Fix Cannot Format/Delete Contents from SD Card in Galaxy, Android Phones

We all use SD cards in our phones to load data, transfer apps, songs and software. But sometimes it is necessary to format SD card and delete contents from it to free up space. But a lot of users are facing a problem in which they are unable to format SD card in Samsung Galaxy Android phones and some other Android devices. These users report that when they delete the contents, they SD card does not take any action and the contents don’t budge and remain on the card.

Fix Cannot Format/Delete Contents from SD Card


Using CMD

Connect your SD card to your computer and open command prompt.

Type diskpart and press Enter.

Type list disk and hit enter.

Type select disk <the number of your disk> and press Enter.

(Example: select disk 1). The number should be correct.

Noe type clean and press Enter.

 Type create partition primary and hit Enter.

Type active.

Type select partition 1.

Type format fs=fat32 and press Enter. The format process will take a few minutes.

Change Permissions

Sometimes you cannot format contents of your SD card because you don’t have the necessary permission to do so. In order to change the permissions of your SD card, go to My computer and then go to the properties of your SD card. Click on the “Sharing” tab and then click on “Advanced Sharing”. You should check the box called Share this folder to activate permission. Click on permission and give full permission to everyone. Now click on Apply.


SD cards also have drivers. If you are unable to delete contents from your SD card and cannot format it, chances are that the driver of the card is faulty. A lot of users were able to fix the problem by uninstalling the drivers of their SD card and then reinstall them.

Physical Lock

Some SD cards have a physical lock on them. This small lock sometimes gets locked and that stops data from being read or deleted. Make sure the lock is in the correct position.

Contact SanDisk

Not being able to format SD card is a known issue that can be fixed by contacting SanDisk. SanDisk has replaced faulty cards for many. You can open SanDisk website and then click on the “Support” button and then open Live chat and tell them your issue.

Repair the Bad Sectors

Sometimes bad sectors and faulty patches also make it impossible to format SD card in Android and Galaxy phones. You can go to Settings-> Storage and then Unmount the card, remove it, and insert it into your computer. After inserting the card, you can run the chkdsk tool to search and repair bad sectors.

Reinstall Android

Unable to format SD card in Android is a common issue in Android 6.0. If you recently upgraded to Android 6.0, uninstall your file manager and install it again. After installing, a pop up will ask your permission to write external storage. Select Allow and you will be able to access your data and delete it.

Fahad Saleem

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