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SD card is an important tool for mobile devices, which is used in Android phones, digital cameras and tablet computers. Once it is damaged or unreadable, formatting is a useful solution.

format sd card used in smart phone
Part 1: When SD Card can be Formatted
Formatting SD card is equivalent to simply resetting the card. It will erase all data on the SD card, such as pictures, videos and documents. Besides, it can fix many troubles on the SD card.

When you meet with these situations, try to format the SD card:

  • SD card cannot be detected by smart phones, computers and digital cameras.
  • SD card is attacked by virus.
  • The file system of the SD card is damaged.
  • The free space of the SD card is full.

When you are going to delete all files on the SD card, try to use Renee Undeleter to recover them from the unreadable SD card.

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Formatting is divided into two ways, high-level formatting and low-level formatting. These two ways are different from operations, principles to effects. Next, we will tell you their differences and show you how to format SD card in these ways.
Part 2: What is High-level Formatting and How to Format at High-level?
High-level formatting indicates that the new data can be written on the specific sector in the file system (i.e. FAT16, FAT32 and exFAT) selected by users. This way can initialize the disk or the disk partitions where all files can be deleted. High-level formatting will not delete all data in the disk but to regenerate the boot sector to cover the original data. And users can use the data recovery software to recover the ministakenly formatted data.

If you SD card in unreadable or damaged, try high-level formatting at first. It can shot most of trouble on SD card.

1. High-level formatting on Android Phone

① Inject the SD card into the Android phone and go to [Settings].

② Go to [Storage] > [SD Card] > [Format]. Then all data will be erased. The details in different phones may not be completely the same with this case. Hope it is a good tip for you.

how to format sd card on Android phone by steps
Note: If it cannot be formatted on the phone, try on the computer.
TipsThe SD card will be damaged if it is not used properly. Here are the other approaches to fixing the SD card.

2. High-level formatting on PC

① Connect the SD card to the computer with a card reader. Then, open [This PC] and find out the SD card.
② Right-click at it and select [Format].
select to format sd card if you dont't know how to repair a undetected micro sd card
③ Choose one of the file systems:

  • NTFS is the default format in Windows OS;
  • FAT32 fits the SD card at low capacity;
  • exFAT fits the storage card over 64GB.

Choose [FAT32] or [exFAT] based on your needs. If it is not the first time to format the SD card, check [Quick Format].

how to format the SD card or reformat a hard drive
④ Finally, click [Start] to format the SD card.
Part 3: What is Low-level Formatting and How to Format at Low-level?
Low-level formatting, called as “mass production” by some people, indicates that the disk will be erased, be partitioned to sectors and then be reset to the factory defaults. It can be completed in DOS, Windows NT, Linux and even the compile orders. However, low-level formatting will affect the lifespan of the SD card. The data formatted at low-level cannot be recovered any more.

1. When SD card should be formatted at low-level?

  • If the SD card fails to be formatted, you can try to reset the file data and the control information with low-level formatting.
  • With regard to data safety, data should be erased clearly from the SD card.

2. How to format SD card at low-level

SD Formatter is the tool for low-level formatting.

Note: this approach will irreversibly erase all data on the SD card. You MUST back up all important data on the card.

SD Formatter download link:


① Use a card reader to connect the SD card to PC. Then, run SD Formatter.
② Select the drive letter of the target SD card and the formatting plan, [Quick format] or [Overwrite format].
how to recover deleted photos from sd card in android with sd formatter
③ Finally, click [Format] to begin.
use sd card formatter to format sd card
Part 4: Recover Damaged SD Card
In daily use, Renee Undeleter can recover important data on the SD card, such as pictures, videos, music, Microsoft office documents, Outlook emails and setup files. Besides, it can perfectly be compatible with Windows OS and Mac OS.


① Download and install Renee Undeleter.

press to the download button
mac download button gif
② Use a card reader to connect the SD card to PC. Then, run Renee Undeleter and select [Fast Partition Scan].
select the function fast partition scan in renee undeleter
③ Select the target SD card and the scan mode.

Note: [Fast Scan] can save much more time while [Deep Scan] can go thoroughly the disk and take a longer time to scan. Select one mode depend on the capacity of your disk. Then, click [Next] to begin scanning.

select fast scan mode in renee undeleter
④ As the scan is finished, preview and check the target files. Click [Recover] and select the output destination to save the files.
select the destination to save the recovered files in renee undeleter