What does Formatting Mean

Ever heard the term Formatting? What does it actually mean to format a hard drive or to format a flash drive? If you don’t know the answer, this article is for you.

Formatting is the process of erasing all the data on your hard drive or other storage devices in order to free up space or to reset it to the factory default. Formatting deletes each and every bit of information in your hard drive or flash drive or virtually make it non-accessible directly. However, the data can be still restored utilizing some data recovery software. In order to make it completely inaccessible, you should use some file destructions software which will write zeros in each and every sector of the storage device.

There are two important types of storage drive formats, the NTFS and FAT32. NTFS is used for the disks of 4GB or higher size while the FAT32 is common in lower storage pen drives or memory cards. There are several methods to erase data on the storage device. But the formatting is one of the easiest and quickest methods to do so.

What formatting actually do?

Formatting some storage device will entirely remove all the data existed in that location. Instead of deleting the files one by one, formatting can remove all the data with a single click. No matter how large or small is the storage device, the formatting process is incredibly fast when compared to the copy speed that you have usually seen.

You can format any of the following devices.

Note: Don’t be confused with the “format” word which is also used to mention the file types. Both, erasing a storage device and the type of a file is indicated using the same word “format.”

Note 2: You can’t format some specific type of storage media such as normal CD/DVD.


Muhammed Swalih is a Blogger by profession who also has a great taste in Web Development, SEO, Graphic Designing, etc.