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How to Format SD Card Using CMD Windows 11/10/8/7

Updated by Tracy King on Sep 28, 2021
Written by Jean

PAGE CONTENT:

  1. How to Format SD Card Using CMD
  2. How to Format SD Card Using SD Card Formatting Tool
  3. How to Format SD card Using Windows Built-in Tool

Why Do You Format SD Card

What does the formatting SD card do? Under many circumstances, people need to format SD Card to NTFS, FAT32, or exFAT file system in order to:

  • Reset SD card file system on a specific device, such as a digital camera, Android smartphone, game console, music player, etc.
  • Fix or repair a problematic SD memory card from corruption, damage, inaccessibility, etc.
  • Clean up the SD card, remove all files and restore its full capacity.
  • Review and prolong the SD card's lifespan.

When it comes to fixing these issues by formatting the SD card, you may hear the solution that some advanced Windows users suggest - to format SD card using CMD.

So can you apply CMD command to format SD card? Sure! Here in the next, we'll be showing you the complete procedure of formatting SD card using Diskpart CMD and other two alternative formatting tools in Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, and Vista.

Important
Formatting is a process of deleting all information and setting it up as a brand new one. So, make a full backup first if you care about data.

How to Format SD Card Using CMD on Windows 11/10/8/7

Format Tool: DiskPart CMD

Diskpart is a built-in tool in Windows that manages your hard drives. You can use it to format the damaged or corrupted internal or external hard drive, USB drive, SD card, etc. This method is somewhat higher-leveled, and the Diskpart command is not recommended if you find it hard to go through the whole process. 

Hint: Turn to Method 2 or Method 3 if you are a Windows beginner. 

If you don't know anything about CMD, we recommend a risk-free way to format your SD card, which is using a professional formatting tool. But if you stick to this method, let's see the step-by-step guide on how to format SD card using CMD in Windows 11/10 below. 

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box in Windows 11/10, right-click on Command Prompt, and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 2. In the command prompt window, type diskpart and press "Enter".

Step 3. Type list disk to list all the available drives and press "Enter".

Step 4. Type select disk + disk number ( for example, select disk 2) to select the SD card you want to format and press "Enter".

Step 5. Type list volume and press "Enter".

Step 6. Type select volume + volume number (or example, select volume 10) and press "Enter".

Step 7. Type format fs=ntfs (or format fs=exfat) and press "Enter" to format the drive with NTFS or exFAT. 

format sd card usign CMD

Then, you can continue typing exit to close the program when DiskPart says it has successfully formatted the volume.

If you have mistakenly formatted other hard drives, don't despair, you can use a powerful data recovery application to recover data from a formatted hard drive with ease. 

Also read:

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Fix Corrupted/Damaged SD Card Without Losing Data

How do I fix a corrupted Micro SD card? What will you do when your SD card is corrupted or not reading? Follow the content navigation, you'll get a clear guide to fix corrupted SD card on your own.

Corrupted SD card

How to Format SD Card Using CMD Alaternive - EaseUS SD Card Formatter

Format Tool: EaseUS Partition Master 

For a simpler and more secure way to format an SD card, third-party SD card formatting tools like EaseUS Partition Master can help you format a damaged or corrupted memory card in Windows 11/10/8/7. This SD card formatter helps users organize and optimize hard drives via its free partition management features.  

To format SD card in Windows 11/10 and all other operating systems, download and install the free partition manager on PC. And then follow the easy step to finish the task.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master, right-click the partition on your external hard drive/USB/SD card which you want to format and choose the "Format" option.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 1

Step 2. Assign a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 2

Step 3. In the Warning window, click "OK" to continue.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 3

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button in the top-left corner to review the changes, then click "Apply" to start formatting your external hard drive/USB/SD card.

Format External Hard Drive/USB/SD Card - 4

Hint: If the SD card is larger than 4GB, you can only choose FAT32, NTFS, or EXT2/EXT3; and if the partition is smaller than 4GB, you can choose FAT, FAT32, NTFS, or EXT2/EXT3.

You can use this tool to format resize & move (e.g., move space from D drive to C drive), merge, migrate, and copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change the label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more.

How to Format SD Card Using Two Windows Built-in Tools

Apart from the above two ways, you can also use Windows utilities to format the SD card. In this part, we'll show you how to format a memory card using the Windows quick format feature and Disk Management.

Method 1. Perform SD Card Formatting Use File Explorer

When format your SD card in Windows Explorer, connect your SD card to your computer at the very beginning. Then follow the tutorial here to format the SD card:

Step 1. Press "Windows key + E" to bring up the Windows Explorer.

Or Click and open up the "Computer" in Windows 7 or "This PC" in Windows 11/10.

Step 2. Right-click on the connected SD card and select "Format".

Step 3. On the format window, you'll be told to select the desired file system, which is set to NTFS, or FAT32 for 32GB SD cards and exFAT for 64GB SD cards.

Step 4. Click "Start".

format SD card using file explorer

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Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format

You'll probably meet "Windows was unable to complete the format" problem. In this case, you can try to fix the issue or choose other ways to do the job.

