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How to Fix “SD card Needs to be Formatted”?

This article helps you fix SD card needs to be formatted error using reliable methods for free. Also, find how you can restore data from a corrupt SD card using Remo Recover software with simple clicks.

The usage of memory cards is not only limited to increasing the storage size of a camera, drone, smartphone, or any other device. But they are also used to take a backup of your media files such as photos and videos.

Irrespective of your SD card brand, or its storage capacity,  it is prone to corruption. SD card errors are inevitable. One such common error is SD card needs to be formatted (Memory card not formatted).

SD card needs to be formatted

When you encounter the memory card not formatted error, it not only forces you to format the drive but also makes the SD card data inaccessible. Hence, it is recommended to format the SD card only after taking a backup of your important data.

This article will guide you on how you can fix the SD card that needs to be formatted and how to recover data from corrupted SD card with ease.

How to Recover files SD card that needs to be formatted?

The first thing you need to do before fixing memory card needs to be formatted error is to take a backup of your files from the SD card. This is to avoid any data loss scenario. In case, if you have taken a backup, then you can scroll down to start fixing the error.

Steps to recover files from an SD card that needs to be formatted:  

  • Download and install Remo Recover software on your computer
  • Connect your memory card showing it needs to be formatted error to the system.
  • Launch Remo Recover and select the SD card from which you want to recover data. In case, if the SD card is not recognized, then click on Can’t find the drive? Option and click on the Scan button.
  • Once the scan is completed all your data will be found in the Lost and Found folder, select the files which you want to save and click on the Recover button.

Note: Check out this article to know how to recover files from formatted SD card.

How to Fix a Memory card not formatted/  SD card that needs to be formatted?

In this section, you will find out how to fix a memory card that needs to be formatted using two proven methods. 

  1. Command Prompt method: This method focuses on resolving memory card not formatted error without formatting it. 
  2. Disk Management method: This method focuses on resolving the memory card not formatted by formatting it using Disk Management.

Before you make use of the below methods, it is recommended to first take a backup of your SD card to avoid data loss scenarios, or else you can use the Remo Photo Recovery tool to restore SD card files.

1. Run Command Prompt 

This method fixes SD card not formatted error using CHKDSK command. Follow the steps to access my SD card that needs formatting.

  • Type cmd in the Windows search box and open Command Prompt (Run as Administrator).   
  • Now type chkdsk D: /f /r and hit Enter.
    Note: Replace D with the drive letter of your memory card not formatted.
  • Now, the command prompt will fix the issue of SD card needs to be formatted and makes your files accessible to you.

In case, if the command prompt method does not help you fix memory card not formatted error, then this is due to severe SD card corruption. 

Let us dive right in to know the other reliable methods to fix SD card needs to be formatted.

2. Format SD card using Disk Management

Follow the simple steps to force an SD card to format using the Disk Management method. Make sure to have a backup of all your important photos from the SD card as this method erases the data saved on the SD card to fix the memory card not formatted issue.

  • Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows key + R at once on your Keyboard.
  • Type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter.
    Format SD card
  • Now, Disk Management will open and locate your memory card that shows memory card not formatted error.
  • Right-click on the SD card and select the Format option.
  • Select Perform a quick format option and click OK.
    Note: It is recommended to select your desired File system, here we have selected the NTFS file system since it is suitable for Windows users.
    solved memory card not formatted

Note: In case, if you can’t format the SD card using the Disk Management method, then you can format it either using the Diskpart method or the command prompt method shown in the article how to fix the SD card that won't format on Windows or Mac.

Why does my SD card say not formatted?

Following are some of the common reasons for micro/ SD card that needs to be formatted or showing memory card not formatted error.

  • Improper SD card ejection.
  • Formatted the memory card on the incompatible system.
  • The memory card is corrupt or damaged.
  • SD card is write-protected.
  • Sudden interruptions while working on the memory card.
  • Connected SD card to virus-infected devices.
  • Bad sectors in the memory card.
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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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