Do you want to know how to format your SD Card to FAT32 on your Mac? If so, this is the right place for you! In this tutorial, I will show you a few simple methods that you can use to format any SD memory card to FAT32.

how to format SD Card

Why Do You Need to Format SD Memory Card?

Very important: If you format your SD card, it will delete all the files on it. So make sure to save your data somewhere else before you format it.

You might want to format your SD card for a few reasons:
-If you need more space
-If you’re having problems with your SD card and don’t know how to fix them
-To change the file system from one format to another (eg. FAT32)sony a 7 format windows

Steps to Format an SD Card to FAT32 on Mac

If you want to format your SD Card to FAT32 on Mac, follow the instructions below.

  1. Connect the memory card to the Macbook.
  2. Open Disk Utility in Launchpad.
  3. Select your SD Card.
  4. Click Erase.
  5. Enter a new name for your SD Card.
  6. Choose File System: If the card is if it’s 32GB or smaller, choose FAT32., if it’s 64GB or larger, choose exFAT.
  7. Click Erase.

If you want to format an SD card on a Mac, you will require a card adapter. Check out the “Top 7 SD Card Adapters for Mac” article to learn more.

fat 32 format

3 Alternative Methods to Format Your SD Card to FAT32 on Mac

Before you start to change the way your SD card works, it is a good idea to make a copy of everything on the SD card.

There are 3 ways to format your SD Card to FAT32 on Mac:

  1. SD Card Formatter
  2. Disk Utility
  3. MAC Command Line (for techies)

1. SD Card Formatter

The advantage of this method is that it is very easy to use. You only need to download one app and follow the instructions on the screen.

Here’s how it looks:

SD Card Formatter

There are several reasons why I feel that using SD Card Formatter is a better way to format the SD Card, as compared to the already installed Disk Utility app on Mac.

Some benefits of using this app are that it automatically detects an SD card and doesn’t display non-SD cards. So, the risk of accidentally erasing the wrong drive is eliminated. Another benefit is that it automatically selects the appropriate file system based on the size of the SD card.

For example, if you insert a 128GB SD card, it will select exFAT by default to format it according to SDXC specifications. So, it eliminates the risk of selecting the wrong option.

2. Disk Utility

Disk Utility

Once you have saved everything from your SD or micro SD card, you can format it. This means that you can use it again. To format the card, follow these steps:

  1. Put the SD card into the slot on your Mac computer or into a card reader that is connected to your Mac.
  2. Find Disk Utility by going to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility or by searching for it in the top right corner of your screen.
  3. In the sidebar on Disk Utility, select the SD card that you want to format.
  4. Choose which file system to format it as. If your SD Card is 64GB or larger, choose exFAT. If it’s 32GB or smaller, choose FAT32.
  5. At the top of Disk Utility, press Erase. After a few moments, a message will say ‘The process is complete’.

Now your SD or micro SD card is ready to be used again!

Have in mind that older versions of Mac OS don’t support exFAT. The exFAT support appeared in Mac OS from Snow Leopard (version 10.6.6 onwards) in 2009.

3. Format it by Using MAC Command Line (for techies)

This process is a bit complicated but is helpful if the above-mentioned process is not able to perform correctly due to some reason. The reason may be compatibility issues, errors, or viruses.

Here are the steps:

  1.  Launch spotlight by hitting cmd + space. A box will appear where you can type. Type “terminal” in this box and press Enter to open.
  2. Put the memory card into the slot or card reader.
  3. There might be other cards or SDs connected to your Mac. Type “diskutil list” to find yours. All the available storage will be presented to you in the form of a list.
  4. Select the memory card you want to format.
  5. Now, to format your memory card to FAT32 on MAC you need to type “sudo diskutil eraseDisk FAT 32 SDCARD MBRFormat /dev/disk2”.

During the process, you need to type your password and it will start the process of formatting.

Have in mind, that in this case, the name of the SD card is “SDCARD” and “/dev/disk2” is the location of the card.

If you also need to format external hard drive on Mac, read: How to Format Your External Hard Drive for Mac (Easy Way)


Why does “Can’t Format SD card” appear?

There are some reasons why an SD card may not work. For example:

  • The SD card has special rights that don’t let you change it
  • The SD card is old and has bad sectors
  • The SD card has a file system error
  • You didn’t do it right
  • There is a virus and it ruined the files

can't format sd card sign

How to Format Any SD Card on Mac?

Most data is stored on the computer today. This is good because it takes up less space and it is safe. But there are some problems with this too. You might accidentally erase the wrong file when you are trying to format the data on your SD Card. So be careful while you are doing this! Otherwise, you might lose your important data.

To format your SD Card on another operational systems read:


Thank you for reading this guide! I hope that it was helpful in teaching you everything you need to know about How to format Any SD Card to FAT32 on Mac:)

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