[Guide] How to Clear SD Card: Delete, Format or Secure Erase?

To clear an SD card, you have 3 options to enable, which are delete, format and secure erase. They have different security level and you can choose one according to your needs.


By Clytze Updated on December 22, 2022

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Why need to wipe an SD card?

SD cards are lightweight data storage devices that are supported for use on many devices, so they fill up with data quickly. In such a situation, I’ve listed some possible reasons that you may want to clear an SD card.

Clear space for reuse.

Obviously, we had a lot of stuff stored on the SD card, including photos, files, emails, etc. Not only this visible data, but also many hidden data occupied a lot of space. In order to reuse the SD card, we need to have more space, so we need to clear the SD card.

Virus or malware attacks.

Often, we use the SD card to view or modify files on multiple devices. Therefore the possibility of it getting a virus or being attacked by malware is high, or worse, causing accidental loss of data on the card.

Give your SD card to someone else.

We all know that personal privacy is extremely important. If you want to give your SD card to someone else, you absolutely don't want to share any of your data with anyone. Therefore, it is necessary to backup SD card and then delete everything on the SD card before handing it over to others.

How to Clear SD Card

How to clear an SD card in Windows 10

What is the best way to clear an SD Card? Simple delete all files on it? Format it to the factory state? Or irreversibly secure erase it? Continue reading, and you will get the suitable answer you want.

Delete: A simple click-to-delete process is sufficient for most purposes, but it does not guarantee that the file will be permanently deleted. During the deletion process, the file system marks the deleted file as an empty space, indicating that this space can be used for rewriting. In some cases, deleted files can be recovered if there is no file overwrite.

Format: If you want to completely erase the SD card and delete not only the visible data but also the hidden data, you need to format it. When formatting an SD card, it will not only delete files and contents, but also erase all index and cache files. The chances of recovering deleted partition on SD card after formatting are slim, but data recovery is also possible with professional data recovery software.

Secure erase: To minimize the possibility of recovering SD card data, I recommend you to erase it safely. With professional disk erasing software, you can erase the SD card up to 35 times and there is no possibility that the erased data can be recovered again.

Moving on, you can learn how to format an SD card on Windows 10 and how to delete files from SD card permanently with best third-party disk wiping tool. Keep reading for more details.

Simply delete files on SD card 

The steps to delete unwanted data on your SD Card are quite simple. Here's how to do it.

1. Insert your SD card into your computer's SD card slot. If there's no, connect with a card adapter and plug it into your PC.

2.  Double-click This PC, on the Devices and drives sector, find your SD card and double click it. You should see all the files and folders stored on your SD card.

3. Right-click the files you want to delete and click Delete

Delete Files on Sd Card

4. You will get a nocitification to ask you confirm the deleting process. Click on "yes" to confirm the permanent delete of the files.

Format an SD card on Windows 10

Here are the steps to format an SD card in Windows 10.

1. Connect the SD card into your computer's SD card slot. Or connect your SD Card to the computer with an adapter.

2. Open Windows File Explorer by pressing Windows + E together, and find your SD Card inserted just now.

3. Right-click on your SD Card and choose “Format".

Format Sd Card

4. A warning will pop up telling you that formatting will erase all data on this disk. Click "OK" to continue the process. That's how to clear a micro SD card using Windows Explorer.

Thoroughly clear SD card with AOMEI Backupper

The above methods of deletion and format only mark the data on the SD card as deleted, but do not really eradicate it, and the deleted data can be recovered by some professional data recovery tools. In order to make the deleted sensitive data unrecoverable, you need a more secure way, which is secure erase. To enable that, AOMEI Backupper Professional, the best disk wiping tool can help a lot. You can have an intuitive understanding of its powerful features to learn why it is worth trying.

Various security levels. It offers you four wiping methods: Fill sectors with Zero, Fill sectors with random data, DoD 5220.22-M, and Gutmann, which meet your needs for different levels of secure erase.
Various wipe devices. It can help you wipe SD cards, HDDs/SSDs, as well as USB drives.
Bootable disk wipe. It enables you to create bootable media so as to perform bootable disk wipe without boot into Windows.
Flexible wiping types. You can choose to wipe an entire disk, wipe free space on Windows 11, a selected partition, or unallocated space using this software to meet your various needs.
High compatibility. All Windows PC operating systems are supported, including Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP.

To learn how to delete files from SD card permanently, download and install AOMEI Backupper on your computer to get the specific steps.

Download DemoWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, click Tools from the left panel and then select Disk Wipe.

Disk Wipe

Step 2. You will be offered with 2 wiping types: Wipe partitions or unallocated space and Wipe disk. Choose the latter one to wipe all sectors on the SD card and then click Next.

Choose Wipe Disk

Step 3. Select the SD card you want to wipe and click Next to continue.

Wipe Disk Select Data

Step 4. Then you need to choose the wiping method and hit Start to begin the wiping process.

Disk Wiping Methods

In the end

How to clear SD card? Delete, format, or secure erase. Now, after reading the above contents, you may get the exact answer in mind. According to each of their security levels and whether data is recoverable, you can choose a way to clear SD card according to your needs. As you can learn, the safest way to erase an SD card is to securely erase it with AOMEI Backupper, in which case the erased data will never be recovered. And this tool also suitable for factory reset SSD, HDD and USB drive.

Besides the disk wipe tool, AOMEI also is the best WD Green clone software, which allows you clone HDD/SSD to WD SSD in a few steps, and make the cloned SSD boot up successfully. You won’t regret to give it a try.

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.