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How to Erase Everything on an SD Card (2023)

How to Erase Everything on an SD Card (2023)
How to Erase Everything on an SD Card (2023)

How to Erase Everything on an SD Card (2023)

How to Erase Everything on an SD Card (2023)


Do you want to erase everything on your SD Card? then this article is for you

This article details how to completely erase an SD card, with guidance for both Windows and macOS.




The best way to clear an SD card of all data is to format it. While the primary purpose of formatting a device is to change its file storage system, formatting also effectively clears the device.

Basic formatting removes the file system and replaces it with a new one. This is functionally the same as deleting all the files, and it frees up the entire SD card for new files. More thorough formatting also overwrites all of the data on the card randomly. This option is more secure because it prevents easy data recovery.

Windows and macOS both include the necessary functionality to clear an SD card without any additional software, and they both let you choose between a faster but less secure option or a slower but more secure option.


There are several ways to format a storage device on Windows, but the easiest is to right-click your SD card in the File Manager and open the formatting options from there. You can select the file system you want, and choose between a quick or full format. The quick option is faster, but it’s less secure. The full option takes longer because it overwrites the existing data so that nobody can access it in the future. Which you choose is up to you, but if the card is meant for you to use day-to-day, you are fine with the faster option.

Here’s how to clear an SD card on Windows:

  1. Open File Manager, select This PC and right-click your SD card.

  2. Click Format.

  3. Click the File system drop-down and select the file system you want.

  4. Click Start.

    Note: Deselect Quick Format before you click Start if you want to completely overwrite your SD card and prevent data recovery.

  5. Click OK.

    The reformatting process will begin as soon as you click OK. Don’t click until you’re ready to format.


ALSO READ: How to Install and Move Android Apps to the SD Card (2022)



The best way to clear an SD card on a Mac is to format it using the Disk Utility app. If you want to prevent data recovery, you can select security options in Disk Utility and choose a secure formatting method.

Here’s how to clear an SD card on a Mac:

  1. Open Disk Utility.

  2. Click your SD card in the External section.

    Note: If you’re using a USB SD card reader, your SD card will appear as a USB External Physical Volume.

  3. Click Erase.

  4. Click the Format drop-down menu.

  5. Click the desired format.

    Use MS-DOS (FAT) for 32GB and smaller cards, and ExFat for cards that are over 32GB unless you have a specific reason to use a different format.

  6. Click Security Options.

  7. Move the slider to your desired security level and click OK.

    To prevent old data from being recovered, move the slider at least one notch to the right.

  8. Rename the SD card if you want to, and then click Erase.

    The formatting process will begin immediately after you click Erase.


ALSO READ: How to Remove an SD Card from a MacBook (2023)


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