How to Format Your SD Card in Android

Format Your SD Card in Android

Now and then your phone’s microSD card stops working correctly and has to be formatted. Just like a smartphone that needs a factory reset to try and get rid of weird behavior, an SD card needs a fresh start by formatting it. If you are thinking of selling your Android device and don’t want your information to go with it, formatting the SD card will also come in handy.

Warning: by formatting your SD card, you will lose everything you have saved on it, including pictures, music, and other files. Make sure you have backed up all of your files.

There are plenty of ways to format an SD card on a PC. This article will show you how to format your SD card on an Android device.

Note: This article is applicable only for an Android device with an SD card slot.

Formatting the SD Card on Android

1. (Skip this step if your SD card is already in the phone) Insert the MicroSD card into your phone.


To insert the card into your Android phone, you will first need to remove the back panel and remove the battery. If you are formatting the SD card on an Android tablet, then you will find the SD card reader on the side of your tablet. You will obviously only need to do this if you are formatting an SD card that is not the one that is already on your phone and if your phone or tablet came with an SD card slot.

2. Once you have inserted the SD card, go to “Menu -> Setting -> Storage” to access the Storage settings.


3. Here you will see the “Format Card” option and the “UnMount SD Card” option. To get started, just tap on the first choice, but if it is greyed out, you need to tap “Unmount SD card” first.


4. When you press Format SD Card, you will be advised twice that all of your data will be erased. Just tap on “Format SD Card” and “Erase all” to finish. Remember that after the SD card has been formatted, you need to touch “Mount SD card” to get your phone to recognize and use the SD card.


You are done. Once you have completed these steps you will have a recently formatted SD card, so you can start over. The SD card will be formatted to FAT32 filesystem type.

Can a Damaged SD Card Be Formatted?

Yes, it can. You just need to insert it like you always have and turn off your phone. Turn it back and follow the formatting steps listed above. When you are done, you shouldn’t see the damaged SD card message, and you should be able to see how much memory it has.

Suggestions on How to Avoid SD Card Damage and Error Message


There are quite a few things you can do to avoid getting an error or damaged SD card message. For example, you should never remove the SD card when you are viewing or saving pictures and turning on/off your device, and never change the memory card when your device is on.

Looking at your pictures or taking pictures when your phone’s battery is low is something you want to avoid. If you notice that you are always dealing with damaged SD cards, there is a good chance that your device is damaging your memory cards, and you might want to take it into service to get the problem fixed.

Formatting SD Card on Android 6.0 Marshmallow


If you are one of the lucky users that are already enjoying Android 6.0, there is something you should know when formatting your SD card. When you insert an SD card with this Android version, you will be asked if you want to treat it as an internal storage or portable storage.

If you choose portable storage, then the SD card will be treated just like a removable storage. If you choose internal storage, the SD card will be formatted and encrypted. Before selecting “Internal Storage,” think carefully because once that option is selected, your SD will be treated as such and won’t be read by your PC. If one day you choose to take it out, slide it into an adapter and onto your computer. The SD card, from now on, will be your phone’s main storage space.


With this method your SD card will have the fresh start it has been asking for, and hopefully any problems you have been having with the SD card will disappear. If you found this information useful, don’t forget to give it a share, and feel free to drop any comments or questions in the comments.


  1. Hi, My transcend micro sd card give me big trouble, its detected, but can not create any folder or copy any content to it.

    I have unmount and format it, still problem persist, I dont have card reader, so not able to format through PC.

    Please help!!


  2. Hi hope you can help.. I have been trying to move a 4.2gb file from my phone to my sd card but it keeps saying failed to move.. I never had this problem before but recently updated to android 6.1 please please help I always store big files on my sd card as they cause lag on my galaxy A3

  3. My LG Stylo 2 Plus will not format my sd card, it’s not even reading it half of the time but, when it does, it ask me to format it, so i follow the prumps, and it gets to 20%, it stops, can you send me a link to a site that can do it for free, or a Android App that will search my cell phone for the SD Card, and format it for me, please ?!

  4. My phone keeps shutting off and turning back on again as soon as the sd card is inserted
    There’s about a 10 second window but that’s about it
    I don’t have time to format it

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