Useful Tips

How do we format a memory card through a computer or laptop while at home?


Tell me how you can format a memory card if the phone refuses to do this, and Windows, when you try 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 where: 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.

Option 1: in the device itself (phone, camera, etc.)

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 video cameras are no exception.

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

  1. go to Settings
  2. select the "Memory" section,
  3. then you need to open the subsection "Formatting the memory card",
  4. Please note that this operation will delete from your SD card all the information that is on it.

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 may report that it already "does not see" the drive. 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) is “buggy” and cannot correctly recognize and format the card, then simply 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

If you do not have a card reader on your laptop / computer that reads SD memory cards, then it can be purchased at any computer store.

Universal adapter - can also be used as a flash drive for phone and PC

I will say more, now these adapters can be ordered in Chinese online stores for mere "pennies" (and if you use the cashback.).

After connecting the memory card to the laptop (PC), go to "My Computer" (click the Win + E combination and select the desired one in the menu on the left) and right-click on the memory card. In the pop-up menu, select the "Format." Option, see the screenshot below.

My computer - format the drive

Then a standard window will appear in which you need to specify the file system, volume label, select the formatting method and click the "Start" button.

File system selection

If in “My Computer” you don’t see a 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 Win + r ,
  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 select 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 "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 - i.e. "FULL (ERASE)". Then press the "Format" button. 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 the "life" even those memory cards, which disappeared last 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 "LOW-LEVEL FORMAT" section and click the "Format This Device" button.

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 (because 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 can’t delete anything from it, as well as format it.

Formatting - what is it and why

Microsd is widely used in smartphones, cameras, recorders and other useful and necessary devices. Such active use of removable media, of course, involves periodic cleaning. So what is formatting a memory card?

Formatting is a certain procedure in which markup and creation of a new file structure on a solid medium occurs. In this case, all old data is permanently deleted.

If inexperienced users ask me: “What does it mean to reformat the memory card?”, Then I will answer in a simple way. Make a general cleaning on it and prepare rooms for new residents. Or tidy up the apartments of permanent residents. That's clearer? Let's move on.

Determining whether formatting a card is necessary is easy. There may be several reasons for this:

  1. If the device does not see the USB flash drive
  2. If you need to erase old information
  3. If you need to rearrange it to another place

It happens that the device does not see the new, just bought, mini-flash drive. Then you need to figure out whether the micro SD parameters match the characteristics of the gadget itself. Maybe the card is more advanced and the device just does not reach its level?

How to format micro sd via computer

Most of the native devices have the function of formatting a memory card located directly in the slot. If the memory card does not open, but sends a formatting request, you need to use a PC.

In order to flash a solid drive through a computer, you need a special card reader. If this is not the case, try connecting the camera, phone, recorder with card directly to the PC via a USB cable.

Follow this algorithm:

  • In the “My Computer" menu, locate the memory card, right-click on it
  • In the pop-up context menu, select "Formatting"
  • Choose the appropriate file system type
  • Click on "Start"
  • Wait for the process to finish.

Attention! By default, the computer selects the FAT32 file system. It is compatible with 32GB micro SD format. The 64GB format is formatted in the exFAT file system.

How can I speed up the process? Select the "Quick Format" option. Additionally, this item will facilitate the recovery of lost files if necessary.

Usually micsroSD is sold with an adapter that can be inserted into the computer in order to work without problems. Never throw it away after purchase. This is not a simple case, but an adapter, which greatly simplifies the life of the user.

Blocked card

Sometimes there are difficulties when transferring files to the card. If protection is enabled on the card, which the program gives you a message about, then there may be several reasons:

  1. On the SD card, the write protection button is turned on, which you need to switch
  2. the computer is infected with a virus that blocks recording on removable media. Antivirus diagnostics and treatment needed
  3. you need to unlock the device using the command line.

Self Unlock

The write-protected card can be easily unlocked by following the instructions below:

  • Activate the command line as administrator
  • Enter diskpart command and press enter
  • Enter the list disk command, press enter and select the disk according to the size
  • Keep select disk and disk number, press enter
  • Enter attributes disk clear readonly and at this stage the device will unlock.

If the card does not open and makes a formatting request, I recommend making it. First, make sure that there are no important files on the media. How to proceed further:

  1. Type clean and enter. Thus, the media will be completely cleaned.
  2. Enter create partition primary, enter again. A new partition will be created
  3. Next select partition 1, enter again
  4. active, enter. Section will become active
  5. format fs = fat32 quick. A successful formatting message appears.
  6. Assign and enter. The flash drive will be given a new name.
  7. Try to work.

Working with the command line requires some knowledge, but if you strictly follow the instructions, everything will work out.

A microflash drive, like any other removable media, may be subject to software crashes. When the computer displays a message that the additional device is not formatted, what needs to be done? First of all, restart the PC and reinsert the card. Be sure to check if the card bears the same name as one of the hard drives. Rename it if necessary.

How to prepare before formatting? All information from it must be merged into a backup copy to save important data.

