How to Format an MP3 Player on a PC

by William Nagel
mp3 player image by patrimonio designs from <a href=''></a>

Formatting your MP3 player removes all files stored on its drive and resets the device to a clean, like-new state. Personal computers treat MP3 players as removable drives, which means you can format your MP3 player as you would a flash drive or a removable hard drive. Before you format your MP3 player, copy any music files you want to save to your computer.

Step 1

Connect your MP3 player to your computer. Close the "AutoPlay" window that appears.

Step 2

Click the "Start" menu and open your computer's "My Computer" or "Computer" window.

Step 3

Right-click the icon that corresponds to your MP3 player. Select "Format" from the menu.

Step 4

Select "FAT" or "FAT32" from the "File System" drop-down list. Leave the other settings at their defaults. Enter a name for your MP3 player in the "Volume Label" text box to give your MP3 an identifier.

Press the "Start" button to begin the formatting process. Click "OK" to continue with the formatting procedure if a warning dialog appears. Do not disconnect the MP3 player until the formatting is complete.


  • Formatting a drive will eliminate all data on that drive. Exercise caution when formatting drives to ensure that you do not lose any data you do not want to lose.


  • You can check the Quick Format option before pressing "Start" to decrease the amount of time your computer takes to format the drive. Using Quick Format is faster than doing a regular format, but the formatting is not as thorough and may cause problems on some MP3 players.


Photo Credits

  • mp3 player image by patrimonio designs from

About the Author

William Nagel is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he studied science, technology and culture. He has been writing since 2007 and specializes in computer hardware, operating systems and software documentation. His work has been published in the "North Avenue Review."

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