Many-a-times, you will be asked to format the SD card as soon as you insert it into the computer, mobile phone or SD cardscamera etc. You will click on Format button since you are left out with no other option. Surprisingly, you may see “unable to complete the format SD card”, “unable to format SD card”, “Windows cannot complete format” etc. errors. You might have wondered why my computer cannot format my SD card?

In some cases, users wanted to format their SD card and they start to do it by right-clicking on the card. Unfortunately, they stuck due to “cannot format SD card” error and think Why I am unable to format the SD card? What can I do now?

Well, situations might be different here, but the problem is same. Let us know why the SD card fails to format and what can be done to resolve this problem.

Why SD card won’t format?

Fundamentally, we will try to format SD card when we ran into problems; as formatting fixes the card and makes it function normally. But, there exist few aspects that stop your SD card from being formatted. Based on a study, here’s listed out some major reasons, which are responsible for unable to format SD card issue. However, here’s the method to recover data from SD card that needs formatting, if your main concern is to retrieve important files from the SD memory card.

1) Write protection: Write protected SD card doesn’t allow you to format it.

2) Bad blocks: SD card, which is accumulated with more number of bad sectors hence corrupted, won’t get format easily.

3) Malware: Using the same SD card across several computers, card readers, camera, mobiles, etc. gadgets can easily induce virus onto the card. If the card gets severely infected by virus or malware, then you will hardly be able to format the SD card.

So, what is the answer for how to format the SD card which cannot be formatted? Here you go…

Techniques to format the SD card that says cannot format:

Note: Sometimes corrupted SD card asks for formatting. At those times, you have to format the card in order to access it further. In case, if you have saved important files on SD card, also don’t have a backup and thinking how to recover files from a corrupted SD card then don’t lose hopes. Recover your SD card files using recovery software, then save those files on safe location and follow these methods.

1) Remove SD card write protection:

  • Hook up your SD card with computer
  • From Command Prompt type these codes and hit Enter
    • diskpart
    • list disk
    • select disk X (X: the drive letter of SD card)
    • attributes disk clear readonly
    • exit

Now try to format your SD card

2) Run CHKDSK on your SD card

  • Connect SD card to computer
  • Start Command Prompt
    • Type Chkdsk (X): /r (X is SD card’s drive letter)
    • Hit Enter button

Now format your SD card

3) Format SD card from Command Prompt

Follow the detailed guide to format an SD using CMD. Type these codes one after the other followed by hitting Enter button

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk X (X drive number of your SD card).
  • clean
  • create partition primary
  • select partition P (P is newly created partition)
  • active
  • format fs=ntfs (if you want NTFS) OR format fs=fat32 (if you want FAT)

4) Format SD card using Disk Management

  • Right-click on My Computer
  • Choose Manage
  • Opt Disk Management
  • Find your SD
  • Right click on its white-lined space
  • Choose Format