How to Format SD Card on Windows and Mac? 

🕔 4 minutes read Summary: Formatting an SD card is quite easy, be it any device or operating system you can always find troubleshooting methods to execute the SD card formatting. In this article, we have covered two such troubleshooting methods to format SD cards. 1. Format SD card on Windows. 2. Format SD card on Mac. Read through the article and follow quick steps to format SD cards on Windows and Mac operating systems.

SD card comes with various form factors like micro SD, SDHC, SDXC, etc. and they are used in multiple devices such as digital camera, camcorder, DSLR, drones, android phone, etc. to expand the memory space. If you are looking to format SD card on Windows or Mac then, this could be due to various reasons. Before you format SD card on Windows or Mac, it is suggested to take a backup of SD card data to avoid permanent data loss scenario.

In this article, you will find out the highly rated method to format SD card on Windows and Mac along the proven method to recover data from corrupt or formatted SD card. 

Why you should Format an SD card?

Formatting an SD card is essential and there is nothing scary about it.

  1. To improve SD card performance and functioning.
  2. To erase all duplicate and unwanted photos, files, etc. from memory card.
  3. If you are unable to delete files from SD card.
  4. To change SD card file system to NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, etc.
  5. SD card is not readable on Windows, Mac, or Android phone.
  6. SD card errors like SD card formatting error, memory card inaccessible, blank SD card, etc.

Things to consider before formatting an SD card on Mac or Windows

Whenever you have made up your mind to format an SD card or any external storage device, the most important thing before formatting an SD card is taking a backup of important files and photos.

Formatting an SD card erases complete data. Therefore it is recommended to take a backup of all important photos, raw-images, videos, audio files, Microsoft Office files, documents, etc. 

How to Format SD card on Mac?

Before you format your SD card on Mac, connect your micro/ SD card to Mac using a card reader and then, take a backup of important files or utilize Remo Recover Mac tool to restore data.  

  1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility

  1. Select the SD card which you want to format from all the available drives and click the Erase option.

 Note: In case, if you don’t find your SD card or external hard drive not showing up on Mac, then this could be due to either connection issue or Preference setting problem.

  1. Now, give a new name to your SD card (optional).
  2. Click Format option to choose the format type you want to perform on it.
    Note: Select exFAT if your SD card is 64GB and want to make it compatible with both Windows and Mac. Otherwise, select MS-DOS (FAT) if your memory card is 32 GB.

  3. Click on the Erase option and wait until the Disk utility function erases complete files present on the SD card. This way you can successfully format your memory card on Mac.
  4. Now, safely eject the SD card from your Mac to start using it with better performance. In case, if you have deleted files from SD card on Mac without taking a backup then, you can make use of Remo SD card Recovery tool to restore files from SD card on Mac effortlessly.

How to Format SD card on Windows?

Before you format your micro/ SD card, make sure you take a backup of important SD card data. And also verify if the SD card is unlocked or not to avoid SD card not getting formatted error.

  1. Connect your SD card to Windows or Insert it into the SD card slot.
  2.  Open This PC.
    SD card formatting on Windows 10
  3. You will find all your available drives under Devices and drives.
  4. Right-click on the SD card icon and click the Format option.
  5. Make changes in the Allocation unit size to Default allocation size.
    SD card formatting on Windows
  6. Click Start button to format your SD card.

Cannot Format Your SD Card?

When you're unable to format your SD card be it on Mac or Windows the reason might be that your SD card is damaged, unreable or corrupt. If your SD card is not readable or formatted you can try troubleshooting methods to fix it by clicking on the given link. Before troubeshooting you must take a backup of important files or photos. With the help of the Remo Recover tool, you can restore all your data from a formatted or corrupted SD card with ease.

Utilize Remo SD card Recovery tool to restore more than 300 file formats like photos, videos, raw images, documents, etc. This tool is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems including Windows 11/ Windows 10 and macOS Monterey or Big Sur. Remo Recover tool easily recovers data from formatted SD card, corrupted or unreadable SD card, external hard drive, SSD, pen drive, etc.

free-download-for-win free-download-for-mac

Some Quick Notes under Windows Formatting:

  • Quick Format should be checked if you don’t prefer thorough formatting.
  • You can rename your SD card under Volume label option.
  • You can also select the file system which is compatible with your camera, mobile phone, DSLR, etc. FAT32 is selected for SD cards with 32 GB storage space, exFAT / NTFS for preferred for more than 32 GB storage drives. 
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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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