How to Format SDXC to FAT32 Safely

fat32 sd card

Formatting an SDXC card to FAT32 may be a common problem that many users face. It is evident from the number of questions and discussions on various online platforms such as Reddit. The problem arises not only because of the incorrect method, but also because the answers are poorly structured and have been optimized, which cannot respond to different situations and devices. This article is intended to solve these problems and provide simple steps to formatting your SD XC card as FAT 32 in Windows.

Terms before formatting SDXC

1. What is SDXC and how does the SDXC card work?

Before plunging into the formatting process, it is important to understand some of the words associated with the SDXC card. The SDXC is a symbol of Secure Digital eXtended Capacity and is known for its high capacity and speed, which makes it ideal for Full HD recording. The SD XC card has storage from 64GB and can reach up to 2TB. (theoretically). The card speed depends on the UHS bus that uses UHS-I. It has a speed range of 50MB/s to 104MB/sec. And UHS -II supports speeds from 156MB/ s to 312MB/sek.

2. SDXC vs. SD card

It is important to note the difference between the SD, SDXC and SDHC cards. Although they have similar sizes, theSDXC cards are only compatible with the SD XC devices. The SD card was the first to be designed and can support up to 2GB of data. SDHC card, which is called a “high capacity” card, can support data from 2GB to 32GB. TheSD XC is an expandable version that can support information from 32GB to 2TB. Another type called the SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) card can support 2TB to 128TB of information.

The compatibility of the storage device depends on the file system they are using. The SD card runs on the FAT16 file system and is compatible with all devices designed to support SD, SDHC or SDXC. SDHC card supports FAT32 file system, and it is kompatible with SDHC devices. On the other hand, the SD XC card is compatibility with both exFAT and FAT 32 file systems. SDUC card is only compatible for ex FAT.

3. FAT32 vs. NTFS vs. exFAT

FAT32, NTFS, and exFAT are the primary file systems. The oldest and most used file system is FAT32, which limits file sizes to 4GB. Windows’ contemporary, secure file system is NTFS. It only works with Windows and cannot be written on macOS. Developers created ExFAT in 2006. It is a typical SDXC card file system with NTFS and FAT22 characteristics.

How to format SDXC in Windows 10/8/7

Now let’s look at different ways to format SDXC cards to FAT32 in Windows 10/8/7. It is important to back up your files before formatting to avoid any loss of data.

1. Using Windows Disk Management

The first is to use Windows Disk Management, which is a built-in function in the Windows operating system, following these steps:

  • Connect the SDXC card to your computer
  • Open the file detector and click “Manage” in the navigation bar.
  • A new window called Disk Management opens, showing all the drives and their information.
  • Select the SDXC card and click “Formats”
  • Select FAT32 as a new file system and click “OK”
  • Confirm format process by clicking “OK”

2. Using PowerShell

If this method does not work, you can try PowerShell, which is another built-in function in Windows. Here’s how:

  • Connect the SDXC card to your computer
  • Open PowerShell (admin) by pressing Windows + X on your keyboard and selecting Power Shell (admin).
  • Enter the command “format /FS:FAT32 X:” (replace X with the name of your SDXC card) and press Enter.

Please note that formatting a large SDXC card as FAT32 using PowerShell may take a long time, so be patient.

3. Using Diskpart on Command Prompt

Another way is to use Diskpart in the Command Prompt:

  • Connect the SDXC card to your computer
  • Open Command Prompt
  • Run “diskpart” and press Enter.
  • Execute the “List of Volumes” command and press Enter.
  • Execute the “Select Volume B” command (replace B with the drive letter of your SDXC card) and press Enter.
  • Enter “format fs=FAT32” and press Enter to start the formatting process.

If you encounter an error with one method, you can try another one as both PowerShell and Diskpart are simple and efficient methods.

What to do when you cannot format SDXC to FAT32

In some cases, you may have problems formatting an SDXC card to FAT32 due to various factors. Some common reasons include protection against writing on a card or card that is not detected by the system. To fix these problems, you can try the following:

  • For writing protection, check that the card has a switch on its edge that enables writing protection. Disable enabling the switch to unprotect.
  • If the card is not detected, verify that there is a connection problem, write protection trigger in the driver’s card reader, lost or damaged, or physical damage to the card.

What to do when you lost SDXC data after formatting

In case you lose data after formatting your SDXC card, there is a software called WinfrGUI which can help you recover your files. This professional software supports all types of data and file systems, making it easy to use and easy to operate. Follow these steps to recovery your files:

  • Download and install WinfrGUI on your computer
  • Connect your SDXC card to your computer
  • Open WinfrGUI and select the location of your SDXC card.
  • Click “Start” to start the scan process.
  • While your card scanning software shows you the files you want to recover and stop the software if necessary.
  • Check the file first to make sure it’s genuine and click “Recover” to save it elsewhere.

Tips to keep SDXC memory card safe and healthy

To ensure that your SDXC memory card has a long and healthy life, please follow these tips:

  • Follow the appropriate instructions to remove the memory card from your device to avoid damage.
  • Avoid saving infected files to your memory card to prevent the spread of malware.
  • Protect your memory card from environmental factors such as humidity, high temperatures, curves and magnetic currents.
  • Avoid shutting down your system while using memory card to prevent data loss.
  • Use an authorized memory card reader to extend the life of your card.


In summary, this article provides comprehensive information about formatting SDXC cards to FAT32 in Windows, along with tips for handling common issues and securing your memory card. By following the recommended methods and taking the necessary precautions, you can successfully formatting your SD XC cards and make sure your information is secure.

>>Also Read: 12 Solutions to Fix SD Card not Showing Up on Windows 10/11