How to Format a Micro SD Card That Can't Be Read


If your phone or other device begins giving you messages such as "Corrupt Data" or "Can not read memory card," it may be time to format your memory card. The formatting process helps your device use the full capacity of the card, as well as make everything run faster and more smoothly.

Things You'll Need

  • Micro SD memory card reader
  • Computer
  • Turn off your phone or device. Remove the memory card from the device and insert it into the memory card reader. Insert the memory card reader into any USB port on your computer. The computer should recognize the memory card. Open "My Computer" and go to the "Removable Disk" drive. Copy all of the files from the memory card onto your computer hard drive.

  • Safely eject the memory card reader from the computer and remove your MicroSD card. Put the memory card back in its slot in your device. Turn the device on. Go to the main menu on your device and from there to "Settings." Find the "Memory Card Options" or "Media Card Options" menu. From there, depending on the brand and model of your device, you may have to go to the "Memory Options" menu.

  • Find the "Format Memory Card"--or just the "Format" menu--option and select it. The device will often ask for a confirmation before formatting the memory card. Press "OK" to begin the formatting process. This may take several minutes. The device will alert you when the formatting process has finished.

  • Turn off the device. Remove the memory card from the device and insert it into the memory card reader. Insert the reader into your computer and find the "Removable Disk," as before. Replace the files that had previously been on your memory card back into the appropriate folder on the card. When your files have successfully been put back on the card, remove the reader from the computer and replace the MicroSD card back into your device. Restart your device, and it should now recognize the files on your memory card.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some memory cards have been so severely damaged that formatting them will not make the device be able to read them again. If your memory card persists in showing distorted files or other problems, you may have to purchase a new memory card.
  • Formatting your memory card will delete all files previously on the card. If you have files on the memory card that you wish to keep, be sure to save the files onto your computer before formatting the memory card.

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  • Photo Credit David Paul Morris/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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