By Cherry / Last Updated May 25, 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.

Raspberry Pi SD card format using Windows built-in tool

You can make use of Windows built-in tool to format Raspberry Pi SD card. The Windows Disk Management and Windows Diskpart will help you format SD card in FAT32, NTFS, or exFAT. Here you can see how to format your Raspberry Pi SD card to FAT32 with Windows built-in tool.

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 a command prompt.

  • Type Diskpart, press Enter. It will open Diskpart.exe.

  • Then, you can start to use Diskpart format partition. Type list disk. It will list all disks on your computer.

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

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

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

  • Type format fs=fat32

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

Windows Disk Management format

Windows Disk Management can also help you format SD card:

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. Thus, you have to turn to another way to format Raspberry Pi SD card.

SD card formatter: format Raspberry Pi SD card easily

AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is a great SD card formatter which can help you format Raspberry Pi SD card successfully in Windows 10/8/7 easier and simpler than Windows built in tool. 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.

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, clickOK.


Step 5. When you back to the main interface, click Applyto 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. 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. Except those, 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.