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Methods to Format SD Card on Mac (3 Easy Methods + Suggestions)

SD playing cards are one thing most of us can’t do with out in at the moment’s pictures world. Everyone knows what’s prefer to have taken off for a shoot and located that we both forgot our SD card or it’s not working correctly.

That’s why it’s vital to ensure your reminiscence playing cards are formatted accurately and able to go!

Common (re)formatting retains your SD card working at its greatest and helps to maintain the recordsdata from changing into corrupt.

It’s additionally helpful whenever you need to reward somebody one in all your previous SD playing cards, however need to ensure it’s been wiped of all of your previous recordsdata.

If you recognize what gadget you’ll be utilizing the SD card, it’s greatest to format it with that gadget. (Most cameras have that as an possibility). In case your gadget doesn’t have a format possibility, nevertheless, utilizing your Mac is the subsequent factor.

On this article, I’ll first supply the quickest option to format an SD card in your Mac, then take you thru it step-by-step.

From there we’ll check out some free software program you need to use and find out how to use the Command Line in Terminal.

Observe: Formatting your SD card will erase every part that’s on it. Ensure to repeat and save any vital information earlier than formatting.

Right here’s the fast option to format an SD or MicroSD card on a Mac:

  1. Insert your SD card into your Mac utilizing its SD card slot or an SD card reader.
  2. Navigate to the Disk Utility app by way of Highlight (by typing “Disk Utility” into the search field). Alternatively, you will discover it within the Utilities folder contained in the Mac Functions folder.
  3. Open Disk Utility.
  4. Choose your SD card.
  5. Navigate to the highest menu bar and click on Erase.
  6. Select the suitable file system format. (EXFAT for SD playing cards over 64GB; MS-DOS FAT if it’s 32GB or smaller.)
  7. Click on Erase.

Methods to Format SD Card on Mac

Your Mac OS comes with an app referred to as Disk Utility, which can be utilized to format every kind of drives (onerous drives, USB drives, SD playing cards, and so forth.).

Right here’s find out how to use Disk Utility to format your SD card.

1. Join the SD Card to your Mac 

USB sd card reader

Most USB card readers work with each SD playing cards and microSD playing cards.

There are a couple of alternative ways to get your Mac to speak to your SD card (or micro SD card). In case your Mac got here with a built-in SD card slot, then you’ll be able to insert your SD card straight into it. If it didn’t, you’ll want to purchase a USB reminiscence card reader – listed here are one of the best ones.

In case you’re seeking to format a micro SD card, you’ll have to insert it into a bigger SD adapter cartridge or use a USB card reader just like the one above.

2. Open Disk Utility

Open Disk Utility

The quickest option to open Disk Utility is to do a Highlight seek for it.

As talked about earlier than, the Disk Utility app comes along with your mac OS working system. You may get to it a few alternative ways.

The quickest is to press Command + the Area Bar and sort “Disk Utility” into the Highlight finder. (You can even launch Highlight by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on the high proper of your display screen.)

You can even navigate on to it by way of Functions > Utilities > Disk Utility.

3. Choose your SD Card

Selecting the SD card

Ensure to decide on your SD card, not one other drive. An SD Card may have the phrases “Safe Digital” below its title.

When you’re in Disk Utility, you’ll see all of your linked drives within the left sidebar. Your Mac’s inside drive will probably be listed below “Fusion Drive”) in addition to an exterior part with any USB or different linked drives.

It’s doubly vital to ensure you choose the right drive at this stafe, as you don’t need to by accident format (and erase!!) the rest.

In case your SD card is model new, it’ll most likely say “UNTITLED” or “NO NAME.”

You’ll be able to ensure you’re clicking on the SD card by checking to see that:

  1. The phrases “Safe Digital” are below the title. (Circled in crimson within the picture above.)
  2. The storage capability on the proper hand of the display screen is correct. (Right here it says 64.18 GB, which is right.)

4. Click on on the Erase Button


On the high of the display screen you’ll discover a set of buttons. Proper in the course of these is the “Erase” possibility.

Click on on “Erase.” When you do, a popup display screen will seem.

5. Select the SD Card Title

Choose the format

When you click on on Erase, a popup display screen will seem providing you with the choice to alter the SD card title and select the file system format.

