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Home » TF (TransFlash) Card and How is it Different from Micro SD 2022

TF (TransFlash) Card and How is it Different from Micro SD 2022

TF (TransFlash) Card and How is it Different from Micro SD 2022

TF (TransFlash) Card and How is it Different from Micro SD 2022

There is no difference between a TF card and a microSD card. You can use both interchangeably. For example, if you have a TF card lying around but your smartphone only supports microSD cards, you can use your TF card. It will work perfectly because it supports the same standard.

Today smartphones are not just mechanical machines only used for communication. Instead, with the help of memory cards like TF cards and Micro SD cards, they are also applied to store a large amount of digital data like files, photos, videos, etc.
Simply put, memory cards serve as additional storage space for smartphones. Aside from smartphones, memory cards also play an essential role in data storage for other digital devices like computers, laptops, digital cameras, PDAs, and MP3 players.

Micro SD VS TF Card: How to Distinguish, Choose and Format

Well, when it comes to memory cards, TF cards and Micro SD cards will immediately pop up in your mind as they are the two most frequently and widely used ones. But still, you may find it easy to get confused about these two memory cards and not sure whether they are the same or different, making it difficult for you to choose the most suitable one.

However, do not be angry. This article will explore what they are and how They are different to help you choose the right one for you. Besides, it will also guide you on how to format your TF card/Micro SD card if they suddenly don’t work on your devices or you want to change the file system. Continue reading and enjoy.

What is a TF card, and how is it different from a microSD card?

There are many different options on the market geared towards different devices when it comes to memory cards.

Among these options, TF cards and microSD cards are two of the most famous. Many different devices use these cards as their primary or secondary storage devices.

That said, is there any confusion as to what a TF card is? Is a TF card different from a microSD card? Is it the same? Which one should you pick up?

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What is a TF card?

Motorola and SanDisk first introduced TransFlash (TF) cards in 2004 to replace SD cards. As you may know, SD cards are the memory cards that we use in digital cameras and other devices that require portable storage. Although SD cards are the most popular standard, they are bulky.

TF cards were developed to be smaller and more compact than SD cards while preserving the functionality of SD cards. It means you can use a TF memory card in your digital camera or any device that uses an SD card with an SD card adapter.

What is a microSD card?

microSD cards are TF cards with a different name. In 2004, when Motorola and SanDisk released the TF card, it was released as a separate standalone product. Aside from the fact that TF cards supported the exact standard specifications as an SD card (excluding size), TF cards were a separate, non-standardized class of product.

The SD Association adopted TF cards as microSD cards to standardize these flash memory cards.

So microSD cards are TF cards in disguise.

TF Card vs. MicroSD Card: What’s the Difference?

There is no difference between a TF card and a microSD card. You can use both interchangeably. For example, if you have a TF card lying around but your smartphone only supports microSD cards, you can use your TF card. It will work perfectly because it supports the same standard.

Which card to collect?

If you’re looking for a memory card for your digital camera or older devices but don’t need a card for your smartphone, go for a full-size SD card.

On the contrary, if you need a card just for your smartphone, you have no choice but a microSD card.

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Date updated on 2021-05-24. Publication date on 2021-05-24. Category: Computers Author: Oscar log Site Map Source: MakeUseOf

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What is a TF card?

TF card, abbreviated as TransFlash card, is a kind of digital flash memory card under MLC NAND upgrade and SanDisk control technology introduced by SanDisk company in 2004. With a tiny size close to a fingernail and Half of a SIM Card, this memory card is considered the smallest external memory storage device in the world.

As a branch of the third classification of digital storage devices in the official Secure Digital database, TF card is applied in many digital devices such as computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, PDAs, MP3 players. , etc.

Micro SD Card stands for Micro Secure Digital Card, a small memory card developed by SanDisk company. It was in the name of the TF card at first.

TF Card VS Micro SD Card: What are the differences?

