How to Format Raspberry Pi SD Card in Windows list disk

If you need to format Raspberry Pi SD card to FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, or other file systems on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, there are 3 tools you can use. Check this post to get the most suitable one!


By Cherry / Updated on May 7, 2024

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Overview of Raspberry Pi SD card

“Hi, I have downloaded the Raspberry OS for my Pi onto an SD card. I later realized that it was the wrong class. 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?”

Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It was designed with the intention of promoting basic computer science education and making computing more accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.

A Raspberry Pi SD card is a specific type of SD card that is used as the primary storage medium for Raspberry Pi single-board computers. The Raspberry Pi requires an SD card to store its operating system, software, and user data. It serves as the bootable storage that holds the necessary files for the Raspberry Pi to start up and run.

Compared to a normal SD card, Raspberry Pi SD card has smaller storage space and usually is pre-formatted with the appropriate file system and bootable partitions to be compatible with the Raspberry Pi OS (formerly Raspbian). Regular SD cards, on the other hand, may come unformatted or formatted for other devices and operating systems.

What format should I format my SD card for Raspberry Pi?

As 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 the Raspberry Pi SD card.  

But what is the best file system for Raspberry Pi SD card? To format an SD card for use with a Raspberry Pi, you typically want to use the FAT32 file system. This file system is compatible with most operating systems, including Raspbian, the default operating system for Raspberry Pi.

How to format Raspberry Pi SD card on Windows 11/10/8/7

In this part, we'll format the Raspberry Pi SD card with Diskpart, Disk Management, and a professional drive formatter in Windows 11/10/8/7. 

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

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

▶ Windows Diskpart

Windows Diskpart can help you format an SD card or other external hard drives with a specific syntax.

Step 1. Plug in your Raspberry Pi SD card to your Windows computer.

Step 2. Open the Command prompt by pressing "Windows + R" simultaneously, type “cmd”, and press "Enter".

Step 3. In the command prompt Windows, type "diskpart", press Enter to open Diskpart.exe. Then, 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 to the Raspberry Pi SD card.)
• list partition (It will list all partitions in the selected disk.)
• select partition m (m refers to 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. Then Raspberry Pi SD card format fat32 task is completed.

▶ Windows Disk Management

Step 1. Plug in the Raspberry Pi SD card to your Windows 11/10PC, and make sure it can be detected.

Step 2. Right-click My Computer/This PC, select Manage ->Disk Management.

Step 3. In the main interface of Disk Management, you can see the basic situation of your hard drives. Right-click the Raspberry Pi SD card, and select Format to format SD card for Raspberry Pi.

Format Paspberry SD card

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


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

However, 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 the FAT32 file system via the Windows native tools due to their limitation. Thus, you might need a more professional SD card formatter to format Raspberry Pi SD card.

Thus, we recommend you try AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. It is a free yet great SD card formatter that can help you format Raspberry Pi SD card successfully in Windows 11/10/8/7. 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 cards to FAT32 with ease.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

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 on your Windows PC, and launch it. You will see the main interface that includes all your disks on Windows.

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

Format Partition

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


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



AOMEI Partition Assistant is better than the Windows built-in tool to break the limitations. It can make up for 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 convert between MBR disk to GPT disk, convert NTFS to FAT32, and vice versa. And it can repartition the hard drive if you are not satisfied with the current partitions. In addition,  you can get more advanced features in AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional like allocate free space, and quick partition.

If you are working on a Windows Server, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is suitable for you.

FAQs for formatting Raspberry Pi SD card

Q1: Does Raspberry Pi support FAT32?

Yes, Raspberry Pi supports the FAT32 file system. In fact, FAT32 is one of the recommended and widely used file systems for SD cards used with Raspberry Pi.

Q2: What is the recommended file system for a Raspberry Pi SD card?

The recommended file system for a Raspberry Pi SD card is FAT32. It is a widely supported file system and compatible with Raspberry Pi's boot process. While other file systems like exFAT or NTFS may also work, FAT32 is the most reliable choice for compatibility.

Q3: How do I get my SD card ready for the Raspberry Pi?

First, back up your SD card data to another location. The SD card should then be formatted and all existing files deleted.  Set an appropriate format for the SD Card - exFAT (64GB or greater) or FAT32 (32GB or lower).

Cherry · Staff Editor
Cherry is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, cooking, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.