How to format your SD card: Windows, macOS, and Steam Deck

sd card

Need to clear an SD Card for something else? Well, here’s how to format your storage device across Windows, Mac & more.

Formatting your SD Card can be the fastest way to clear data, and prep it for another use. While it will completely erase your device, it should only take a few minutes to do across each OS. We’ve not included Linux outside of SteamOS’ gaming mode. It’s a whole other thing.

How to format SD cards on Windows

Insert the SD card into your laptop or PC and wait for Windows to recognize it. After it has detected the device, move to My Computer and find it in your drives section.

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Right-click and select Format. On Windows 11, you might need to hit the ‘See more’ option that is at the bottom.

After this, a small grey box will appear and let you choose what you’d like to format it as. For things like a camera, exFAT will suffice. This is a nearly universally read format.

Once completed, you’ll have a fresh SD card for any kind of use.


Head to Settings and then System. Here, there’s a dedicated option to format your SD card correctly for Linux. 

While exFAT and the like might work, for SteamOS to detect it for use in Gaming mode, it has to be ext4, which the device will handle for you.

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Looking for a new microSD Card for your Steam Deck? How about accessories? We’ve got you covered and more.


On macOS, all you have to do is head to the Disk Utility and locate your SD card. Right-click and press ‘erase’ to begin the process. 

If you use macOS Journal, there’s a chance it might not be read outside of the Mac itself. Instead, we’d opt to use exFAT or NTFS instead.