Now I assume that you have a basic understanding of a TF card. But you may still feel ambiguous about the Micro SD card as both are the same size (15mm x 11mm x 1mm), and both are considered the minimum memory storage card. Still, they also bear the similarity in handling available storage capacity, including 128MB, 256MB, 512MB, 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 6GB, 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. . Also, these two memory cards are fully compatible with each other.

Well, quite confused, right? Without a doubt, these two cards have many similarities. In other words, there are no differences in appearance and specifications between the two cards. It makes it difficult to confirm if they are the same or different. However, there are still some differences between them, mainly technique and functionality. Let’s take a look.

Definition and History

A micro SD card is an enhanced memory card based on a semiconductor flash memory device. However, the TF card is a small flash memory storage card under NAND MLC upgrade and SanDisk control technology. That said, they have different meanings and are based on different technologies.

Also, these two memory cards have a difference in their origin. As mentioned above, the Micro SD card was in the name of the TF card at first. That said, it originates from the TF card. Wait, what’s going on on earth? The TF card was renamed as Micro SD card, which is what made Micro SD card to be developed.

SanDisk initially introduced the TF card in 2004. However, it was officially adopted by the Digital Storage Organization SD Card Association in 2005 after making breakthroughs in the mobile phone field. Meanwhile, SanDisk company changed the name of the TF card to a Micro SD card. In short, they are different products based on different times and conditions.

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Maximum storage capacity

As mentioned above, the two memory cards support similar storage capacity. However, there is a difference between them: maximum available storage capacity. The maximum storage capacity of the Micro SD card is 2TB, while the TF card is 128GB. The Micro SD card exceeds the maximum storage capacity of the TF card.

Performance without memory

There is another difference between them: they can perform jobs without memory. Both Micro SD cards and TF cards can store memory as memory cards. However, it is worth noting that the Micro SD card can perform many other functions that have nothing to do with memory. It is because it supports communication in SDIO mode.

Thus, the Micro SD card can be used to facilitate several non-memory tasks such as Pistol Grip Bluetooth, NFC (Near Field Communication), and GPS locating. A TF card cannot do and does not support SDIO mode.

write safety switch

If you have a Micro SD card, check its margin, and see a switch. It is another difference between a Micro SD card and a TF card. This switch on any Micro SD card is a written safety switch used to protect the device. You just like a manual access lock where you can replace the password. However, the TF card does not have any write safety switch, differentiating it from the Micro SD card.

How to choose the right memory card for you, TF card or Micro SD card

Now it has become clear that there are similarities and differences between Micro SD cards and TF cards. Both are memory cards; they are the same size and support similar memory storage capacity. And the vast majority of today’s smartphones are equipped with slots where they can be placed. So how to choose between them is just a matter of finding out their different features and your practical needs. The following are some valuable tips to choose better a memory card that is right for you.

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Consider storage capacity

When deciding which type of memory card is right for you, you should consider the memory storage capacity and storage space your device requires. The TF card has a maximum storage capacity of 128 GB, while the Micro SD card of 2 TB. So, if you want to get a memory card with a storage capacity above 128GB to add storage space for your device, a Micro SD card is the way to go.

Find out what you’ll use it for

Before making the purchase decision, you should also find out what you will be using the memory card for. If what you want it to do is not only memory storage but also perform non-memory work such as GPS tracking, Bluetooth facilitation, and NFC support, it is highly recommended that you choose a Micro card. SD that supports SDIO mode that facilitates jobs without memory.

Focus on card compatibility

With the same size, the TF card and Micro SD card are compatible, which means you can use both cards in the same memory card slot. However, an SD card cannot be converted to a TF card, while a TF card can be convert to an SD card by using a TF card plug adapter. Therefore, if you have a TF card socket adapter, you can choose a TF card that can realize the functionality of the two cards.

Consider the additional feature.

Don’t forget the additional function of the Micro SD card: write a safety switch. Consider if you would like to protect your memory card from disclosure. If you wish, you may prefer to select a Micro SD card.

In a word, choosing a suitable memory card for you is not a troublesome matter. By matching the features and functionality of each memory card with your practical needs, you can easily choose the right one.

