Kim Barloso

SD Formatter - SD card formatting software


SD Card Formatter is a free desktop SD/SDHC/SDXC card formatting program. It is an indispensable tool for restoring the compatibility of SD and microSD memory cards with operating systems and devices. Correct formatting does not always, but in many cases it eliminates the problem of incompatibility of file systems.

Content of the article:

  • How to format an sd card on your Android tablet / phone
  • the most important formatting settings in SDFormatter
  • formatting a memory card: questions and answers

The SD Formatter application is designed entirely to work with memory cards, formatting them, using SD/SDHC/SDXC standards. So if you cannot format an sd card for some reason, we highly recommend you to use SD Formatter as a formatting tool instead of the standard tools included in your operating system. Those applications also work with almost all types of flash drives and cards, but the result is not optimal in terms of performance. Manufacturers advise formatting an sd card using special applications. SDFormatter is one of the best for formatting.

How to format an android device

In general, it is not difficult to format the memory of a tablet or phone running Android.

To format the memory card, go to Settings - Privacy - Reset Settings. However, this method is not available in recent Android versions, so we would advise you to format the memory card on your computer. Read below how to do it.

How to format a tablet phone through a card reader

To format your tablet or phone, you will need a card reader and an installed sdformatter program, which you can download from the link above.

  1. Remove the microsd/sd-card from android device. Video on how to do this safely:

  2. Take the card reader, connect it to the PC and insert the card
  3. Launch the sdformatter
  4. In the sdformatter window indicate the drive letter of the memory card connected through the card reader (you may check if the drive label or the content of the memory card matches). Be careful, make sure you select the exact memory card you have in the phone!
  5. Go to the sdformatter settings (Option button) and choose the formatting type Full OverWrite.
  6. Press Format, wait to format.
  7. Remove the sd-card from the cardreader and insert it into the phone (this is correct).

How to format the memory card on the phone using SD Format

How to work with the SD Formatter you can read the official instructions or follow the instructions in the Message Area of the program. The utility is very simple in its construction and we shall mention the key features to work with it.

Download SD Card Formatter

The first thing you need to do to successfully perform the formatting is to download SD Memory Card Formatter application.

Download SDFormatter free

For the first time. You need Administrator rights to run SD Card Formatter.

Connecting the memory card to the PC

Card is carefully removed from the mobile phone (or tablet) and connected to the PC with a card reader. Alternatively you can simply connect the device to your PC which has the SD Memory Card Formatter installed.

For the media handling you need one of the special devices:

  • USB SD Card reader - a separate device to be connected respectively to the usb port of the PC
  • SD Card slot - normally available in any notebook/Macbook.

Formatting options

Formatting settings are made via the Option window. Format Options offers two types of formatting:

  • Quick format - /files and folders are marked as writable but the formatting does not affect data in the /files
  • Full (Overwrite) format - the program erases also the contents of the /files.

In other words you can still try to recover the /files after a Quick format while after an Overwrite format the chances are too bad.

Select the disk to format

From the Drive list you should select the sd card you want to format. Usually the software does this by itself. Conveniently, no hard disk partitions are shown here, so it is difficult to get confused and choose the wrong drive. However it is still worth double checking the drive letter if you have other media connected to the computer.

If you have inserted a USB device into the SD slot after the program has been started then you may not see the drive immediately. In this case you should press the Refresh Button and check the status field. The blue logo in the main window indicates the successful connection of the sd-card.

A similar scenario applies also if you are unsure how to format an Android phone: follow the instructions carefully, SD Format is totally fine to work with this mobile OS.

Execute Formatting

You need to press OK to apply the settings, to start formatting press Format in the main program window.

When finished formatting you will see the Memory Card Format Complete! Here you can also find information about the file system, available capacity of the card and the size of the cluster.

Instruction on how to format SD card

Resume . SD Formatter is a great program to format microsd, sd and other memory cards. If you do not know how to format sd card with standard means or face certain problems reading information from the memory card, this utility will be of help. It is absolutely free and safe and you should not be afraid to get a "brick" after formatting.

You may be interested in:

  • all about formatting: How to properly format an sd card, hard disk or flash drive
  • R-Studio is not a bad program to efficiently recover /files after formatting

SD memory card interfaces supported

The sdformatter utility supports several device interfaces to handle SD, SDHC,microsd and SDXC

  • SD card slot on the computer
  • SD card reader with USB protocol
  • PC card, CardBus or ExpressCard SD adapter

Before you download sdformatter and just before you start working with it you should make sure that you are able to work with sd-card using one of the above mentioned protocols with sdformatter.

SDFormatter application interface

SD Formatter program interface

Some settings of the SDFormatter program necessary when formatting a memory card. If you are unable to format a memory card you are advised to pay close attention to all parameters without exception.

