How to Fix SD Card Won’t Format [Solved 2023]

This post is on How to Fix the SD Card Won’t Format?

Do you have an SD card that won’t format and you don’t know why?

I understand how frustrating it can be when the data on your SD card cannot be accessed or used.

In this blog post, I’ll discuss the common causes of SD cards not formatting correctly, including write protection, corrupted file systems, and bad sectors.

I’ll also cover solutions to fix an SD card that won’t format as well as tips to consider before you format your memory card.

Fix SD Card Won’t Format Issue.

So let’s get started and Fix SD Card Won’t Format Problem.

Causes Of SD Card Formatting Errors

“SD card formatting errors can often be caused by write-protection, corrupted file systems, low-level formatting, corrupted cards, damaged cards and faulty devices.”

Let’s see the causes in this section. If you know the cause then you can easily troubleshoot and fix the issue.


Writing protection is a setting that prevents data from being written on an SD card, making it difficult to format.

I’ve had problems with my own Micro SD cards when they are write-protected.

To fix this issue, you’ll need to disable the write protection by accessing your device’s storage settings or unlocking the switch located at the side of your card reader if available.

According to statistics, write protection is one of the most common reasons for an unable to be formatted an SD card.

The good thing about disabling write-protection is that it’s relatively easy and can be done through different methods such as using advanced disk formatting method or Windows Disk Management utility program.

Additionally, some third-party micro sd card adapters have their own internal switches for disabling write protection which easily solve the issues in no time.

You should always check if there is any lock switch on your removable storage devices before formatting them; otherwise you won’t get desired result even after following all necessary steps properly.

Corrupted File System

When a file system is corrupted, it can cause an SD card to not format correctly.

It’s important to understand that when the file system is corrupted, the data stored on the card may be lost permanently.

To try and fix this issue, users can use Windows Default Programs for formatting discs or reformatting with Command Prompt.

Another option would be to format the memory card/SD card in Disk Management or on an Android device if one is available.

All of these options require more technical knowledge than using a third-party SD Card Formatter which most casual users may find easier to use.

Low-Level Formatting

Low-level formatting is a process which modifies the physical structure of an SD card.

This includes erasing and modifying tracks, sectors, and blocks in order to make data storage possible.

When performing a low-level format on an SD card, information about each sector such as its size and locations are registered so that it can be identified later.

The most common reason for needing to do a low-level format is if your SD card has been corrupted or you’re using unsupported file systems such as NTFS or exFAT on your device.

Care should be taken as this process could damage or render your SD card unresponsive if not done correctly…

…therefore it’s always best to use reputable manufacturers when looking for an SD card.

Corrupted Card

Sometimes when an SD card is corrupted, it becomes unable to be read by the computer or device.

This can cause the card to not format correctly.

In order to fix this issue, it’s best to use a third-party SD card formatter that can scan and repair any corruption issues.

Additionally, running the Diskpart command on Windows may also help as this will detect and repair any bad sectors as well as file system errors.

If these methods fail, there is always an option of using a recovery tool such as Tenorshare DDiG Data Recovery which will do its best in recovering lost data from unreadable cards.

Damaged SD Card

When it comes to SD cards, a damaged one is one of the most common causes for not formatting correctly.

When an SD card has become too old or physically damaged due to environmental factors, this can result in errors that prevent it from being formatted properly.

To help ensure that the card remains safe and usable, always purchase reputable products from reliable manufacturers and inspect them regularly for signs of physical damage.

If you do find any indication that your SD card may be damaged, replace it immediately with a new one as continued use may further damage your data.

Faulty Device

Sometimes, faulty hardware can be the cause of an SD card not formatting correctly.

In such cases, the faulty device could be either a laptop or computer USB port or an SD card reader.

If you have inserted your card into such a device and it won’t format properly.

Try to connect it through another port to check if that resolves the issue.

Another option is to use a third-party adapter as they often come with built-in features which ensure proper functioning of the Micro SD card in any port.

