Format SD / Memory Card - Windows® 8

Caution Caution:

  • Formatting permanently erases all data on the memory card. It's recommended to back up the data.
  • Ensure the tablet is connected to a power source prior to performing this process. Failure to do so could result in power loss and possible damage to the memory card.

Note Notes:

  • Verizon supports the Microsoft Surface 3 on Windows 8.1 Pro OS. Contact Microsoft Support to assist with any Windows 10 Pro OS How to and troubleshooting questions.
  • If your device is not running Windows 8, refer to Windows 10 for further instruction.
  • To perform the steps below, ensure the SD / memory card is inserted.


  1. Launch File Explorer.
    1. From the right edge of the screen, swipe left to display the charms menu.
      Swipe left with Charms menu
    2. Tap Search.
    3. Enter file explorer into the search field.
    4. From the search results (located below the search field), tap File Explorer.
  2. From File Explorer, tap and hold the appropriate removable storage drive (e.g. Secure Digital storage drive (D:)) for approximately 1 second then release.
  3. Click Format.
  4. From the 'Format' screen, ensure that the following options are configured as desired:
    • Capacity
    • File system
    • Allocation unit size
    • Volume label
    • Quick Format
      Note Enabled when a check mark is present.
      Note Quick format removes files from the memory card but it doesn't scan for bad sectors. The option should only be enabled when the memory card has been formatted previously and you're certain the card is not damaged.
      Note Depending on card capacity, Quick format may take between 15 seconds and 2 minutes to complete. If Quick format isn't selected, the process takes longer (e.g., 20 minutes for an 8 GB card).
  5. Click Start (located at the bottom).
  6. From the 'WARNING: Formatting will erase ALL data on this disk?' prompt, click OK to confirm.
  7. If presented with the 'Format Complete' prompt, click OK.