By Cherry / Last Updated December 2, 2020

The Raspberry Pi SD card needs to be formatted

“Hi, I have downloaded the raspbrian OS for my Pi onto an SD card. I later realized that it was the wrong class. As so far, the Raspberry Pi SD card needs to be formatted so that it can be reused. When I try to format it on my Windows computer, it only formatted what it could read. So here I’m asking how can I completely format SD card in Windows?”

How to format Raspberry Pi SD card on Windows 10/8/7?

As it described above, a Raspberry Pi SD card will often show you a tiny amount (usually 56MB) in Windows, because it can’t see the much larger Linux partition. In order to ensure the SD card is completely blank and has no partition that may be hidden from Windows, you need to format Raspberry Pi SD card. And here gives you two methods for Raspberry Pi SD card formatting in Windows 10/8/7.

1. Raspberry Pi SD card format using Windows built-in tool

You can make use of Windows built-in tool (Windows Disk Management and Windows Diskpart ) to format Raspberry Pi SD card to FAT32, NTFS, or exFAT. Here are specific steps.

Windows Diskpart format

Windows Diskpart can help you format SD card or other external hard drive with a specific syntax. Here, plug in your Raspberry Pi SD card to your Windows computer, and you need to open a command prompt first: press "Windows + R" simultaneously, type “cmd”, press "Enter". It will pop up the command prompt Windows. Then type Diskpart, press Enter to open Diskpart.exe. AT last, type the following commands in turn and remember to press Enter after each one.

  • list disk. It will list all disks on your computer.

  • select disk n, n refers the Raspberry Pi SD card.

  • list partition. It will list all partition in the selected disk.

  • select partition m, m refers the partition you want to format to FAT32.

  • format fs=fat32

Diskpart Format Fat32

Wait till the progress reaches 100%. type exit two times to quit the command prompt.

Windows Disk Management format

Plug in the Raspberry Pi SD card to your Windows PC, make sure it can be detected. Right click My Computer/This PC, select Manage ->Disk Management. In the main interface of Disk Management, you can see the basic situation of your hard drives. Right click the Raspberry Pi SD card, select Format.


Windows Disk Management allows you to format it to NTFS, FAT32, exFAT. Choose the one that you need. Here we choose FAT32, click OK.

Choose File System

However, you cannot format successfully with Windows built in tool every time. Sometimes, you may meet the problem that Windows was unable to complete the format. Besides, you cannot format a Raspberry SD card, which is over 32GB, to FAT32 file system via the Windows native tools due to their limitation.Thus, you need a more professional SD card formatter to format Raspberry Pi SD card. That’s the next method.

2. Free SD card formatter: format Raspberry Pi SD card easily

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a free yet great SD card formatter that can help you format Raspberry Pi SD card successfully in Windows 10/8/7. It provides more file systems for your selection, and they include NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, Ext4, Ext3 and Ext2. Moreover, it is able to format large SD card to FAT32 with ease. Here you can follow the detailed steps below:

Step 1. Connect the Raspberry Pi SD card to your Windows PC. Make sure it can be detected.

Step 2. Free Download AOMEI Partition Assistant, install it to your Windows PC, and launch it. You will see the main interface that including all your disks on the Windows.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 3. Right click the SD card, select Format Partition.

Format Partition

Step 4. It will show you a window where you can set up detailed of this formatting. AOMEI Partition Assistant allows you to format partition to NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, Ext2, Ext3, etc. Here we choose FAT32, click OK.


Step 5. When you back to the main interface, click Apply to execute the progress.



AOMEI Partition Assistant should be the best SD card formatter. It can make up Windows built-in tools’ defects and make Raspberry Pi SD card format easier to finish. Besides, it is a great disk manager that can help you partition your hard drive in the best status, for example, you can use it to repartition hard drive if you are not satisfied with the partitions at present.

It is also a great tool for disk converting, like converting between MBR disk to GPT disk, converting NTFS to FAT32 and vise versa. Besides, you can get more advanced features in AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional like allocate free space, quick partition. If you are working on a Windows Server, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is suitable for you.