TF/Micro SD card not working? Here’s how to format it

You must have known how to choose between a TF card and a Micro SD card. However, you may still be worried about the possible issue of tracking not working after using the card for a while. Also, TF cards and Micro SD cards can be used in many digital devices, which means you may need to format your memory card once you want to change the file system.

Well, formatting a TF card or Micro SD card is very simple. Almost all smartphones, computers, and laptops have built-in memory card formatting tools for operating systems. Therefore, you can format your TF/Micro SD card via built-in format tools.

Due to the different operating systems on different digital devices (typically Windows PCs, Apple Macs, and Android smartphones), the following will walk you through three major operating systems. You can find the guide that applies to your device and follow it.

Windows operation

Step 1. Insert your TF card/Micro SD card into your PC

First of all, please check if your PC is equipped with a small memory card slot compatible with your memory card. If so, insert it directly into the card slot. If you don’t have one, you need to use a USB memory card adapter to help connect your memory card to your PC.

Step 2. Right-click your TF card/Micro SD card in “This PC.”

After inserting your card into your PC, all you need to do is go to This PC / My Computer. Then in the This PC interface, tap ” This PC ” on the left side. Then right-click your Micro SD/TF card under the Devices and Drives heading and choose Format from the drop-down menu.

Step 3. Select File system and start formatting

Click the File System dropdown box to select a file system in the popup menu. There are three file system options, including FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT. If the storage capacity of your memory card is less than 64GB, please choose FAT32. If you have 64 GB or more, select exFAT, with no file size limit. After file system selection, you can start formatting by clicking ” Start ” at the bottom of the format box.

Operation on Mac

Step 1. Insert your TF card/Micro SD card into your Mac. If your Mac doesn’t have a memory card slot, please use a USB memory card adapter to help connect the card to your Mac.

Step 2. Use the Disk Utility tool by opening Spotlight to search. You can also open Finder and click Go > Utilities > Disk Utility.

Step 3. In the Disk Utility interface, find out and choose your Micro SD/TF card on the left side. Then tap delete at the top of the interface. Then, select the proper format on the popup page by pulling down the Format menu. After that, click delete at the bottom of the interface to start formatting.

Android Operation

Step 1. Make sure your TF / Micro SD card is in your Android smartphone. If so, you can skip this step. If not, you need to insert it into your phone’s SD card slot.

Step 2. Use the Settings > Storage tool.

Step 3. On the Storage page, select your TF card or Micro SD card. Then on the SD card page, tap on the Format button.

Step 4. Choose ” Erase & Format ” to format your TF card or Micro SD card on the popup interface. Of course, due to different brands of smartphones, the specific operation may be a little different. Anyway, the general operation in Android is almost the same as above.


TF card is a small digital flash memory card that is the same size as a Micro SD card. There are no physical or technical differences in specifications between them. They are the same size, have similar storage capacity, and are compatible. However, they have differences in origin, maximum storage capacity, out-of-memory performance, and write safety switch.

By discovering their differences and your needs, you will quickly and easily choose one that is right for you. When it is necessary to format your TF card or Micro SD card, please select a guide according to your device, follow it, and then you can format your card effectively. I hope you enjoy this article.

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Is TF card and SD card same?

However, although there are many differences between SD cards and TF cards, their essence is the same — they are all memory cards. If you want to select these two types of memory cards separately, then the SD card is often used in the camera, and the TF card is used for the dash cam, mobile phone and GPS

What is it a TF card?

What is TF Card? TF or T-Flash stands for TransFlash. This was the original name for the micro secure digital (SD) cards. These cards were launched by the SanDisk company in 2004. TF card worked as the smallest memory card of all time and it is used to store data in digital form.

Can I put a microSD card in a TF card slot?

TF is TransFlash which is the original name for what is now MicroSD. So if your SD is a microSD card, then yes you can put it in. A slot labelled TF is probably from before larger capacity SDcards existed, so it might only support smaller capacity microSD cards using the SD standard.

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