How to Format the Memory Cards in a Nikon D810, D750, and D610

The Nikon D810, D750, and D610 have two methods for formatting the memory cards. One is obvious. The other is less obvious but is also quicker.

This is part of a series focusing less obvious features of some of Nikon’s DSLRs.

There are two ways to format memory cards in the D810, D750, and D610. One is obvious. The other is a little less so.

Method #1: Using the Menu

First, the obvious one, using the menu:

  • Press the menu button on the back of the camera (top right)
  • Move the cursor down to the Setup menu item (the wrench icon)
  • Press the right side of the selector to Format Memory Card and then press right again.
  • You can then select whether to format the CompactFlash card or the SD card. You have to two one at a time—you can’t do both simultaneously.
It’s generally recommended to format the memory cards in the camera, not in your computer. It reduces the risk of file system corruption that can lead to memory card errors.

Method #2: Using the Quick Format Buttons

These cameras also offer an even quicker option, although it’s not quite so obvious how to use it.

There are two buttons to look for: one on the top and another on the back. They have a red “Format” label next to them. On the Nikon D810 and D800, it’s the MODE button. On the D750 and the D610 it’s the metering mode button.

On the back panel, to the left, it’s the delete button with the trash can icon.

The are two tricks to using these. The first is to use them together, simultaneously.

  • Press both of the red Format buttons together and hold them down for a couple of seconds until the top LCD screen shows a flashing ‘For’ (for format). The exposure count and memory card slot indicator will also be blinking.
  • Release the buttons.
  • If you only have one of the two memory card slots filled, it’ll automatically detect that. If you have cards in both slots, it’ll default whichever you’ve designated as the primary slot.
  • You can manually choose which card to format by rotating the main command dial on the back panel.
  • The second trick is that you need to press them together again. If you don’t, it won’t have formatted anything. You don’t need to hold them this time—it reacts immediately.
  • If you want to cancel without formatting, press any other button or the shutter. It will also cancel automatically if you haven’t selected anything within five seconds.

View Comments

    • No. The manual [PDF] specifically mentions compatibility with SDXC cards (all 64GB cards are SDXC). If you haven't already, the first thing I'd try is a different 64GB card from a different brand. It's possible there's a fault in a specific card that's tripping it up, and it's not unheard-of for compatibility issues between specific camera and card combinations.

  • After I upgraded the firmware on my D750 the format option is missing in the Wrench (tools) menu. The red format buttons option worked fine. Thanks

  • Formatting Memory cards
    I tried both methods.
    The light in camera came ne once but did not flash again. this is a rental camera for meThanks
    Anne

  • My D810, when using the quick format buttons, acts as though it is formatting the card (only one card in the camera to eliminate selection error) and displays the blinking "Formatting" message. However, files are not deleted. I have to go to the menu method which does format the card and deletes all images. What could be the error that is occurring?

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