How to Format Your SD Card on PC & Mac

Before using it in your device you may need to format your SD card for it to function properly. Some recorders require the card to be formatted in a certain way in order to work. In other cases card may have existing files and file structures that need clearing beforehand. The quickest and easiest way to clear the card is to format it on your computer.

For formatting 64GB cards for use with certain devices please see the following articles for Windows and Mac OS X.

The great thing is that it is very easy to format your SD card on your Windows PC or Mac. Here’s how you do it…

Formatting cards will delete ALL existing files. Make sure you have backed up any existing files from the card before you begin the process.

Step 1: Insert the card into the card reader

The reader will either be integrated into your computer or available as an external USB device. The device should mount and appear as a drive.

Step 2: Format your SD card

Windows Mac OS X

Open File Explorer and click This PC or search for it using  + Q

On previous versions of Windows This PC is known as Computer or My Computer

Open Disk Utility, which can be found in Applications > Utilities.

Alternatively, you can quickly find Disk Utility using Spotlight Search ( + Spacebar)

In This PC find the correct drive that corresponds to the SD card – this should appear under Devices and drives.

format your SD card

In Disk Utility find the correct drive on the left of the window and select it.disk utility

Right-click the drive icon and select Format…

 Click the Erase icon found at the top of the window.

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Under File Systemin the drop-down menu, make sure FAT32 is selected.

Quick Format should be ticked if you just want to quickly clear the card. Untick this if you want to do a full format, which will take longer but will fix any issues on the card.

Windows format window

Confirm the Name you want for the drive and make sure that Format has MS-DOS (FAT) selected.

disk utility

Click the Start button to begin the process.

 Click Erase to begin the process.

Click OK on the warning prompt.

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Et voilà! The card will now be formatted.

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Once completed click Done, quit Disk Utility and the card will be ready to go.
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