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Delete or Format? How to Clear An SD Card on Windows

What will you do if you want to clear an SD Card? Delete all data on it? Or format the SD Card? In this article, we will tell you what is the right way to clear an SD Card. Keep reading and check more details about it.

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Updated on Apr 22, 2024

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The SD Card can be used in many devices now, like the Android phone, the camera, or the surveillance camera. Sometimes, you might want to completely clear an old SD Card and then apply it for reuse. But what is the best way to clear an SD Card? Delete all files and data on it? Format it to the initial state? Keep reading and you will get the answer.

How to clear an SD Card

What Is the Best Way to Clear An SD Card?

Generally, there are two ways for users to clear the stored data in an SD Card, deleting, and formatting. Some users might be confused about these two terms, and wondering what is the best way to clear the SD Card. Here we will tell you the difference between delete and format and tell you which way should you use.

Delete: When deleting a file, the file is removed and the file system will mark it as an empty space. Claiming that this space is now available for rewriting. Usually, the deleted files can be recovered if no overwrite happens.

Format: When formatting a storage device, the system will completely erase the index and restore it to the original empty settings. If you perform a quick format, you will have a great chance of recovering formatted data. If the full format is performed, the chance of recovering the lost data is small.

So if you want to completely clear an SD Card, you should perform a full format to erase all data on your SD Card. Because it will not only delete the files and content but also wipe all the index and cache files.

How to Format SD Card on Windows 10

To format a storage device, both Windows and third-party software provide users with efficient ways. In this part, we will tell you both ways on how to format an SD Card on Windows 10:

#1. Format SD Card Using SD Card Formatter Software

EaseUS Partition Master Free enables all levels of SD Card users to simply format the SD card, changing file system format on Windows 10 in only a few simple clicks.

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Step 1. Find your SD card and right-click the partition you want to format and choose "Format".

Step 2. Set a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Step 3. Click "Yes" on the pop-up window to continue.

Step 4. Click the "Execute 1 Task(s)" button on the toolbar, then click "Apply" to start formatting your SD card.

#2. Format SD Card Using File Explorer

Step 1. Connect your SD Card to the computer with an adapter.

Step 2. Open File Explorer, and find your SD Card.

Step 3. Right-click on your SD Card and choose "Format".

Step 4. Check the capacity of your device, choose the proper file system (You could choose the default option), and allocate the unit size. Then click "Start".
Step 5. A warning will pop up telling you that formatting will erase all data on this disk. Click "OK" to confirm.

Format SD Card in File Explorer

Format SD Card in File Explorer is the easiest method in Windows, you can also format it in Disk Management or use DiskPart.

If you use data recovery software, the formatted data can still be recovered. What if you want to clear your SD Card and then sell it? To minimize the possibility of recovering your SD Card data, we suggest you wipe it. 

How to Wipe SD Card Data in Windows 10

Wipe means to remove or eliminate your SD Card data for good. And after wiping, you can't recover the lost data even if you try the data recovery software. If you want to wipe your SD Card, we recommend you choose EaseUS Partition Master.

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With this free tool, you can easily wipe your data. It even supports you choose the number of times to erase the SD card. The more erasing times, the smaller the chance of recovering lost data.

Now you can download the FREE EaseUS Partition Master, and follow the guide below to see how to wipe SD Card:

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

The Bottom Line

If you want to completely clear an SD Card, you can't just simply delete the files on it. Deleting won't clear the system files or reinstall the operating system. Formatting or wiping data is a better choice. If you prefer to format the SD Card, you can do it in File Explorer, Disk Management, or with DiskPart. If you prefer to wipe the SD Card data, then the free partition management tool - EaseUS Partition Master won't let you down.

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Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

FAQs About Format or Wipe SD Card in Windows 10

If you have further more questions about formatting SD card or wipe SD card content on Windows 10, relax and follow to find answers here:

1. How to wipe an SD card?

  • Connect your SD card to PC via a SD card adapter.
  • Launch EaseUS Partition Master, and right-click on the SD card, select "Wipe Data".
  • Click "OK" to confirm. 
  • And click "Execute Task".

2. How to clear an SD Card on Camera?

  • Turn off the Camer, insert the SD card to camera.
  • Turn on the camera, and go to Settings.
  • Select the Storage settings, and select the SD card, and click "Format the SD card".

3. What is the best SD Card eraser?

To select the best SD card eraser, you'll need to be sure that the target eraing tool support erasing SD card by wiping instead of deleting or formmating. Second, the SD card eraser will bring logical or physical damage to the SD card. Third, it will be 100% clean and virus-free.

EaseUS Partition Master with its wipe feature can fulfill your need to efficiently erase SD card completely in simple clicks without causing any logical or physical damage to the SD card itself.

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About the Author

Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created over 200 posts that help users solve multiple issues and failures on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, and Macs. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interests.

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Written 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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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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