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How to Clean an SD Card on Mac Without Formatting


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A clean SD card works better

Isn’t it frustrating when your camera gets sluggish after you put the memory card back in? Or when you connect the card to a Windows computer after your Mac, and have to browse through odd-looking files like Spotlight-V100?

Both of these problems are caused by the service files OS X writes onto your memory card when you work with it on a Mac. Normally, when you ask someone how to clean an SD card, the answer you get is “just format it”. But what if formatting the SD card is not an option, because you only want those junk files gone, not everything you’ve got there? Well, looks like you’re going to need an SD card cleaner (we recommend CleanMyDrive 2, it’s free and works with all kinds of external drives).

In this post, we’ll show you how to clear SD card junk with a cleaner app, so that you don’t have to format your SD card. But first, let’s figure out what these troublemaker files on your card are.

What’s there to clean on an SD card?

After connecting your card to a Mac, you may have noticed some of these files on it:

  • .DS_Store
  • .Spotlight-V100
  • .TemporaryItems
  • .fseventsd

What are they? These are files the OS X creates as it works with your SD card, for various purposes. .DS_Store, for example, stores different folder data for the Finder, like how the icons are positioned. .fseventsd is a log file the system writes when files are deleted or modified. So, at some point they were useful to your Mac, but not anymore — and they are certainly useless to you. Even worse: they can corrupt your memory card’s performance and cause your camera to lag.

But the most annoying thing about these files is that they are hard to get rid of manually. Formatting the SD card helps, but if you don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater and delete your own files along with the junk — an SD cleaner app is the way out.

How to remove junk files with an SD card cleaner

External storage cleaner apps for Mac are not as common as they should be (someone please do something about that). But fortunately, we’ve got a free app that is tremendously helpful for SD cards and other types of external drives — CleanMyDrive 2. Here’s how you clean all the pesky junk files with it:

  1. Install CleanMyDrive 2 (it will settle in your menu bar for easy access).
  2. Click on the CleanMyDrive 2 icon in your menu bar. You’ll see all connected drives, including your SD card.
  3. Hit the Clean button next to your card.

CleanMyDrive screen

Done. This will clear SD card junk and make the card run like new again. Even better: you can set the SD cleaner to remove junk automatically upon eject. To set up automatic cleanups, do the following:

  1. Open CleanMyDrive 2.
  2. Click on the little round icon next to your SD card.
  3. Enable Automatic cleanup.

That’s it. From now on, CleanMyDrive 2 will wipe out OS X service files every time you eject the SD card. You can forget about annoying .DS_Stores on your memory card, or the laggy camera after you’ve transferred pics onto your Mac. Get CleanMyDrive 2 for free and see how much an SD card cleaner can help. Seriously, it’s more useful that we’re telling you.



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