How to Format a Sandisk SD Card


Sandisk memory cards have become one of the most popular choices for media storage due to its convenient size and capacity. Periodically these memory cards become full and formatting prepares them for a new round of use.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with SD card slot or USB card reader/writer
  • Media device

Using a Media Device

  • Turn on your device. Insert the SD card and navigate to the device's menu options by pressing "Menu."

  • Go to "Options" using your device's arrow buttons and select "Memory Card." Then press "OK."

  • Select "Format memory card" and press "OK." Your device may prompt you at this point to ensure that you would like to permanently delete your data. Select "Yes" and press "OK." Do not turn off your device until the formatting is complete.

Using a Windows Based Computer

  • Insert your Sandisk card into the SD slot on your computer. If your computer does not have a dedicated SD card slot, place the Sandisk memory card in the USB card reader/writer and insert that into an available USB drive on your computer.

  • Double-click the "My Computer" icon on your computer's desktop.

  • Right-click on the drive letter associated with your memory card or USB card reader/writer and select "Format." Make sure you click on the correct drive letter.

  • Click "Start."

With a Mac Computer

  • Insert your SD card into the SD card slot. Double-click on "Macintosh HD" on your computer's desktop.

  • Click on the "Applications" folder. Then click the "Utilities" folder.

  • Double-click on "Disk Utility" to open the Disk Utility application. On the left side of the program window are the drives connected to your Mac. Using your mouse, select the drive with the capacity of your Sandisk memory card (i.e. 2GB). Be sure NOT to select your main hard disk which will have the name "Macintosh HD", or your personalized name if your changed it from the default. Then click the "Erase" tab.

  • Verify that the volume format is set to the MS-DOS file system. Once this is confirmed, click "Erase" to format the card.

Tips & Warnings

  • Formatting your memory card permanently deletes all data.

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  • Photo Credit memory card image by Dariusz Urbanczyk from
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