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How to Format SD Card and Recover Data from Formatted SD Card

Summary: Have you ever been prompted to format your SD card? Do you know how to format SD card to quickly remove all unnecessary files on it? What does format SD card mean? This post will help you know more about these questions. What's more, if you have to format SD card for normal usage, you can learn how to recover erased files from formatted SD card.

"I use a 16GB SD card on my Nikon camera to save pictures and it works great. While just right now, it prompted me to format the SD card for next use. What does format SD card mean? Is it will remove everything on this card? There are many photos mean a lot to me. I don't want to lost all of them. I tried to plug SD card to computer for backup. But it prompted me the same message. Any help?"

"How to format SD card? I have backed up all important files on my SanDisk SD card and want to quickly delete all things on it. I once format SD card on my camera. But how to do it on computer?"

What Does Format SD Card Mean

For various reasons, you will choose to format your SD card. Under most circumstances, you are prompted to format SD card to solve some issues. Also, you may just want to quickly erase all data from SD card. The truth is, during the usage of SD cards, almost all users format their SD cards at least one time.

Here comes the question, what does format SD card really mean?

Are you having some puzzles about SD card formatting? Now you have come the right place. Here in this post, we will show you what exactly happens when your format SD card FAT32. You will know the difference between format SD card and just delete SD card data. In addition, we will show you some simple solutions to format SD card. You will also get a simple method to recover deleted files from formatted SD card.

Part 1. What does format SD card mean

SD card will be pre-formatted before being put on the market. Formatting SD card is more like a process that bring SD card to the initial condition. SD card formatting will erase all existing data. But there are differences between format and delete.

So what does format SD card mean? What really happens?

When you format a SD card, you will remove all SD card files. Compare with just delete data, SD card formatting can improve the read and write speed and improve the performance. It can quickly give more storage space. What's more, it will reduce the risk of storage errors.

When the SD card is infected by a computer virus, you can't remove virus or corrupted files by deleting. In that case, you can easily rely on formatting way to remove them and get your card back to normal condition. The normal deletion only destroys the file system that shows the device where the data is located.

Part 2. How to format SD card on Mac/PC, camera and Android

Formatting SD card is easy. Sometimes, when you are prompted to format SD card FAT32, you only need to confirm the operation. Then how to format SD card on computer (PC/Mac), digital camera or format a micro SD card on Android? Keep reading to find answers.

How to format SD card on Mac/PC

Within just a few clicks, you can easily format a SD card on Windows PC. While for most Mac users, they don't know how to get the job done. Here in this part, we will mainly show you how to format SD card on Mac.

Step 1 Insert SD card into the card slot on Mac. Make sure the SD card is connected.

Step 2 Open the Finder and then click Go on the menu bar. Then choose Utilities from the drop-down list.


Step 3 Find and double click on the Disk Utilities. Then choose SD card on the left side of the Disk Utility page.

Disk Utility

Step 4 Click Erase on the top side of the window. Select the suitable format and then click Erase button to confirm the operation to format SD card on Mac.

Format SD Card on Mac

How to format SD card on digital camera

It is easier to format a SD card on digital camera. All you need is to find the format option from settings. Now we take GoPro camera as an example to show you how to format SD card on camera.

Format SD Card on Camera

Step 1 Make sure the SD card is inserted in the camera and then turn it on.

Step 2 Swipe down from the top of the touch screen to arise more function icons. Here you need to tap the "Preferences" icon.

Step 3 Locate the "Format SD Card" option and tap on it. Then tap "DELETE" to format the SD card on this camera.

When you want to format a micro SD card on Android device, just start to search for the format option from Settings and storage settings. You will easily find it and make the SD card formatting.

Format SD Card on Android

Part 3. How to recover data from formatted SD card

It's very necessary to back up valuable pictures and other files before formatting. Speak frankly, recovering deleted/lost files from formatted SD card is not that easy. However, in some cases, you are prompted to format SD card to bring it to normal state. In that case, you are not allowed to access any file on SD card. Whatever the reason, you care more about how to unformat SD card.

To recover deleted SD card data, you have to rely on some professional recovering tools. Here we sincerely recommend the powerful SD Data Recovery to help you unformat SD card and find back all files. Just free download it and follow the next steps to rescue these important data.

Step 1 Run SD Data Recovery

Double click on the download button above to free download this data recovering software on your computer. Then follow the instructions to install and launch it. Insert the formatted SD card to computer and ensure it is connected. The SD slot is normally put on the left side of computer.

SD Card Data Recovery

Step 2 Select data type and SD card

This all-featured SD card data recovery enables you to restore any frequently-used data type, including images, videos, emails, documents, songs, and more. Moreover, it has the capability to recover deleted/lost data from computer, hard drive, digital camera, SD card, CF card, etc.

So when you launch it and enter the main interface, you can see many data types and locations are listed. During this step, you need to choose the data type you want to recover. Then select SD card as the target location on the "Removable Devices" part. Here you can see a "fresh" icon, click on it to make sure your formatted SD card is recognized.

Step 3 Scan data on formatted SD card

Click Scan button to quickly scan all selected files on your SD card. It also offers a "Deep Scan" feature to help you scan all types of files deeply.

Scan Files

Step 4 Unformat SD card

After scanning process, you can start to find and restore specific files you want to retrieve. Tick all lost data and then click Recover button to recover all selected files to your computer. In this way, you can handily unformat SD card and find back all erased data.

Recover Files from Formatted SD Card

We mainly talk about SD card formatting in this page. You may have a basic understanding about "what does format SD card mean". Surely, we tell you simple ways to format SD card on Mac, digital camera and Android device. In case you accidently format SD card, we also introduce you with an easy-to-use data recovery to help you restore lost files from formatted SD card. Hope you can find something useful after reading this post. Leave us a message if you still have any question.

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May 09, 2018 09:24 / Posted by to Fix Windows Problems

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