How to format SD memory cards

Written by art corvelay
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How to format SD memory cards
SD cards can be formatted using your computer. (sd memory card broken image by Tom Stewart from

There are many different types of external storage devices used to store digital media. One of the most common is secure digital cards (SD). These are small, portable cards that fit into electronic devices like cell phones or digital cameras. Formatting is a process in which a memory device is cleared and a new file system is imposed. This is usually done to prepare the memory card to be used or to fix errors associated with the card. You can format your SD card using your computer without the need to download or purchase any third-party software.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • SD card reader

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  1. 1

    Insert the SD card into the SD card reader. This is an external disk drive that connects to your computer through the computer's USB port.

  2. 2

    Plug the SD card reader into the USB port of your computer and wait a few seconds for the computer to recognise the card.

  3. 3

    Open the "Computer Management" utility on your computer. Click "Start," "Control Panel," "System and Maintenance," "Administrative Tools," and "Computer Management."

  4. 4

    Click on "Disk Management" in the left column labelled "Storage." A list of available drives appears including your SD card.

  5. 5

    Right-click the SD card and select "Format." You are prompted to select a file format to impose on the SD card. Choose "FAT 32" because nearly all secure digital media uses this file system. This makes your card compatible with most electronic devices.

  6. 6

    Click "OK" to complete the formatting process. Your SD card is formatted.

Tips and warnings

  • Back up any data you want to save because formatting removes all of the data from your SD card.

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