How to Format a Memory Card on a Computer

Question from user

Tell me how you can format a memory card if the phone refuses to do this, and Windows when trying to format it. just freezes and nothing happens. The card in the phone works, everything seems to be in order.

Good day.

This article will discuss several options for formatting memory cards. I think both the author of the question and other users will find for themselves one of the ways that will work for them.

I also note that formatting may be necessary in cases when: you want to completely delete all information from the memory card (for example, you decided to sell the smartphone), you are going to change the file system, bought a large flash drive and the phone does not see it (on a PC, you can format the flash drive into a smaller one) volume).

And so, let’s get down to business.

Methods for formatting a memory card

In my opinion, all devices (at least those that I met) that use memory cards can format them for themselves. Android smartphones and cameras with cameras are no exception.

I will consider below how this happens on an Android phone:

  1. go to “Settings”;
  2. choose section “Memory”;
  3. next you need to open the subsection “Formatting a memory card”;
  4. Please note that this operation will delete from your SD card all the information that is on it.

How to Format a Memory Card on a Computer

Format memory card // Android

Despite the simplicity of the method, it has certain disadvantages:

  1. cannot be selected when formatting file system (by default, the memory card will be formatted in FAT32);
  2. you can’t give a name to the drive, specify cluster sizes;
  3. When formatting, the phone often produces various errors and the process does not complete successfully. With a new attempt to perform an operation. the device can report that it is already “does not see” storage device. In general, there is still torment.

Note! You can learn about the difference in the file systems FAT, FAT32, NTFS from this article (see the first part).

Option 2: Windows Tools

If the phone / camera (or other device) “buggy” and cannot correctly recognize and format the card. just remove it from the device and connect it directly to the laptop / PC.

In any modern laptop there is a card reader, usually located on the side panel of the device.

Connecting a card to a laptop

Universal adapter. can be used including as a flash drive for phone and PC

After connecting the memory card to a laptop (PC), go to “My computer” (click WinE combination and select the required one in the menu on the left) and right-click on the memory card. In the pop-up menu, select the option “Format. ” , see screenshot below.

My computer. format drive

Next, a standard window appears in which you need to specify the file system, volume label, select a formatting method and click “To begin”.

File system selection

If in “My computer” you do not see the memory card (or the operation cannot be completed, for example, formatting hangs). go to disk management.

To open disk management in Windows, you need to:

  1. hold buttons simultaneously Winr ;
  2. enter command diskmgmt.msc and click OK.

Next, you should see all the connected drives to the system (even those that are not formatted, and which cannot be used in Explorer).

To format a drive: select it from the list, right-click on it, and specify this operation in the context menu (see example below). Next, you will see a standard window with a disk name, an indication of the file system, etc.

Select drive, flash drive // ​​Disk Management // Windows 10

Option 3: formatting using special. of programs

When you are dealing with buggy memory cards, the formatting of which causes errors, freezes, it is best to use specials for this operation. utilities. They will instantly help format the SD card and clear all the information from it!

In addition, according to the assurances of many developers of such utilities, they work much better with drives and perform better formatting operations than Windows or Android tools (which helps to avoid many errors).

Programs for repairing USB flash drives, SD cards (diagnostics and testing, formatting, recovery).


A specialized tool for formatting a wide variety of SD / SDHC / SDXC memory cards. The utility is very compact, simple, works in all versions of Windows 7/8/10.

After installation and start-up, your first step is to indicate the correct letter of the connected memory card. See paragraph “Drive” on the screen below.

Disk Selection in SDFormatter

Next click on “Options” and indicate the type of formatting: I recommend choosing the full one. those. “FULL (ERASE)”. After you press the button “Format”. See screenshots below.

What to do next // SDFormatter

HDD Low Level Format Tool

A fairly popular program for low-level formatting of failed drives. Often returns to “of life” even those memory cards on which the last one was reliable.

  • supports interfaces: S-ATA (SATA), IDE (E-IDE), SCSI, USB, Firewire;
  • Allows you to format drives of all popular brands: Western Digital, Samsung, Toshiba, Seagate, Quantum, etc.
  • full compatibility and support for card readers (SD-cards, respectively).

After installing and running the utility, select the drive you want to format in the main window and click the button Continue.

Drive selection || Continue

Next, open the section “LOW-LEVEL FORMAT” and press the button “Format This Device”.

Formatting a flash drive // ​​Format This Device

After formatting is completed in this utility, Windows will prompt you to format the USB flash drive again (since the utility performed a low-level operation). I note that after such an operation, all data on the memory card will be deleted, and restore something even with the help of specials. software will no longer succeed.

AutoFormat Tool

Another specialized utility for quickly formatting problematic flash drives and memory cards. Utility from a well-known manufacturer Transcend (but it works not only with drives of this manufacturer!).

Using it is very simple: after starting the program, first select the disk (Disk Drive item), then indicate the type of drive (in our case SD), set the drive name (Format Label), and press the start button Format. After a while, the operation will be performed.

AutoFormat Tool Main Window


1) Please note that there is a small lock on the memory cards: if it is switched to LOCK (closed). then you won’t be able to delete anything from it, or format it.