Can't delete files from SD card in new mac

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mojito74, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. mojito74 macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2012
    This just happened to me in my brand new macbook pro 2012. My Sandisk SDHC Extreme Pro card can be read but I can't delete files.

    Has any one had this happened to? please help. I have searched online and very little threads on this topic, some people had this issue and even after reformatting card persisted.

    In any windows computer this is not an issue with the same exact card. It is not the lock tab on the side this is not locked the info shows FAT32 read only. Why should this be a problem I thought that MAC was ok with FAT 32 cards. Frustrated.
  2. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    If the card is from a camera, don't bother deleting or formatting the card in any computer. After the card is downloaded, put it back into the camera and always have the camera format the card.

    If the card is not from a camera...sorry for the interrupt.
  3. driftless macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2011
    Have you tried deleting the card through finder?
  4. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    In Windows, right-click the card and deselect read-only.
  5. mojito74 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2012
    Ah Genius!

    I right click in the SD card in XP and there is no option within the card in the 3 folders I was able to click off the semi grayed out check next to read only.

    I am confused how it got set read only though...Also why my windows 7 machine was able to delete files this morning if that was set. At least I can use the mac now.

    First time mac user I just want to be able to use this thing and not need to go to my windows for every little thing
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Is this a camera card? If so, as MCAsan has said, you are better off formatting it in camera regardless. Sometimes there are some camera specific file system processes that the computer doesn't take care of properly. For some cameras it doesn't matter, and for some cameras it does matter, so the generally accepted advice is to just format the card in the camera. Some cards may not show any signs of file system corruption until it becomes unreadable and eats your photos for lunch.

  7. pmxperience macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2011
    United States
    You might want to check and see if the card is physically locked.
    On the side of the card there is a tiny dip switch than toggle the card to read-only or not. The slot on the computer can actually accidentally flip the switch since theres little room.
    Had this problem too a while back, tried every trick in the book until I had this "AHA" moment.
  8. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    (like MCAsan & snberk103 said) Never use your computer to delete files on your SD card. If you do, at some point that card will be corrupted. I've seen it on P&S cameras and DSLR when people use the computer to format or delete files. They are unable to retrieve photos from the SD card. I'm assuming that you are using this SD card for your camera. Always delete and format in camera. This way you can use your SD card on both formats. Make sure you computers can read it too. Meaning that you need the most updated firmware (camera raw) to view your images.

    If you work in a Windows environment, its the same in a Mac. idk why people think its different? The concepts are all the same since 80s. On the Mac you can view either on your desktop/finder (Win same). You can try on your Mac using Image Capture or Preview when working with your camera. Use those two apps to view, edit, copy, etc.
  9. mtbdudex macrumors 68000


    Aug 28, 2007
    SE Michigan
    Never delete or format your camera memory cards in computer.

    Once downloaded, and then after you've ran backup so images stored safely, then reformat in the camera.
  10. leroidys macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2012
    I have the same problem on my iMac (Intel 21.5"). Most likely it is a problem with your computer's SD card reader.

    Shine a strong light into your computer's SD card reader: you will be able to see a tiny, brass-coloured latch on the narrow floor of the slot. If your computer has the same problem as mine, then that latch will be sitting in the 'down' position (ie inserting the SD card does nothing to change its position).

    Normally the latch sits in the 'up' position and is depressed when an SD card is inserted. With an unlocked SD card, there is a minuscule space for the latch to pop back into the 'up' position. With a locked SD card, the slider on the card blocks that minuscule space, thus telling the computer that the SD card is in locked position.

    It seems to be a common problem (judging by the number of internet posts describing exactly your problem) with the Mac built-in card reader that that latch, after some usage, when depressed eventually fails to return to the 'up' position and remains instead sitting in the 'down' position, thus telling the computer every SD card you insert is locked, regardless of whether the card itself is locked or unlocked.

    Why am i making this guess? Because i (and you) have tried the same SD card on an external reader and, in that case, the computer reads the card as (correctly) unlocked. The Mac card reader perpetually reads it as locked.

    Solution? Apple may replace your card reader if your computer is still under warranty. Les-inconvenient solution: use an external card reader.

  11. jackenhack macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
  12. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York

    as others have advised, put the card back in the camera when finished offloading to your computer and format it in the camera

    keeps things uncorrupted and running smoothly
  13. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010
  14. Lenry, Feb 12, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013

    Lenry macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2008
    sd card reader in MacBook Pro

    If you can write and/or format and/or delete from your sd card when it is in a USB or Firewire card reader, and you can't when your sd card is in the sd card slot in your macbook pro, then there is something wrong with the card reader in your macbook pro.

    It doesn't matter what position the locking tab is in to read from an sd card.

    Many people like to add or delete things from their sd cards via their computer.You can't write non photo files to a card in a camera, for example.

    Telling them to format their card in their camera isn't solving their problem.

    If you are having this problem, it could be a small lever inside the built in card reader. If your laptop is still under the factory warranty, or you have the apple care, then take it to a factory authorized service center or to the semi genus bar and get them to fix it under warranty.

    I would format any card in the device you use the card in, like the camera. Some devices don't have any format option.
  15. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2012
    Virginia, USA
    Always always always reformat the card in your camera, never in your computer. One is from Mars, the other from Venus.
  16. AAE macrumors newbie


    Oct 15, 2015

    Yosemite 10.10.5 iPhoto was never showing the option 'delete after downloading' when downloading photos from an SDHD card. THIS answer restored the option! Once I moved the tiny dip switch, the 'delete after downloading' reappeared in iphoto.

  17. kelub macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
    Every mac I've ever had (4 total) has always read the SD card as read-only if it was first formatted in a camera. Since, as others have repeatedly said, the best practice is to reformat that card in the camera anyway, it's a non-issue (and by design.)

    If you need to use the card for another purpose, you may be able to use Disk Utility to reformat the card. I'm not certain because I've never used an SD card for anything but cameras and you should always, always, always, always reformat the card in the camera. Always.


    No, always.

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16 August 2, 2012