This can help resolve any inconsistencies with data read/write speeds being affected on certain ports which window’s default drivers may lack support for.

Always make sure that your memory cards are placed in their correct slots.

Make sure no dirt or dust has entered them as this would lead to errors like failed formatting operations eventually leading to system instability.

Unsupported File System

Sometimes, an SD card may not be able to be formatted simply because it uses an unsupported file system.

Older devices may only support FAT32 or exFAT as opposed to more modern formats such as NTFS and HFS+.

If a device requires one of these unsupported file systems, the user won’t be able to format the card correctly.

This can sometimes be remedied by downloading software that allows for formatting with the desired type of file system, but this isn’t always possible or practical.

The best solution in this case is typically just using a newer device that supports more types of file systems.

In addition, some formats are better suited than others for specific types and sizes of data.

For instance, if someone wants quick access speeds then they should consider NTFS instead of Fat32 which works better when transferring smaller files.

As such, understanding what type of data will be used most often on their SD cards and selecting the correct format accordingly is essential before attempting any formatting processes.

How to Fix An SD Card Won’t Format Issue?

So now we know the possible causes, we can easily fix the issue. Let’s see troubleshoot and fix the issue one-by-one.

Disabling Write-Protection

If you need to disable write protection on an SD card, there are a few simple steps you can take.

First, locate the physical switch on the side of the SD card. This switch is typically located on the upper left side when the SD card is facing up.

Depending on your card, this switch may be labeled and can be used to enable and disable write-protection. Toggle this switch to the “Unlock” position to disable write-protection.

Next, plug your SD card into your computer and open This PC.

  • Locate the SD card in the list of disks and right-click it.
  • Select Properties from the menu that appears and find the Write Protection section.
  • If it is enabled, toggle it to disabled so that you can overwrite files stored on the SD card.

If these steps don’t work:

  • Open the Run application by pressing Win R on your keyboard.
  • Type diskpart and press enter to open the diskpart application.
  • Type list disk and press enter to have diskpart list all detected disks on your computer.
  • Right-click the SD card/micro SD card icon on the desktop or in Disk Utility and select Get info to check if there is any write protection enabled from within Windows or Mac OS X.
  • If there is write protection enabled, toggle it off to disable write-protection from within Windows or Mac OS X.

Finally, run antivirus software to check for any malicious files that may be causing write protection issues on your SD card.

Once you have completed these steps, you should be able to disable write-protection and overwrite files stored on your SD card successfully.

Using Windows Default Program For Formatting SD Card

Windows has its own set of tools built in to help you format discs easily.

One of the easiest ways to reformat an SD card is with Windows’ default program for formatting discs, Disk Management.

To use this method:

  • Simply insert your SD card into a USB port or card reader on your computer.
  • Open the Disk Management utility by right-clicking on “Computer” or “My Computer”.
  • Select Manage from the drop-down menu.
  • Once opened, you can find your SD card in the left pane under “Removable Storage”.
  • Select it, then right-click and choose Format from the context menu.

Here, you can assign a new drive letter to make sure that your card is recognizable by Windows again or just click Yes to confirm formatting it as soon as possible.

This method works well for regular SD cards but may cause issues with RAW/corrupted ones.

Reformatting SD Card With Command Prompt

Reformatting your SD card using Command Prompt is a straightforward process.

Here’s how to do it:

# Step 1: Open the Windows Search bar and type in “cmd”. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose “Run as administrator”.

Run as administrator

# Step 2: Use the “list disk” command to view the disks connected to your computer. This will allow you to identify which disk represents your SD card.

type list disk

# Step 3: To reformat your SD card, type in “format fs=ntfs” or “format fs=exfat”, depending on which filesystem you want to use.

# Step 4: Press Enter to start the reformatting process. Depending on the size of your SD card, this may take several minutes.

Once complete, your SD card should be ready for use. Note that Windows will format cards of 2GB or higher by default.

