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

Updated by Cedric on Apr 21, 2021
Written by Jean on Sep 11, 2017

format sd card using cmd

How to Format SD Card Using CMD on Windows 2000/XP/Vista

  • Press Start / Run.
  • Type cmd and press the "OK" button. This will launch the MS-DOS window and prompt.
  • Type format *: /fs:FAT32 or NTFS (* represents the drive letter that Windows recognizes the card as)
  • Press return and follow the onscreen prompts.
  • Once the routine is complete type EXIT.


  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 put it in proper use on a specific device, such as a digital camera, Android smartphone, game console, music player, a PC or Mac. Furthermore, for a problematic SD memory card that's generating error messages concerning corruption, damage, inaccessibility, usually, the behavior of quick formatting will revive and prolong the card's lifespan!

Altogether, here are three SD card formatting approaches that help format SD memory card effortlessly, including format SD card using CMD, third-party SD card formatting tool, and Windows utility in Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP or Vista.

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 10/8/7

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. 

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 10 below. 

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box in Windows 10, and then you'll get the best match Command Prompt. Right-click on it and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 2. In the command prompt, 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 create partition primary and assign a letter and type 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: How to fix corrupted/damaged SD card without losing data

How to Format SD Card Using SD Card Formatting Tool

For users who don't use CMD or want to use a simple and secure way, we recommend a reliable third-party SD card formatting tool to format a damaged or corrupted memory card in Windows 10/8/7. EaseUS Partition Master offers many free partition management features to help users organize and optimize hard drives.  

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.

To format SD card in Windows 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

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.

How to Format SD Card Using Windows 10/8/7 Built-in Tool

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 you try to format your SD card in Windows Explorer, you 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. Connect your SD card to your computer at the very beginning.

Step 1. Press "Windows key + E" to bring up the Windows Explorer. Click and open up the "Computer" in Windows 7 or "This PC" in Windows 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

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 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.

You may have a large amount of vital data to be protected as time goes on, such as documents, pictures, music, and videos, etc. It is always a good habit to have a backup on a regular basis. File Backup is one of the best choices for you to get over unexpected data loss.

Step 2: Select the files that you want to back up.

Tick the option at the top left corner named User Defined, you can browse to back up one or some specific file types on your computer or external storage device.

click file backup to back up files

Step 3: Select a destination to save your backup file. 

You'd better create the backup file in some other storage media or in some other drive. If not, there may be a risk of the backup file getting corrupted or destroyed.

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.


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. 

Related Questions About Format SD Card Using CMD (FAQs)

People also ask these questions after formatting the SD card. You can read them one by one if you still have a problem.

How can I format my memory card using CMD?

To format SD card using diskpart:

Step 1. Open the command prompt by typing "CMD" at the search box, right-click the program and select "Run as Administrator".

Step 2. In the command prompt, 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 (for 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. 

How can I format a corrupted SD card?

In the following steps, I'm going to tell you how to format a corrupt SD card or pen drive:

Step 1. Open My Computer or This PC.

Step 2. Right-click on the corrupt SD card or USB drive.

Step 3. Click Format in the drop-down menu.

Step 4. Click Restore Device Defaults in the popup window.

Step 5. Click Start to begin the format process.

How do I format a flash drive using the command prompt?

Step 1. In Windows 10, type cmd in the search box. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.

Step 2. On the Command Prompt window, type diskpart and press Enter.

Step 3. Type list disk and press Enter. According to the list disk information, check which disk is your USB flash drive—for example, disk 2.

Step 4. Now type select disk 2 and press Enter.

Step 5. Type clean. Wait some time for disk erasing.

Step 6. Type create partition primary and press Enter.

Step 7. Type format fs=ntfs and press enter. If you prefer other file system formats, change the command NTFS to the desired one such as FAT32, exfat, etc.

Step 8. Type assign to create a drive letter to the flash drive.

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Updated by Cedric

Cedric Grantham is one of the senior editors of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. He mainly writes articles about data recovery tutorials on PC and Mac and how-to tips for partition management. He always keeps an eye on new releases and likes various electronic products.

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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!

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