How to Clear a SD Card on a PC/Mac and Remove All Content

March 03, 2022Ashley Mae

As a small hard drive, an SD card is an important memory device for portable electronics, such as smartphones, digital cameras, and more. Some people rely on SD cards to expand the internal memory of handsets. Others also back up photos, videos, documents, and other files using an SD card. Before using an old SD card, you'd better remove data on it. This guide will tell you the best ways to clear an SD card on Windows and Mac.

Clear an SD Card

Part 1: How to Clear SD Card by Format

Apparently, you can delete files one by one on an SD card, but it takes a long time. Formatting is the easiest way to clear a micro-SD card and remove all files at the same time. Moreover, it is indispensable when you switch the file system of your SD card. The good news is that both Mac and Windows have equipped the disk format feature.

Some SD cards have a write-protected lock. It stops the card from writing or deleting. Before formatting, you must unlock it.

How to Clear an SD Card on Mac via Format

Safari is the native web browser on Mac. It makes sense that the app is the most prevalent browser on Mac since users do not need to install anything extra. Moreover, it equips a variety of useful features including bookmarks. Here are the steps to delete bookmarks on Safari.

Step 1:
Insert the target SD card into the card slot on your Mac. If your computer does not have the slot, connect an external card reader with a USB cable.
Step 2:
Fire up the Finder app from the Dock, and go to the Applications folder from the left sidebar. Next, double-click the Disk Utility app to open it.
Format SD Mac
Step 3:
Find the SD card associated with your Mac on the left side of the Disk Utility app, and select it.
Step 4:
Click the Erase button at the top ribbon. Now, you will be presented with a popup dialog. Here you can change the file system of the SD card, and other options. To clear the SD card, hit the Erase button.
Erase SD Mac
Step 5:
It may take a while if you have a lot of files on the SD card. When it is done, you can save files on the blank card.

How to Clear an SD Card on PC by Format

Google Chrome is another popular web browser partly because of its awesome performance and high-level privacy protection. Since it removes browsing history, the bookmark feature is important for Chrome users. You can delete bookmarks on Chrome following the steps below.

Step 1:
Put an SD card into your PC. Now, a part of PCs does not have a slot. You can associate a card reader with your machine.
Step 2:
Start a File Explorer, go to This PC from the left sidebar, and select the SD card under Devices and drivers.
Format SD PC
Step 3:
Unfold the top toolbar, go to the Manage tab and choose Format. Or right-click on the SD card and select Format on the context menu.
Step 4:
If you want to use the SD card on other systems, reset the File system. Otherwise, keep the options by default on the pop-up dialog. By default, the Quick Format option is checked. If you intend to perform a full format, uncheck the option.
Quick Format
Step 5:
Click the Start button. When prompted, click OK to begin clearing the SD card. Depending on how many files are saved on the SD card, it might take a few minutes.

Note: Quick format deletes files from the partition and rebuilds the file system, volume label as well as cluster size. Full format completely erases files from the partition, rebuilds the file system, volume label, and cluster size, as well as scans the entire partition for logical bad sectors. Quick format is faster than full format.

Part 2: Permanently Clear SD Card on Mac

Some people reported that they cannot clear SD cards on Mac. That is partly because a part of files may be protected or encrypted. Fortunately, Aiseesoft Mac Cleaner can help you erase any unwanted files from internal memory and SD card.

Mac Cleaner


Aiseesoft Mac Cleaner – Best Card Cleaner for Mac

  • 1. Clear SD card on Mac by deleting unwanted files.
  • 2. Manage files and photos on internal and external memory.
  • 3. Completely delete files on SD cards without recovery.
  • 4. Available to a wide range of MacBook Pro/Air, iMac, etc.
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How to Clear an SD Card on Mac

Step 1:
Install Mac Cleaner

Launch the Mac Cleaner after you install it on your machine. Click the Cleaner button to enter the next window, and choose Large & Old Files to enter the scan interface.

Main Interface
Step 2:
Scan SD card

Click the Scan button once you install the SD card into your Mac computer. The app will begin looking for files on your memory. It may take a while depending on how many files are on your card.

Review Large Old Files
Step 3:
Clear SD card

When scanning is done, click the View button and you will be presented with all files. You can browse and search files on your SD card. Check all unwanted files and click the Clean button at the bottom right corner. Wait for the process to finish and remove the SD card.

Clean Large Old Files

Part 3: FAQs about Clearing SD Card

Can I reuse an SD card?

An SD card can be reused. Even low-end SD cards can go through hundreds of write and erase cycles. High-end cards are rated for many more. However, it is not going to have any of the stuff you had on it retained.

Why my computer won't detect an SD card?

A few issues can make a computer stop detecting SD cards. Firstly, you need to check the settings and make sure they are correct. Sometimes, a broken USB cable can prevent a computer from reading the SD card.

How to factory reset SD or Micro SD card?

You can make an SD card to factory status by formatting it. The guide above has explained the steps to do it on either Windows or Mac.


This guide has talked about how to clear an SD card on Windows 11/10/8/7 and Mac OS X. The built-in format feature can meet your need and delete files on the card quickly in most cases. If your SD card cannot be formatted, try Aiseesoft Mac Cleaner. It can permanently delete unwanted files on your card without technical skills. More questions? Please feel free to leave a message below this post.

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