4 Ways to Format SD Cards for Canon Camera Safely

How to Format SD Cards for Canon Camera Without Any Issues

Do you need help on how to format an SD card on your Canon camera? Try one of these methods to format your SD cards on Canon camera and other devices without issues.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Oct 16, 2020 • Filed to: SD Card Solutions • Proven solutions


How to format my SD card for my Canon camera?

"I believe there is a virus on my Canon SD card, and I need to format it. There are many methods online, but I want something safe. Please suggest any safe method to format sd card on Canon camera or other devices."

There are many methods aimed at solving this problem, but users still experience error based on the following:

This article will show you how to format SD Card on canon camera using optimized, safe, and effective methods. Therefore, we implore you to strictly follow instructions, so you won't have any issues.

Why Would You Format an SD Card?

Many factors make users want to know how to format SD cards for Canon cameras. Prevalent factors include viruses, system error, and storage. These factors are responsible for the questions on online communities like Reddit.

Below are the factors that necessitate you to format your SD card on any device.

What format should an SD card be for a camera?

The format of an SD card is the same as the file system. Generally, an SD card must be compatible over a wide genre of devices of different file systems. Therefore, the best format of an SD card for cameras should be FAT32 and exFAT.

File systems depend on the card. For SD and SDHC cards, it is FAT32, while for SDXC cards, it is exFAT. Note that a memory card might be incompatible with other cameras due to the file system.

Also, know about file systems before knowing how to format an SD card on a Canon camera.

Method 1. Format SD Card for Canon in Windows

Windows is a common operating system with millions of users. Therefore, you must have access to a PC running the OS. This method is probably the easiest of the four. However, back up your files before you format an SD card for a Canon camera.

The steps depend on your Windows version, and we are using Windows 10.

Step 1 – Connect your SD card to the computer

format SD card for canon in windows step 1

Step 2 – Begin the Formatting Process

format sd card for canon in windows step 2

You can choose "Quick Format" if you are not sure about it.

format sd card for canon in windows step 2

The ease of performing the steps is evident in the procedures. However, make sure you back up your files before formatting.

Method 2. Format SD Card for Canon on Mac

Mac is not common like Windows, but that does not mean you can't format SD card for Canon camera on it. Like the method for Windows, you don't need a third-party application for the process. However, make sure you back up your files before starting the procedure.

Step 1 – Connect your SD card to your Mac

There are many ways you can connect your SD card to your Mac. Some Mac has a built-in slot for SD cards and other adapter cartridges. Choose the one your system supports.

Step 2 – Navigate to Disk Utility App

The Disk Utility app is like Windows Disk Management, and it is what we are using. Note that you don't need to install it since it is part of the OS.

Step 3 – Begin the Formatting Process

format sd card for canon on Mac

format sd card for canon on Mac

format sd card for canon on Mac

format sd card for canon on Mac

This method is secure due to the security protocol of Mac. Therefore, it is better to use it than the former.

format sd card for canon on Mac

Method 3. Format SD Card on Canon Camera

It is better to use this method because the file system of the SD card does not change while formatting, and you can format without involving other devices, thereby limiting viruses.

Before you begin the process, back up your files. The reason is to avoid losing your pictures and video (even protected ones).

There are different Canon camera models, but we used the Canon EOS R. The method does not vary much, and it should apply to major Canon cameras.

Step 1 – Begin the Formatting Process

Insert the SD card into the camera and power it on.

format sd card on canon camera

format SD card for canon on Mac

format sd card on canon camera

All the methods are foolproof and can work with any SD card. However, you should format an SD card on a Canon camera before trying the others. The reason is that it is secure and no-change in the file system.

Method 4. Fix Canon SD Card Not Formatted Error

Many factors can cause the "Canon SD card not formatted error" on your device. Therefore, no matter what method you are using, you must know what to do if it occurs.

In this part, we will talk about the factors responsible for the error and their solutions.

Why Cannot You Format Canon SD Card?

1. Write Protection and other Permissions

Activation of write protection on your SD card can be a reason for this error. It is common to all methods and evident in the warning sign, "the disk is write-protected."

