The function of an SD card is to increase the memory of a device, be it your Nintendo Switch, camera, phone etc. Here's how to format them and why you should!
Whether it’s for installing more games on your Nintendo Switch or taking more photos on your camera, SD cards have become quite a necessity. Although phones today have more internal memory than they use to, this isn’t the case with all electronic gadgets.
How to format an SD card
The steps are very simple if you’re using a Windows computer, and are just like the options to format a hard drive for example.
- Insert the SD card into your computer, either by plugging it in directly or with an adapter.
- Find the SD card in your device's Computer area.
- Right click on the card and select the option ‘Format’.
- If your SD card is less than 64GB, set the ‘File System’ to FAT32 and if it’s 64GB or more, set it to exFAT.
- Click ‘Start' and wait a few moments.
- When it has finished, remove the SD card from your computer and you’re good to go!
When you re-insert the card into your camera, or whatever device you are using, a format message may pop up. If you have the option, just follow the procedure to revert it to the correct format.
On a Mac, do the following steps:
- In Finder, go to Applications, then Utilities.
- Double click on Disk Utility and look down the left for the connected devices.
- Select the SD card from the list, choose your desired format (never Partition GUID) and click Erase or Start (this changes depending on which version of macOS you are using)
PLEASE NOTE: some cards are a bit special. If you are using an SD card on a camera for example, it would be better to format it manually. Go to the settings menu on your device and look for the ‘format’ option. Once you’ve found it, run it and your card will be reset to 0 (and all your photos will be deleted).
Why should you format an SD card?
As the name suggests, formatting a card gives it a special format. When you format it, all the data is deleted regardless of what it is and getting it back is no piece of cake!
In addition to this, formatting a card allows you to delete everything on it very quickly so that you don’t have to delete all the data manually. However, formatting an SD card hasn’t been proven to do anything for its longevity, so it isn’t really essential in this way.