How To Completely Format Your Memory Card

At The Dashcam Store, we want to see our customers get the most usage out of their dashboard video cameras.  In this blog post, we discuss a good practice to keep when using your dashcam, in order to prevent any potential problems and ensure you are always recording.  We'd hate to hear that someone was involved in an accident and the dashcam did not manage to capture the evidence on film!

It's important to periodically format the memory card in your dashcam. Due to the fragmented nature of the files produced from constantly starting and stopping recordings (when you turn your car on and off), it's a good idea to perform some maintenance on your dashcam's memory card. Sometimes these partial files can end up "clogging up" your memory card, leading to performance issues or "card full" errors.  A study performed on flash memory cards showed that "fragmentation can have a serious impact on flash drive performance, especially during write operations" (Source)

Just like changing your car's oil or doing a defragment on your computer's hard drive, some simple maintenance can keep your dashcam operating in top condition. We recommend completely formatting (clearing) the memory card of your dashcam at least once a month. Formatting may be done via the on-screen menu of the dashcam itself, or by plugging the memory card in to your computer (via a card reader), then performing the following steps:

  1. Right click on your memory card once Windows recognizes it
  2. Select "Format' from the file menu
  3. Un-check or de-select the option to "Quick Format". This way, we ensure the card is fully formatted and ready for use.
  4. Click "Start". Once the format is complete, right click again on the memory card and select "Eject".  Then just put it back in your dashcam and you are good to go!

Of course, make sure any videos you would like to retain have been copied off of the memory card *prior* to formatting the card!

For Windows users, see the following two images for how to format the memory card on your desktop or laptop computer:

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