How to Force Format an SD Card

By Meaghan Ellis

When an SD card is connected to a computer with a card reader, it is usually formatted immediately because the software drivers are installed automatically. But there are some cases when the computer might not detect the SD card connection. If this occurs, the SD card will need to be formatted manually to force the action. Force formatting is usually not difficult, as it only requires changes to the device's configurations and properties.

Step 1

Place the memory card into a card reader. Slide the card reader into the computer's card reader slot (the card reader slot might be labeled as the PCMCIA port).

Step 2

Go to "My Computer" and locate the SD card drive under "Devices with Removable Storage." Right-click the SD card's icon, then click the "Format" action in the collapsible menu. The Option Setting box will open for the SD card.

Step 3

Click the drop-down bar next to "Format Type" and choose the "Quick" option.

Step 4

Select "Off" in the second drop-down menu to the Format Size Adjustment option. The Quick format type is highly recommended because it lets you to format the card without removing any of the files on it. If you want to erase all of the files on the SD card while formatting, select the "Full" option.

Step 5

Click "OK" to manually initiate the process to format the SD card. When the SD card is formatted, a notification will appear displaying the amount of space available for the memory card.