How to Format an SD Card in OSX

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

A Secure Digital card (SD) does not have moving parts but otherwise functions in a similar manner to that of a hard drive. You can format an SD card so that it will be compatible with the Mac's OS X operating system. A program supplied with OS X will format the card, and no experience with SD cards or expertise is needed in order to use the program correctly. You will also need a USB card reader to connect the SD card to the Mac.

Things You'll Need

  • USB card reader

Step 1

Insert the SD card into the slot on the USB card reader. Plug the SD card reader's USB cable into a USB port on the Mac.

Step 2

Double-click the "Applications" folder inside of the Mac's hard drive. Scroll down to the "Utilities" folder. Double-click the "Utilities" folder. Scroll down to the icon of the Disk Utility program. Double-click the icon of the Disk Utility program to launch it.

Step 3

Click once on the icon of the SD card when it appears in the left column of the Disk Utility program's main screen.

Step 4

Select the "Erase" tab at the top of the Disk Utility program's main screen. Name the SD card, if desired, in the "Name" column below the "Erase" tab.

Step 5

Select "Mac Extended Format" from the "Format" drop-down menu below "Name." Click the "Erase" button at the lower right corner of the Disk Utility program's main screen. Click the "Erase" button in the confirmation pop-up window when it appears.

Step 6

Wait as a progress bar appears at the bottom of the screen and fills in from left to right. Quit the Disk Utility program once the progress bar has completely filled in.

Step 7

Drag the icon of the SD card to the Trash to eject it from the Mac. Remove the SD card from the slot on the USB card reader. Remove the USB cable from the USB port of the Mac.

Tips & Warnings

  • You do not need a USB card reader if the Mac has one built in.
  • A built-in USB port on the Mac will provide a more stable data transfer than that of a USB hub.