Can't format SD card in Windows

Method 2. Use Disk Management to Format SD Card

Step 1. Right-click on "Computer" or "This PC", select Management, and then Disk Management under the Storage section.

Step 2. Right-click on the SD card partition and select "Format".

Step 3: On the format window, check the box of Perform a quick format, and in the same way, you need to choose a file system and allocation unit size.

Step 4: Click "OK".

format sd card in Windows Disk Management

Bonus Tips - How to Protect SD Card Data

Formatting can be done on an SD card due to several reasons. You format an SD card or Memory card to remove data completely from the SD card and when its file system gets damaged, or the SD card seems to be corrupted. However, you may lose data after the formatting process. To protect SD card data, you should keep these things in mind.

Tip 1. Back Up Data Before Formatting

The best way to avoid further data loss is to back up files regularly on a storage device like the SD card. To do so, you can manually copy and paste these files from the SD card to another place or use free backup and recovery software. Free backup software like EaseUS Todo Backup makes it easy to schedule and run backup actively while data is increasing daily. In 5 minutes, all your system, file, disk, or partition are set up for automatic backups, no matter an individual photo, or a whole C drive.

Steps to back up the SD card with EaseUS Todo Backup:

Step 1: Open EaseUS Todo Backup and select "File" as the backup mode.

click the file mode to back up files

Step 2: Select the files that you want to back up. You can quickly locate the desired files, folders or directories under the "User Defined" mode or "File Type" mode.

click file backup to back up files

Step 3: Next, click the Browse area to select a destination to save your backup file. EaseUS Todo Backup allows for a variety of backup locations that are available to you, including an internal and external storage drive, a cloud drive or a NAS drive. Among all the backup options, we recommend you the most secure and convenient to reach location - EaseUS Cloud.

choose easeus cloud to backup files

You can directly login the cloud drive with your account and password. If it's the first time you use the cloud drive, use your email to sign up.

log in easeus cloud to backup files

Step 4: Click "Proceed" to execute your operation.

Tip 2. Safely Eject the Card from a PC

Just similar to other external hard drives, USB flash drives, and memory cards, you should always safely eject the SD card. That is to say, you should not remove the card from a device when it is still being accessed, such as transferring data or reading data, etc.

Tip 3. Don't Use One Card on Many Devices

Another important thing is not using a single memory card on many different devices. Different devices may work on different file systems, which may be incompatible with what the memory card is formatted with. In this case, the card tends to die. Therefore, do not use one SD card, USB drive, or memory card on many devices.

Tip 4. Stop Using the SD Card When Getting Any Errors

As soon as your SD card gets errors like "The SD card is not detected", or "the disk is write protected", stop using the SD card immediately. Otherwise, further damage would happen to the card without letting you know.

Conclusion

You have learned how to format SD card using CMD with Diskpart, EaseUS Partition Master, and Windows tools. If you are not familiar with CMD or the Windows doesn’t go smoothly, you can format your memory card with EaseUS Partition Master. Like mentioned before, besides partition formatting, this competent disk management program supports many basic and advanced options, such as convert FAT to NTFS, convert MBR to GPT, migrate OS to SSD/HDD, and more. Try it, and you'll find it great helpful. 

Extended Reading: What Else Can CMD Do Besides Formatting SD Card

On this page, we guided you to format SD card with CMD or its alternative formatting solutions on Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7. Some of you may also want to know what else can CMD do for you. Here we collected 3 major solutions and guide you to use them on SD card successfully:

Feature 1. Check and Fix SD Card Corrupted Error with CHKDSK Command

  • Connect SD card to computer.
  • Run Diskpart, and type the command lines here: chkdsks E:/ f /r /x and hit Enter. 

Replace E: with the drive letter of your SD card. Here are the syntax meanings:

  • /F: Check for disk errors, not bad sectors. 
  • /R: Locate the bad sectors on the target hard disk and try to recover the readable information from the bad sectors (implies /F).
  • /X: Forces the volume to dismount first, if necessary. It also includes the functionality of /f.

Feature 2. Delete All Partitions and Clean Up SD Card One-Time with Clean Command

  • Connect SD card to computer.
  • Type the command below in DiskPart one by one and hit Enter each time:
  • list disk
  • select disk 2 (Replace 2 with SD card drive number)
  • clean

The clean command will delete all existing partitions and files on your SD card, restoring full capacity to your card.

Feature 3. Remove Write Protection from SD Card with Clear Readonly Command

  • Connect SD card to computer and open DiskPart
  • Type the command below one by one and hit Enter each time:
  • list disk
  • select disk 2 (Replace 2 with the SD card drive number.)
  • attributes disk clear readonly

If you tend to learn more tutorials about how to use CMD to fix SD or other storage device issues, feel free to follow our articles or use the Search button on our site for help. 

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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Written by Jean

Author Jean has been writing tech articles since she was graduated from university. She has been part of the EaseUS team for over 5 years. Her special focuses are data recovery, disk partitioning, data space optimization, data backup and Mac OS. By the way, she's an aviation fan!

Read full bio

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