Fix a SD Card that won't Format

SD Card Formatter

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How do you fix a SD card that won't format?

“Can’t format SD card” is a mysteriously annoying error. Most of the time it is quite difficult to deduce the reason for the error; the SD card can be damaged or corrupted.


How to tackle such an issue, if you cannot format it, SD card is of no use. Hence, we bring you this comprehensive content on how to fix the error “Can’t format SD Card” on Mac and Windows.

This article also recommend a Best SD Card Formatter on Mac and Windows which also the resolved the problem of “Can’t format SD Card”.

Why Can’t I Format My SD card?

Why can’t I format my SD card on my computer, camera, or phone?”

When you experience this specific error you won’t be able to format your SD card not only on your computer but also on any other device. It is because.


  • Memory card is write protected
  • Memory card is severely damaged


If your SD card is write-protected, you cannot make any changes to your SD card.

That includes formatting the SD card. However, you can disable write protection and fix the error.

But, if the error is because your SD card is severely damaged your priority must be recovering data from the SD card.

When your SD is severely damaged, it will reach an extent where it can’t even mount a file system.

When you format an SD card it means mounting a new file system that tracks the storage on your SD card. So damage or corruption is the reason why your SD card is not formatting.


When your SD card is experiencing such an error, you cannot even access the drive and restore the data from it.

“Because SD cards are majorly used on cameras, and they store the most important memories, not just the data.

This is all the more reason why recover the files from corrupted SD cards becomes a priority before fixing it.”

Now to the actual question, what is the best possible way to recover data from an SD card that is not supported to format.

Remo data recovery software, the best software to recover photos from SD cards, with more than 10 million downloads can be the key.

More than data recovery Remo has an impressive and unique feature that will enable users to create an identical image of any severely damaged storage drive.

By creating an identical image, you are creating an exact copy of all the files existing on your severely damaged SD card.

Why Should I Create an Image of My SD card?

With the help of Remo, you can also directly recover data from a damaged SD without creating an image.

But considering the factors (bad sectors, virus infections) and the severity of the damage, creating an image of SD will yield exceptional results.

This means no matter how severely your SD card is damaged, you can still recover the data from it.

You can find a detailed explanation of how to create an exact image of the SD card which is unable to format.

How to Create an Image of an SD card that Won’t Format?

Download and install data recovery Software. Launch the application and follow the steps that are mentioned below.

From the home screen, select the recover partition option where you can see your SD card listed with other drives that are existing on your computer.
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Select the SD card and from the top right corner click on options (one with 3 horizontal lines) and select the save image option.


This will prompt a save as a window, select the desired location, file name, and click on save to create an exact image of your SD card.

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Since you are creating an image of an entire SD card, make sure the location you are saving your image has enough storage space.


After creating the image file, you can extract files, photos, or videos that are existing on your SD card from that image file.


This is the most convenient method to recover the data from severely damaged SD card.

How to Fix “Micro SD Card Cannot format” Error?

As previously mentioned, two main reasons for this error are the write-protected SD card and the Severely damaged SD card.


The following are instructions on how to fix this error.

Unlock the Micro SD card

Micro SD card is locked is one of the terminologies used for a write-protected SD Card. As discussed earlier.


When a micro SD card is locked or write-protected you cannot make any changes since it works in read-only mode. You can disable the write protection on the SD card to fix the error.


An SD card can be severely damaged due to


  • High-level bad sectors (Here you can know more about uncorrectable sectors)
  • Severe virus infection


The best method to fix an SD card that won’t format is by force formatting the SD card using CMD.

How to Force Format an SD Card?

Open Command Prompt by right-clicking Start >Command Prompt (Admin)or search cmd from Start


  • Type: diskpart to bring up DiskPart utility
  • Type: list disk and hit Enter
  • Type: select disk 1 and hit Enter (Replace 1 with the drive number of your SD card)
  • Type: clean and hit Enter
  • Type: create partition primary and hit Enter
  • Type: select disk 1 and hit Enter (Replace 1 with the drive number of SD card)
  • Type: active to make the SD card partition activate
  • Type: format fs = NTFS or format fs = fat32 and hit Enter
  • Type: assign letter = F
  • After this, type exit to finish the process


After force formatting the SD, you need to fix the Bad sectors using the CHKDSK on the SD card.

CHKDSK format SD card

CHKDSK is one of the most prominent utilities on windows that will help you fix all the bad sectors that exist on your SD card. The following are the instructions on how to do it.


  • Right-click on Start to select Command Prompt (Admin) or click Start and type: cmd > click exe to bring up Command Prompt
  • Sign in as an administrator and type: chkdsk E: /f /r and hit Enter; (Replace E: with the drive letter of your SanDisk SD card)
  • Wait for the process to complete (Process time might vary based on the size of SD card)
  • Exit CMD and enter Disk Management tool, find SD card, right-click on it, and select Format volume
  • Reset file system and drive letter of the SD card, click OK to confirm the format action


Both the aforementioned methods can be used on all brands of SD cards such as SanDisk, Sony, Kingston, Transcend, etc.


It also works on all formats of SD cards such as Micro SD, SD, SDHC, SDXC.

How to Fix if SD Card Can’t Format on Mac or Android

You can use the same methods mentioned above to fix SD card not readable or format error on Android. However, in the case of Mac, there is no specific fix other than unlocking the SD card or disabling the write protection on Mac.


Nevertheless, the most crucial aspect to remember is to recover the data from the SD before fixing it.


Finally, if you are unable to fix the error, it means that your SD card is unfixable. If your SD card is still under warranty time, better contact the brand, and claim to exchange the memory card.


But, don’t forget to recover your most precious data from the SD card before exchanging it.