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How to Format SD Card for Mac and Windows on PC?



Nowadays, it’s common to own Mac and Windows at the same time and you may need to migrate data between Mac and PC using SD card. To make SD card work both under Mac and Windows PC, it’s necessary to format it with a file system compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. Both it’s OK to change the file system of the SD card to FAT32 or exFAT. FAT32 file system performs better in compatibility and exFAT has no 4GB file size limit. If you still have no idea about format SD card to exFAT or FAT32, you can refer to Part 1 to realize more about the differences between FAT32 and exFAT file system.

Part 1. FAT32 VS exFAT: which is better?
FAT32 file system, released in 1996, has great compatibility. FAT32 formatted SD card can be read and write under different operating systems (including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, etc.) and devices (covering PS3, PS4, and Xbox One). The drawback of FAT32 SD card is that it’s unavailable to save an individual file whose size is beyond 4GB. If you copy big file to FAT32 SD card, you’ll be told that the file is too large for the file system.

exFAT file system is introduced in 2006. When SD card is formatted with exFAT, an individual large file over 4GB can be saved on it. However, exFAT doesn’t perform as well as FAT32 file system in compatibility. exFAT SD card can’t be supported by some old operating system: your Mac OS shouldn’t be older than Mac OS X 10.6.5 and Windows OS is supposed to be Windows Vista SP1 or newer.

In a nutshell, if Mac OS and Windows OS that you are running are not too old and the SD card may need to hold a file beyond 4GB, exFAT file system is recommended. If there is no large file to transfer or save, the SD card can be formatted with FAT32.

Part 2. Detailed steps on format SD card for Mac and PC
After you decide the file system format for your SD card that will be work under Mac and Windows PC, you can refer to the following steps to change the file system of SD card for Mac and Windows from Windows PC.

Way 1. Change file system of SD card to FAT32/exFAT via Disk Management
Step 1. Input “disk management” in the Search box and choose “Create and format hard disk partitions” to open Disk Management.

Step 2. Find out the SD card, right-click the partition on the SD card, choose “Format…”.



Step 3. In the pop-up small window, set file system as exFAT or FAT32 for the SD card. Then, click “OK”.

Way 2. Format large SD card to FAT32 via third-party freeware
You can resort to third-party freeware, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, if the to-be-formatted SD card partition is larger than 32GB and you intend to change the NTFS SD card to FAT32. 64GB, 128GB or larger SD card partition can be easily formatted to FAT32 file system via AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It supports you to format large pen drive, external hard drive to FAT32 as well. Check out those steps on format large partition to FAT32 on Windows PC.

Step 1. Free download the format tool from its official website. Install and run it. In the home interface, right click the large partition and choose “Format Partition”.



Step 2. In this window, choose FAT32 as the file system of the partition and click “OK”. Then, you’ll return to the main interfere automatically.



Step 3. Confirm the operation. Then, click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the operation.



Notes:
• If you are unwilling to lose the data on the NTFS SD card, you can use this software to convert SD card from NTFS to FAT32 without formatting and data loss.

• The free format tool can change file system of SD card to FAT32, exFAT, Ext2, Ex3 or Ext4.

• The tool is able to work smoothly with Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista (64bit and 32bit).

Part 3. Conclusion
It’s not a tough task to format SD card and make it work smoothly under Mac and Windows PC, as long as you pick up appropriate file system and format tool.










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