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How do I format a microSD/SD card?
To reformat a secure digital (SD) card / microSD card. Sometimes a microSD/SD card may require formatting before the card can be used with a Garmin device.
NOTE: These instructions are only for formatting a SD card and/or a microSD card. It is not recommended to format any Garmin Mass Storage device unless otherwise directed by Garmin Product Support or these FAQs. If the microSD/SD card is inserted into a Garmin Mass Storage device, e.g., a nuvi, the Garmin nuvi will show up as one drive. The microSD/SD card should show up as a separate drive. Make sure not to format the device, just the microSD/SD card.
To format a microSD/SD card:
- Open Spotlight (CMD-SPACE on keyboard)
- Type Disk Utility (in Spotlight search box)
- Click Disk Utility to open the application
- Click the drive to format on the left side of the disk utility
- Click the parent of the SD card (it normally has the size in the name)
- Click on the Partition Tab
- Under the Volume Scheme select "1 Partition". (OS 10.7 Lion this is called Partition Layout)
- In the format area, select MS-DOS (FAT)
- Click Options
- Select MBR (Master Boot Record)
- Click OK
- In the Name field type a name/title for the SD card (Do not leave the name called "Untitled")
- Click Apply to format the card
On occasion some individuals running OS 10.6 may receive an error in the process. If an error occurs:
- Click the Erase tab
- Select MS_DOS (FAT) from the format drop down
- Click Erase
- After the erase is complete follow steps 1-13 for formatting the card
Format the microSD/SD card to a FAT or FAT32 format. A 2 GB or less card can be formatted in FAT or FAT32. Anything larger than a 2 GB should be formatted in FAT32 and anything above 32 GB should be formatted exFAT322
For mass storage devices and for media transfer protocol devices (MTP):
- Place the SD card into the SD card slot in the device
- Open My Computer if on Windows XP or Computer if on Windows Vista / 7/8
- Locate the Removable Disk 1 icon underneath the Garmin drive
- Right click on the Removable Disk icon
- Click on Format
These steps will Format the microSD/SD card to be readable by the Garmin device.
1The majority of microSD/SD cards are identified by the computer as Removable Disk:
2It’s standard practice for SD card manufacturers to format 64 GB MicroSD cards to exFAT. exFAT is supported by the following operating systems:
- Windows XP will read exFAT32 if Microsoft update KB955704 is applied.
- Windows Vista with Service Pack 1,
- Windows 7,
- Windows 8
- Mac OS 10.6.5 (OS X Snow Leopard)
- Mac OS 10.7 (OS X Lion)
- Mac OS 10.8 (OS X Mountain Lion)
- Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks)
- If the operating system doesn’t support exFAT a 32 GB (or smaller) MicroSD card will be needed.