How to Restore a Bad SD Card

by Jay Darrington ; Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Computer with card reader

  • Internet access

  • Web browser

SD cards are some of the most popular forms of portable storage. SD cards, and their Micro SD card counterparts can be placed inside several different devices. However, there may come times when they become bad and unusable, and you can't access the card. Fortunately, in times like this, the SD association has a formatting program you can use to format and restore your card.

Point your browser to the SD Association's SD formatter (see the Resources section.)

Click the button at the bottom to download the SD Formatter.

Double-click on the downloaded file to install the SF formatter. Follow the on-screen directions to set up the program.

Insert the bad SD card into the computer's card reader.

Run the SD Formatter.

Choose the drive that represents your SD card using the dropdown box at the top of the formatter. (You can check which drive it is by going to "My Computer" on your PC.)

Click "Options" and click on "Full (ERASE OFF)" as the choice. If "Full (ERASE ON)" is available, choose it instead. Click "OK."

Click the "Format" button to restore your SD card.


  • This will delete all of the data on your SD card.

About the Author

Jay Darrington has been a professional writer since 2006, specializing in technology. He has published on several online blogs, including iTech24, iPhoneland and Tech101. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication technology from California State University.

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