How to Reformat SD Card on Windows 10/8/7?

September 30, 2018

This article tells you how to reformat SD card on Windows and offers you solutions when you are unable to format SD card due to write protection or something else.

Want to reformat SD card

SD card, short of Secure Digital card, is a popular removable storage device. It is widely used to store file/photos/music or to transfer data between two electronic devices. Before you can make use of SD card, it should have been formatted with certain file system. Sometimes, you may want to reformat your SD card on Windows that has been partitioned out of various reasons. For example, you want to format it to change the file system, thus it can be compatible with certain operating system or save individual large file. Then, how can you reformat your SD card on Windows 10/8/7?

Reformat SD card on Windows via Disk Management

After you connect the SD card to your Windows based computer, you can reformat it in File Explorer. When the SD card is not showing up in File Explorer, try to access Disk Management to format it. See the following steps to learn how to reformat SD card on Windows.

(Take changing the file system of the SD card to FAT32 in Windows 10 as an example)

1. Press Windows + X and choose “Disk Management” among pop-up options to open Disk Management.

2. Locate the SD card, right click the SD card partition and choose “Format”.

3. In the Format Dialogue, set the SD card file system as FAT32. You can add Volume label to this SD card, if you want. Then, click “OK”.

After a while, the SD card will be reformatted with FAT32 file system.

Unable to reformat SD card

Now, surely you have known how to reformat SD card in Windows 10 using Disk Management. But you can’t format SD card with wanted file system within Disk Management under the following situations:

  • The SD card is write-protected. If your SD card is write-protected, any write operation, including format will not be allowed to make to it.

  • The SD card is with two or multiple partitions. Windows only recognizes the first primary partition on your SD card and you can format the first partition. When you try to reformat the second partition on it, you’ll receive an error message that An unexpected error has occurred…

  • The capacity of the SD card is 64GB and you want to reformat it with FAT32 file system.You are not allowed to format partition beyond 32GB to FAT32.

Solutions

If you are encounter the similar situations aforementioned, you can get quick and effective fixes from the next context.

Remove write protection from the SD card

To reformat a write-protected SD card, it is necessary to disable write protection before formatting.

# 1 Make sure that write protection switch is located on the unlock position.

# 2 Change the Registry key value

1. In the Search box, type “regedit” and hit Enter to open Registry Editor.

2. In Registry Editor, go to the path given below:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies

3. Double click WriteProtect and set the value to 0. Then, restart your computer and reconnect your SD card it.

Value Data

#3 Clear read-only via Diskpart

1. Run diskpart as administrator (Press Windows + R, input “diskpart” and hit Enter)

2. Run the commands listed below:

  • list disk

  • select disk n, n is the disk number of your write-protected SD card.

  • attributes disk clear readonly

Remove Write Protection Diskpart

3. Type exit and hit Enter to close this window, after it says Disk attributes cleared successfully.

Apart from the common three ways to disable write protection for SD card, you can get more from: Lexar Micro SD Card Write Protected? (Top 8 Ways Included).

After removing write protection from the SD card, you can reformat it successfully.

A reliable format tool for SD card

Here a powerful and comprehensive format tool for SD card – AOMEI Partition Assistant is recommended, which can reformat SD card with two or multiple partitions and reformat partition beyond 32GB to FAT32. Besides, it allows you to reformat your SD card with NTFS, exFAT, Ext2, Ext3 or Ext4.Have a closer look at how to reformat SD card using AOMEI Partition Assistant.

1. Download, install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Locate the SD card that you need to format, right click the partition on it and choose “Format Partition”.

2. In this window, set the file system of the partition and click “OK”. Here FAT32 is selected.

Choose FAT32 File System

3. Return to the main interface. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to execute the operation.

PS.: This format tool can also be applied to format USB flash drive, external hard drive or internal hard drive. But to format the hard drive with OS installed on via this tool, you need to create a bootable media in advance and format system hard drive from BIOS. And you can upgrade it to advanced edition, thus you can enjoy more helpful functions.