1 Status (Status)

This field indicates the status of the SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card and the device interface.

  • Blue: Active status.
  • No logo: SD card or SDHC/SDXC memory card or the device interface is disabled.
  • Gray: No connection. These may be SD-, SDHC/SDXC cards that are recognized by the SD Formatter utility.

2 Disk (Drive)

This list indicates the drives of SD-memory cards, SDHC/SDXC cards that have been opened and recognized by SD Formatter. The drive from this list can be selected for formatting SD card.

3 Size (Size) sd card

This field indicates the capacity of SD/ SDHC/SDXC card in the selected drive.

4 Message Area

This area displays SD Formatter messages or notifications to users. This area is useful for additional information in case the sd card is not formatted .

5 Refresh Button)

This button is used to update the information on the SD card/memory or SDHC/SDXC memory cards. When this button is pressed, the SD Formatter retrieves the latest information from the SD memory cards. This button is useful when new memory cards, SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards are added via the SD interface of the device.

6 Volume Label (Volume Label)

This field in sdformatter is used to display the sd volume label. Enter a new volume label to be written to the SD card during formatting. You can enter up to 11 characters in the Volume Label field. If the volume label name has been used in a language other than English, this field cannot be displayed incorrectly. In this case, you should enter a new sd card volume label in English.

7 Selection Button (Option)

This sdformatter utility button is used to select options when performing a format operation. When the button is pressed, the screen displays the SD card formatting options.

8 sd card formatting options

This area shows the current SD card formatting options selected in the formatting window options. If the sd card is not formatted you should verify the software options.

9 Start SD formatting button (Format)

This button starts the formatting of the sd card. After pressing this button a confirmation screen appears on the screen to confirm the format operation. You can continue or cancel formatting of the disk / sd card.

10 Exit button (Exit)

This button is used to exit the SD Formatter application after formatting of the memory card

It should be noted that SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards have a so called protected area which is reserved for standard security functions. The SD Formatter 4.0 utility does not format this very security area. Therefore always use an appropriate application or sd-compatible device to provide the sd-secure function to format the secure area on the memory card.

System requirements to run sdformatter

This information is useful if you are not formatting a memory card and have to install an sdformatter application.

Interface SD/SDHC Interface SDXC
OS Windows Windows XP 8 Windows Vista - 8

Windows XP (SP2 or later) with system patch exFAT (KB955704)

Mac OS X (10.8 Mountain Lion)

Mac OS X (10.7 Lion)

Mac OS X (10.6 Snow Leopard)

Mac OS X (10.5 Leopard for Intel Mac)

Mac OS X (10.8 Mountain Lion)

Mac OS X (10.7 Lion)

Mac OS X (10.6.5 Snow Leopard or later) with exFAT system update

If you insert the sdxc card directly through the sd slot of the computer without installing a driver the card may not be recognized properly, hence the message to format it. In this case do not agree to format the card: doing so may completely erase the data in the storage device and lead to unwanted formatting in a file system which is not compatible with the SDXC device.

SD Card Formatter vs Standard Formatting Tools

In Windows and Mac OS basic tools are available to format hard disk, usb drive and sd card. However this method is not recommended: The performance of your storage device might be significantly degraded by formatting.

In SD Card Formatter there is no such disadvantage. Moreover it is often used to fix card recognition problems after incorrect standard Windows formatting.

In contrast to system utilities, SD Formatter does not affect the protected area. This reserved area on the card is needed for security functions. It is not recommended to format it.

As SD Formatter developers clarify, formatting is configured for maximum performance (for FAT file system). So you may use the default settings during formatting.

As the other programs, SD Formatter is not able to format encrypted memory cards (like BitLocker To Go). Therefore the obligatory step is to decrypt the contents before performing the operation.

How to format an Android flash drive? To format the memory card of your Android device you need to remove the card from your phone or tablet, then connect it to your computer using a memory card reader. After that open SD Formatter and find the flash drive in the list of storage devices. All the following steps are described in the memory card formatting instruction above.

The operating system gives you the following error: "Windows cannot complete formatting". What would this mean and how to fix it?

Answer . Usually this error appears in two cases: if for some reason the formatting process cannot be completed or if you are unable to format the USB device using the standard means of the operating system.

There are two methods to resolve this format error and correspondingly two tools. The first one is a built-in system utility diskmgmt.msc (run from Start - Run). The second is sd formatter. With it you can perform a quick and deep (low level) formatting of a microsd card.

What is low level formatting of a microsd?

An answer . A low-level format is a type of formatting of memory cards and USB flash drives that performs a cleanup and then tests, creates a table of /files and copies it to a service partition on the storage device. As a rule of thumb a low-level formatting should only be performed in extreme cases if the microsd or sd card fails.

