How to Reformat a PS1 Memory Card

By David Hunt

Updated September 22, 2017

Video games have become more advanced, but with PlayStation products you can enjoy old games on the newest systems.
i Video Game Gear image by Alhazm Salemi from

Although the original PlayStation has fallen into the shadows of the more advanced PS2 and PS3 models, some of the oldest games are compatible with the newest systems. To save progress in those games, you can reformat the PS1 memory card to match up with the PS2. The PS3 is able to absorb save-data from an old PS1 card, meaning card reformatting is not necessary. You can ensure that the space on the first-generation PlayStation memory cards doesn't go to waste. Also, you can reformat to wipe out old PS1 game saves that you no longer want.

Reformatting for PS1

Insert the memory card into the memory card slot over controller No. 1 in the PS1 console. Remove any game discs from the machine.

Turn on the PS1 console and the television.

Select "Memory Card" in the "Browser" menu that comes up on the screen by moving the cursor to the heading and pushing the "X" button on the controller.

Select the formatting option in the "Memory Card" tab. This clears all information from the memory card. You can also select files individually using the directional pad to delete them.

Reformatting for PS2

Take all memory cards and games out of the PS2 console.

Boot up the PS2.

Put a PS2 memory card in slot one above the controllers. Place the PS1 memory card above slot No. 2.

Click the "Browser" button and then the "Memory Cards" tab.

Select the PS1 memory card on the screen. Then click the formatting option.

PS1 Data on PS3

Boot up the PS3.

Select the "Game" section of the home screen crossbar.

Select "Memory Card Utility."

Plug the PS1 memory card into the slot on the machine's exterior.

Click the triangle button when the card appears on screen to confirm that you want to use the plugged-in card.


Game saves will sometimes format a memory card without any additional work.


Reformatting will delete all information on the PS1 memory card.