With daily and frequent use, the SD card on your Android phone can show malware infections, file storage errors and a tendency to overwrite itself. You can begin from a clean slate by formatting it properly. In fact, it is considered best practice to format your SD card now and then to boost performance and reduce clutter. Follow the simple procedure below to perform this activity for an Android phone.
Take a Backup of Your Data
Formatting the SD card will erase all its memory which means you will lose access to all your stored information. It is better to take a backup of this data first.
Google will back up your SD card and other phone data for free. If you have a lot of pictures and videos, you can enable automatic syncing with Google Photos on the cloud.
For the remaining data, go to your phone’s Settings where you can view an option for “Backup and Reset.” which is a common feature available with Samsung Galaxy, Oppo, OnePlus and Motorola handsets.
HTC phones have an “HTC Backup” app. Likewise, you need to check with your specific handset manufacturer website for instructions on making a backup of any other device.
If you don’t want to back up your information on Google’s servers, you can use third-party apps to back up your SD card.
Formatting an SD Card
Remove the phone’s back panel (or remove the SIM card tray). You can easily locate the SD card here. Before formatting, make sure just once that it’s been inserted properly.
Navigate to the phone’s “storage and USB” option. Click here to access your SD card details.
The only common link for all Android handsets is that you can locate the format SD card option from Settings. Depending on your handset model, it may be located under a different name.
For example, for Samsung Galaxy phones, the storage and USB options are separate, which you can access directly from the “format SD card” menu.
For most other Android phones, you should be able to navigate to the SD card details. It should clearly read the amount of storage data in use. You then have to click “portable storage” for more options.
In the next step you can view a three-dot icon from where you can access the SD card Settings.
If you’re using Android Marshmallow, Nougat or Oreo, you should see the option for “format as portable storage.” For older Android versions, you will see “format as internal.” Click the “Erase and Format” button and wait for a few minutes.
The process might take a while if you have a lot of stored data to be formatted. Be patient.
The inner app memory program will calculate the total space on your phone with a formatted SD card. Depending on your handset model, you might see a “success” status. As long as the total SD card memory is erased, you can safely assume that you now have a whole new SD card.
If there is still some residual space, you can assume that some partitions of the SD card have been corrupted. In that case it is better to replace your SD card or occasionally repeat the entire procedure described here. Once a month is advisable.
Can I Use a Damaged SD Card?
Yes, you can. As long as your SD card is readable on a phone or computer, it can be used with regular precautions. However, it is better to take a backup of your damaged SD card data and replace it with another one.
Although SD cards aren’t that expensive, you don’t have to throw one away just because it is not performing to expectations. For example, even if you don’t want to use an SD card in a mobile phone, you can use it to power a Raspberry Pi computer.
What other methods/apps did you use to format your phone’s SD card? Please share in the comments.
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