I recently purchased a 16GB memory card. The phone supports more, but there was a problem when using the phone for an hour or two for a long time. Apps on the memory card open and immediately close, but when restarting the phone everything goes back to normal and then bad again. Why is it like this? It is not a fact that the problem is related to the memory card. If a certain application causes a conflict, it might affect other applications. It may be running in the background.

Check your phone for unneeded applications. Deleting them may remedy the situation.

If the deleting applications method does not work, try formatting the microsd-stick. This can be done either through your phone (in the Android settings) or through the card reader, on your computer. The SD Formatter is just the right program to format your memory card.

Trouble with the USB stick. 2 days ago I bought a new 16g flash card. Inserted on android and completely formatted and then moved /files from android in it. After formatting the sd card everything is fine, but when I download any videos and apps from internet after 5 minutes, they get corrupted. More precisely, it writes: video cannot be played back and the screen is black. In the application writes: package parsing error. Again formatted microsd - everything seems to be clean. And again corrupted /files. last night in android folder in the cd card saw strange /files with unknown format size 2-3 gigs. tried to remove but writes failure on removal. restarted android and they disappeared.what can it be a virus or something else?

Answer . Package parsing error in Android usually occurs due to wrong size of the apk file. This means that the installer has not been fully copied to the microsd card.

The format may be wrong. Android supports both FAT and exFAT, try one or the other. For more details about how to format microsd using SDFormatter, please read above.

If the problem persists, uninstall unnecessary and recently installed applications from the phone, at last update the Android firmware.

The phone sees the flash card, reads the pictures that were on the flash card, but does not open the applications on the flash card. Phone Samsung galaxy s3 mini.

Answer . If the applications do not open on your phone, you can move them to the internal memory of the phone using the application manager. The second solution would be to redownload them from Google Play and install them on the memory card.

If you still cannot open the application, format the memory card to FAT or exFAT.

I was watching a video on my Nomi_i4510 phone and suddenly I forgot about the percentage of charge and the phone turned off. I put it on charger, power on, and it says in my notification "no cd card, if you can not connect cd card, press forget device". I reboot phone and go to settings, then to storage and drives and there is a picture: internal storage SD card (corrupted) and below - SD card absent. I went to the SD card is damaged and it says I need to format it to use the SD card. I press "format" and it is formatted, everything is ok. But the thing is that I still have the SD card partition (missing) and rebooting does not help. That is, the SD card is connected and working fine and as if it is missing. What to do, how to format the sd card? Try to format the sd card not through your phone but through the sd formatter program. Try also to insert another card into the phone and check if the information about the missing card appears. If yes - update phone firmware and reboot the device. In extreme case, you will have to perform Android reset to factory settings. Whether it's worth the trouble is up to you (save all important /files from the phone to your computer beforehand).

I bought the HUAWEI LUA - 21 phone 2 months ago. It reads the memory card, but when I download a program or a photo from the internet, it always says "no memory", even though I have a new micro USB stick. And every time a notice "prepare SD card" appears.

Answer . The occurrence of this error message could be related to a wrongly formatted memory card. This problem is quite common and it should be easily solved:

  1. eject the sd card from the phone,
  2. connect it to the PC (through a card reader)
  3. score the /files from the removable card to the PC (make a backup)
  4. format the card into Fat32 or exFAT
  5. scope the /files from the PC back to the USB

After these operations the sd-card should be normal detected by the phone.

May I use this program to decrypt the sd card? Because my phone crashed and the /files remained encrypted and the phone cannot read them.

Answer . Unfortunately it is not possible to recover the encrypted data after the reset. Neither additional software like SD Formatter nor the built-in Android features will help. You have to format the sd card in order to use it further. Obviously you will lose the encrypted data on the microsd.

I formatted the phone. Now it is asking for an account that was synced with it. I don't know this account because I disabled the sync. What to do?

Answer . It is probably a Google account that is specified in the Android settings or right in the initial setup phase of the phone. Create a new Google account and connect the new email.

Lenovo A7000 phone. Reads microsd as internal memory. Lots of free space on the card, but won't even let apps update. Removed a bunch of apps, left only the most necessary - still can't upload anything. How do I make the memory card an external drive? Only resell it? Most likely the problem is that you have formatted the card incorrectly. Try to format the sd-card on your computer, using Fat or extFat as the file system on the microsd. The SDFormatter utility will do the job.

“Hello. My name is Kim. I discovered that technology, when used with a purpose, can be pretty amazing. To share the wonder of tech, I’ve written for blogs like and With over three years of freelance writing experience in the technology and entertainment niche, I can write a storm about a software app, a cool browser extension, a new mobile device and other geek-centric stuf... “

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Kim Barloso