December 2, 2022

How to format an SD card for your camera


After a while, the SD card in your camera may be filled with photos and videos, its file system may become corrupt, or the SD card may be infected with a virus. Fixing these issues is easy when you know how to format an SD card to delete files and start with a new SD card for your camera.

When to format and when to reformat

On a daily basis, formatting and reformatting mean the same thing. The difference is that “format” refers to the first time an SD card is formatted, while “reformat” refers to subsequent times the SD card is formatted.

In terms of technology, format and reformat have slightly different meanings.

SD cards, like all types of removable disks and other media, need to be formatted before they can function as a form of storage. This formatting process creates a file system, or directory structure, to store files. When the SD card is formatted a second time, the formatting uses the same file system but deletes the files.

SD cards are reformatted to change the type of file system used by the card. For example, an SD card from a Windows PC needs to be reformatted to work on a Mac computer.

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Here’s when you should consider formatting or reformatting an SD card:

  • If you take a lot of pictures and delete or transfer these images on your computer, format the SD card about once a month. Regular formatting keeps your SD card running at peak performance and reduces the risk of file corruption.
  • If you face a problem or get an error message while using the SD card, the SD card may have a corrupt file system or a computer virus. Format the SD card to restore it to its original state.
  • If you want to give the SD card to someone else, format it twice and make sure your files cannot be recovered. Format the SD card, fill it with public domain images and format it again. Or reformat the SD card if the other person is using a different operating system.

Formatting an SD card does not completely delete files; formatting only removes the reference to the files. If you accidentally format an SD card, you may be able to use a data recovery software tool to recover the files.

How to Format Camera SD Card

The most efficient way to format the camera SD card is with your camera. The formatting process of the camera minimizes the chances of errors.

The steps for formatting a Camera SD card vary by camera brand. Check the camera’s instruction manual or the manufacturer’s website to find information on how to use the camera to format the SD card.

  1. Back up the SD card files to your computer or a cloud storage service.

  2. Make sure the camera battery is fully charged.

  3. Turn off the camera and insert the SD card into the appropriate slot.

  4. Turn on the camera.

  5. On the camera, select Menu.

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  6. In the camera view, select the Install menu and choose Format, Format memory cardor something similar.

  7. On the camera, select OKAY.

  8. Wait for the camera to format the SD card. Formatting the card may take a few minutes.

  9. When the SD card is formatted, turn off the camera.

How to Format the SD Card in Your Android

Many Android phones, tablets, and cameras come with a microSD card. If the SD card shows signs of trouble, format the SD card with your Android device.

  1. Go to Settings > Device maintenance.

  2. Faucet Storage.

  3. Faucet Advanced.

  4. Below portable storageselect your SD card.

  5. Faucet Format.

  6. Faucet Format SD card.

How to reformat an SD card with Windows

When you want to reformat an SD card to change the file system type, insert the SD card into your Windows computer and perform high-level formatting.

It is faster to use a computer to format the SD card than to use the camera to format the SD card. However, formatting the camera optimizes the camera file system.

  1. Insert the SD card into the SD card slot of your PC or laptop.

  2. Open Windows File Explorer.

  3. In the Folder pane, select This PC.

    In older versions of Windows, select My computer.

  4. Select the SD card.

  5. Select Manage.

  6. Select Format.

  7. In the Format SD card dialog box, select the file system drop-down arrow and choose FAT32.

  8. Either select the Quick format checkbox if you have already formatted the SD card, or uncheck the box Quick format checkbox to format the SD card for the first time.

  9. Select Begin.

  10. In the Warning dialog box, select OKAY.

  11. Select OKAY.

How to Format an SD Card on Mac

  1. Insert the SD card into the SD card slot.

  2. Open Searcher.

  3. Click on Go and choose Utilities.

  4. Double click disk utility.

  5. Select the SD card.

  6. Click it Wipe off tongue.

  7. Click it Format drop-down arrow and choose ExFat to format the SD card to work on Windows and Mac.

  8. In the Wipe off dialog box, click Wipe off.


  • How to move apps to SD card?

    To move app to sd card on Android 7.0 and above, open the Settings and go to apps. Select app > Storage > To change > SD card.

  • How do I transfer photos to an SD card?

    To transfer files (including photos) to an SD card on Android 7.0 and above, open the My folders application. Faucet Internal storage and find the files you want to move. Press the three points in the upper right corner > Edit > select the files you want to transfer > press the three points > Move > SD card > Do.

  • How to fix a corrupt SD card?

    SD cards are designed to be rugged and portable. Whether we don’t work properly, chances are that the problem is file system corruption or incompatibility between the file system and the device. In many cases, simple troubleshooting restores access to the card. Reinsert the card, check for a lock switch, check the card for damage, or reformat it.

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