MacBook User Formatting an SD Card
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There are times when an SD Card starts acting weird. Once you have backed up your data, the only sure-fire way of resetting the SD card is by formatting it. Here’s how to quickly format an SD card on Mac.

If you’re a long-time Mac user, you might be familiar with the Disk Utility. It’s the app that lets you manage and format internal and external storage. While it works great for SSDs and hard drives, it’s a bit weird when it comes to formatting SD cards.

RELATED: How to Use Your Mac's Disk Utility to Partition, Wipe, Repair, Restore, and Copy Drives

Thankfully, there’s a quicker and easier way to format an SD card. SD Association’s own SD Card Formatter app lets you format an SD card in just a couple of clicks.ย The application supports SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.

To get started, visit SD Association’s SD Card Formatter download page. From here, click the “For Mac” button.

Select For Mac from SD Card Formatter Download Page

Scroll down and click “Accept” to accept the terms and conditions. Now, the app will be downloaded to the Downloads folder.

Select Accept From Terms Page

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Go to the Downloads folder and double-click the “SDCardFormatterv5_Mac” zip file.

Open SD Card Formatter Zip

This will expand into a folder with the same name. Double-click the folder to open it.

Open SD Card Formatter App

Now, double-click the installer package.

Open SD Card Formatter Installer

Here, follow the process to install the SD Card Formatter app.

Once the app is installed, open it with the Applications folder or by using Spotlight search.

RELATED: How to Use macOS' Spotlight Like a Champ

You can now connect the SD card to your Mac (using an external card reader or the SD slot, if your Mac supports the port) and go to the Finder to make sure you have connected the right SD card.

SD Card To Format

Back in the SD Card Formatter app, the SD card will show up in the “Selected Card” section. You will also see the details of the SD card, such as the SD card type and capacity.

Select SD Card in SD Card Formatter App

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Now, if you want to reformat your SD card quickly, choose the “Quick Format” option from the “Formating Options” section. If you want a full overwrite, choose the “Overwrite Format” option. This option will take a lot longer (minutes instead of seconds).

Then, from the “Volume Label” section, you can choose to rename the SD card if you want.

Select Formatting Options and Give a Volume Name

Once you’re done, click the “Format” button.

Click Format to Start Formatting Process

From the pop-up message, click the “Continue” option.

Click Continue from Popup

Enter the password for your user account and click the “OK” button to allow the app to reformat the SD card.

Enter Password and Click OK

The app will now require permission to access the removable volume (the SD card). Here, click the “OK” button.

Click OK to Give App Access to SD Card

All you have to do now is wait. If you selected the “Quick Format” option, the process will be done in a couple of seconds and you’ll see a “Format Complete” message pop up.

This pop-up will show the details for the newly formatted drive. Click the “OK” button to exit.

Click OK From Format Finished Popup

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And that’s it. You have now formatted the SD card.

When you go back to the Finder, you will find the newly formatted drive, with the new name, in the sidebar. When you select the drive, it will be empty.

Newly Formatted SD Card in Finder

You are now free to copy files and folders to the SD card.


If you want to format a USB drive, we recommend that you use the Disk Utility app itself.

RELATED: How to Erase and Format a USB Drive on Your Mac

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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