Top 5 Methods On How To Format An SD Card On MAC | 2023

Technophiles flaunt their MacBook with pride and often liaise with their peers as to how good it is and why it outperforms its immediate competitor, Windows. However, for those who are new to Mac, they find the OS a bit hard to get adjusted, since its UI/UX sometimes catches you off-guard. Further, we will discuss how to format an SD card on MAC using the five best methods. If you want to know how to set up chromecast on mac, click here.

The good thing about the community is that tech enthusiasts are pretty welcoming in giving advice. Hence people are often reluctant to have second thoughts while purchasing a Mac. 

Top 5 Ways To Learn How To Format An SD Card On MAC

Say you bought the new MacBook, after understanding its prowess. But you are wondering as to how you could get your memory card formatted. If that’s the case, follow the steps mentioned below to learn how to format an SD card on MAC.

sd card

The Easiest Way To Format An SD Card On MAC

  • Firstly, connect the SD card, which you intend to format, to your Mac. You may do it using a memory card reader.
  • Once done, go to the “Applications” tab on your Mac’s dock.
  • After locating it, click on the “Utilities” folder to find “Disk Utility.” The disk utility tab would show you a list, out of which you have to select your SD card(the one that you have inserted for formatting).
  • Then click on the “Erase” command. You can find this below the “Disk Utility” tab.

Now comes the tricky part.

  • Choose the file system type to format your SD Card.
  • When you click the “Format” tab, the drop-down menu will show a lot of options IF your SD card is 64 GB and above choose the ExFAT option from the drop-down menu.
  • Once you’ve locked in on the filesystem format, the next step is to click “Erase.”
  • Shortly after clicking the prompt, you’d receive a dialog box showing “unmounting disk.” You’ve to be patient here as the data is above 64 GB. It might take some time.
  • Once done, it would show a confirmation message. Now you’ve got a blank 64 GB SD card for further use!
  • This process is the most preferred one for formatting the SD Card of your Digital camera shortly after duplicating its content on your parent system.

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How To Format An SD Card On MAC Using The “FAT32” Way

  • This is a slight variation of the process above, which you may use when your SD Card is 32 GB or smaller.
  • Do note that using an ExFAT command won’t help you erase the data of your 32 GB as it supports 64 GB and above.
  • The variation in the procedure arises while choosing the filesystem format. In this case, opt for FAT32 instead of ExFAT. 

The FAT32 Way

How To Format An SD Card On MAC Using The OG Way

Unlike ExFAT and FAT32, Mac OS Extended (Case-sensitive, Journaled, Encrypted) supports MacBook only. Hence I prefer calling this method OG. Mac OS Extended is an amalgamation of three filesystem formats viz., Mac OS Extended Case-sensitive, Mac OS Extended Journaled, and Mac OS Extended Encrypted.

  • Here “case-sensitive” extension distinguishes two files based on its casing. For instance, under this extension, “function.txt” is different from “Function.txt.”
  • The “journaled” part is essentially the one that adheres to the guidelines of Mac OS, which gives this features its uniqueness. F
  • inally, the encryption ensures that the default Mac OS journaled extension is adequately encrypted.
  • While it is not advisable to use this particular filesystem format since the ExFAT and FAT32 cover up the entire range of SD Cards.
  • If at all you find yourself with a first memory card with 1 GB space(micro SD), or if you find ExFAT and FAT32 giving you error prompts while executing the erasure, you can use this format.
  • Once again, the only variation in using this step is while choosing the “Mac OS Extended(Case-sensitive, Journaled, Encrypted) option from the drop-down menu.

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The Micro Way For Micro SD: Using Erase Function In Disk Utility Tab

This might seem like an iteration, but this approach is different from the first method as the primary method is for SD Card; hence there’s a difference in the data limit. In the case of micro SD cards, the deadline for various filesystem formats are:

  • MS-DOS FAT formats your card to FAT32 before the erasure.
  • exFAT helps to erase files larger than 4 GB

The Micro Way

The procedure is similar, starting from initiating the Disk Utility tab from which the “Erase” radio button is pressed before the erasure. 

