[2022 Solved] How to Recover Data from SD Card That Won’t Format on Windows 10/11?

Recover Data from SD Card

You’ve been taking pictures with your new camera all day, and now you can’t wait to transfer them onto your computer so you can show them off to your friends and family. But when you insert the SD card into your computer’s card reader, nothing happens. You try formatting the card, but you still can’t access it. What’s going on?

It can be extremely frustrating when your SD card won’t format. Whether you’re trying to format the card for use or getting rid of any existing data on the card, not being able to format the SD card can put a real damper on your plans.

You can try a few things to get your SD card appropriately formatted. In this article, we’ll walk you through some of the most effective methods for formatting an SD card on Windows 10 or 11.

Why Is The SD Card Cannot Be Formatted?

When you attempt to format an SD card and receive a prompt saying that it cannot be formatted, there are generally some reasons for this:

  • The file system of the SD card is corrupted, and thus it cannot be recognized by Windows.
  • Malware or viruses have infected the SD card, making it unable to be formatted.
  • The SD card is physically damaged and thus cannot be accessed or formatted.
  • The write-protection switch on the SD card is turned on, preventing it from being formatted. It is a feature built into many SD cards that prevent new files from being written to the card.

What To Do Before Fixing SD Card That Won’t Format?

The card is likely corrupted when your SD card cannot be formatted properly. In this case, you will need to take some measures to fix the issue.

The quick and easy way is to use a reliable data recovery tool, and we recommend Tenorshare 4DDiG. It is newly upgraded, and its latest version, “Tenorshare 4DDiG 9.0,” has been released recently. It supports data recovery from SD card, USB flash drive, external hard drive, etc., with various file types like photos, videos, music, documents, etc.

The features of Tenorshare 4DDiG 9.0 include:

  • Support data recovery from various types of storage devices
  • Allow you to preview recovered files before saving them
  • Provide free technical support and a full money-back guarantee.
  • Support multiple file types like photos, videos, music, documents, etc.

If your micro SD card won’t format, here are the steps to follow:

Step 1. Select Your SD Card

First, users need to download and install Tenorshare 4DDiG on their computers. Then launch the program and connect the SD card, which can’t be formatted to the computer. After that, select the card and click the “Start” button to begin the scanning process.

select SD card

Step 2. Preview The Data

4DDiG will quickly check your SD card during scanning to find all lost files. After the scanning, you can choose a file to preview before data recovery. It supports previewing almost all files, including photos, videos, documents, etc.

scan the SD card that won't format

Step 3. Recover The Data

After confirming that the data you want has been found, click on the “Recover” button to start recovering. Then 4DDiG will ask you to select a location to save the recovered data. After that, all lost data will be successfully recovered and saved to the chosen location.

recover lost data from SD card

How to Fix SD Card Won’t Format?

If your SD card shows a format error, it may be due to a simple issue like write-protection or a more serious problem that requires data recovery. In either case, you can try a few things before giving up on your SD card.

Method 1:Remove Write Protection on SD Card

If your SD card is write-protected, you will not be able to format it. To remove the write protection, you will need to find the switch on the side of the SD card and toggle it. It will help look at the SD card adapter to determine which way to switch the lock. If the switch is already unlocked, try sliding it back and forth a few times before toggling it back to the locked position.

sd card partition

Method 2: Format SD card in Windows Disk Management

Using a Windows computer, you can use the built-in Disk Management tool to format your SD card. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Type “Computer Management” in the search bar.
  • Click on Computer Management from the options that pop up.
  • Find and click on Disk Management under Storage.
  • Locate your SD card in the bottom pane of Disk Management.
  • Right-click on your SD card and select Format from the dropdown menu.
  • Select a File System from FAT32, NTFS, or exFAT in the next window.
  • Choose Perform a Quick Format and then click on OK.

Method 3Clean SD Card using DiskPart

If the issue persists and you can’t format SD card, try using DiskPart. This  command-line utility can help you manage storage devices, including hard drives, removable media such as SD cards, and more.

Before proceeding, we recommend backing up any data as any wrong command can result in data loss. Once you have a backup, follow the steps below:

  • First, connect the SD card to your PC. Then, press the Windows+ R keys to open the Run dialog box. In the box, type cmd and hit Enter to open Command Prompt.
  • After that, type diskpart to enter the DiskPart command prompt. Type list disk and hit Enter. This command will list all available disks on your computer.
  • Then, select disk X (X is the disk number of your SD card) and hit Enter to select the SD card drive you want to format.
  • After that, type list partition Y and hit Enter. All partitions on the selected disk will be listed with this command
  • Type the command format fs=ntfs quick and hit Enter. Once the formatting is complete, type exit to close the Command Prompt.


If you are having trouble formatting your SD card, follow our tips. Sometimes, simply reformatting the card from a different computer can fix the problem. If that doesn’t work, you can try using special software to recover the data on the card. Tenorshare 4DDiG is one of the most recommended data recovery software, compatible with multiple file types, and quick to use.

We hope this article helped you fix your SD card formatting issue. 

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