How to Delete a Memory Card

By Cooper Temple

Their small size, ruggedness and ability to hold large amounts of data make memory cards, like the SanDisk card, a popular form of storage for today's electronics. Because of the variety of data they can hold, there may be a frequent need to delete any or all items from the card.

Things You'll Need

  • Memory card Multi-card readerPeripheral (digital camera, PDA)

How to Delete a Memory Card Using a Multi-Card Reader

Step 1

Insert the memory card into a multi-card reader. Many new computers have a multi-card reader already installed, but inexpensive peripheral versions can be purchased. Check out the link below for examples of external card readers. Because of the variety of memory cards available, be sure to put your memory card into the correct slot. If Windows presents an "AutoPlay" window when you insert the memory card, select the "Open folder to view files" option under the "General Options" section.

Step 2

Right click once on the Windows "Start" button.

Step 3

Click once on the "Explore" option.

Step 4

Find the memory card in the "Folders" section of the "Start Menu" window. The memory card I'm using for illustrative purposes is a Kodak brand SanDisk card used in a digital camera. Please note that it is labeled "Kodak."

Step 5

Click once on the memory card icon.

Step 6

Select all of the existing files on the memory card. This is accomplished by clicking once on the first file, scrolling through and clicking once on the last file while holding down the shift key.

Step 7

Delete the selected files. This is accomplished by either pressing the "Delete" key while all files are selected, or by right-clicking once on the group of files and selecting the "Delete" option.

Step 8

Click once on the "Yes" button on the pop-up window asking if you want to permanently delete all of the selected files. Be positive that you want to delete all of the files, as they will not go to the "Recycle Bin" on your desktop. They will be permanently deleted. Consider copying the files into a folder on your hard drive until you are positive you have no need for them.

Step 9

Delete any additional files or folders on the memory card. Repeat Steps 6 through 8 for any other files and folders on the card until all files have been deleted.

How to Delete a Memory Card by Formatting

Step 1

Insert the memory card into a multi-card reader. Once again, if Windows presents an "AutoPlay" window when you insert the memory card, select the "Open folder to view files" option under the "General Options" section.

Step 2

Right-click once on the Windows "Start" button.

Step 3

Click once on the "Explore" option.

Step 4

Find the memory card in the "Folders" section of the "Start Menu" window.

Step 5

Right-click once on the memory card icon.

Step 6

Click once on the "Format" option.

Step 7

Make any formatting adjustments using the various fields on the "Format" window. Please note that there are several options available for formatting, but I recommend using the default settings. Any time you format a memory card, all files and folders will be deleted. Using the "Quick Format" option will delete all files, but the system will not review the memory card for bad sectors. If you inadvertently make any changes you are uncertain of, you can click once on "Restore device defaults" to reset everything to the original settings.

Step 8

Click once on the "Start" button on the "Format" window when you are ready to format the card.

Step 9

Click one on the "Yes" button on the warning window asking if you want to continue with the formatting.

Step 10

Click once on the "OK" button on the "Formatting" window after the process has been completed. Once the memory card has been formatted, all files and folders will have been deleted.

References & Resources