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How to Format SD Card to FAT32 File System on Mac

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 27, 2024 • Filed to: Solve Mac Problems • Proven solutions

But why?

Let us go in detail to find the answer.

Suppose you are using a vehicle but don't go for routine service. What will happen? After some time, it starts giving problems. So what is the solution?

Obviously, we need to take it to a professional mechanic.

The same thing is with your SD card, Now how to Format the SD card to FAT32 on MAC?

Well! Find out the solution yourself in this resolute dossier.

How to format the SD card to FAT32 on Mac?

Are you tired of applying several older techniques that are not able to format your SD card to fat32 on MAC? No worries anymore, we are here for you, just follow these simple steps and get what you want.

Before that, you are advised to take a backup of data on your Mac device, before the beginning of the process. There are two ways to format USB flash drive to FAT32, including Disk Utility and Terminal command line, but here we discuss the former one.

Once SD or micro SD card has been backed up, you will be ready to format the storage device. Here are the steps to make it happen:

  1. Insert the SD card into the slot on your Mac.
  2. Navigate to Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  3. Open Disk Utility.
  4. In the sidebar, select the SD card that you are trying to format.
  5. At the top of Disk Utility, press Erase.

That's it! Your task is completed successfully.

Reasons for the Formatting SD card to FAT32

The Default memory card file systems:

A file system is a way of organizing a drive efficiently to access files with ease, later on. It defines the stored data on your drive. There are many types of file systems among which some common and more usable are:

What's the FAT32 system on Mac?

The configuration of hard drives in MAC is different From Windows. Mac basically uses HFS+ but also supports FAT32. This FAT32 system on MAC is used for storage media, such as memory cards, flash drives, and also external hard drives. One simple technique to convert FAT32 to HFS+ is by using disk utility feature that comes with OS X. If this technique doesn't work for you, No worries! Here we provide you step by step solutions in an easy way with the help of images.

Format SD card on Mac

It is always beneficial to go for a little spring cleaning in your room, in order to keep your room clean from dust, as well from certain mites. But if, under certain circumstances, this process is not carried out then what will happen?

Obviously, you can't live there properly. The same thing is with your SD card.

Steps to format SD card to FAT32 MAC

Formatting is essential for your SD card to run properly. When the size of your SD card is 64 GB or above the best way is, to go with FAT32 format. This will help you to experience the feel of using a new card.

Note: It is advisable to backup your data from the SD card, it is very important to protect for any loss of crucial information, which on later stages will be hard to recover.

How to format 64 GB SD card to FAT32 on Mac

There are basically two general techniques to Format SD card to FAT 32 in Mac:

Formatting an SD card to FAT32 on Mac is an easy process to go with. It is due to the presence of a built-in utility application named "disk utility". It erases all the data from your SD card. Not only this after the process of formatting, but new directories and file systems are also generated, which further helps to increase the speed and functioning of the SD card. This can be done by following some of the basic steps as mentioned below:

1. Using Disk utility:

If you are using operating system X, a simple method to Format SD card is by using Disk utility.

Step 1: Open "Disk Utility", by typing in the search box, available at the top right corner of the screen, and then click on it.

disk utility thumbnail

Step 2: Now look for an SD card on the left side of the window. It will be shown by the name of "NO NAME" or "UNTITLED". Select it.

disk utility showing inserted SD card

Step 3: Now click on the "Erase" tab available in the window.

Step 4: Now click on the "format" dropdown menu. This provides you with the available formats, from there select "FAT32" option.

disk utility pointing SD card to format

Step 5: A message will appear on your screen asking your permission for erasing partition. Give permission by clicking on the "Erase" option. This will start the process of formatting for your SD card.

disk utility showing formatting process complete

2. Using MAC command line:

In some of the cases, the above-mentioned process is not able to perform well. There may be certain reasons behind this among which some common are compatibility issues, errors, and viruses. Then under these circumstances, the use of the MAC command line is beneficial. Although this technique requires a bit of attention and hard work but here you are provided with step by step guide that makes the task to format sd card on mac to fat32 easy for you. One of the advantages of using this technique is it provides accurate results in most of the cases.

Step 1: Hit cmd + space for launching spotlight, a box will appear with an option of typing, type terminal in this box and press "Enter" to open.

Step 2: Now insert your SD card.

There are also other cards or disk storages, so the next step will help you with this.

Step 3: For Identification of card Type "diskutil list"

Now all the available storage will be presented to you in the form of a list

Step 4: Select your SD card.

Step 5: Now to format the SD card to FAT32 on MAC you need to type the command" sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT 32 SDCARD MBRFormat /dev/disk2"

Note: In this case, the name of a card is "SDCARD" and"/dev/disk2" is the location of the card.

