Can I use this 64 GB SD card with my Raspberry Pi or do I need to prepare it somehow first?

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SD Card Type: SanDisk Ultra 64GB XC

Just bought my first Raspberry Pi 3 Model B 1.2

Not even sure about what OS I will use, perhaps Raspbian if I don't come up with anything better.

But can I just download the OS to a large SD card like this or does the SD card need some kind of formatting first?

  • Should just work if you install Raspbian (but NOT NOOBS). I recommend using Etcher to install.
    – Milliways
    Dec 1, 2017 at 5:38
  • Are you sure? I read somewhere else that 64 GB cards, as opposed to 32 GB cards, need some particular preparation for use with Raspberry.
    – Vesa
    Dec 1, 2017 at 7:24
  • raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/sdxc_formatting.md // So it only applies to Noobs? Raspbian should work? But I still need to format the card as exFAT first?
    – Vesa
    Dec 1, 2017 at 7:28
  • Wait, I should format as fat32 despite it being 64 GB, right? Rpi3 won't boot with exFAT, right?
    – Vesa
    Dec 1, 2017 at 7:33
  • If you are writing an image, what is on the card is irrelevant! If it makes you happy you can format it, this is just one more write cycle. exFAT will not work with NOOBS - the card would already be exFAT
    – Milliways
    Dec 1, 2017 at 7:46

2 Answers 2


If you use Etcher you don't need to do anything. Just use Etcher to burn the image file (.img) to the SD card. The old partition table and formatting will be completely overwritten and the SD card can be directly plugged into the Pi , where you can complete the setup on the first boot.



I have Raspbian on a 64 gb card. I used Rufus to burn the image file to the sd card. It is a Windows program and its pretty easy to use. Rufus is free!

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