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Here is a Full Guide to How to Format SD Card on Mac and Macbook Pro

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How to Format SD Card on Mac

There are a few ways to format an SD card on a Mac computer. One way is to open Disk Utility, select the SD card in the list of devices, and click the “Erase” tab. Then, select a format type from the “Format” menu and click “Erase”.

SD Card Reformat on a Mac Computer

Another way to format an SD card on a Mac is to use the Terminal application. First, launch Terminal and type “diskutil list” to get a list of all disks attached to your computer. Next, identify the name of the SD card by locating it in the list and noting its disk identifier (e.g., /dev/disk2). Then, type the following command at the Terminal prompt to format the card:

diskutil eraseDisk MS-DOS “NAME” /dev/disk2

Be sure to replace NAME in the command above with the name of your SD card. For example, if you named your SD card “MySD”, you would type:

diskutil eraseDisk MS-DOS “MySD” /dev/disk2

After formatting is complete, type exit at the Terminal prompt to quit Terminal. After completing these steps, ejecting and removing the SD card should cause your Mac to automatically mount it on the Desktop. If not, you may need to unmount it manually before removing it from your computer. Note that performing this procedure will delete all data currently on the SD card. While OS X Lion does include support for exFAT, this article assumes you are using an earlier version of the Mac operating system.

Formatting an SD Memory Card on a Mac & Macbook Pro

Insert the memory card into your computer’s reader if it isn’t already. This will likely mount the memory card on your desktop for easy access. Open “Disk Utility” found in your “Utilities” folder — just search for it using Spotlight Search if you can’t find it or don’t know where it’s located. Following that, click on the name of the memory card you inserted (it may be labeled as something like NO NAME or UNTITLED). Click the “Erase” tab at the top of Disk Utility once you’ve selected your memory card from the left-hand pane. Erase your card by performing a “Format” on it — select the type of filesystem you want to use from the “Format” menu (e.g., MS-DOS or ExFat). Click the blue “Erase” button once you’re ready to erase and reformat your card with the filesystem of choice.

format sd card mac os x terminal

The Terminal is where all the command line magic happens in OSX, so don’t be afraid if it sounds complicated! Type ‘diskutil list’ into terminal to get a list of every hard drive connected to your Mac – make sure you search for SD’s rather than hard drives – i’ve done this before and lost everything on my computer because I formatted the wrong thing!!!

How to Format an SD or Micro SD Card on Your Mac

Once you’ve found the correct SD card, take note of its device name (i.e., /dev/disk2). Type ‘sudo diskutil eraseDisk MS-DOS “NAME”‘ replacing NAME with your SD card’s name, so it should be something like ‘MS-DOS “MY SD CARD”‘ (don’t forget to add the quotes and leave a space at the end for it to work) and hit return; your Mac will now format your memory card ready for use! After this finishes formatting your memory card, type ‘exit’ into terminal to close it and eject or unmount your memory card. That’s it! You can now plug in and use your freshly formatted memory card.

  • Enter ‘diskutil list’ into the Terminal to find your SD card
  • Type ‘sudo diskutil eraseDisk MS-DOS “NAME”‘, replacing NAME with the name of your SD card
  • After this has finished, type ‘exit’ into terminal and eject/un-mount your SD card

Remember that formatting will delete all data on your memory card, so be sure to back it up if necessary! Additionally, if you’re using an older version of OSX than Lion, these instructions won’t work – ExFAT support was recently added in Lion. If you need help formatting your SD card on a Mac running an earlier version of OSX, please consult Apple’s Support website.

As mentioned earlier, OS X Lion includes support for exFAT, which is a newer file system that is often used to format SD cards larger than 32GB. If you want to use exFAT on your memory card, you can follow these steps to erase and format it using the Terminal:

Insert the memory card into your computer’s reader if it isn’t already. This will likely mount the memory card on your desktop for easy access. Open “Disk Utility” found in your “Utilities” folder — just search for it using Spotlight Search if you can’t find it or don’t know where it’s located. Following that, click on the name of the memory card you inserted (it may be labeled as something like NO NAME or UNTITLED). Click the “Erase” tab at the top of Disk Utility once you’ve selected your memory card from the left-hand pane. Erase your card by performing a “Format” on it — select the type of filesystem you want to use from the “Format” menu (e.g., MS-DOS or ExFat). Click the blue “Erase” button once you’re ready to erase and reformat your card with the filesystem of choice.

Removing an SD Memory Card on Mac

When you need to remove an SD card, make sure everything is saved before ejecting it, otherwise all data will be lost! To safely remove your memory card, right-click on its icon in Finder and click Eject; this will safely remove the card without any problems. If you’re using an older version of OSX than Lion, you can also eject your memory card by unmounting it in the Terminal: type ‘diskutil unmount Disk /dev/DISKNAME’, replacing DISKNAME with the name of your SD card as shown in Disk Utility (again, don’t forget to add quotes). After doing this, you can just physically remove the SD card from your computer.

  • right-click on your memory card’s Finder icon and click “Eject”
  • if you’re using an earlier version of OSX than Lion, type ‘diskutil unmountDisk /dev/DISKNAME’ into the Terminal (replacing DISKNAME with your memory card’s name)
  • physically remove the SD card from your computer after unmounting it.

Conclusion:

Remember that formatting will delete all data on your memory card, so be sure to back up if necessary! Additionally, if you’re using an older version of OSX than Lion or exFAT support is not available for your Mac, these instructions won’t work – please consult Apple’s Support website for help with earlier versions of OSX.

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