Table of Content
    File Eraser

    Does Formatting an SD Card Delete Everything?

    Table of Content

      Summary: If you are in a dilemma regarding the data’s fate on a formatted SD card, then you are at the right place. This blog discusses the process of formatting and what happens when you format an SD card. You will further find about a secure file eraser tool to permanently erase the data on your SD card.

      Buy Now Buy Now

      SD cards are mostly used for storage in phones, digital cameras, etc. These are favored due to their compact size and portable nature. However, SD cards sometimes show errors due to corruption, file system damage, etc. To resolve such errors, you need to format the SD card. On the other hand, if you pass on the SD card to others, you need to delete the data for security purposes. Also, when you need to use your SD card afresh, you tend to format it. Now, the question comes up: does formatting the SD card delete everything permanently?

      Well, this blog discusses the process involved in SD card formatting and the status of data after that. Further, it mentions the method to erase data from SD card beyond the scope of recovery.

      What happens when you format an SD card?

      First, let us answer the question – ‘Does formatting an SD card delete everything’. The answer is yes, it does. However, the data is only deleted and not permanently erased. Contrary to the popular belief, formatting an SD card makes the data stored on it practically unavailable for further use but does not remove it permanently. When you format an SD card, it deletes the directory of entries made to define the path of data stored, thus rendering the data inaccessible by normal means. However, the data is not permanently erased and can be recovered using a data recovery software.

      How to erase data on SD card permanently?

      If you have formatted your SD card and don’t want the data to be recovered by any means, you need to erase it permanently using a professional data eraser software, like Stellar File Eraser.

      Stellar File Eraser securely erases files, folders, and deleted data beyond the scope of recovery. It also erases the traces leftover by internet browsing and uninstalled apps from the storage device. The software erases the data from the storage device by overwriting it multiple times with random data, thus destroying the data completely. Some of the important features of this software are shown below:

      Features of Stellar File Eraser

      Permanently erasing the deleted data on a formatted SD card using the Stellar File Eraser is quite simple. All you need to do is connect the card to your computer system and follow the steps below:

      Step 1: Format the SD card by right-clicking and selecting the format option.

      Step 2: Download and launch the Stellar File Eraser software.

      Step 3: Select the Erase Deleted Data option from the left pane of software interface.

      Step 4: From the list of volumes, select the SD card and click Erase Now at the bottom left.


      Step 5: In the Confirm Erasure dialog box, click Proceed to initiate the erasure process.


      Step 6: On successful completion of the process, the Erasure Summary of SD card is shown in the Erasure Complete window.


      The data on your SD card is permanently erased to an extent that it is beyond the scope of recovery, even by using a professional data recovery software.


      We hope you have found a satisfactory answer to the question ‘Does formatting an SD card delete everything’. To safeguard your sensitive and personal information that you no longer need to fall into wrong hands, you can erase it permanently using Stellar File Eraser.


      1. What happens if I format my SD card?

      Formatting an SD card removes the path defined for accessing the file by deleting the entries. The data still remains on the card but is marked as free space ready to be overwritten by fresh data. After formatting an SD card that previously had no space, the restriction on overwriting is revoked. The existing files on a formatted SD card become inaccessible and a new file system is assigned to the card, making it reusable.

      2. Can you get pictures back after formatting a memory card?

      The data on a formatted SD card can be recovered using a professional data recovery software, unless overwritten or permanently erased using a data eraser software like Stellar File Eraser. If you want to recover up to 1 GB of your pictures from a formatted memory card, you can use Stellar’s free data recovery software and retrieve your photos without any trouble.

      3. Does format mean delete?

      Formatting is a step ahead of a simple delete operation. Deleting a file sends it to the Recycle Bin folder from where it can be retrieved using the Restore option but formatting a storage device removes the entries, and thus the defined path to access files is removed. Retrieving files after the format is a bit difficult but not impossible. Files from formatted drive can be recovered by using a data recovery software.

      Was this article helpful?

      No NO

      About The Author

      Ashutosh Kumar linkdin

      Ashutosh is a Senior Content Writer at Stellar with over 8 years of experience in data recovery, IoT, and AI technologies domain. He is a tech enthusiast who enjoys researching and sharing DIY solutions to resolve complex technical issues. Apart from professional writing Ashutosh is a published poet and spends his weekends building small gadgets.


      1. Great article! Formatting an SD card can indeed be a bit confusing for many users, and your explanation clears up the misconceptions. It’s important for people to understand that formatting does not permanently erase data but rather prepares the card for future use. Your step-by-step guide on how to permanently erase the data using reliable software is particularly helpful. Keep up the good work!

        1. Thank you for your positive feedback! I’m glad to hear that the article was helpful in explaining the process of formatting an SD card and dispelling any misconceptions. It’s indeed crucial for users to understand that formatting does not permanently erase the data but rather prepares the card for future use. We are glad to know that you found the step-by-step guide on permanently erasing data using reliable software to be helpful.

      Leave a comment

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Image Captcha
      Refresh Image Captcha

      Enter Captcha Here :

      Related Posts


      Why Choose Stellar?

      • 0M+


      • 0+

        Years of Excellence

      • 0+

        R&D Engineers

      • 0+


      • 0+


      • 0+

        Awards Received