Can I use a 5 GB SD card?

Learn about the SD and SDXC card slots on Mac computers

Some Mac computers have a Secure Digital (SD) or Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) card slot that allows the Mac to store data on SD media, such as a laptop or tablet. B. memory cards of digital cameras, can write and read.

What is SD?

The SD mark on a product means that it complies with SD standards for non-volatile memory cards. Please see the SD Association website for more details.

Are there any size restrictions on the cards that can be inserted into the SD slot?

Yes. According to the specification, an SD card may be a maximum of 32 mm x 24 mm x 2.1 mm. You can also use thinner cards, e.g. B. MultiMediaCards (MMC). Do not use cards that are thicker than 2.1 mm, as these could damage the SD card slot.

What SD card formats does the SD card slot support?

Cards that conform to the SD 1.x, 2.x, and 3.x standards should work. The following cards are supported by the SD card slot:

  • Standard SD, 4 MB to 2 GB
  • SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity), 4 GB to 32 GB
  • SDXC, 4 GB to 2 TB
  • MMC (MultiMediaCards)
  • UHS-II up to 2 TB (2020 iMac and iMac Pro only)

With a passive adapter like the one shown here, you can adapt MiniSD, MicroSD and higher-density formats such as MiniSDHC and MicroSDHC to the required width and thickness (see above):

At what speed can a Mac read or write to an SD card in the SD card slot?

Mac notebooks communicate with the SD card slot via the USB bus. This offers a maximum speed of 480 Mbit / s. Mac desktops, on the other hand, use the PCIe bus to communicate with the SD card slot. As a result, desktop computers can transfer data faster.

Check the original packaging of your SD card to see the maximum transfer rate that specific card offers.

You can find the maximum transfer rate of your Mac in the system information. Choose the Apple menu > About This Mac, then click System Report.

On a Mac notebook, do the following:

  1. Select "Hardware" and then "USB".
  2. Select "Integrated Memory Card Reader" and search for "Speed".

On a Mac desktop computer, do the following:

  1. Select "Hardware" and then "Card Reader".
  2. Search for "link speed". For computers using the PCIe bus, the speed is given in GT / s.

Does the SD slot also support cards with a capacity of over 32 GB?

Yes. Most media manufacturers, however, pre-format the media using block and cluster sizes that are beyond the theoretical limit of a given file system.

Most SD cards use the FAT32 file format, and SD media preformatted as FAT32 is typically available in capacities up to 32 GB. Media larger than 32 GB usually uses the exFAT file system, while various smaller capacity cards use the FAT16 file format. Preformatted FAT16 media are typically available with a capacity of up to 2 GB.

If you are using OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.5 or later, here's what filesystem you are using:

  1. Insert the media into the SD card slot.
  2. Choose the Apple menu> About This Mac.
  3. Click on "System Report".
  4. In the Hardware section, click Card Reader and look for the File System field.

Does the SD card slot support SD cards that use the exFAT file system?

Yes. Any Mac with OS X 10.6.5 or later that has an SD card slot supports the exFAT file system.

exFAT is also supported by Boot Camp running Windows 7, 8.1, or 10 on any Mac manufactured after 2011 that has an SD card slot.

How do I insert a card into the SD card slot?

When inserting the card, make sure that the metal contacts are facing down and toward the computer. Never force media into the SD card slot as this can damage it.

How does the Mac use a card inserted in the SD card slot?

The computer recognizes a card inserted in the SD card slot as a USB storage device. You can activate, read or write to the SD card like any other USB storage medium.

I inserted the card into the slot, but it did not activate. How should I proceed now?

Remove the card and reinsert it. Sometimes the SD card won't wake up properly if you slide it into the slot too slowly. If the card still won't activate, you may need to format your SD card again.

When I try to write data to the card, I get a message that I cannot make changes. How can I solve this problem?

This message appears when you try to change data on a locked SD card. Before you can edit the data, you have to unlock the card using the lock controller.

To eject the card, drag the card's icon to the trash. Once the icon is removed from the desktop, you can remove the card from the slot. Use the lock tab to unlock the card, then slide it back into the slot. For the location of the locking regulator, please refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

Can I reformat an SD card using Disk Utility?

Disk Utility allows you to partition and format an SD device as FAT32 (with the "MS-DOS FAT" setting) or Mac OS Extended. The Mac OS Extended format can only be used on Macintosh systems. Non-Apple systems cannot recognize cards formatted as Mac OS Extended.

You may need to format a card larger than 32GB with exFAT if you want to use it with a digital camera, GPS, or other device. If you're not sure, format the card right on the device you want to use it on. Formatting a card erases all data on it. Before proceeding, make sure you have a backup of all the files that you want to keep on the SD card.

Can I install macOS on an SD storage device and use it as a startup disk?

Use Disk Utility to change the default partition table to GUID. Then format the card with the Mac OS Extended file format.

How do I remove a card from the SD card slot?

Wait for all data transfers to be completed on the SD media before removing the card. To eject the card, drag the card's icon to the trash. Once the icon is removed from the desktop, you can remove the card from the slot.

Do not remove the SD card while the Mac is asleep as this can result in data loss. Always make sure to wake the Mac from sleep and eject the SD card before removing it from the slot.

Can I use SDIO (Secure Digital Input Output) cards?

No. SDIO cards are not recognized by Mac computers.

Can I view the specifications of the interface hardware and the media inserted in the SD card slot in macOS?

Information about the interface hardware and the media inserted in the slot can be found in the system information:

  1. Choose the Apple menu> About This Mac.
  2. Click on "System Report".
  3. Select "USB" in the hardware area of ​​the system information.
  4. Select the built-in memory card reader from the list of USB devices. There you will find information about the interface hardware and the media inserted in the SD card slot.

Can I use the SD card slot while Windows is running through Boot Camp?

The SD card slot is compatible with Boot Camp on all supported versions of Windows. To use the SD card slot in Windows, you will need to download and install the appropriate Windows support software.

Learn more about using Windows on a Mac.

Can I use an SDXC card on my Mac on Windows?

You can use an SDXC card on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 on the following Mac computers:

  • MacBook Pro (early 2011 and newer)
    2016 and later MacBook Pro models do not have a built-in SD card slot. Here, however, you can alternatively use a USB-C card reader or a combination of a USB-C to USB adapter and a USB card reader.
  • MacBook Air (mid 2011 and newer)
  • Mac mini (mid 2011 and newer)
    Mac mini (Mid 2010) does not support SDXC cards.
  • iMac (Mid 2011 and newer)
    iMac (Mid 2010) does not support SDXC cards.

Can I install Windows on a Mac using an SD, SDHC, or SDXC card?

No. You cannot install Windows software using an SD, SDHC, or SDXC card with Boot Camp on a Mac.

Information relating to non-Apple products or independent websites that are not controlled or audited by Apple is not a recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility for the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites and products. Apple makes no representations about the accuracy or reliability of any third party websites. Contact the provider for additional information.

Release date: