If you finish setting up your Raspberry Pi, but your card is not detected by the system chances are the SD Card is not formatted correctly for the Raspberry Pi. In order for your card to work on the Pi, it should have a proper Raspberry Pi SD Card format which is a FAT32 file system for SDHC cards and an exFAT system for SDXC cards. Today we’re going to show you how to format your memory card specifically for Raspberry Pi.

How to Format SDHC Cards for Raspberry PI

What Storage Capacity does Raspberry Pi Support?

Raspberry Pi has support for up to 64 GB of storage capacity, however, you need to format your 64 GB memory card to an exFAT system for it to work. The built-in Windows format tool only allows the FAT32 file system on 32 GB memory card max. So for you to format your SDXC card to an exFAT system you should use a third-party application. You can find the full guide below.

How to Format SDHC Cards for Raspberry PI

In order for you to format memory cards with a capacity of 32 GB or lower, you can use the built-in Windows Formatting tool. Follow the steps below to get started.

#1. Press on Windows key + S and search for This PC and open it

#2. On This PC, find your memory card and right-click on it

#3. Click on Format

#4. The format tool will pop-up, Find the file system section

#5. On the file system, click on the drop-down menu and select exFAT

#6. Uncheck quick format

#7. Click on Start

#8. Wait for the process to finish then insert your card to the Raspberry Pi and see if the card is already detected

How to Format SDXC Cards for Raspberry Pi

Since the Windows format tool doesn’t allow SDXC cards to be formatted to FAT32, you would need a third-party tool that allows you to format your memory card. Follow the guide below.

#1. Download the Format tool HERE

#2. After downloading the tool, go to your downloads folder and find GuiFormat.exe

#3. Open the Format Tool

#4. An open file security warning will pop-up

#5. Click on Run

#6. Now on the software tool, uncheck quick format

#7. Click on Start and wait for the process to finish

#8. Once the process is done, reinsert your memory card to the Raspberry Pi and see if it works

Once you have successfully formatted your memory card to the ideal Raspberry Pi SD Card format, you can proceed with installing the operating system of Raspberry PI on your SD Card.


SD Memory Cards for Raspberry Pi

Unlike cameras that require fast write speeds, Raspberry Pi relies more on reading speeds since the SD Card would store all the files and operating systems of the Raspberry Pi. In this case, we listed some of the best Raspberry Pi compatible SD Cards that you can get on the market.

LoveRpi Micro SD Card

LoveRPi Raspberry Pi Micro SD Card...
328 Reviews
LoveRPi Raspberry Pi Micro SD Card...
  • PLUG AND PLAY TO GET STARTED WITHOUT HASSLES: Setting up a MicroSD card for the...
  • EXCLUSIVE POWER-LOSS ANTI-CORRUPT TECHNOLOGY: If you are an experienced Raspberry Pi...

Given the name, you can tell that the LoveRpi is built and optimized for Raspberry Pi. The LoveRpi works on most versions of the Raspberry Pi and would work without the need of formatting the card. It has a rating of UHS-1 class 10 with a write speed of 10 MB per second at max. However, read speeds are decent at 60 MB per second. The card would handle most day to day tasks on your Raspberry Pi without any problems. It is also available on 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB variants.

SanDisk Extreme PRO 32 GB Micro SD Card

SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDHC...
4,918 Reviews
SanDisk Extreme PRO microSDHC...
  • Shoot like a Pro on your smartphone, tablet, or Camera with the SanDisk extreme Pro...
  • Water proof, shock proof, x-ray proof, temperature proof
  • Manufactured in China

If you don’t mind installing Pi-OS yourself and has experience setting up Raspberry Pi then you should consider buying the SanDisk Extreme Pro memory card.  It is a little expensive compared to the LoveRpi but this card performs a lot faster. It features a 100 MB per second read speed which is enough to handle all the tasks that you would do on your Raspberry Pi. In terms of write speed, the card packs a 90 MB per second write speed for a faster saving of files to your storage. It is waterproof, temperature proof, and comes with a 10-year limited warranty from SanDisk.

If you want to know more about SD Cards for Raspberry Pi, check out our review of the best memory cards to use on Raspberry PI 4. Best SD Card for Raspberry Pi 4 (FULL REVIEW) >>



Ready To Format Raspberry Pi SD Card?

Knowing how to format an SD card for your Raspberry Pi, understanding the various storage capacities it supports, and selecting the right storage option are crucial factors in optimizing your Raspberry Pi experience.

When it comes to storage capacity, the Raspberry Pi supports a wide range of SD card sizes, from as small as 8GB up to a maximum of 1TB. This flexibility allows you to choose the best storage option based on your specific project requirements and budget. By understanding the formatting process and storage capacity limitations, you can make informed decisions about your storage needs and ensure that your Raspberry Pi operates efficiently and effectively. This knowledge will not only help you manage your storage devices but also enhance your overall Raspberry Pi experience, allowing you to focus on building innovative and creative projects.




Thank you for reading this guide!

I hope that it was helpful in teaching you everything you need to know about Raspberry Pi SD Card Format. 🙂

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