How to safely format your camera SD cards

When your camera’s SD card is full, you are probably tempted to insert it into your computer, delete some photos from it and then return to shoot. Do not do it!

Deleting files from an SD card is a bad idea for some reasons:

  • All additional operations increase the possibility of data corruption.
  • Deleting some photos is a very slow way to recover space on a card.
  • The performance of the SD card is reduced with use.

Instead, you should format your SD cards when you run out of space. Formatting deletes the card and sets the frame of the DCIM (Digital Camera Image) folder again.

How to safely format SD cards for your camera

First, save the photos

Surely you will not want to lose your photos so it is good to extract your SD or connect your camera to your computer to save all the photos in it on your hard disk or other device of your choice.

Once you’re done you’ll think, done now format the card directly from my computer, Do not do it.

Reformat the card in the camera

What we recommend instead is to re-insert the SD card on your camera and through its settings go to perform the format function.

Then scroll through your camera menu and in the memory section and press the SD format function.

The process varies slightly from one camera to another, but in general it should be something like that.

With a Canon camera, go to Menu> Settings> Format card. Select the card you want to format and then OK. Your camera will take a few minutes and you will have a new SD card ready for use.

With a Nikon camera, select Menu> Settings> Format memory card. Select the card you want to format and then OK. After a few moments, you will have a formatted SD card.

If for any reason you can not find the format card option, consult the camera user manual.

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