Insert the SD card into your Mac’s SD card drive. To find the connected SD card, in the terminal window type: diskutil list. Listing the volumes in OS X's Terminal. Make a note of the identity of yours. In my example it is /dev/disk2 but yours may be different.
SD Cards need formatting if you are to use them in a new electronic device. Or even if you simply want to remove the data stored in the SD card, it requires formatting. If you have a Macbook, formatting an SD Card on Mac is super easy and convenient.
This article will outline the steps to be followed when formatting your SD Card or Micro SD Card on a Macbook. Let’s get started!
- 1 How to Format SD Card on Mac
How to Format SD Card on Mac
Follow the given steps to be format or clean your SD card on Mac.
1. Getting Started
Before we get to formatting the SD Card, here are a few things you should keep in mind beforehand:
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- When you format data on SD Card, it erases all the data. Thus, it is advisable to backup any files/data you want beforehand.
- It is important to be aware of the format Type you are going to perform, which will depend upon the size of SD Card and the OSX version you are running. For SD card size greater than 64GB and Mac Os Lion and greater, usually ExFAT is used. MS-DOS (FAT) can be used for earlier versions and smaller sizes. If you wish to have the SD Card compatible with other devices, do not select the OS Extended formats.
- Mac computers do not usually come with inbuilt SD card readers. Due to this, you will have to purchase an external accessory, a card reader that has slots for general SD cards and micro SD cards, available on online stores and retailers.
2. Connect the SD Card
Using the card reader, connect the SD Card with your Macbook.
3. Erasing/Formatting the Data
To format or clear the SD card, you don’t require any third party application or a ‘Formatter’. This can be done very easily by the ‘Disk Utility‘ application as follows:
- Open Disk Utility from Macintosh HD/Applications/Utilities and run it.
- In the left sidebar, locate the SD Card you wish to format, select it. Click on the Erase button in the upper toolbar.
- You will be prompted by the app, once you click on Erase, to Enter the Name of the SD Card and the type of Format operation you wish to perform. Usually, ExFAT is used as it is compatible throughout a range of devices and hence convenient. Choose a Name, type of Format, and click Erase.
- The Format Process will happen, and once it is done, press Done to continue.
- That’s it! You’ve successfully erased your SD card.
4. Eject The SD Card
- After erasing, eject the SD Card by clicking the arrow icon next to the Name of the card in the Sidebar. The SD card will get ejected.
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Format SD Card using Terminal: An Alternative Method
Some users wish to perform the same operation of Formatting the SD Card or micro SD Card using the CommandLine in MacOSX instead of performing it with the Disk Utility.
- If you do wish to perform Formatting using the CommandLine/Terminal, make sure to follow the correct syntax.
- Once you delete with Command Line, every partition and volume will be erased. The Entire target disk will get erased.
The Steps to format your SD Card by the terminal are given below:
- The syntax that will be required is as shown below-
diskutil eraseDisk FILE_SYSTEM DISK_NAME DISK_IDENTIFIER
For example, if Disk Name to be given is ‘MyDisk‘, the location of the SD card is given as /dev/disk6s2, and you desire the new FormatType to be ‘Mac OS Extended Journaled (JHFS+)‘, then you would write:
diskutil eraseDisk JHFS+ Emptied /dev/disk6s2
- Be careful to use the syntax properly, lest you end up erasing the wrong drive or inducing some unfixable error in your SD card. This is why only advanced users use Command Line for Formatting the SD Card on a mac. A much simpler way is using Disk Utility, explained above.
- Find the Disk Id node, that is your SD Card, by ‘diskutil info “DISK NAME” grep Device’.
- Here are given some commoncommands for formatting your SD card, that you can use:
- Formatting SD Card to Mac OS Extended Journaled (JHFS+) from Terminal in Mac OS X
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diskutil eraseDisk JHFS+ DiskName /dev/CardNodeID
- Formatting SD Card to Mac OS Extended (HFS+) from Terminal in Mac OS X
diskutil eraseDisk HFS+ DiskName /dev/CardNodeID
- Formatting SD Card to MS-DOS fat32 from the Command Line in Mac OS X
diskutil eraseDisk FAT32 DiskNameGoesHere /dev/CardNodeIDHere
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- Formatting SD Card to ExFAT from the Command Line in Mac OS X
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diskutil eraseDisk ExFAT DiskName /dev/CardNodeID
These will help you erase your SD Card completely. Other advanced options like GPT and MBR settings are also available in the Command Line Method, but they are beyond the scope of this article.
- If, for a reason you wish to erase the Disk that has been booted into your system using Command Line, you can only do this from RecoveryMode, or by means of a boot disk. The User Signed cannot simply Format the disk that has been loaded with Operating System using Command Line.
I hope the article was relevant to your needs, and after reading this you were able to Format your SD Card On Mac, whether its a 64Gb or 128 GB SD Card, or if it’s a Micro SD Card. The Type of Formatting is completely up to you, for your specific use, but if you are unsure it is best to go with ExFAT, or if not that, FAT-32.
If you have any further queries regarding formatting your SD Card, you can mention them down below. We will try our best to look into them to give you the best possible response.
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