How to Format SD Card in Safe Ways Without Risking Your Card

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You must find it obvious that SD card is being used continuously as a useful external memory storage device. For, it is not so expensive and very easy to use. I believe if you reading this, then either you are confused about formatting or you don’t know how to format SD card. I want you to know that formatting SD card is one of the easiest tasks. After finishing your reading, you will know it all.


What is Format?

Formatting a drive or device means to prepare some particular part of the device in some different data usage by an operating system by deleting all of the data and all things and setting up the default file system.

I suppose that you might have some questions in your mind. What’s wrong with delete? What’s the difference between deleting and formatting? Frankly speaking, they both are used in the same function. There is no major difference between the two rather they both perform the same task, in different ways. The basic function of both is to erase the present saved data to make room for other data that is required to be saved next by the user. The only difference between the two is that deleting works in a way that one has to delete individual data or select a part of the data that he wants to delete, but the format will delete all the data on the drive or device.

When you delete something, the disk would choose the file or folder and will mark it as an empty space in the file index, while it would be an empty space, some other information can be rewritten on the file. Again, when you format, the disk will erase the index completely and will restore it to its original default empty settings where the disk will be completely empty for rewriting and other usages.

In normal words, if you want to erase some files or one file, you should use the delete facility. But when you want to erase the whole drive or device, it is always a better and faster option to format it. For, formatting takes lesser time than deleting.

When You Need to Format SD Card

You might want to format your SD card for following reasons:

  • Your card is full of unnecessary files and you want your whole SD card empty to save other data.
  • Your card has some viruses and malware and you don’t know which files contain those.
  • When you need to delete all of your SD card files.

How to Format SD Card

When you want to format your SD card, you should back up any necessary data or files or information that you want to keep. To format your SD card, you may have two basic options.

  • Format through Android phone
  • Format through a Windows PC

1. Format SD card using the Android Phone

It is pretty easy to do.

  • Make sure that your SD card in right place on your phone.
  • Go to Settings. It is obvious that every Android phone will be a little different from the rest. But the basic options are almost same.
  • Find Storage in your phone Settings and tap on Storage. You will find it while scrolling. If you have a Samsung device tap on Device maintenance.
  • Tap on your SD card name. Find Storage Settings if any and then tap it.
  • Find Format or Format SD card. The language might be different slightly between handsets.
  • Confirm if you want to format your SD card and click on Format SD card. This will delete all the data and files of your SD card and will wipe it clean totally; and as an advantage, the internal storage of your phone will be fully untouched.

2. Format SD card using Windows PC

Sometimes, it happens that phones are unable to detect an SD card. If it happens to you and no matter what you do you can’t fix it, you should remove the card and may plug it into a computer. And for that, you will need an extra SD card adaptor or card reader to connect your SD card to your computer. By default, some computers have card readers built in, and you can use SD card on those PC or laptops without using a card reader. You must have one of those facilities; otherwise, your SD card will not fit into your computer probably.

  • Connect your SD card to your computer.
  • Then open My Computer or This PC by clicking on the Start button and Computer or tapping Windows key and E on your keyboard of your PC or laptop at the same time. You have to make sure that you see your hard drives in the main window of My Computer of your screen. If you don’t see your drives for some reason, click on Computer or My Computer or This PC from the left-hand menu bar.
  • When you are able to see your drives, it is usual that you might see your SD card enlisted under Devices with removable storage. You have to make a Right-click on your SD card to view the context menu for further format option.
  • You have to click on Format and then you will see some formatting options.
  • You may need to click on File System. And you will see some options like NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, FAT. FAT32 is the most compatible format. You can use any one of them actually. But you should not use NTFS, as your phone will not recognize it.
  • Choose a Format You may check the box of Quick Format. This will limit the process to only its most essential parts and will increase the formatting speed.
  • Then click Start button and maybe OK when you are ready.

You have done your part. Lastly, when the format is finished, remove your SD card from your computer and plug it back into your android phone.

Why SD Card won’t Format Showing Error?

It’s true that when an SD card runs into some problems, we normally think to format the card for it to function smoothly again. Sometimes it goes wrong with the file system format while formatting. For example, some devices only understand the FAT32 format, so using others will be error ultimately.

There are some casual reasons for the error- SD card won’t format.

  • Maybe the SD card is write-protected. So windows won’t be allowed to format it.
  • Or the SD card has become corrupted and windows can’t format corrupted SD card.
  • Sometimes the SD cards are infected with dangerous viruses which don’t allow to format it.

These errors are not unsolvable. They can be solved through right solutions.

How to Format Write Protected SD Card

When your SD card is write-protected, you can’t use it like before and that means you are actually in trouble. If your SD card is write-protected, you won’t be able to write new data or save data to the card, can’t delete any files from it or can’t even format it. You see, it is actually a real problem which ultimately means that your SD card in this situation is totally useless.

The write-protection error is a complex error and usually, it’s critical to format write-protected SD cards. Following are some methods to solve them.

  • Check the SD card’s exterior carefully. Sometimes there may remain a small switch on one side at the exterior edge of the SD card. If it is there, you should tab in the opposite direction. By changing the position of that switch should turn write protection off and let you format the SD card.
  • If the above step fails or if there is no switch on the exterior part of SD card, you might want to check your card properties. Go to My Computer and look for your card reader under Devices with Removable Storage. When you make a right-click on it, you will see Properties option, click it. Sometimes there’s an option to remove write-protection from the SD card. If there is something like that, change this option and try again the formatting.
  • If the above two methods don’t work for you, you might want to go for the third and best one. It will definitely work for you. Go to Command Prompt by right clicking on the start button and clicking Command Prompt (admin). Type diskpart and then type list disk. After this, a list of all available disks of your PC will appear on the screen. Remember the number of the disk that is similar to the same size of your SD card. Type select disk m (where m is the number that you have remembered, those are the same size as your SD card).then type attribute disk clear read only. Again type Finally, type exit to exit.

Now format the SD card using previously described methods. This should do the formatting now.

Summing Up

As you see, formatting SD card is very easy to do. You just need to know when you should format your SD card. It’s up to you by which way you want to format- through a phone or a PC. If there is any error, don’t be worried, you can solve it. Anyway, Congratulations; now you know how to format SD card. I hope you have found whatever you came to seek here.

That’ll be all on this. I wish you luck.

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