How to Format an SD Card on MAC | Top 5 Methods

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.

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. 

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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.

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
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. 

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 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. 
  • diskutil eraseDisk FILE_SYSTEM DISK_NAME DISK_IDENTIFIER
  • 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. 

Conclusion

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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