EaseUS Partition Master

Clear/Reformat/Erase/Wipe SD Card & USB Flash Drive

Here you can learn how to clear, erase, wipe or reformat an SD card, USB flash drive, hard drive and disk partition. Try the step-by-step tutorial to fix your issue in the easiest and most efficient way.

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Updated by

Tracy King

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Updated on May 16, 2024

Differences between erasing and formatting a memory card/USB drive

In many cases, you should clear or reformat an SD card, USB flash drive, pen drive, or hard drive for certain reasons. Both of the operations will wipe all your data on the device but they are usually done for a different purpose.

You may clear or wipe an SD card/USB flash drive to:

  • Gain more device when the SD card or USB drive is full
  • Erase all the data on the SD card, USB flash drive before selling
  • Remove unknown virus or malware on SD card or USB flash drive

You may reformat an SD card/USB flash drive to:

  • Clean SD card, USB flash drive, hard drive and delete its partitions when the devices are not working properly
  • Change RAW to FAT32, NTFS or other file systems to fix a RAW issue
  • Restore SD card to full capacity when SD card does not show full capacity
  • Restore USB drive back to full capacity when flash drive shows the wrong capacity
  • Change the file system to use the SD card, USB flash drive, hard drive in different devices, for example, format PS4 hard drive for PC

After learning the differences between erasing and formatting an SD card/USB drive, you can choose the right method that works best to fix your issue. Here EaseUS free partition software that fully is compatible with Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista can help you wipe SD card in the easiest and most efficient way. Now, you can connect the SD card or USB drive to PC and try the step-by-step tutorial to format/clear a SD card with ease. 

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How to clear, erase or wipe SD card/USB flash drive

Here list three ways to clear SD card/USB flash drive. Now, you can try the detailed steps based on your needs. We put the most straightforward way in the first position.

How to wipe a flash drive with USB eraser

Step 1. Connect the external devices to the PC. Then, right-click the external device, and choose "Wipe Disk".

Select to wipe disk

Step 2. Set the number of times to wipe data. (You can set to 10 at most.) Then click "OK".

select the times

Step 3. Click "Execute 1 Task(s)" and then click "Apply".

click ok

How to wipe SD card/USB flash drive via Diskpart

For users who choose to erase SD card with Diskpart, you must use this method carefully. If you pick the wrong disk, your data will go permanently.

Step 1. Press Windows + R, input Diskpart, and press Enter. (Run Diskpart as administrator.)

Step 2. Use the Clean All function to erase SD card.

1. Input list disk > Enter. (Your SD card will listed on it.)

2. Run select disk* > Enter. (* represents the disk number the SD card.)

3. Run Clean All >Enter

erase sd card

 The Clean All function will do the SD secure erase, which can remove all data on the SD card. 

How to erase SD card/USB flash drive with Disk Management

For users who do not want to use the SD card/USB eraser or the Diskpart, you can try the Windows built-in tool - Disk Management. 

Step 1. Press Windows + X and choose Disk Management.

Step 2. Format SD card.

1. Choose partition on the SD card.

2. Right-click the partition and select Format.

disk management format

3. Set the Volume label, File System, Allocation unit size.

format usb using disk management

4. Click OK to wipe/erase SD card.

(Quick Format VS Full Format) 
The quick format will not really erase all data, which marks the partition as formatted and delete the journal file. So the data is still on the hard drive. If you face the wrong operation, the data recovery software is ready.
However, the Full Format will completely clear data. No chance to recover data.

How to format & partition SD card/USB flash drive

  • Right-click the external drive or USB you intend to format and choose "Format".
  • Set the Partition label, File system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and Cluster size, then click "OK".
  • Click "Yes" to continue.
  • Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button and click "Apply" to format the hard drive partition.

You can read this post to completely format SD card/USB flash drive: How to format SD card on Windows 10.

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About the Author

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

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Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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