How to format a sd card inside a camera?

How-to-Format-an-SD-Card-on- camera

Formatting a memory card inside the camera in which it will be used is a very good means of maintaining a card's full capabilities.

While the exact formatting procedure and menu display may differ between cameras, the following ten-step guidelines will be able to perform the task for most cameras.

Formatting menu on a Canon 80D


1. Turn the camera off and insert the memory card you wish to format into the camera's memory card slot.

2. Turn the camera on and verify that the battery is well charged. If necessary, recharge the battery.

3. Verify that all valuable information on the card has been backed-up. If not, transfer the imaging data you want to keep to another storage medium.

4. Press the Menu button to activate the Menu display on the rear screen.

5. Navigate to the "Format" or "Format Memory Card" item in the menu, which is often found within the "Setup" screen.

6. Select/highlight the "Format" or "Format Memory Card" item and then press "OK".

7. In case a confirmation message appears, confirm you intend of formatting the card by selecting "Yes" and pressing "OK".

8. Wait until the formatting process, which for large memory cards can take several minutes, is completed. The end of the formatting procedure will normally be indicated on the rear screen.

9. Turn off the camera once the process is completed.

10. Congratulations, you now have a clean and well-formatted memory card!

In case this process does not apply to your camera, please consult the camera's instruction manual or contact the manufacturer's technical support staff for further guidance.

How to format a memory card with a computer and card reader?


If you have a memory card reader available, you can also format your flash memory device with your computer. This process is normally quicker than using a camera for formatting.

Also, using a computer has the advantage of being able to use specialized software. For example, the SD Association makes a package available as a Free Download Sd Card Formatter that provides for a tailor-made formatting process for SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.

The standard formatting procedures differ slightly by the computer operating system. Here is the list of ten steps to undertake for a Windows-based PC (see below for corresponding Mac instructions):

1. Insert the memory card you wish to format into the memory card reader, and then connect the memory card reader to the computer.

2. Click on "My Computer", and navigate to the removable drive that represents the slot of the memory card reader that contains the memory card.

3. Verify that all valuable information on the card has been backed-up. If not, transfer the imaging data you want to keep to another storage medium.

4. Right-click on the removable drive letter connected to your memory card and select "Format". Make sure you select the correct drive letter to avoid erroneously removing information from another drive.

5. Select a file format system: choose "FAT" for cards up to 2 GB; choose "FAT32" for cards up to 32 GB, and choose "exFAT" for cards larger than 32 GB.

6. Leave the "Quick Format" checkbox unchecked for thorough formatting, or check it if you prefer a quicker, but more superficial process.

7. Press start to launch the formatting process.

8. Confirm that you want to format the selected drive.

9. Once the process is completed, eject the memory card by clicking on the respective icon at the bottom right of the screen, and remove it from the card reader.

10. Congratulations, you now have a clean and well-formatted memory card!

Similarly, if you are using a Macintosh computer, you would proceed through the following ten steps:

1. Insert the memory card you wish to format into the memory card reader, and then connect the memory card reader to the computer.

2. Verify that all valuable information on the card has been backed-up. If not, transfer the imaging data you want to keep to another storage medium.

3. Doubleclick on "Macintosh HD".

4. Click on the "Applications" folder.

5. Click on the "Utilities" folder, and then double-click on "Disk Utility".

6. Select the drive capacity corresponding to the memory card you intend to format.

7. Click on the "Erase" tab and verify that the Volume Format is labeled "MS-DOS file system".

8. Select "FAT" from the menu options, and then press "Erase".

9. Once the process is completed, eject the memory card, and remove it from the card reader.

10. Congratulations, you now have a clean and well-formatted memory card!

Further Reading


Modern digital cameras are becoming more and more sophisticated and require higher performance memory cards.

One critical criterion when purchasing a new card is therefore its speed class, to make sure that the storage device does not become the bottleneck of the imaging pipeline.

Technological change rather than technical failure is also the main reason for memory cards to be ditched. In fact, some card formats, such as compact flash type II cards or xD-picture cards, have over time become obsolete and are no longer supported and used in modern cameras.

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Cara Smith

Author:Cara Smith
I’m a master coach, best-selling author and a passionate speaker. I’m the founder of the first women-only hedge fund, special counsellor in many corporations across the globe. I’ve found balance between work and life, now I’m a totally happy person, loving mother, inspiring speaker and writer, and firm investor, but it didn’t come easily. I've gone though hundreds of failures and complicated situations. You can use my previous experience in order not to fall into the same trap.

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