If you are wondering how to clear an SD card then, you are at the right place.

Sometimes it becomes necessary to erase the data for several reasons. Clearing the data is quite easy and steps vary depending on the device to which the SD card is connected.

In this article, you will come across ways in which you can clear an SD card. 


Why To Clear Data On an SD Card

SD card holds a lot of data and there are chances that an SD card can get corrupted. One should transfer important files to the system or hard disk timely to avoid loss of data. Clearing the entire data of the SD card is required when you need free space to store more data. But other than that, the card might get infected with a virus or malware or the card may get stuck with errors. In such cases, erasing the memory card might save it from damage.

There is a difference between formatting and clearing a memory card. Formatting entirely erases all data from the card while clearing the card means erasing the contents but traces of the data can still be recovered using recovery software. The below-mentioned section will take you through some easy steps for erasing the SD card on different devices. Read on to know more.

More info on formatting SD card is here

sd card as internal storage


Using Windows 10/11

There are three ways to clear an SD card using Windows 10/11.

Clearing SD card via Windows Explorer

If you have a Windows system, it is very simple to erase the data of a memory card using it. The very first way is through File Explorer. Follow the below steps.

Step 1: Connect the card to your system.

Step 2: Go to “This PC” or Press Windows + E to open Windows Explorer.

Step 3: Find your SD card and right-click on it.

Step 4: Press the Format button to start the process.

Clearing SD card via Disk Management

Another common way to clear an SD card is through Disk Management. The below steps will guide you through the process.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu and select Disk Management.

Step 2: Locate your SD card partition and right-click on it.

Step 3: Click Format. Note that the “Perform a quick format” option is checked.

Step 4: Choose the appropriate File system and allocation of unit size.

Step 5: Click OK to start the process.

Clearing SD card via Command Prompt

Lastly, CMD is an instant way for a Windows system to clear an SD card entirely. Follow the below steps to initiate formatting.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to the system.

Step 2: Press the Windows + R to open Run Utility.

Step 3: Type in “cmd” and press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch CMD with administrative permissions.

Step 4: In CMD, type “diskpart” and click Enter.

Step 5: Type list disk and click Enter to see each of the accessible drives.

Step 6: Type select disk * (where ‘*’ corresponds to the SD card).

Step 7: Type clean to start processing.

Step 8: To create a partition on the now cleaned SD card, Type create partition primary.

Step 9: Choose the file format by typing format fs=ntfs or, format fs=exfat.

Step 10: Assign a letter to the drive, assign letter=E (Here, ‘E’ can be replaced with any letter).


How to recover data after clearing an SD card

If you want to recover data after accidentally clearing an SD card, you can do it by connecting the SD card to your system. Select the SD card drive and click Scan to recover data. There are several tools designed to save you from any data loss example Disk drill is a free software for Windows.


Using Mac

You can clear an SD card using a Mac device by following the below procedure.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to your Mac device.

Step 2: Open Disk Utility.

Step 3: Go to the left pane and choose the SD card. Change it to the Erase tab.

Step 4: Give a name to the SD card.

Step 5: Select File format example exFAT is supported by both Windows and macOS.

Step 6: Tap on Erase button to complete the process.

Check out this article to know how to format any SD Card to FAT32 on Mac.

Using Android

Clearing an SD card on an Android phone is simple. Follow the below steps.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step2: Select “Storage” to check the remaining space.

Step3: Go to SD card options.

Step4: Choose “Erase SD Card” or “Format SD Card” as per choice.

iOS/iPadOS cannot format external media – such as SD Media cards. 

Using a Camera

For all active photographers and videographers, clearing an SD card is a usual process. While using a camera, you can follow the below steps to erase all contents when required. Make sure to back up your data before proceeding.

Step 1: Switch off the camera and insert the SD card into the camera.

Step 2: Go to Menu > Setup menu > Format.

Step 3: Wait for a few seconds till the process completes.

For more information, visit the links How to Remove Write Protection on Micro SD Card and How to Fix Corrupted SD Card



Thanks for reading!

I hope this guide helped you gain all the information about how to clear an SD card 🙂 


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