Altering the title area is solely optionally available. The cardboard will work simply advantageous when you depart it as UNTITLED or NO NAME.

That being mentioned, it’s typically useful to have a user-friendly title that may distinguish your SD card from different drives or playing cards.

I like to decide on the title of the digital camera the SD card will probably be used with.

6. Select the FileSystem Format


Select a filesystem format that may work along with your card: Exfat for playing cards 64GB or bigger, MS-DOS (Fats) for playing cards 32GB or smaller.

There are a couple of completely different file methods listed within the Format drop-down menu. The default is Mac OS Prolonged (Journaled), however this gained’t work in a digital digital camera (or drone or one other comparable gadget).

For SD playing cards and microSD playing cards, you’ll need to select both ExFat or MS-DOS (Fats). Choose ExFat in case your SD card is 64GB or bigger. Select MS-DOS (Fats) if it’s 32GB or smaller.

Observe: In case your SD card has been pre-formatted it might need a grayed-out possibility that claims MS-DOS (Fat32). MS-DOS (Fats) is identical factor, so when you want Fat32, use MS-DOS (Fats).

7. Click on Erase

When you click on hit erase, Disk Utility will erase all the info you may have saved on the cardboard, format your SD card to the suitable file system, and restore all of the out there storage to its optimum capability.

How do I format my SD card to FAT32 on a Mac?

saving to fat32

You’ll be able to format an SD card to MS-DOS (Fats 32) by following the directions above after which deciding on MS-DOS (FAT) from the Format dropdown menu.

You can even use the free SD reminiscence card formatter app or a Command Line in Terminal. (Each described under).

Free SD Card Formatter for Mac

In case you’re frightened about selecting the unsuitable possibility or by accident erasing the unsuitable drive, the SD Affiliation supplies a free app that takes all of the guesswork out of formatting an SD card.

The free SD Card Formatter ignores non SD playing cards and robotically detects and which file format your card wants. It additionally optimizes the cardboard’s efficiency and restores every part to SDXC specs.

Your complete course of is encapsulated in only a single display screen:

Free SD Card formatter

The one display screen supplies two formatting choices:

  • Fast frees up house with out really erasing any uncooked information.
  • Overwrite wipes out all the info saved on it, guaranteeing it could possibly’t ever be recovered.

The Quantity label is solely the title on the cardboard, which you’ll be able to change right here.

It’s free and there are variations for each Mac and Home windows.

Utilizing Mac Command Line to Format SD Playing cards

In case you’re snug utilizing MacOS Terminal, you can too use it to format SD playing cards. Simply ensure you can acknowledge which disk you’re taking a look at whenever you see quantity identifers resembling disk2.

Not understanding these phrases could make it tremendous simple to erase the unsuitable SD card, so be very cautious!

  • Open Terminal. (Discovering it in a Highlight search is quickest.)
  • Together with your SD card linked to your Mac, sort $ diskutil listing

This can listing the out there drives in your system.

  • Choose your SD card. (Be sure to’re constructive which drive it’s!)
  • To format your SD card however preserve the identical file system, use the reformat command: $ diskutil reformat disk2

(On this case, disk2 is the SD card.)

  • To format your SD card and change the file system, use the next command: sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 MBRFormat /dev/disk2

Right here FAT32 is the chosen format; MBRFormat tells disk utility to format with a Grasp Boot File; and dev/disk2 is the situation of the SD card.

  • Press Enter.
  • As soon as the method is full, sort in “diskutil listing” once more to ensure the cardboard was efficiently formatted.

A Few Issues to Observe

  • In case you’re utilizing a MacOS older than model 10.6.6 (Snow Leopard), it gained’t assist exFat.
  • In case you get an “operation failed” discover in Disk Utility or “Can not format write protected card” within the SD Card Formatter app, verify to see if the little change in your SD card is within the “Learn-only” place. To launch it, slide the change in direction of the tip of the cardboard that’s inserted into the pc.
  • Once more, be further, further cautious when deciding on your SD card in both Disk Utility or Terminal.

Keep in mind, it’s typically greatest to format your SD playing cards within the gadget you’ll be utilizing them in if that possibility is accessible.

Nonetheless, if it’s worthwhile to use your Mac, now you now know find out how to do it!

Depart any questions within the feedback, and better of luck formatting your SD playing cards.

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