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How To Format Your Memory Card

Published 19th August 2015 | Article by KingstonMemoryShop

There is a big difference between formatting your memory card and erasing all the photos off it, but why should you do one over the other?

Like anything, the more you use a memory card the more you will very gradually wear down its performance. If you just erase all photos from it, this will not make any difference to its performance, you will just have more space on it. You need to format the card occasionally to start over.

We also recommend that you always format a new card before using it so that it will be in sync with your camera, which will help it perform better. The same goes for if you use a card which has previously been in another camera.

It will take a little longer than just deleting all your files, but is a great habit to get into to make the most of your memory card...it may also be easier than you think.

1. Before formatting your memory card

Make sure you have a backup of any photos (and other files) that you want to keep as you will lose everything on your card, even files that may have been protected. Formatting recreates the whole file system on the card.

A great way to ensure you have a backup of all of your images, is by buying a USB memory stick flash drive and transferring the images to it. It’s also a great way to take all your images to family and friends to show them your holiday snaps! You can just plug it into their computer or TV and show them how great your trip was!

2. How to format your memory card

You can format your memory card using your camera or your computer, it’s up to you. Below we talk you through how to format your memory card using both methods.

Format your card with your camera
Each camera works differently, but they all have the same general options. With the card in the camera, follow these steps:
Go to playback mode (normally a green play icon)
Open the menu screen
Find the ‘format card’ option.

Format your card with your computer
If your computer has a built in card reader, you’re ready to go. If not you will need an external card reader that plugs into your USB drive.

When you plug the card into your computer, either directly or through a card reader, it will be treated as an external hard drive. Follow these steps to format your memory card:

Open ’My Computer’ (finder on iOS) and you will see the drive
Double click the computer card and check that it is definitely the card you want to format, and that you’ve backed up the files on the card.
Right click (ctrl + click on iOS) the icon and select ‘format’.
Leave all the options untouched, your computer knows best
When you’re ready to go, click ‘start’.
A few minutes later and you’re all done.
Safely remove the memory card and you’re all set.

We recommend that you always read your device or camera manual on how they recommend that you format your memory card before proceeding with a format to ensure there is not any additional information.

Of course, you’re going to need a memory card to format in the first place. We have a great selection of Compact Flash, MicroSDHC, MicroSDXC, SDHC and SDXC and many more cards.

If you’re not sure what you need, have a look at our memory card configurator to find the correct memory for your device.

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