Can't Format SD Card? 6 Effective Fixes

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

May 15, 2024 • Filed to: SD Card Solutions • Proven solutions

Have you ever met these questions? (from Quora):
"Windows cannot format the SD card completely. How do I format it?"
"What is wrong with my SD card when my PC can't format my SD card?"
"How can you fix a micro SD card which is unable to format or delete files?"

Like the above users, many of us have faced the exact problem, i.e., can't format the SD cards. If you also meet these problems, you might have many doubts in your mind, why Micro SD won't format and what can be done under such circumstances. So, to help you, we are here with some beneficial information that will surely serve your purpose.

General Causes for "Can't Format SD Card"

Before we take you to the workarounds of the "SD card won't format" issue, we would like you to know more about the problem. You should always know the possible reasons behind the issue. And therefore, in this section, we will share some causes that will answer why you can't format the SD card.

You may also like: best SD card repair tools

6 Solutions to Fix SD Card Won't Format Error

You can now move on to the resolutions that can help you fix the SD card won't format the problem. We will mention four different ways where you will also learn to format your SD card using different methods. Let us now get to know the instructions for each process.

Solution 1: Format SD Card with Third-party SD Card Formatter

If you have done removing the write protection on your SD card and still the problem occurs, you need to format the SD card with the help of a third-party SD card formatted.

When you browse online, you will get to know options galore to get the purpose solved. One such formatted can be SD Association. These third-party utilities may help you deal with various SD card issues. Hence, look for the best option and get rid of the "SD card won't format" issue.

Solution 2: Format SD Card with CMD

Here is the next way to resolve the "Micro SD card won't format" issue. You can take the help of CMD or command prompt, or you can also say cmd.exe. The command prompt helps manage various problems like hard drive errors or system issues etc. And if the above fixes were of no use, you can try this when you can't format the SD card. Here is what you need to do.

Note: This is to be noted that any wrong commands or operations might lead to severe data loss. Therefore, if you are not comfortable with the command idea or not familiar with it, we do not recommend formatting your SD card this way.

Step by Step Tutorial

  1. pen the command prompt in the first place, and for this, you can type "cmd" in the search box and choose "Command Prompt" from the menu. Or you can right-click on the Start menu and select Command Prompt from there.
  2. When the window opens, wait for a second and type "Diskpart," and press the Enter button.
  3. Go along with the following commands. And as above, make sure to press the Enter key after every command:

    List disk
    Select disk # (Here # means the disk number)
    List partition
    Select partition # (here # means the partition number)
    Format fs=ntfs quick.

format sd card cmd

The aforementioned commands will help your SD card getting formatted quickly, and you won't have to worry about the "cannot format SD card" issue.

Solution 3: Format SD Card with Disk Management

To manage the disks and partitions in the system, one can take the help of a Windows built-in partition manager, Disk Management. It can be used for serving various purposes like partition creation, partition deletion, and the like. And we will use it to format the SD card in this section as a solution when you can't format your SD card. Let us know how you can do it.

Step by Step Tutorial

  1. Start with right-clicking on the Start menu and pick out the "Disk Management" option. Alternatively, you can open the run box using Windows + R key combination and type "diskmgmt. msc" to launch Disk Management.
  2. Now, select the partition on the SD that you wish to format. After choosing, right-click on it and choose the "Format" option.

format sd card disk management 1

  1. On the pop-up, mention the volume label, file system, and allocation unit size in the corresponding fields. Hit on "OK" afterward. Please note that the option that says "Perform a quick format" is checked by default. You can uncheck it if you don't want a full format. Also, the deleted data will not be recoverable.

format sd card disk management 2

  1. Now, you have to confirm the process by hitting on "OK" again.

format sd card disk management 3

More Related: How to Recover Data from Sandisk SD Card?

Solution 4: Remove Write Protection on SD Card

Write protection means that your SD card is set to a read-only function. And therefore, this could be the reason why you can't format the SD card. If this is the case, all you need is to remove your SD card's write protection to make it work smoothly. Hence to fix the "Micro SD won't format" error, the first solution is this, and here are the steps to follow.

Step by Step Tutorial

  1. Launch the Run box firstly by using the Windows and R keys.
  2. In the box, enter "diskpart" and press the Enter key afterward.
  3. The diskpart window will come where you need to enter the commands mentioned below. Make sure to press the Enter key after each of the commands given below. Here are those:

    List disk/
    Select disk # (here # means the disk which is having the write-protection partition).
    Attributes disk clear read-only.

remove write protection

It would help if you closed the window when you are shown "Diskpart attributes cleared successfully." This means the issue of "can't format SD card" is solved.

Solution 5: Change Drive Letter and Paths

  1. Connect the SD card to your computer.
  2. Right-click on the Start icon->Disk Management.
  3. Find your SD card and right-click on it->Change Drive Letter and Paths.
  4. Click Change, then assign a different drive letter to the SD card. Click Ok to complete the settings.

change drive letter

Solution 6: Check and Repair Bad Sectors

It can also cause the SD Card cannot format issue if there are bad sectors in the SD card. To address this problem, you can use CHKDSK to identify and repair any bad sectors. Once all bad sectors have been resolved, formatting the SD card will be a smoother process.

  1. Press the Windows+R keys at the same time. Type cmd in the box and press Enter to launch the CMD.
  2. Enter the following command in Command Propmt:
    chkdsk E: /f /r /x(replace E with the drive letter of the SD card)

repair bad sectors

Bonus Tip: How to Recover Last Data from Micro SD Card with Won't Format Error

If your SD card is still stuck with the "won't format" error and want to get your lost data back, worry not. With the help of Recoverit Data Recovery, everything is possible. This software is designed by Wondershare – a very well-known software company. One can put faith in this tool as it has been successful in achieving countless trusted users. No matter you use a Windows or Mac computer, the tool works equally well with both. Here is more about what this tool can do for its happy clients. After that, we will discuss the process of data recovery stepwise.

Key Features of Recoverit Data Recovery

Free Download | Win Free Download | Mac
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How to Recover Data from SD Card using Recoverit Data Recovery

  1. Download and install Recoverit to your computer.
  2. After this, you are required to plug in your external device, i.e., your SD card, to the PC. Use the perfectly working card reader for the process. Once connected and detected by the system, run the program on your PC.
  3. Once you come to the program's main interface, you are supposed to pick out the device as the target location. Go for it, and then click on the "Start" button.

computer data recovery

Note: The tool can easily work for recovery even if the partition on the device is lost.
  1. When you click the button in the previous step, it will scan your external device. It will take a little time as an all-around scan will be initiated. While the process is going on, you can look for your target files.

scanning lost data

  1. Some moments later, you will be directed to the resultant window. From the scanning results, you can preview your files first. Once you are done with the previewing part, you can get the file by clicking on the "Recover" button. Ensure to save the recovered file in some other location now.

preview recovered file


Not being able to format the SD card can be a disheartening moment. For a minute, you might think it is a huge problem and can easily get panicked. Nevertheless, as every problem comes with a solution, being unable to format the SD card is no such an extraordinary problem. We have shared some fixes that can help you in the situation of Micro SD won't format. Also, we have provided some basic reasons for the problem. We now hope that you can analyze our problem and work on its troubleshooting yourself. If you like, share it with your friends who need such solutions.

Recoverit author

Eleanor Reed

staff Editor

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