How To Format (Erase) Your Memory Card (for Android)

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Do you want to erase everything on your memory card in one simple step? Or does your SD card keep giving you errors and saying it is corrupt? Well, in both cases the best option may be to format your SD card. Typically you would have to do this on a computer, but Android gives you the option to do it right on your phone.

Note: Formatting your SD card erases absolutely everything on it, so make sure you have backed up whatever data you want from your SD card prior to doing this (if you can).

Follow the step by step instructions below to format your memory card:

  1. From your home screen, press menu>settings.
  2. In the settings menu, look for an option like “Memory” or “SD & phone storage.” Click on whatever one is on your phone.
  3. Find the “Unmount SD card” option and hit it.
  4. Now, press the “Format SD card” option.
  5. Press “okay” or “yes” or whatever confirmation your phone asks for to continue.
If this doesn’t work for you on your phone, you may have to do it on a computer. To do it on a computer, connect the memory card to the computer and go to My Computer. In the My Computer folder, find the memory card and right click on it and hit format.
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About Author

David Rahimi is the editor-in-chief at PhoneBuff.com. Ever since he got his first smartphone, he has been obsessed with mobile technology and all that it has to offer. Other interests include business, investing, and neuroscience.

  • rob

    my sd is reading blank n when i reformat it it doesnt do anything. i have an htc sensation

    • David Rahimi

      Reformatting clears out everything on the SD card, so it should be reading blank. Unless you mean it still isn’t working after the reformat. If this is the case, I’d try to reformat it on a computer instead and see if that helps. To do this, connect the SD card to your computer, go to My Computer and right click on your SD card. Then click on the option that says “Format.” Hope that helps!

  • Augusto Lugo

    Good day.
    Quick question, I have a HTC AMAZE 4G and have a 16gb SD CARD, want to replace with a 32 GB, How do I go about removing the old card and Putting the new one with all the apps and Imfo I have save on the 16GB Card?? Your videos are very helpful, and Thanks.

    • David Rahimi

      Copy all the files from your 16 GB card over to your computer. Then connect the 32 GB card and transfer all the files that you copied earlier to the 32 GB card.

      • Augusto Lugo

        Thanks so much for the help.

  • Joy Trinkle

    How do i get my pics and everything when my sd card says blank and i havent done anything?

    • David Rahimi

      So you haven’t formatted right (as that would delete everything)? If you haven’t, just connect your SD card to your computer and transfer all the files over. The files should be on there unless your phone stored them to the internal storage (what kind of phone do you have?) or if the SD card got corrupted.

  • Chris Topel

    when I try to format it everything goes well on the phone but when i connect it to the computer it says it has to format. so i try to go through with it on my computer but it says windows is unable to complete format. any theories?

  • neda

    hi. i cut and paste all files on my sd kard into the phone,i formatted sd card by phone, but when i connect it by usb to com, and turn on usb storage it does n’t connect to com so i can’t retransfer the file into the phone :( plz help me