It is also seen in the form of "Read Only Mode," which does not allow the modification of files om the SD card. Therefore, with the "Read Only Mode" you can't delete, edit, or save a file

2. Corrupted Drivers

This problem is due to corrupted or missing drivers. When this happens, the Device Manager displays the card with a yellow mark.

Solutions to "Canon Camera Will Not Format Memory Card"

1. Fixing Write Protection

Having errors due to "write protection" can be infuriating. However, this article has listed two safe methods for you to try out.

Below are methods to try and remove the error. Like the others, strictly follow the instructions to avoid other issues.

Deactivate the Switches

If the error occurs when you use a card reader, it might be due to the switches found on the edge card reader. The switches are responsible for the activation of the write protection.

To remove the write protection, deactivate the switches.

For the location of the switch, you can refer to the manual that came with the SD card.

Use the Registry Editor

The Registry Editor is another way to disable write protection. Follow these steps to begin the process.

Remove write protection

fix write protection

Using Diskpart

If the write protection does not remove read-only mode, you can use Diskpart. Strictly follow the step-by-step instructions below

Follow these steps, and the read-only memory issue should be removed.

2. Fixing Corrupted Drivers

Corrupted drivers are problems most users do not want to handle. However, it need not to be hard. Below are things to do if you cannot format a Canon SD card due to the error.

Method 1: Update the Driver

Method 2: Uninstall and Reinstall the faulty driver

Method 5. Recover and Repair Canon Camera Data Safely

Making a mistake during any process is part of life. Therefore, do not fear if you forgot to back up your files before you format your SD card.

If you fall under this situation, you need not fear losing your files because of the software called Recoverit Data Recovery Software. The software is ideal for recovering and repairing lost Canon files using both Mac and Windows.

Features of the Software

Recover Deleted or Lost Canon Camera Files

The software is ideal for users who lost the files on their SD card, due to not doing a back-up on the camera.

Step 1. Download and Install the Software

Step 2. Start the Process

Keep your eyes open for the files you are looking for and pause the software if you like.

recover and repair canon camera data safely

Step 3. Preview and Recover the File

After completing the process, check it by previewing it. Once you are sure, you can click the "Recover" button and save it in another location. The process is ideal for recovering videos from cameras, camcorders, SD card, and HDD.

recover and repair canon camera data safely

Repair Broken Videos on Canon Camera

The software can also repair broken videos depending on the formats. You can find the functioin on the home interface. Compatible formats are MP4, MOV, M2TS, MKV, MTS, 3GP, AVI, and FLV.

There are two modes for repairing the broken videos. They are "Quick Repair" and "Advance Repair." Quick repair is ideal for typical video error. Advance repair is mainly for video errors that need analysis before processing.

Step 1 - Add the Video files and Start the Process

add and repair video files

Step 2 - Preview and Save the File

After repairing the video files, a notification will show the completion of the process. Click on "OK" to close the process.

preview the repaired files

Step 3 - Advanced Repair Mode

If the process is unsuccessful, you might need to try the advance repair mode. The result is because the level of corruption of the video is high.

repair broken videos on canon camera

Tips for Formatting Canon SD Card Without Losing Data

To avoid mistakes while formatting your SD card, these are a few things you can try.

Back-Up your Files

While formatting all files on your SD card is lost. Therefore, try to back them up before you use any of the methods above. Recoverit has some methods for you to try out.

Try the Canon Camera Method

The Canon camera is the most secure method among the three. There is no infection of your SD card by malware and won't alter the file system.

Format your SD card after each Shoot

After completing a shoot, download all the images to a separate folder. Then format the SD card inside the camera before you use it again.

Do not fill the SD card completely

The storage space of your SD must not be overfilled because it affects the performance of the camera. In some cases, it can lead to corruption and loss of files.

Do not remove the SD card during the process of formatting

As bizarre as it sounds, do not remove the SD card during the process because it can corrupt the SD card.


Learning how to format an SD card on a Canon camera does not have to be hard. With the methods discussed above, you do not have to worry about encountering any issue.

This article deals with what you need to know about SD cards, how to format them, and solve any other issue during the process.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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