Fix "can't Format SD card on Mac"

Causes of Failing to change SD card to FAT32 on MAC: There are several reasons for an SD card, for not been formatted with the methods and techniques, that previously done the task for you. The common reason for this problem is an unsafe ejection, a virus attack that leads to corrupt the files, and in some uneven circumstances power failure.

Some of the other reasons behind this problem are:

Steps to fix "Can't format SD card to fat32 MAC":

There are several techniques to fix this problem. The most common and safe technique is to take the help of utility software available with OS X.

Step 1: The first step in this is to connect your SD card with your MAC. Some MACs are available with an option of a built-in SD slot. If you are using one among those, well for you and if not. No need to worry, we are having an alternate solution for you, in which you can use an external SD card cartridge. Still, if you can't able to make it then you can go with a USB SD card reader.

Step 2: Now open utility disk app which is inbuilt in the MAC OS X. For this go for Applications, then click on the utilities and there you will find the Disk utility option. You can directly open it from the top right side of your screen, in search option by typing "Disk Utility"

Step 3: Now identify your SD card from the list of available drives on the left side of the Disk Utility screen. Then click on it, this will show you the available storage in your device. With this, you can also match the storage of your inserted card to the chosen one, for confirming that you had chosen the right card option. Generally, the name will be NO NAME or Untitled as shown in the image.

How to format SD Card on Mac

Step 4: Now choose Erase function from the functions list at the top.

Step 5: Now enter the name of your SD card that you want to assign from the name field option. This is an optional step.

How to format an SD Card on Mac

Step 6: Now choose ExFAT, as a file system format from the Format drop-down menu as shown below.

how to format sd card mac disk utility

Step 7: Now hit erase and the process of erasing data begins as shown below.

formatting SD card in progress on your MAC

Step 8: Once the above process you will get a message of completion as shown below. Now your card is ready to use.

SD Formatting process complete on MAC

Recover Accidentally Formatted SD Card Files.

Sometimes there arise certain situations when you accidentally formatted your card and lose all of your data. Then you probably wonder what to do now? Or there arise certain circumstances when someone formats your SD card mistakenly?

Many times you tried a lot of software, but of no use at all. Also, you tried several techniques but still not able to recover your crucial information. What happens is, you lose hope and give it up.

If this is the situation, with you, don't worry we have a guaranteed solution for you with a detailed structure.

First of all, you need to know is, the data from your SD card is not gone permanently. It is just a temporary process that takes place and can be reversed easily. If a proper technique or software or a combination of both is used.

What you need to do is to simply install Recoverit for MAC that is available for download on Wondershare.com on your single click, and follow some of the easy steps as given below. Make sure these steps should be followed in the same order, as mentioned.

Talking about "Recoverit", It is one of the best data recovery tools, that provides you the facility to recover your data from systems like systems and even crashed systems. Not only this Recoverit Data Recovery Ultimate provides you a facility to recover even fragmented videos and is also capable of fixing and repairing damaged or corrupt videos for you.

Launch 'Recoverit" on MAC: The first step you need to follow is to install "Recoverit" on your MAC. After the successful installation of this software on your MAC, Double click on "Recoverit icon" that is shown up. If you can't find it, then go for a finder, and then select applications, there you will find Recoverit easily. Now double click it to open.

Now you have to follow three simple steps to recover your crucial information from your SD card, as mentioned below:

  1. Initially, you need to select a target location
  2. Then you have to Scan the location
  3. Finally, go for a Preview and recover data

Got it!

If not, no worries. Let us discuss each step in detail that makes up easy for you.

    1. Select the SD card you want to format: For this, go for data scanning and searching option and then choose your SD card as a target location. You will find a dialogue box that appears before you as shown below.

how to recover data from formatted sd card on mac

    1. Scan the removable media: It is an All-round scan that usually takes a few minutes. During this process, you are provided with an option of the filter and locate files of your choice as shown below.

scan for data from formatted sd card mac

  1. Preview and recover files: After the above process, you are provided with a preview function in which a lot of files will be there that includes Pictures, videos, movies, images, audio, documents, and so on.

Here you need to select the files you want o recover. For this just click and select the required files and just simply click on "Restore". You can also opt for all files of if particular files are selected then these selected files will be restored. Finally, you get your data back.

formatted sd card MAC photo recovery


Today we live in a digital world, where data is stored digitally. Digital data occupies less space, can be stored on cloud storage and, can be encrypted. But at the same time, it carries a lot of problems and one among them is the problem of erased data or accidental formatting. For these cases, precision is required, especially for your SD card. Here you are provided with a resolute dossier on how to format SD card to FAT32 on Mac that makes your task easy.

Recoverit author

Sue Wayne

staff Editor

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