Format SD Card In Windows Disk Management

Formating a memory card or SD card in Windows Disk Management can be done quickly and easily.

  • To begin, open up File Explorer and right-click on the card drive letter located in the left pane.
  • From here, select Format to open the dialog box.
  • Inside this window you’ll have access to a few different formatting options including file system type and allocation unit size as well as quick format option.
  • After making these changes, click ok and wait for your device to format.

It’s important to note that formatting an SD card can take several minutes so be patient!

It’s always best practice to back up important files before formatting any removable storage device like an SD card..

Format SD Card On Android Device

If you want to format your SD card on an Android device, follow these easy steps:

# Step 1: Turn on your Android device and open the Settings app.

# Step 2: Scroll down to the Storage & USB section and tap Storage.

# Step 3: Select your SD card, then tap the three-dot menu in the top right corner of the screen and select Format.

# Step 4: Choose the type of file system you’d like to use (FAT32 or ExFAT are both accepted by Android phones) and confirm the format.

# Step 5: Once the formatting is complete, you’ll be able to use your SD card with your Android device.

Using A Windows Or Mac Computer

# Step 1: Insert the Memory Card/SD into the Computer

On a Windows computer, insert the memory card/SD into the PC and click on This PC on your display. Right-click on the memory card/SD device and select format from the drop-down menu.

On a Mac computer, open the Disk Utility app. Insert the SD card and select the appropriate file system format (EXFAT for SD cards over 64GB; MS-DOS FAT if it’s 32GB or smaller.)

# Step 2: Choose the Appropriate File System Format

For Windows computers, choose FAT32 or exFAT as your file system format. Avoid NTFS as it is not compatible with both macOS and Windows computers. Click Start to begin formatting.

For Mac computers, open Disk Utility app and click Erase. Choose the appropriate file system format (EXFAT for SD cards over 64GB; MS-DOS FAT if it’s 32GB or smaller.)

# Step 3: Format the Memory Card/SD

Once you have selected the appropriate file system format, click Start to begin formatting your memory card/SD. When you receive a prompt that all data will be erased, click OK and allow your computer to complete the formatting process.

Once your memory card/SD has been formatted, you can begin using it as normal.

Using A Card Reader

Using a card reader is an effective way to format an SD card that won’t format on Windows or Mac.

It can be simply plugged into the USB port on your computer and you will have access to it in the same way as you would with a regular drive.

The card reader also comes with specific software for formatting purposes, which makes it easier to handle any issue with your memory cards.

When using a card reader, make sure you use one that’s compatible with your memory cards so as to prevent further problems and incompatibilities between devices.

Running CHKDSK

One of the solutions to fix an SD card that won’t format is running CHKDSK.

This command line utility provides advanced disk formatting and reads back sectors on the disk, which can help detect corrupted data or bad sector issues.

CHKDSK also helps fix file system errors by verifying if they are correct or not.

By running this command, it may be possible to repair a corrupted SD card and make it usable again.

It is important to note that when using CHKDSK, all data stored in the memory card will be lost due to being overwritten with new blocks of information.

Thus, before using this solution to repair an unreadable SD card, consider backing up important files first as a precautionary measure.

If you are having issues formatting your memory card/SD card, you can try running CHKDSK to check for memory card errors.

This utility is included in all versions of Windows.

First, remove your card from the phone, then insert it into your computer (using a card reader or adapter).

Next, open the Run window by clicking on the start icon in the left corner of your computer and type “chkdsk” followed by the drive letter corresponding to your SD card, then a colon and /f (for example, “chkdsk E: /f”).

Hit Enter.

CHKDSK will check and repair any bad sectors that have developed over time. It will not recover any data that has been lost due to formatting.

To do this, you will need to use professional SD card recovery software such as Remo Recover.

If Windows is unable to complete the formatting of your SD card and gives an error message such as “cannot format memory card”, you may need to run Diskpart to clean it.

