By AOMEI / Last Updated May 25, 2020

Steps to format an SD card in Windows

The easiest way to format an SD card in Windows is through File Explorer. You can follow the steps below to format SD card in Windows 10/8/7.

Step 1: Connect the SD that needs formatting to your Windows computer.

Step 2: Open “Computer” in Windows 7/8 or “This PC” in Windows 10 from Desktop View or Start. You can also press Windows key +E simultaneously to open “Computer”.

Select SD Card

Step 3: At the pop out Computer window, your SD should be listed. Right click on it, and select “Format” from the drop down menu.

Select Format

Step 4: In the Format window, select the file system for your SD card. If your SD card is larger than 32GB, you can select NTFS or EXFAT file system, otherwise, you can select FAT32 or NTFS. If you want to format a 64GB or larger SD card to FAT32, you can use third party free partition software.

Start Format

Step5: Select Quick Format, which is checked by default and click Start to start the SD card format process.

Usually, in seconds, the format will be complete and you can use the SD card to store data. If, however, you get an error message saying the disk is write-protected, then you have to remove write protection before you can format it.

Write Protection

Remove write protection

An SD card is write-protected is not a big deal and you can try one or more of the steps below to get rid of it.

Method 1: Check whether the memory card has a lock to prevent it being formatted. For a micro-SD card or mini-SD card, it needs to be inserted into an SD card adapter, which may have a lock switch on the upper left or right side, in order to connect to a computer. You just need to slide the lock off on your SD card or SD card adapter. After that, you can easily format micro SD card.

Method 2: make a full scan of your SD card using Antivirus software because viruses may cause the write-protected error.

Method 3: USE Diskpart Utility to Remove SD card Write Protection

1. Type “diskpart.exe” in the Windows run box and press Enter key.

2. Within the Diskpart window, type “list disk” and then all your disks including the SD card will be listed with a disk number.

3. Type “select disk n” to select your SD card. The letter “n” represent the SD card disk number.

4. Type “attributes disk clear readonly” and press Enter.

5. When the process is done, you should be able to format your SD card.

Method 4: Use System Registry to remove write protection

Be aware that inappropriate changes in System Registry may cause serious trouble. Before you do, it is recommended to take a system backup just in case.

1. Type “regedit” in a run box and press Enter.

2. Locate the following path in Registry:


3. Then you shall see “Write Protection” option, and double-click it to set the value to ‘0’.

After that, you should be able to write or format your SD card. In addition to using Windows built-in tool, you can also use third party software to format an SD card.

How to Format an SD card with partition software

To format the memory card, you can use a free easy to use utility – AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It gives more options regarding formatting an SD memory card or USB flash drive.

To format a memory card:

1. Free download this software, install and launch it.

2. Within its intuitive interface, right click on SD card and select “Format Partition.

Format Partition

3. In a pop out window, select a file system and write a partition label if need be and click “OK” to continue. Unlike File Explorer, you can format a 64GB or larger partition to FAT32.

Select File System

4. Click “Apply” upper-left the window to apply the changes.


AOMEI Partition Assistant has many other features besides the ability to format SD card. You can use it to partition SD card, resize partition, or migrate OS to SSD, etc. If you need more advanced features, like merge non-contiguous partitions and convert system disk to GPT/MBR without data loss, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional for PCs and AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition for Servers.