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I understood that 64gb and up are all under the sdxc format/specification, yet many packages/labeling specifies that devices will work with only sd cards up to 64gb (and omit the sdxc spec) - is there any particular reason for this (other than the fact that larger sizes are uncommon/expensive)?

for example, consider this device and this sd card (128gb or larger) - would they work? would it be limited to 64gb?

is there any difference when it comes to micro sd cards? would any device that supports 64gb micro sd cards also support 128gb micro sd cards? for example this phone?

I know it could also depend on the formatting, but are there any (somewhat common) formats that would work for 64gb but not 32gb? (fat32 works up to 32gb, so it wouldn't count, but is there anything similar to it that breaks at 64gb?)

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    "is there any particular reason for this" -- While their product implements (the existing spec for) SDXD, the manufacturer is probably declaring/limiting support only for capacities that they have actually tested to date. That absolves them of liability for any unforeseen issues as higher capacity cards appear.
    – sawdust
    Mar 21, 2015 at 23:56
  • Because the car stereo only supports SDHC cards, it can only handle a maximum of 32GB. SDXC cards won't be supported. The android phone however, can apparently support microSD cards over 64gb (I don't believe currently there are any microSD cards available in over 128GB in capacity). Mar 22, 2015 at 4:49
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    FWIW, the Audi car entertainment system (the MMI) seems to support SDXC cards but only up to 64GB. I don't know why the limit is there. I have a 128GB card full of music; it crashed when indexing it, and can now play but only the first 64GB of files are visible.
    – Nelson
    Feb 25, 2017 at 23:53

5 Answers 5

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I had a look around and found this page here, and here.

In summary, there are three classes of SD cards:

  • SD, upto 2GB in size, formatted in FAT12 or FAT16
  • SDHC, from 2GB - 32GB in size, formatted in FAT32
  • SDXC, from 32GB - 2TB in size, formatted in exFAT

Regular SD cards, and microSD cards are capable of any of these classes. SD card class support is backwards compatible (e.g. SDHC cards are supported in a device that supports SDXC cards), but not the other way round (e.g. SDXC cards are not supported in a device that only supports SDHC).

Because a device that supports a 64GB card must already support SDXC cards formatted in exFAT, I don't see why a larger card wouldn't be supported either. But, a card that supports upto 32GB of size only supports SDHC cards, and therefore not capable of using the larger SDXC cards.

Please remember though that there may still be devices that will not support over 64GB SD cards (even though they theoretically should), possibly due to hardware or software limitations.

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    "there may still be devices that will not support over 64GB SD cards (even though they theoretically should), possibly due to hardware or software limitations." - care to expand further on this? (this is exactly what I was asking about) Mar 22, 2015 at 3:41
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    I added that sentence because I assume there will be exceptions to the rule, or random devices that simply won't work with capacities larger than advertised. I don't have any experience with devices like this, but can see if happening with devices that have an operating system that doesn't support a card above a certain size, or hardware that simply can't handle high capacity SD cards (e.g. 0.5TB SD cards). Mar 22, 2015 at 4:41
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    /that last sentence... It would be nice if someone involved in making the call that piece of hardware was able to take up to 64GB could confirm the reasons postulated in the comments above.
    – Mr Purple
    Mar 15, 2016 at 21:56
  • There exist devices that officially only support SDHC/32GB, but 64GB SDXC cards formatted as FAT32 will work, suggesting that for some devices the limitation is not that the reader can't go over 32GB, but that the device doesn't support exFAT. Jan 8 at 5:08
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I've upgraded the OS of my Galaxy Note 3 to Lollipop and now I'm using a 256 GB card and it still works fine.

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 3; the manual said it has a 64 GB limit on SD card but I'm using it with a 128 GB card and it works.

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I have a Note 4 and I am using a 200g sandisk microsd card in it with no problems. I bought another 200g to put in my action cam that states 64g max, and it DOESNT work.:(

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  • This is a bit of incomplete anecdotal evidence, but it doesn't really provide a definitive answer.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 13, 2017 at 21:06
  • If you have a question just use Ask Question
    – yass
    Jul 13, 2017 at 21:31
  • Interesting, I presume formatted the same way as a 64gb card that does work correctly? Jul 15, 2017 at 22:44
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SD: up to 2GB in size, formatted in FAT12 or FAT16. Some devices can go up to 4GB. This is a hardware size limit. An SD card reader will never read an 8GB SDHC card.

SDHC: Software must support a FAT32 filesystem from 2GB to 32GB in size. The hardware can actually read much larger sizes. Computers generally have no issue reading larger SDXC cards from an SDHC card reader. Other devices may or may not work with SD cards that are bigger than 32GB. Some won't work at all, and others may need to have the card repartitioned to a smaller size and possibly formatted as FAT32.

SDXC: Software must support an exFAT filesystem from 32GB - 2TB in size.

I want to emphasize that the 32GB limit for SDHC card devices is the minimum size that SDHC compliant devices must support, but there is no actual hardware size limit.

Companies selling devices that support large SD cards but don't implement the exFAT file system and are therefore not SDXC compliant will likely advertise something like "supports SD cards up to 128GB".

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Now days July 2019, a 256gb class 10 sd card on amazon can sell for under $10. Therefore it is more common than ever before thus creating more possible issues than ever with many different devices. I defitely believe that if you can match the format you will have far greater success. I do recall having a polaroid tablet and only half (32gb) of my 64gb usb worked. On a device with a combo usb splitter/ card reader/writer while on a computer you should be able to reformat. But I have even noticed some memory devices do not give any option of format other than what is offered. When it comes to small hitec devices saying only use this, I completely agree its a legal release to minimalize liability. But if you stick to what the manufacturer requests it is guaranteed to work. Nothing should break if you try, it will just not give the full amount of gb you had hoped for. Instead it caps you. But with success stories of 256 gb memory on a cellphone with now a 3x more powerful battery can be quite tempting. Cheers

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