How to Erase an SD Card

by Kat Stafford
SD Card image by Haris Rauf from

SD cards are handy devices, but since a multitude of accessories use them (phones, cameras and even the Wii), they fill quickly with data. Erasing the data from an SD card requires just a few mouse clicks when the card is connected to a computer. For this task, you will need an SD card reader. Any type of SD card reader will do, be it USB, express port, or built-in to your laptop or desktop.

Step 1

Insert the SD card into the card reader. If the card reader is USB or express port, plug it into the computer.

Step 2

Click the "Start" menu.

Step 3

Click "Computer" or "My Computer," depending on your operating system. You should see several drives listed.

Step 4

Click on the drive that is called "Removable Drive E:" The drive with your SD card could be named "F" or "G" as well, so make sure when you click on it, the files that appear are the ones you want to delete from the SD card.

Step 5

Press "Ctrl+a" to select all of the files on the SD card.

Step 6

Press the "Delete" key.

Click "Yes" on the menu that appears asking if you would like to send these files to the recycle bin. The files are then erased from the disk.


  • Make sure the SD card's write protection lock is unlocked or the disk will not allow you to delete the files.
  • If you want to completely clear the disk, you can download the SD formatter from Please note: It is not advisable to use the Windows format function to format an SD card.
  • Remember to empty your Recycle Bin to purge all remnants of the deleted files.


Photo Credits

About the Author

Kat Stafford is an English professor and technology expert. She worked in the video-game industry and as a search-engine senior editor before beginning her career in higher education. Stafford has been editing and writing for more than 12 years, with work appearing in various online publications. She holds a Master of Arts in English from National University.

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