3 Ways Fix Cannot Format SanDisk SD Card Error

Encountering the "Cannot Format Sandisk SD Card" error can be frustrating. This article provides solutions to help you fix this issue and get your SD card in the right condition.


By Sebastian Updated on April 3, 2024

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Encountering errors when trying to format your Sandisk SD card can be a frustrating experience, especially when you need to use the card urgently. However, resolving this error is crucial to regain access to your SD card and its data. In this article, we'll explore effective methods to fix the Cannot Format Sandisk SD Card error and get your SD card in the right condition for the next usage. Read on to learn more.

Causes of SanDisk SD Card Not Formatting

Like many other types of SD cards, SanDisk MicroSD cards are handy portable storage devices. Sometimes, for reasons like needing to clear the data stored on it, you might need to format it. But when you try to format it, you might get a message saying you can't do it right: Windows Was Unable to Complete the Format. It might even happen that even though you've connected the SD card correctly, it's still not visible in File Explorer. So why do these things happen? And what should we do about it?

Windows Unable to Format SD Card

Write Protection: The SD card's write protection switch might be enabled, preventing formatting.
File System Corruption: Damage or corruption to the file system due to improper ejection, power loss, or software issues can hinder formatting.
Physical Damage: Physical damage to the SD card, such as a bent connector or water damage, can make formatting impossible.
Compatibility Issues: Incompatibility between the SD card and the device or formatting tool being used can lead to errors.
Virus or Malware Infection: Infection by malware or viruses can interfere with formatting processes.

If your SanDisk SD card or other external storage device is experiencing similar issues preventing proper formatting, please proceed to the following section. In this part, you will find various methods to resolve the problem of how to format SanDisk SD card.

Solution 1: Remove SD Card Write Protection

There is a chance that your SD card is write-protected, preventing you from making any changes to its content. And it could be the reason why it is unable to format SD card. So, you can try to remove the write protection using a simple method.

1. Press Windows+R, enter diskpart, and hit Enter.

2. In this diskpart window, input the following commands, and press Enter after every command:

● list disk

● select disk n (n is the number of the SandiskSD card)

● disk attributes clear readonly

● clean

● create partition primary

● format fs=ntfs quick

Remove Write Protection

3. Once you see the message confirming that diskpart attributes have been cleared successfully, simply type exit to close the window. After that, formatting your SD card should be all alright.

Solution 2: Format SanDisk SD Card using Disk Management

If your SanDisk SD card doesn't have a drive letter or shows up as unallocated in Explorer, you won't see it when you open File Explorer. So, you can't format it there. Instead, you can use Disk Management to format it or create a new partition. Below are the steps to format your SanDisk Micro SD card:

1. Press Windows+R, input diskmgmt.msc, and hit Enter.

2. Find your SD card, right-click on it, and select the Format.

3. Customize Format options like Volume label, File System, and Allocation unit size. Tap OK to start it.

Volume Label

Solution 3: Use Third-Party Software to Wipe SD Card Disk

While Windows tools are generally feasible for formatting storage devices, they can occasionally encounter errors as we mentioned from the causes above. For a more easy and secure solution to thoroughly wipe out your disk, consider using AOMEI Backupper Professional. This software can help you erase all data from any device without trouble.

• It is developed with a user-friendly interface, suitable for any kind of user group.
• Except for the function to make disk wipe, you can also use it to make backup, restore, clone, and sync as well. It is especially important to make a backup before erasing your storage device.
• You can customize to wipe out the entire disk, selected partitions, or unallocated space based on your own needs.
• It can recognize all kinds of disks. No matter whether you use an internal/external hard drive, USB drive, SSD/HDD, or SD card, this tool will give you a satisfying result.
• AOMEI Backupper can run on all Windows OS on the market, including Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP, etc.

Before the wiping task:

If you still want your stored files in the SD card, you can make a file backup before wiping it out. And remember to connect this SD card to your computer properly. If your computer cannot read an SD card directly, use an SD card reader.

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

1: Download and install this tool, click Tools >> Disk Wipe.

Tools Disk Wipe

2: Select the second option to wipe out all partitions, and click Next.

Choose Wipe Disk

3: Choose the SD card you want to format and continue to tap Next.

Wipe Data Select Disk

4: Choose the first method: Fill sectors with Zero. Then click Start to begin the task and wait for it to finish.

Wipe Method

Note: For higher security levels, you may use the other three wiping methods: Fill sectors with random data, DoD 5220.22-M, and Gutmann. The more complicated the method is, the longer time the wipe process will take.

FAQs About SanDisk SD Card Questions

Q: How can I prevent the Cannot Format SanDisk SD Card error in the future?

A: Regularly backup your data, handle your SD card with care, and avoid removing it while in use.

Q: Can I recover data from the SD card after using the disk wipe feature?

A: I am sorry, the answer is no. That is why we have always stressed the need to perform a backup before wiping.

Q: What should I do if none of the methods work?

A: Well, if none of these methods works for you. You may contact SanDisk for professional services and support.


Encountering the Cannot Format SanDisk SD Card error can be frustrating, but with the methods outlined in this article, you can resolve it effectively. Whether using Diskpart, third-party software like AOMEI Partition Assistant, or Windows Disk Management, there's a solution for every user. Remember to handle your SD card with care, regularly backup your data, and seek professional help if needed. By following these steps, you can fix the error and regain access to your valuable data.

Sebastian · Editor
Sebastian, a professional editor at AOMEI, brings personal product experience and a user-focused mindset to solve data protection issues. With valuable technical insights and a dedication to user experience, he simplifies complex concepts and provides reliable solutions. Sebastian's expertise and skills make him an invaluable resource for readers seeking technical guidance.