If the card is damaged, it is better to restore important files in the service centers of specialists, because mechanical damage could cause significant damage to the stored information.

I think my advice suggested how to clean micro SD. If this article helped you, subscribe to my informative blog and tell friends about me on social networks. There is still a lot of interesting things ahead of us, for example, a solution to the problem of why the phone does not see the memory card.

See you soon!

Thanks for attention! Sincerely, Rostislav Kuzmin.

Why format the drive

Formatting is used to prepare the drive for work or troubleshoot. If the SD card is new, then formatting will allow you to create a new layout of the file system table, sometimes choose the appropriate file system. For previously used drives, formatting will allow you to recreate the file system table, restore or hide unreadable damaged memory cells.

Also formatting the SD memory card is used:

  • to completely delete information without the possibility of recovery,
  • to configure the file system,
  • recovery after crashes or viruses when the drive does not allow reading or writing information,
  • to create several local partitions, or to merge partitions into one disk.

Methods for formatting an SD card

Three types of formatting are commonly used:

  1. The standard means of a phone or tablet.
  2. Using a computer.
  3. Through third-party programs.

Each method offers a different level of convenience and a specific set of features. Next, we consider in more detail each method.

How to format a memory card

The principle of formatting an SD card is not much different from the case with USB drives. You can use both standard Windows tools and one of the special utilities. The range of the latter is very extensive:

  • AutoFormat Tool,
  • HDD Low Level Format Tool,
  • JetFlash Recovery Tool,
  • RecoveRx,
  • SDFormatter,
  • USB Disk Storage Format Tool.

Attention! Formatting the memory card will delete all data on it. If it is working, copy the necessary to the computer, if this is not possible - use the "quick format". Only then will it be possible to restore the contents through special programs.

To connect a memory card to a computer, you will need a card reader. It can be built-in (a socket in the system unit or laptop case) or external (connected via USB). By the way, today you can buy a wireless card reader that connects via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Most card readers are suitable for full-sized SD cards, but, for example, for a smaller MicroSD, you need to use a special adapter (adapter). Usually it comes with a card. It looks like an SD card with a microSD slot. Do not forget to carefully study the inscriptions on the flash drive. At a minimum, the name of the manufacturer may come in handy.

Instruction manual

  1. Open the settings section
  2. Choose “memory” or “drives”
  3. Highlight a memory card
  4. Open the dropdown list
  5. Next, the item "memory"
  6. Then select the formatting function.
  7. Confirm action in a new window

Starting with Android 6.0, after formatting, the system can offer two options for using the drive: in the form of a removable disk or a shared drive. In the first case, the SD card is used as a removable drive. In the second, internal memory is combined with external memory, which makes it possible to compensate for the lack of internal space.

If the card needs formatting, the system will prompt you to perform this action immediately after detecting the drive. Usually with a "hot" installation of the card.


The built-in formatting function is limited in capabilities. You cannot select the type of file system, split or merge local drives. Often during the formatting process, a failure occurs, which does not allow you to clean and restore the memory card.

Method 2: format using a computer

This method requires a computer, a card reader, and optionally an adapter for the drive.

Instruction manual

Insert the SD drive into a card reader (card reader) connected to the computer. If there is no suitable slot, use an adapter from MicroSD to SD.

In the “My Computer” section, right-click on the “Removable Disk” drive detected by the system and select the “Format” option.

The connected drive appears in Windows as “Removable Disk”

Formatting function in the context menu

For quick data cleaning, select “Clear Table of Contents”. For full formatting, uncheck the "Clear TOC" item.

Choose a formatting method

Specify the file system type or leave all the default settings.

Select the type of file system. Or leave FAT by default.

Confirm the start of formatting if you are sure that all important data from the memory card is copied and saved.

Wait until the end, the process can last from several minutes with quick cleaning and up to several hours with full.

You can monitor the progress of the card cleaning process.

Upon successful completion of the process, a window appears:


Formatting an SD card through a computer allows you to select a file system. Also, there is less chance of errors during the formatting process.


Formatting requires a computer and a card reader. Additionally, there are some restrictions when working with the drive. For example, you cannot work with additional partitions, delete or add an additional partition.

Method 3: formatting with third-party programs

To format the memory card, you will need a computer, a card reader and an optional MicroSD adapter. At the same time, specialized programs are used to work with the drive: MiniTool Partition Wizard, SD Formatter, EzRecover, etc.

Принцип работы в программах сравнительно одинаковый, различаются только возможности форматирования и обслуживания накопителя: низкоуровневое форматирование, полное удаление данных без возможности восстановления, восстановление после программных сбоев и т.д.

Способ 1: AutoFormat Tool

Начнем с фирменной утилиты от Transcend, которая создана, прежде всего, для работы с картами этого производителя.