Using CHKDSK should help you recover any corrupted memory cards or fix any issues with formatting them.

Cleaning SD Card Using DiskPart

One way to fix an SD card that won’t format is by using the DiskPart command.

The DiskPart utility is a built-in Windows feature which can be used to clean, create, format and delete partitions on a storage device.

To use it, open Command Prompt and type in the word ‘DiskPart’, followed by the Enter key.

Once prompted with the ‘DISKPART>’ prompt, type ‘list disk’ to list all your connected storage devices.

Select your specific SD card/memory card from this list and make sure you enter its DRIVE letter correctly without any typos or misalignment of characters for successful formatting process.

Then type ‘clean’ command and hit Enter button to start cleaning your memory card/sd card using Disk Part tool in Windows operating system devices such as PCs or laptops.

This should enable users to remove all corrupted data stored on their respective cards while also keeping them safe from future damage due to data corruption or virus attack etc.

Assigning A New Letter To The Memory Card

It is important to know how to assign a new letter to the memory card since this can help with fixing an SD card that won’t format.

To do so, one must launch File Explorer in Windows and then locate the memory card on the left pane.

Right-click on it and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths” from Drop Down menu.

There you will be able to choose a drive letter for your memory card if it does not already have one assigned.

This process might take several minutes depending on your storage device’s size and capabilities.

Once completed, the SD Card should appear in file explorer with its newly assigned drive letter and should work normally once again.

It is also possible to assign a new drive path using Disk Management in Windows or through Command Prompt.

How To Assign a New Drive Letter Using Disk Management in Windows or Command Prompt

# Step 1: Open Disk Management

On your Windows computer, open the Start menu and type in “Disk Management”. Click on the searched result to launch the application.

# Step 2: Locate the drive you want to change

Once you have opened Disk Management, locate the drive you want to change. Right-click on the drive and select the “Change Drive Letter and Paths” option.

# Step 3: Assign a new drive letter

From the window that appears, select Change and then choose a new drive letter from the drop-down menu. Click OK to save your changes.

Alternatively, you can also use Command Prompt to assign a new drive letter. To do so, open a command prompt, type in “diskpart” and press Enter.

Then, type in “assign letter=x” where x is the desired drive letter. Press Enter again to save your changes.

Using A Third-Party SD Card Formatter

One of the most effective ways to format an SD card is by using a third-party SD card formatter.

This type of program allows you to perform low-level formatting and can repair damaged or corrupted files on the memory card.

It can also create new partitions if needed and provide more options than the default Windows Disk Management utility.

These programs are able to detect file systems that may be unsupported or unrecognizable by Windows, allowing you to restore full functionality to your device.

This method gives users greater control over how their cards are formatted, making it ideal for us who want complete control over their digital storage devices.

These types of programs typically come with detailed instructions so you don’t have to worry about trying complex commands in Terminal or CMD as you do when reformatting from within Windows itself.

As long as you follow all of the steps correctly, a third-party formatter should be able to help get your SD card working again quickly and easily!

Tips To Consider When Formatting An SD Card

It is very important to consider the below points when you format SD card.

  • Back Up Important Files.
  • Check For Broken Contacts.
  • Always Choose The Right Format.
  • Use Reputable Manufacturers.
  • Do Not Remove The Card Abruptly.
  • Backup Data Regularly.
  • Avoid Overloading The Card.
  • Reformat The Card Regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Fix an SD Card That Won’t Format?

If your SD card won’t format, it could be due to the card being set to read-only, or write-protected.
To fix this issue, first try removing the write protection on the SD card.
To do this, right-click on the SD card and select ‘Format’ from the menu list. Select the appropriate file system (like NTFS, exFAT, or FAT32) and tick ‘Quick format’.
If that doesn’t work, try connecting your SD card to a PC. On the PC, clear the SD card and set a new format to it.
To do this, open File Explorer, locate and right-click the SD card, and set a new format to it.
Tick ‘Quick format’. Finally, put the SD card back into your Android camera and go to Settings > Storage to select the card.

