Offers lightning-fast read and write speeds
- 1TB storage capacity allows storing and transporting vast amounts of data in a compact, portable form
- Features an integrated keyring loop for easy access
- More expensive than some competitor flash drives
The Verbatim 256GB Pinstripe USB 3.0 Flash Drive is a reliable storage device that offers decent storage capacity and fast transfer speeds.
This flash drive features a simple and elegant design in black color that gives it a professional look. The USB 3.0 interface provides decent data transfer rates of up to 30MB/s read and write, making it an ideal option for those who transfer large files or use it for backup purposes.
The flash drive is compatible with most operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux, and doesn’t require any additional software or drivers for use.
The retractable design of the drive protects the USB connector when it’s not in use, preventing damage or wear and tear. One potential downside to this drive is that it may not fit into all USB ports due to its larger size.
- Features built-in Microban antimicrobial protection to fight bacteria growth
- The push-and-pull sliding feature eliminates the need for a separate cap that can be easily lost
- Has a slim and lightweight design
- Some users may find the read speed slow
Who Should Buy a Flash Drive for MacBook Air & MacBook Pro?
USBs are almost completely universal devices, so you don’t have to worry about which ones will or won’t work with your computer unless you have the newer MacBook Pro or Air, which has no USB-A slots at all.
In that case, you’ll need a USB-C hub or docking station to use most flash drives, or you can purchase a specialty USB C model.
Beyond that, almost everyone can benefit from having a USB drive on hand. They work on both Macs and PCs without reformatting so file transfer and backup are very easy.
However, for those who’ve been used to living “in the cloud” (aka, using cloud storage or services for all kinds of files), you probably won’t need a physical disk drive at all.
A USB flash drive is more than a place to store files. There are tons of fun things you can do with it, as demonstrated in this article from Gizmodo that shows you 10 cool ways to use a flash drive such as speeding up your computer, applying for a job, or making new connections, etc.
Nevertheless, Apple also curated a list of commonly asked questions about connecting USB devices to a Mac.
If you’re out of luck when it comes to USB-A ports, Apple has you covered with their USB-C to USB-A dongle (see on Amazon).
This means you’ll be able to use any standard flash drives you have because the new USB-C port on your computer will be converted to the legacy version for a perfect fit.
Buying a Flash Drive for MacBook: What to Consider
When you’re storing files, space is everything. Especially since thumb drives aren’t expandable, you’ll want to pick one big enough to encompass your needs for quite a while.
Alternatively, if you like to keep each project separate, buy many small flash drives so you don’t have an excess of space that you don’t end up utilizing.
Check out this article to know what is other storage on Mac.
The classic USB-A actually has two variations – 2.0 and 3.0, and you’ll want to get a 3.0 model whenever possible since point 2.0 is fairly outdated though widely available.
You can also step it up a notch by going for USB-C, which has the new reversible design and doesn’t look anything like you would expect.
It’ll be faster and more efficient, but only newer MacBooks have the MacBook air ports to use it.
Do you lose things easily if they’re too small, or would you prefer something that fits in your wallet? USB drives can be as small as one joint of your finger or include keyrings or other attachments that make them easier to keep track of.
The size is also relevant when inserting it into your computer — if your USB ports are close together, especially if you already use them regularly, a small flash drive will make sure the other accessories don’t get pushed out in the process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a flash drive for my MacBook Air or MacBook Pro?
You may need a flash drive for your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro for a variety of reasons. One of the primary reasons for needing a flash drive is to expand your device’s storage capacity. Another reason why you may need a flash drive for your Mac is to transfer files between devices. Using a flash drive to back up important data is also a common use case.
How much storage capacity should I look for in a flash drive?
The storage capacity you should look for in a drive depends on your needs. If you plan on using the flash drive to store large files like videos or high-resolution photos, look for a flash drive with at least 256GB of storage. If you only need to store documents or smaller files, a flash drive with 64GB or 128GB may be sufficient.
What interface should I look for in a flash drive for Mac?
You should look for a flash drive with a USB-C interface for compatibility with MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. Most newer Mac models do not have traditional USB-A ports and they use USB-C ports. So, it’s better to check your device’s specs before buying a flash drive.
What read and write speeds should I look for in a flash drive?
Look for a flash drive with at least 100MB/s read and write speeds. Higher read and write speeds can be beneficial for transferring large files quickly. However, if you only transfer small files, like documents, you can get a flash drive with lower read and write speeds.
What are some of the best flash drives for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in 2023?
Some of the best flash drives for MacBook Air and MacBook Pro in 2023 include the SanDisk Ultra Drive, PNY Turbo Attache flash drive, Samsung BAR Plus, Kingston DataTraveler, and Verbatim 256GB Pinstripe USB 3.0. However, the best flash drive for you may depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Choosing the best flash drive for your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro is an essential step in enhancing your overall computing experience.
From backing up your important files to storing extra video games, they’re extremely versatile and reliable. Flash drives can be used for years, and you’re never really done with one unless it becomes corrupted or lost. So, make sure you buy one after careful evaluation.
What do you use your flash drives for the most? Leave a comment and let us know!About Lorena