Чтобы использовать данную программу, сделайте следующее:

  1. Скачайте приложение и запустите исполняемый файл.
  2. В верхнем блоке укажите букву карты памяти.
  3. In the following, select its type.
  4. In field "Format Label" You can write her name, which will be displayed after formatting.
    "Optimized Format" involves quick formatting, "Complete Format" - complete. Tick ​​the option you want. To delete data and restore the functionality of a flash drive is enough "Optimized Format".
  5. Press button "Format".

  • A warning message about deleting content will pop up. Click "Yes".

  • Using the progress bar at the bottom of the window, you can determine the formatting status. After the operation is completed, a message will appear as shown in the photo below.

    If you have a memory card from Transcend, perhaps one of the programs described in the lesson, which deals with flash drives of this company, will help you.

    Method 2: HDD Low Level Format Tool

    Another program that allows you to do low-level formatting. Free use is provided for a trial period. In addition to the installation version, there is a portable one.

    To use the HDD Low Level Format Tool, do the following:

      Mark the memory card and press "Continue".

  • Open tab "Low-Level Format".
  • Press button “Format This Device”.

    On a scale, you can observe the progress of formatting.

    On a note: Low-level formatting is better not to interrupt.

    Method 3: JetFlash Recovery Tool

    It is another Transcend development, but it works with memory cards not only from this company. It features maximum ease of use. The only drawback is that not all memory cards are seen.

    The instructions are simple: select a flash drive and click "Start".

    Method 4: RecoveRx

    This tool is also on the list recommended by Transcend and also works with storage devices from other manufacturers. Much friendlier with memory cards from other manufacturers.

    Instructions for using RecoveRx look like this:

    1. Download and install the application.
    2. Go to the category "Format".
    3. In the drop-down list, select the letter of the memory card.
    4. The type designations for the memory cards appear. Check the appropriate box.
    5. In field "Label" You can specify the name of the medium.
    6. Depending on the status of the SD, select the type of formatting (optimized or full).
    7. Press button "Format".

  • Reply to the next message "Yes" (click on the next button).

  • At the bottom of the window there will be a scale and the approximate time until the end of the process.

    Method 5: SDFormatter

    It is this utility that SanDisk recommends for working with their products. And even without it, it is one of the best for working with SD cards.

    Instructions for use in this case are as follows:

    1. Download and install SDFormatter on your computer.
    2. Select a memory card designator.
    3. If necessary, write the name of the flash drive in the line "Volume Label".
    4. In field "Format Option" The current formatting settings are indicated. They can be changed by pressing the button "Option".
    5. Click "Format".

  • Reply to the message that appears "OK".
  • Method 6: USB Disk Storage Format Tool

    One of the most advanced utilities for formatting removable drives of all types, including memory cards.

    The instruction here is this:

    1. First, download and install the USB Disk Storage Format Tool.
    2. In meaning “Device” select media.
    3. As for the field "File System" (“File System”), then for SD cards it is most often used "FAT32".
    4. In field "Volume Label" The name of the flash drive (in Latin letters) is indicated.
    5. If not noted "Quick Format", a “long”, full formatting, which is not always necessary, will be launched. So it’s better to check the box.
    6. Press button "Format Disk".

  • Confirm the action in the next window.

  • Formatting status can be estimated on a scale.

    Method 7: Standard Windows Tools

    In this case, the advantage is that there is no need to download third-party programs. However, if the memory card is damaged, an error may occur during formatting.

    To format a memory card using standard Windows tools, do this:

    1. In the list of connected devices (in "This computer") find the desired media and right-click on it.
    2. Select item "Format" in the dropdown menu.

  • Name the file system.
  • In field Volume Label write a new name for the memory card, if necessary.
  • Press button "To begin".

  • Agree to delete data from the media in the window that appears.

  • Such a window, as shown in the photo below, will indicate the completion of the procedure.

    Method 8: Disk Management Tool

    An alternative to standard formatting is to use the firmware Disk Management. It is in any version of Windows, so you will definitely find it.

    To use the above program, follow a series of simple steps:

    1. Use keyboard shortcut "WIN" + "R"to bring up a window "Run".
    2. Type diskmgmt.msc in the only field available in this window and click "OK".

    Right click on the memory card and select "Format".

    In the formatting window, you can specify a new media name and assign a file system. Click "OK".

    Method 9: Windows Command Prompt

    It is easy to format a memory card by simply entering a few commands on the command line. Specifically, the following combinations should be used:

    1. First, again, run the program "Run" keyboard shortcut "WIN" + "R".
    2. Enter cmd and press "OK" or "Enter" on keyboard.

    In the console, enter the command format / FS: FAT32 J: / q, where J is the letter assigned to the SD card initially. Click "Enter".

  • When prompted to insert a disc, also click "Enter".
  • You can enter a new name for the card (in Latin) and / or press "Enter".
  • Successful completion of the procedure looks like the one shown in the photo below.

    The console can be closed.

    Most methods require just a few clicks to start formatting the memory card. Some of the programs are designed specifically for working with this type of storage medium, others are universal, but no less effective. Sometimes it’s enough to use regular tools to quickly format the SD card.

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