How to Easily Format Sandisk SD Card on Windows 10

Written by
Approved by

format sandisk sd card

SD cards help expand your smartphone’s storage so you can store more pictures and install more apps without maxing out your device’s storage. SanDisk is a popular and reliable brand, but is still prone to an occasional malfunction, which may compel you to format your SD card.

If you’re planning to format a SanDisk SD card, but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. We’ll walk you through the process of how you can easily format a SanDisk Micro SD card in the next few minutes.

What is SD Card Formatting?

SD card formatting is the process of erasing every file stored on your SD card, including the ones that are hidden. You can format an SD card for several reasons including:

  • Presence of malware or virus: If your antivirus program has detected a virus on your SD card, formatting it will help get rid of it.
  • Changing the SD card’s file system: When you format an SD card, you have the option to change its file system. For instance, if your SD card is currently formatted as a FAT32 device, you can reformat it to exFAT and enjoy the exFAT file system’s high compatibility and greater speeds.
  • Make room for new data: You may also just want to erase all the data to make room for new data.

Formatting an SD card isn’t difficult. However, once you format an SD card, you won’t have access to any of the files you had stored on your SD card. If you mistakenly forgot to back up a few important files that were stored on your SD card before formatting it, don’t panic. It’s possible to recover data from SanDisk SD cards using software.

What to Do if You Accidentally Lost the Files During Formatting Process

You can recover files that have been erased from your SD card as a result of formatting it. The easiest way to recover data from a formatted SanDisk SD card is using an advanced data recovery tool like Disk Drill.

If you’re trying to recover files after formatting your SanDisk Micro SD card, here’s how you can do it in three easy steps.

Step 1: Download and Install Disk Drill

The first step is to download and install Disk Drill on your PC. You may need to provide a few permissions during the installation process. Allow those permissions and let the installation process complete.

installing disk drill on your pc

Step 2: Launch Disk Drill and Scan Your SD Card

Once the installation is complete, launch Disk Drill. Look for the SD card you want to recover files from and select it. On the right, you’ll see an option to select a recovery method.

You can choose a regular scan if you want to perform a quick scan, or choose a deep scan for a more thorough scan. By default, Disk Drill uses the “All recovery methods” option.

Once you’ve selected a scan method, click on Search for lost data to start the scan.

select sandisk sd card and starting scan from disk drill

Step 3: Start Recovering Files

As Disk Drill scans your formatted SD card, you’ll be able to see the types of files it finds in real-time. This way, you can directly start previewing the files if you know what type they are. For instance, if you’re trying to recover photos, you can select Pictures once there are a few pictures Disk Drill finds while scanning.

looking at lost files in real time as disk drill scans

To preview a file, click on the eye icon beside the file name. You’ll then see the file preview to the screen’s right.

preview files while disk drill is scanning the partition

Once you find the file you want to recover, check the box beside it and click on Recover all. Enter the location to where you want to recover the files and click on OK.

start recovering files with disk drill

That’s all you need to do to recover data after you format a SanDisk Micro SD card.

Note that the chances of recovery depend on how much data you’ve written onto your card after formatting it. If you’ve stored a lot of data after the formatting event, there’s a possibility that your old data has been overwritten. However, if you recently formatted the SD card, there’s a high chance that you’ll be able to recover that data with the software.

How to Format a SanDisk SD Card on Windows?

Formatting SanDisk Micro SD cards on Windows is a cakewalk and doesn’t require any technical knowledge. However, since there are several ways to format or reformat a micro SD card on Windows, we’ll walk you through each method separately.

Method 1: Windows File Explorer

This is usually the simplest way to format your SD card because it’s quick and easy. Start by inserting your SD card into your laptop or PC’s card reader. Then, launch Windows Explorer by pressing Win+ E, and go to Computer. Next, right-click on the SD card and select Format.

format sd card using the windows explorer

When the Format window opens, select the preferred File system, change the Volume label if you wish to, and click on the Start button. Formatting only takes a couple of seconds. Once it’s done, you’ll be able to use your clean SD card.

start the formatting process from windows explorer

Method 2: DiskPart

DiskPart is a built-in command-line utility that allows formatting drives without having to use the Windows GUI. If you run into any issues with the previous method, you may want to give DiskPart a shot.