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Use The Savvy Way To Know How To Format An SD Card On MAC

This process is more “tech-savvy” as compared to the first step. However, I wouldn’t recommend this method to know how to format an SD card on MAC for those who are just getting started in Mac. The reason is that it requires a sophisticated and exact syntax to carry out this erasure. Advanced users majorly use this method for erasing their hard drives. So here, the concept is similar, but the approach is different.

  • In this step, we would be utilizing the disk utility application from the GUI. Do note that, this way, the entire data will erase and won’t allow you to choose a particular portion. Pay attention, firstly, get yourself acquainted with the basic syntax for carrying out the procedure. 
  • Here “diskutil” is the command, whereas the “erasedisk” takes the form of a verb for carrying out this procedure. “FILE_SYSTEM” is the filesystem format that we have discussed before. These formats include HFS+, ExFAT, FAT32, and JHFS+. It is advisable to use ExFAT and FAT32. Here’s an example:
  • diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 *Enter your disk name here* /dev/DiskNodeIDHere
  • “/dev/DiskNodeIDHere ” is the disk that you need to format. Eg: /dev/disk6s2

If this step to learn how to format an SD card on MAC doesn’t sound too complicated, you’re good to proceed with this. Else, I suggest you go through the steps of the first process. Want to know the best duplicate file finder tools for Windows? Read This.

Read more on: How To Remove Write Protection On Micro SD Card

Facts To Consider

Earlier versions of macOS dont support ExFAT. Version 10.6.6 of Snow Leopard, released in 2009, brought exFAT support to the operating system. Suppose you use any of the more recent releases of macOS, such as Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan, Sierra, High Sierra, Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, or Monterey. In that case, exFAT support is natively built into each version.

macos dont support exfat

It’s a good idea to choose your SD card from the listing with extra caution. Avoid unintentionally formatting another drive.

When you erase a memory card, you should be ready for all to be wiped from the file. However, even after formatting the card, it might still be able to recover files on it.

Getting Data Back From A Memory Card

You still have a good possibility of recovering any unintentionally deleted pictures or movies from the memory card of your camera.

memory card

You cant use the card anymore, first. As more data is deleted, it will get harder to recover your desired data.

The next step is to download data recovery software and scan the card for recoverable data.

Having Trouble Formatting Your SD Card On A MAC

Even if you follow all the procedures carefully, you could occasionally encounter additional SD card errors and issues brought on by:

  • unsafe virus ejection attack
  • a corrupted SD card as a result of faulty sectors or file system faults, read-only status, an incompatible file system

Make Sure Your Computer Has A Card Slot

Some Macs don’t have an SD card reader, so you’d need to buy an SD card adaptor. These are conventional SD card slots equipped with USB SD card readers.

computer has a card slot

When cleaning an SD card, it’s crucial to pick the right file system format because the erroneous one could make the SD card unsuitable with other gadgets. ExFat, FAT, and NTFS file formats are compatible with additional hardware. Read this article to learn about the eight best drum software.


How can I thoroughly cleanse my Mac's SD card?

Plug the SD card into the Mac and launch Disk Utility from the Applications folder in Step 1. You will automatically be in the First Aid tab as soon as the Disk Utility window starts. Step 2: Again, from the left side panel, choose the SD card, then click the Erase tab.

What is an SD card in FAT32 format?

A disc formatting tool called FAT32 Format is designed to format memory cards with more than 32GB storage sizes utilizing the renowned FAT32 coding system. Some operational system experiments or efforts call for or only support FAT32.

Why am I unable to delete images from my Mac's SD card?

The SD card may not allow you to remove any photos. It is because some photos taken with a certain camera only get deleted on that camera and not on any other. You may easily remove images from your SD card by connecting it to a Windows or Mac computer.

While cleaning an SD card on a Mac, which format type should you select?

Select MS-DOS for SD and microSD cards with 4GB to 32GB (FAT32). Select ExFAT for SD and microSD cards with 64GB or more.


These are some of the proven ways to learn how to format an SD card on MAC. As spoken above, the easiest method would be the best for you if you are new to MAC. However, if that doesn’t work, choose any of the other four. We hope you liked this article and got all you wanted.

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