How to Format SD Card Without Losing Data on Windows?

Still worried about data loss? No need to worry. With three effective methods, you can format SD card without losing data. 3 formatting methods are included as well.


By Lori / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Formatting an SD card is a great way to remove most forms of logical corruption, and restore it to its factory settings. But if there is any important data on the SD card, you may lose it forever unless you have another copy of it.

If you are experiencing this issue, continue to read this article and we will introduce you to 3 effective data protection methods and 3 formatting methods to make it easy.

How to back up SD card data before formatting?

When you're asked to format an SD card, it's usually because of a problem. You should take quick steps to protect data safely. There are different data protection methods for the two scenarios of data accessibility or data inaccessibility on Windows. But no matter what the situation, you can use data backup to protect data. Here are the detailed steps:

Way 1: Copy and paste SD card data

This method is mainly suitable if your data is accessible. If you can open the SD card without formatting, please back up your data by moving it using File Explorer. It is the easiest way to backup data stored on the SD card.

1. Open File Explorer.

2. Find your SD card and move the data to another storage device by dragging and dropping or copying and pasting.

Copy Paste SD Card

Way 2: Backup SD card data

This method also works if your data is accessible, it's more efficient. You can also use data backup software to backup files or the entire SD card, especially when there are some large files, we recommend you use AOMEI Backupper Standard.

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

1. Connect your SD card and be sure it’s recognized. Download, install, and launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, and choose "Backup" and "File Backup" subsequently.

File Backup

2. Click “Add File” or “Add Folder” to select files on your SD card to back up. Also, you can type a new task name in the box to distinguish it from other backups.

Add Folders Files

3. Click the folder-shaped button and then select a saved path to store backup files.

Select Destination

4. Next, click "Start Backup" to save files to your desired location.

Start Backup

Now, you can disconnect your SD card and put it in a safe location. If you replace your computer with a new one, you can also connect the SD card and recover files.

Way 3: Retrieve SD card data

This method is mainly suitable for situations where your data is inaccessible. In most cases, when it comes time to format the SD card, you will not be able to easily access the data, and move the data to another storage device. Thankfully, you still can use data recovery software- MyRecover to retrieve and get your data back.

MyRecover is a powerful data recovery tool specially designed to recover data from any storage device. It is capable of scanning your SD card for recoverable data and safely restores it to a healthy and safe storage device. It is especially handy when you need to format a damaged SD card without losing data.

  • Recover 200+ file formats: Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, PPTX, ODP, CSV, WPS files, etc. in SD card.
  • Locate SD card data quickly: Filter the file type, date, or size to filter your needed files.
  • Support all brands of SD cards, such as SanDisk, PNY, Samsung, Lexar, Kingston, Transcend, etc.
  • Support all types of SD cards, like SDSC,  SDHC, SDXC, SDUC, SDIO, etc.

Download MyRecover on your Windows, and follow the steps below to recover SD card data using MyRecover:

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. Install and run MyRecover, and connect the SD card to the computer. Hover the mouse over the SD card saved deleted files before, and click Scan.

Scan D Disk

Step 2. MyRecover will scan your SD card thoroughly and automatically to display all data from your SD card.

Searvh ALBM Files

🌟Tip: Preview or filter SD card data depending on Flies Type, Size, Date, etc.
  • Type: Select the file type (Documents, Images, Videos, Audios, Mails, Webpages, Compressed files, etc.)
  • Date modified: Set the date (today, yesterday, last 7/30 days, etc.)
  • Size: Filter the file size (<128KB, 128KB~1MB, 1MB~ 512MB, 512MB above, etc.)

Step 3. After the scan, you will see a list of recovered files that MyRecover found on the SD card. Select the files you want to recover and click Recover x files.

Recover ABLM Files

🌟Tip: The restore button will display the number of selected data and their total size to determine the integrity of the recovered files.

Step 4. You will then be asked to choose a location. Please choose a new location to avoid the recovered data from being overwritten

Select New Location

Congratulations. Your data from the SD card has been recovered!

  • MyRecover is also able to format RAW SD cards without losing data.
  • You can do data recovery, up to 500MB for free. When exceeded, please upgrade to the advanced editions.
  • If you are unable to recover data with software or the situation is complicated, it's advisable to seek help from data recovery services such as Geek Squad. They have trained professionals and advanced equipment to handle even the most difficult data recovery cases.

How to format SD card on Windows

After the data is safe, you can proceed to format the SD card. Here's how to format it:

Way 1: Format SD card using File Explorer

Formatting the SD card using File Explorer is probably the most convenient method.

1. Open File Explorer.

2. Right-click the SD card and click Format.

Format SD Card

3. Set a name and file system for the SD card. Make sure to select Quick Format, then click Start.

Quick Format

4. Confirm the format via File Explorer and click OK.

Way 2: Format SD card using Disk Management

Disk Management is a system utility that allows you to manage internal and external storage devices connected to your computer. You can also use it to format your SD card.

1. Right-click Start> Disk Management.

Disk Management

2. Right-click on the SD card's volume, and click Format.


3. Provide a volume label for the SD card and specify the desired file system. Make sure that "Perform a quick format" is turned on, then click OK.


Way 3: Format SD card using PowerShell

If File Explorer and Disk Management aren't for you, you can use a terminal program like PowerShell to implement formatting.

1. Right-click Start, and then click Windows PowerShell (Admin).

Windows Powershell Admin

2. Type diskpart > list disk> select disk * (Replace * with your disk number)>clean>create partition Primary>format quick>assign, press Enter after each type.




How to format SD card without losing data is a common concern of many users. With the above three effective methods, you can easily and quickly format the SD card without losing data. It also provides you with 3 formatting methods.

Regular backups and the use of reliable storage devices can reduce the risk of losing data. When disaster strikes, you'll be able to quickly restore files from backups and get them back in no time.


1. Will data be lost if I format an SD card?

Yes, formatting an SD card will delete all content. Therefore, in order to format the SD card without deleting the data, the data must be backed up first. If the data is inaccessible then you need to recover it with a data recovery tool before formatting.

2. Can I ensure the SD card format without losing data?

Yes, it's possible to format an SD card without losing data by using certain methods like backup, specialized data recovery software like MyRecover, or manual data transfer.

3. How to format SD card Android without losing data?

When upgrading or replacing the SD card used in your Android device, you need to move the data first to ensure it is not lost. Otherwise, it will be blank when you connect the new SD card. You can do this by moving the data from the old SD card to your computer and then moving that data to the new SD card.

4. What precautions should I take before attempting to format an SD card without losing data?

Be sure to back up your data to a separate storage device before formatting. Make sure you use reliable tools and follow instructions carefully to minimize the risk of data loss.

Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.