  1. Start by running the Command Prompt as an administrator. Search for Command Prompt in the Start Menu and select Run as administrator.

search for cmd in start menu to run it as an administrator

  1. Type diskpart into the Command Prompt and press Enter.
  1. Then, type list disk and press Enter. This will show you a list of drives on your computer.

running the diskpart command in command prompt

  1. Identify your SD card on the list. The size of the disk is the best indicator of which disk your SD card is. Once you’ve found the SD card, you’ll need to select it with the following command:
select disk 1
  1. Then, type list volume and press Enter. Then, find and select the SD card volume using the following command:
select volume 5

selecting volume using the diskpart command

  1. Then, run the following command to start formatting your SanDisk SD card:
    format fs=exfat

    You can, of course, change the file system by tweaking the command. For instance, if you want to format the SD card as NTFS, you can use “fs=ntfs”.

    Once the formatting is complete, exit the Command Prompt, and you’re done.

Method 3: Disk Management

You can also use another built-in Windows utility called Disk Management to format or reformat SanDisk SD cards. The following steps will help you format your SD card using the Disk Management tool in Windows.

  1. Search for Disk Management in the Start Menu and select Create and format hard disk partitions.

searching for disk management in the start menu

  1. Look for your SD card in the Disk Management tool, right-click on it, and select Format.

formating sandisk sd card from disk management utility

  1. A small format window should pop up. Enter a Volume label if you want to change it, select a File system, and ensure the checkbox next to the Perform a quick format option is checked. Then, click OK.

start formatting sd card with disk management


Let the formatting process complete, and that’s all you need to do for formatting your SanDisk SD card.

Method 4: SanDisk Formatting Tool (AOMEI Partition Assistant)

You can use built-in Windows tools to format SanDisk SD cards, but all of them come with limitations. For instance, not being able to format SD cards larger than 32GB to FAT32. However, you can use a third-party tool like the AOMEI Partition Assistant.

AOMEI Partition Assistant is a free SanDisk SD card formatter that can make the process faster and simpler. You can also use the utility to format write-protected SD cards and, of course, SD cards from other brands.

  1. Start by downloading the AOMEI Partition Assistant and installing it on your computer.

installing the sd card formatter utility

  1. Launch the utility and look for the SD card you want to format. Right-click on it and select Format Partition.

formatting sandisk sd card with sandisk formatter

  1. You should see a pop-up window where you can assign a partition label and a file system. Enter your preferences and click OK.

selecting file system for sandisk sd card

  1. When you’re done, click Apply from the top-right of the utility’s interface to apply the changes.

click on apply button to start formatting

Easy, right?

But wouldn’t it be even easier if you never had to pull out your SD card from your phone and into your PC just for formatting it? Well, you don’t need to.

How to Format SanDisk SD Card on Android

You can format SanDisk SD cards from an Android phone. You don’t need to remove them and insert them into your PC’s card reader.

However, the interface typically differs based on which Android device you’re using. For instance, the menus and options may be placed slightly differently on the Oxygen UI vs. the stock Android UI.

Regardless, the process, in general, remains the same. We’ll highlight the process using the RealMe UI.

  1. Start by going to the Settings app on your Android phone.
  1. Look for Storage or a similar option in your Settings app.

going to storage settings on your android phone

  1. Within the Storage section, you’ll find the total storage of your Android phone divided into two parts. One is your phone’s storage, and the other is your SD card.

selecting sd card storage in your android phone

  1. Click on your SD card and look for the Format option. Click on it.

clicking on the format sd card option

  1. You’ll probably be asked for confirmation to move ahead without the formatting. Allow the permission.

confirming the formatting of your sd card

Once the process completes, you’ll have formatted your SD card.


Arjun is an Tech ninja, codes HTML and CSS, and has received an honorary mention as the family’s go-to tech help during get-togethers. He has been writing guides for about six years and he’s currently a contributor on major Tech websites like MakeUseOf, HelpDeskGeek and 7 Data Recovery.
Approved by
Senior Data Recovery Engineer. Master's degree in Physics, Information Technology for Science Experiments.