How Do I Force My SD Card To Format?

To force your SD card to format, you need to first connect it to your PC properly.
Then, open File Explorer, locate and right-click the SD card, and set a new format to it.
Tick “Quick Format” and click on a removable disk and select “Properties”.
Go to the Tools tab and click on the “Check” button. Right-click the microSD card from the list of storage devices and select “Format”.
Select a file system from FAT32, NTFS, or exFAT.
Finally, right-click on the SD card and select “Format”. If you receive a notification that an SD card has been detected, tap it.

Why Is My SanDisk SD Card Not Formatting?

If you are having difficulty formatting your SanDisk SD card, it could be due to a few different issues.
The most common issue is a corrupted or interrupted process of writing on the SD card.
You may also be experiencing write protection on the SD card, which will not allow it to be formatted.
The SD card may not be properly inserted into the camera, or it could be physically damaged.
If none of these solutions work, you may need to use a third-party program like Windows Disk Management to format your SanDisk SD card.
When you format an SD card, you are essentially mounting a new file system that tracks the storage on your SD card.

Can a Corrupted SD Card Be Formatted?

Yes, a corrupted SD card can be formatted. It is often the best way to make it work again.
To do this, you can connect your Android device to your PC and mount it as a disk drive, then format the SD card from raw file system.
Another option is to use the CHKDSK command to check the error, then format the card from there.
You may also be able to format an SD card on your Android device directly.

Can I Fix a Corrupted SD Card Without Formatting?

Yes, you can attempt to repair a corrupted SD card without formatting it.
You can try using the Error Checking Tool to check for any file system errors, assigning a new drive letter to it, reinstalling the driver, or trying the Windows Troubleshooter.
However, it is not guaranteed that these steps will fix your SD card without formatting. If the issue persists, you may need to contact a data recovery center to repair your SD card.

How do I Format a Corrupted SD Card on Android?

Before formatting the corrupted SD card on your Android device, it is important to back up any files you want to keep.
To format the card, go to Settings > Storage, select your SD card, and then select Format.
If this does not work, you can also try formatting the card using a computer.
To do this, open Disk Management in Start, keep the corrupted SD card in your Android phone, connect it to your PC and mount it as a disk drive in mass storage mode, and then follow the on-screen instructions.
You can also try running CHKDSK in “cmd” or using a data recovery app to recover files from the corrupted SD card.

Why Won’t my SD Card Format in My Camera?

There are several reasons that your SD card may not be formatting correctly in your camera, such as if the card is corrupted, if the writing process was interrupted, or if there is dust covering the SD card slot.

Sd Card Won’t Format on Mac. What to Do?

If you are having trouble formatting your SD card on your Mac, there are a few things you can try to troubleshoot the issue.
First, open Spotlight (or the magnifying glass icon) to open the search bar and open Disk Utility, the Mac version of Windows Disk Management.
The issue could be caused by a corrupted memory card, an unrecognized file system, or if your computer doesn’t recognize the card.
Additionally, if you get an “operation failed” notice in Disk Utility or “Cannot format write protected card” in the SD Card Formatter app, check to see if the little switch is set to “lock” or “write protect”.
Lastly, it is possible that your SD card may be infected with malware, so you should use an anti-malware app to scan it.


There are many different causes and solutions when it comes to dealing with an SD card that won’t format.

Understanding the cause of the formatting error is key in finding a suitable solution.

By disabling write protection and using Windows default programs for formatting discs, reformatting memory cards/SD cards through Windows Disk Management or on Android devices, and utilizing third-party software for formatting raw SD cards can all help you get your SD card formatted correctly.

Be sure to consider tips like backing up important files before reformatting and ensuring you use reputable manufacturers for such delicate pieces of technological hardware.

Following these steps should allow you to successfully format any faulty SD card.

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