Dash cams, just like your smartphones and computers, are constantly downloading and storing files. One way to ensure its long-term performance and maximize its storage space is deleting dash cam footage. In this article, we will walk you through the process of deleting dash cam footage and how to format your micro SD cards.
How to Delete Dash Cam Footage in Seconds
3 Ways to Delete Your Dash Cam Footage
For us dash cam users, managing footage can become a concern when your memory card fills up. But don’t worry, as there are three ways to make deleting simple and easy – through your computer, through your mobile app, or through the dash cam itself.
1. Manual Deletion with Dash Camera Buttons
Many Dash Cams will also have a way to format the camera with its physical camera controls. Unlike the other two options above, this method gives you on-the-spot control without needing external devices or apps, and is by far the easiest once learned. It also doesn't rely on Wi-Fi or mobile apps, making it suitable for dash cams without these features.
To manually format a microSD card in your dash cam, access the dash cam's menu through the provided controls. Within the menu, you should navigate to the settings or system options, and locate the "Format SD Card" or similar option. Next, select and confirm this option, wait for the formatting process to complete, and then exit the menu.
Some units will even have a dedicated button, or buttons with secondary functions that allow you to format the camera without the hassle of navigating the menu. We’ll touch on a few now.
Formatting the micro SD Card in a Thinkware Dash Cam
Now, for dash cams that don’t have a screen, formatting can be done via format buttons on the unit itself. This varies depending on the brand. For example, the Thinkware U1000 requires you to hold down the Record Button for 5 seconds until you hear the audio message that SD Card formatting will begin.
Meanwhile, for the U3000, you have to hold the REC and Wi-Fi button for 3 seconds until you hear a beeping sound. For the Q1000, the process is even more straightforward. Simply hold the dedicated Format Button for 3 seconds to start the formatting process.
Formatting the micro SD Card in a VIOFO Dash Cam
For VIOFO dash cams particularly the A119 V3, A119 Mini 2, A229, or A139 Pro, you can use the shortcut buttons on the dash cam. Simply press the REC button to stop the video record, then long press the REC button on the dashcam body to format the memory card.
The screen will show “Press Ok to format the memory card, or press menu to cancel”. After that, you can press the emergency lock button to confirm "OK". There will also be a voice prompt "memory card format, successful", except for the A119 V3 that doesn’t have this feature.
Formatting the micro SD Card in a BlackVue Dash Cam
You can also do the same with BlackVue dash cams. For DR750-2CH LTE, DR770X, and DR970X, you can press the Format button for about five seconds and the camera will sound a voice prompt. Hold for another five seconds to format the SD card.
Meanwhile, for the DR750X, DR750X Plus, DR900X, and DR900X Plus, holdthe Wi-Fi button for five seconds until the camera gives out a voice prompt. Press the same button again for five seconds and the camera will format the SD card.
2. Formatting Dash Cam Files Through the Computer
For old-school dash cams, formatting through the computer is most common to erase footage, especially for larger memory cards. Through this, you can delete all footage at once, saving time compared to selecting and deleting individual files manually. Formatting through a computer is always the most thorough option for a deep clean on the card, clearing files the dash cam may have missed, and identifying if a card is corrupted altogether. Moreover, you also have control over the file system, allowing you to choose between FAT32 and exFAT based on your dash cam's requirements.
To format your dash cam files through your computer, the first step is to use a card reader or an adapter to connect the memory card from your dash cam to your computer's USB port. Next, navigate to your computer's file management system to locate the memory card. You can open File Explorer if you’re using Windows, or Finder if you’re using Mac.
Next, select the memory card from the list of drives and right-click on it. In the context menu that appears, click on the "Format" option. Once done, a new window will appear with formatting options. Just be sure that the file system is set to FAT32 or exFAT (please consult your dash cam's manual for the recommended format).
If you’re already sure of what to delete, click “Start" to confirm. The formatting process may take a few minutes, depending on the card's capacity. You should also be aware that formatting will erase all data on the card. Once formatting is complete, safely eject the memory card from your computer and put it back in your dash cam.
Plenty of Dash Cam brands also have dedicated Desktop Viewers that you can format your SD card through, which will ensure the card is in the correct type for the applicable camera.
BlackVue’s Desktop Viewer, for example, is a great option for formatting your SD card into FAT32, and there are plenty of third-party formatting tools out there if needed.
3. Formatting Through the Dedicated Mobile App
Thanks to technology, dash cam footage can already be accessed right at your fingertips with dedicated smartphone apps. If you own a VIOFO, BlackVue or Thinkware, you can already manage your dash cam's footage without physically handling the memory card, which is more convenient and less prone to accidental damage.
Just like formatting through the computer, deleting dash cam footage through the dedicated mobile app allows you to select and delete specific videos or files, preserving valuable footage while removing the rest. We also appreciate that most dash cam apps offer a user-friendly interface, making it easy for anyone to delete footage with minimal effort.
To do this, the first step is to download and install the official app for your dash cam model from your device's app store. Open the app, and connect your smartphone or tablet to the dash cam's Wi-Fi network.
Once properly connected to your camera’s WiFi, many models will have a format setting tucked away in the memory card settings. You could also try manually deleting individual files, but that will frequently be tedious.
Give Your Dash Cam a Refresh
With this guide, we hope you learned how to take care of your dash cam by deleting footage. We understand that managing your dash cam files could feel like a daunting task, but it should be easy if you know the right steps. Regardless of your chosen way to delete footage, doing so can provide you additional storage for new recordings, while also keeping your dash cam up to date.