DJI drones use SD cards to store videos and photos. Every camera needs a storage space so it can be used properly. SD cards are a common choice for DJI drones because they're small, have enough space, and are easy to manage.

One of the common things in managing DJI drone SD cards and your data is formatting. In this post, we'll discuss why it's important to format DJ drones SD cards and share the steps you need to take to format SD cards on different DJI drone models.

Let's start by sharing common scenarios that require formatting.

In this article
    1. How to format SD cards on DJI Avata or DJI FPV
    2. How to Format SD Card in DJI Osmo Action 4
    3. How to format SD cards on DJI Air, Mavic, or DJI Mini Using DJI Fly App

Why It's Important to Format DJI Drone SD Cards

dji drone with sd cards

You should format your DJI Drone SD card for several reasons, and it's not only about clearing the card when you need space.

  • Ensure optimal performance: Formatting a card ensures the file system remains optimal for retrieving and storing data. Formatting helps organize data structure and makes the card more efficient for writing and reading information.
  • Avoid data corruption: When you use your DJI SD card to capture videos and photos for a long time, your card may become corrupted or fragmented. Formatting your card regularly reduces corruption risks and keeps your card healthy.
  • Ensure compatibility: All the images and videos you store on your SD card must be moved somewhere. Different operating systems and storage devices use different file systems. Formatting your SD card allows you to change the file system, which means that you can move files quickly and easily manage data while avoiding file corruption.
  • Extending the lifespan of your SD card: Formatting your SD card extends its lifespan. Each formatting prevents wear and tear on memory cells, accumulation of data fragments, and degradation, significantly extending its lifespan.

Dji SD Card Formatting Guide

There are different types of DJI drones, and they have different steps for formatting SD cards. Here are some of the most common DJI drones and how to format SD cards on them:

How to format SD cards on DJI Avata or DJI FPV

  1. Turn on your goggles and your DJI FPV or Avata drone.
  2. Enter the menu on your goggles and enter Settings.
    dji avata and fpv settings
  3. Go to Camera.
    dji pfv and avata camera settings
  4. Go to Format.
    dji fpv and avata format settings
  5. Select Aircraft SD Card, Goggles, SD Card, or Internal Storage, depending on your needs, and click Confirm. Wait until the formatting is complete.
    formatting sd card on dji avata

How to Format SD Card in DJI Osmo Action 4

  1. Start your DJI Osmo Action 4 and swipe on the back screen to enter the menu.
  2. Access the settings icon located in the upper-right corner (nut icon).
    dji osmo action settings
  3. Scroll down and access Format.
    djo osmo action format settings
  4. Swipe the microSD icon from left to right to start formatting.
    dji osmo action format swipe
  5. Wait while formatting is in progress.
    dji osmo action formatting progress
  6. You can start using the card when you get the “Formatting successful” message.
    djo osmo action successful format

How to format SD cards on DJI Air, Mavic, or DJI Mini Using DJI Fly App

The formatting process is identical on all DJI drones with the DJI Fly App. Some of the most popular models that use the app are DJI AIR, Mavic, and DJI Mini. However, with the DJI Fly App, you can use the same steps on any DJI drone. Here are the steps:

  1. Turn on your remote controller and the DJI Drone. Connect the phone to your DJI drone and start the app if necessary.
  2. When in the live view window, look for the three dots in the upper right corner and tap on them.
    dji fly app menu
  3. Tap on Camera, scroll down, and you will see the Format option next to Storage Location. Tap on it.
    dji fly app format button
  4. Select what you want to format. Since this is a guide on formatting SD cards, tap SD card and Format.
    dji fly app format confirmation
  5. The “Formatting…” message will be displayed next to your card. Wait until the process is complete.
    dji fly app formatting progress

How to Format a DJI SD Card on a Windows Computer

The simplest way to format a DJI SD card is to connect it to your Windows computer. But before you can do this, you will need an SD Card reader or a laptop with one. Remove the SD card from the drone, connect it to your device, and follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, type “This PC,” and click on the first result.
    accessing this pc on windows
  2. Locate your SD card, right-click it, and click Format.
    sd card format on windows
  3. When the formatting window shows up, select the file system you want to format to, select Quick Format, and click Start.
    sd card formatting settings on windows
  4. Wait until the process is complete, and you get the “Format Complete” message.
    format complete message

How to Format a DJI SD Card on a Mac Computer

Like formatting a DJI SD card on Windows, you need an SD card reader if you don't have one built into your Mac. Remove the card from the drone, connect to the computer, and follow these steps:

  1. Open Spotlight Search, type “Disk Utility,” and click on the first result.
    accessing disk utility on mac
  2. When the Disk Utility app starts, locate your SD card on the left under “External” and click it, then click Erase in the upper right corner.
    erase option in disk utility
  3. In the next window, name your card, select the file system, and click Erase.
    sd card formatting settings on mac
  4. Wait for the process to complete and click Done when finished.
    completed formatting on mac

How to Recover Data From a Formatted DJI SD Card

When you format an SD card, all of its data is lost. If you've formatted your SD card without checking the data, only to realize later that you needed some of the videos or photos, you might be in a pickle. Don't worry, though, there's a way of recovering data from a formatted SD card as long as you do it as quickly as possible without writing new data on that SD card.

Wondershare Recoverit is a professional data recovery tool that can retrieve data from SD cards with a 98% success rate. It can retrieve data from all SD card brands, recover over 1000 types of files, and recover data regardless of the loss scenario.

Even if your card is corrupted, you can successfully use this tool. Download and install Wondershare Recoverit on your computer and connect the card.

Follow these steps to recover data from a formatted DJI SD card:

  1. Open the app, click Hard Drives and Locations, and select your SD card under the External Devices section.
    wondershare recoverit starting screen
  2. It will automatically start scanning your SD card and display any discovered files in real-time. You can see the progress in the bottom left corner and stop or pause the scan at any moment. Select the file(s) you're interested in and click Preview on the right side.
    scanning an sd card in recoverit
  3. Review the video or the image on your SD card, and if these are files you want to recover, click Recover in the bottom-right corner.
    previewing sd card videos in recoverit
  4. Name the file you want to save, select the save destination, and click Save.
    saving recovered sd files in recoverit


If you want to format your DJI drone SD card quickly, you can do it directly using the drone's interface or mobile app. However, these options don't give you customization and flexibility in selecting the file system, naming the SD card, or changing advanced settings like allocation size.

You must format your SD card directly on your Windows or Mac computer for these changes, so remember to check the contents of the card before formatting. However, even if you delete the files you need, you can always get them back using Wondershare Recoverit.

Theo Lucia
Theo Lucia May 14, 24
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