SD Card Formatter is a free desktop SD/SDHC/SDXC formatter. It’s an absolutely essential tool to recover compatibility between SD and MicroSD cards on one side and operating systems and devices on the other. Correct formatting not always but often solves the problem of file systems incompatibility in Mac OS/Windows/Android, etc.
Where to download SD Card Formatter (5.0 >)
SD Card Formatter 5.0 supports the following operating systems: Windows 7 >, MacOS 10.12 Sierra and higher. Consequently, there are two distribution versions of this app: exe and dmg.
We’d recommend downloading SD Card Formatter from the official page, since they keep it up-to-date. The outdated versions of the software (<4.0) are not available for download due to being incompatible with the latest Windows and Mac OS.
SD Card Formatter vs basic formatting software
Windows and Mac OS include basic Hard Drive, USB and SD format tools, but we wouldn’t recommend using them since formatting can hinder performance of a memory device significantly.
SD Card Formatter doesn’t have this fault. Moreover, this app is often used to correct card reading errors after erroneous basic formatting by Windows.
Unlike system utilities, SD Formatter has nothing to do with Projected Area. This reserved space on a memory card is essential for security functions and must not be formatted.
SD Formatter developers say that formatting is set up to max performance (for FAT filesystem). So during formatting you can keep the settings as is.
Just like other software, SD Formatter tool can’t format encrypted memory cards (for instance, BitLocker To Go). That’s why decoding the content before formatting a card is vital.
How to use SD Formatter
There’s a manual which describes how to use SD Formatter tool. You can also follow instructions in the Message Area. This utility is pretty simple in use, and we’ll list some of its features.
1. Connecting a memory card
To work with media, you’ll need one of these devices:
- an external device connected to the computer using USB
- SD Card slot - as a rule every laptop/MacBook has it
Remember. To run SD Formatter, you need administrative privileges.
2. Choosing disk to format
In the Drive list select the SD card you want to format. As a rule, the app does it on its own. What’s good is that partitions of the Hard Drive are not displayed here, so it’s unlikely you’ll get confused and select a wrong disk. However, double check the letter of the disk, in case other devices have been connected to the computer.
If you insert your SD card into the SD interface device after the app has been launched, the disk can fail to be displayed straight away. In this case, press Refresh button and check the Status field. Blue logo in the main window signals the card successfully connected.
3. Format options
You can select format options in the Format Option Window. It offers two format types:
- Quick format - files and folders are marked as inaccessible for writing but formatting itself doesn’t affect data in the files.
- Full (Overwrite) format - the app erases everything, including data written in the files.
In other words, after Quick format you can try retrieving files, while Overwrite format leaves few chances.
4. Implementing formatting
To apply the settings, click OK, to start formatting click Format in the main window.
When formatting is complete, a window with the Memory Card Format Complete! status is shown. Here you’ll also find information on filesystem, total space and cluster size of your card.