How to Format an SD Card to FAT

SD Card

SD cards are a cheap, effective way to increase storage memory for many devices like cameras, phones and MP3 players. However, some devices require that SD cards be formatted to FAT to work in them, and many SD cards are formatted with FAT32 when purchased. Formatting cards to FAT, though, is quite simple, and takes very little time.

Step 1

Place the SD card within your card reader. If this is a USB card reader, plug the reader into an open USB slot on your computer.

Step 2

Navigate to the start menu in your computer. Then, click on "My Computer." This will open the root drives of your system, showing your hard drive, DVD drive and any mass storage drives such as SD cards.

Step 3

Locate your SD card drive within the root directory and right-click on it. At the bottom of the list, click on "Format."

Step 4

Make sure everything matches on this screen. Things like storage size of the card must be set correctly.

Step 5

Under the "File System" section of the window, click on "FAT."

Step 6

Click on "Format" at the bottom of the window and wait for the process to complete. This may take several minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • USB card reader or internal card reader

  • Windows 2000+

Tip

If you recently formatted or purchased the card new, you may choose the "Quick Format" option in the formatting window. This will speed up the process but wont be as thorough in erasing the card.

Warning

Save any files you wish to keep off the SD card, as they will be permanently erased upon formatting.