Cannot Format Change Card Canon - 6 fixes

The Cases

Canon camera won't format card? How do you fix a sd card that won't format on canon? Canon eos rebel keeps saying cannot format change card.
Canon eos rebel t5 cf card format error when canon said format card with this camera, when I press format it, it says 'cannot format. change card'

cannot format change card canonCanon says cannot format change card

Resolution: Why is my canon camera telling me to format my memory card? Canon says sd card not formatted Format card with this camera?

  1. If it's a new memory card inserted to Canon camera, you may format it with camera for data storage.
    -> Video - how to format sd/cf card on canon (how to format sd card Canon rebel t6/c70 or more)
  2. If it's an old memory card sd/cf card in use and suddenly Canon digital camera warned format card with this camera, it means the memory card is damaged. (Mostly it's logical damages that could be repaired. We will introduce ways to repair memory card when it needed to format or unable to format with camera.)
  3. If it's an old memory card used on somewhere else before, and now it has format error on Canon when you insert the sd/cf card to the camera, it's mostly likely that there is file system conflicts between the memory card and your camera. -> Format it on computer to FAT/fat32/exfat/ntfs to test which one suits your camera. (You may select file system options while formatting the memory card on computer)Format sdFormat sd

6 Fixes for Canon Card Cannot Be Format change Card

Required: Pull the sd/cf card out of the camera, insert it to a computer, if your sd/cf card can still read on a computer, back up all images, videos from the sd card to a computer at first. Then you may directly go to Fix #2.

Fix #1 - Recover sd/cf card data when sd card is corrupted/unreadable

As an image rescue utility, iCare Recovery Pro is able to bring data back from damaged sd card when it is unable to format or inaccessible.

You need to insert the sd card to a computer card slot or with a card adaptor. Simple steps for an sd card recovery: download, install, select sd card, scan, and recover data.

Download Memory Card Recovery Fee

recover files

If there were no important images or videos on the memory card, you may ignore this part and directly go to fix #2

Fix #2 - Ignore the error, take photos directly with the sd/cf card with Canon

It's bizzar but would work by directly taking some photos with the camera when Canon is showing card not formatted and even if you confirm to format the card with camera, it would report: cannot format, change card error. Just ignore the error, and take images with the camera.

If it does not work, go to the next method.

Fix #3 - Change a smaller sd/cf card when the big one does not work on Canon (64gb->32gb)

Sometimes large sd card or cf card may not work on your old camera since it holds different file system. It could be simply fixed by using a smaller sd card, for example, a 32GB Sandisk sd card may work. Here is a story from a user who gets the error fixed.

If anyone runs into the message saying the card can’t be formatted, it may be the fact that your card has too much memory space on it. I tried putting a 64GB card in my canon t1i and it wouldn’t work. Switched to 32GB and works just fine.

If you want to make the large sd card or cf card work on your Canon digital camera, you may format its file system to fat32/fat and try again which will get explained in fix #4.

Fix #4 - Change the sd/cf card file system to fat32/fat to test which file system would work with the camera

You may simply use right click sd card format option in Windows explorer that would show you the file system options to choose.

Step 1, Insert sd card to computer, right click it once you open 'This PC', it would show sd card there.

Step 2, Select 'Format' option and a window will pop up.

Format sd

Step 3, Select file system in this window, please try fat32 at first, if it does not work on camera, come back here and choose FAT instead, still does work? Try EXFAT, ntfs one by one as test to see which file system would work.Format sd

Fix #5 - Format SD card on Canon with low level format selected

If the above methods does not work, then at this time you may try to format it with 'low level format' option selected in Canon format card option during the formatting.

Format by camera

Note: Formatting card on camera would erase all data, please backup data or recover data before this.

Fix #6 - Repair sd card on Windows computer when it cannot be formatted using cmd

Video - Repair damaged sd card on computer

Note: chkdsk failed? See solution: chkdsk is not available for raw drives sd card fix

Also read: how to fix sd card won't format, or 7 free sd card repair tools

Some types of Canon camera that may run into card not formatted, cannot format card error including

  • canon m50 canot format card,
  • canon 500d cannot format card,
  • canon m50 cannot format card,
  • canon rebel t1i cannot format card,
  • canon 40d cannot format cf card,
  • EOS rebel t6 card cannot be formatted...


Question: What does format card mean on canon?

Answer: It's logical error that happened on sd card which does not go well with the canon camera so the camera warns a format card.

Question: How do I format my SD card for my Canon camera? - 4 ways

Answer: There are at least 4 easy ways to format sd card for canon cameras.

  • Format sd card on canon digital camera with the machine itself format card option
  • Format sd card on a computer by right click sd card format option
  • Format sd card on a computer in disk management format option when you right click sd card
  • Format sd card with Windows sd card format tools -> sd card format tools [7 free]

Question: Why my canon rebel won't format sandisk sd card 64GB?

Answer: There is confict between the camera file system with the sandisk sd card so it won't format or the sd card has write protection if it was used on somewhere else before. You may directly take photos to see whether images can be stored or you may change a smaller sd card like 32gb to see whether it would work. Or you may change sd card file system to fat32, fat to see which file system matches the canon camera.

Question: canon cannot format cf card, canon eos cannot format change card?

When you use cf card on canon camera which has cannot format change card error, you may use another smaller card to see whether it would work on the canon, or you may try the above methods included on this page.

Related Articles

External Resource

File Recovery > Howto > Digital Media Recovery > cannot format card canon