10 Methods of How to fix SD Card Not Reading Error


Summary: It’s a recurrent case when your SD card not reading on phone or when you plug into PC’s card reader. You do not need to be anxious, today in this article we will discuss how to fix SD Card not reading error and recover if there is data loss in both no sweats.

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SD card is a good medium for the storage of any digital media such as photos, audios, video clips in camcorders, cameras, MP3 players and Android phones or any device with memory card support. When sd card not showing up on computer or phone not detecting sd card, we’ll have to know the reasons why the SD card can’t work as normal, just check following causes.

10 Common Reasons Why SD Card not Reading

  1. SD card formatted incorrectly (the file system is not compatible with Windows)
  2. Bad sectors and/or read copy errors
  3. Damaged file structure due to virus infection
  4. SD card is broken
  5. USB port not working or incorrect
  6. SD card driver not updated or lost
  7. USB port congested
  8. SD card is physically damaged
  9. SD card not compatible with the device
  10. File manager needs to be changed

After presenting the reasons, let us proceed on how to fix this error. Below is the troubleshooting you must try.

7 Methods of Fixing SD Card not Reading Error

Test the SD Card into another PC

Insert your SD card into another PC’s card reader and check if your SD card works. If the PC is able to read your SD Card then the culprit might be the card reader and vice versa.

Another workaround is to insert your SD card in digital media like phone and connect it to your PC with a USB cable to check whether can be detected or not.

Check the USB Connector

Sometimes, you may use the USB connector, then you need to check the connection of the USB connector if its properly attached to the USB port.

By verifying the connection, you can plug the USB connection out from USB port after removing securely from the computer.

You can also try to restart the PC then reconnect the USB connector to the USB port again.

Put a Little More Pressure in Inserting SD Card

When SD card is not detected, the only sole solution might be a little force to make sure that the SD card is firmly inserted in the slot.

Clean SD Card and reader

Clogged SD card and reader due to dirt and dust might be the reason of poor connection resulting in SD card cannot be detected. In cleaning your SD Card, lightly wipe the dirt off with a cotton cloth dipped in little alcohol or water.

For your card reader, use a compressed air device that can blow the dust off. Contact cleaner is also available on the internet if you want to purchase.

Update card reader driver

This can be done either manually or automatically. For manual driver update, just proceed to manufacturer’s website and search for the recent correct driver. Try searching both in the PC’s manufacturer and card reader manufacturer. You may also do the steps below:

  • Insert SD Card into your PC’s card reader.
  • Go to Navigate Control Panel SystemDevice ManagerDisk drivers
  • Right-click your USB device and select Uninstall and choose Scan for hardware changes to refresh the drivers.

Assign the New Drive Letter for SD Card

If the above troubleshooting can’t work to fix SD card not reading error, try to assign the new drive letter for SD card.

Press Win+ R and then type: diskmgmt.msc, right-click on your SD card device, and choose “Change drive letter and paths” and click Change, assign a new drive letter and follow the steps as shown in the windows.

After that, I would like to recommend you to recover the data first from SD card, as the precious data inside the SD card is important than the SD card itself sometimes.

Recover data from SD card not reading on a computer

Bitwar Data Recovery is user-friendly and no expert skills needed to recover your files. This will solve your question on how to recover data from inaccessible memory card. Just plug in your SD card back on your PC and if it still showing in the Disk Management.

Then you can have a good chance to recover data first before fixing the SD card.

Simply Download the Bitwar Data Recovery Software and install to the different partition, after launching the software, you can then follow below steps to recover data from the SD card.

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  • Select your SD card and choose a recovery mode.
  • Select the file type you wish to recover.
  • Scan and preview the data, and then hit the recover button to save the data into different device or partition.

Once done, we can then do some extra operations to make the SD card visible again on the computer.

3 Methods to Make SD card Visible on PC

Using CHKDSK Command

  • In the search box, type “cmd” and click Run as Administrator.
  • In the command window, type “CHKDSK” followed by the drive letter assigned to your SD card then the colon and “/f”. Click Enter. The CHKDSK will try to fix how to repair corrupted memory card not detected in PC.

  • Reconnect the SD card and check.

Format SD Card using CMD

  • Press Win+R and type: CMD
  • After opening the command window, type: Format F: /q (Change the drive letter F to your assigned one)
  • Hit ENTER button on your keyboard and wait for the process to finish.

Format SD card in Disk Management

  • Enter to Disk Management and right-click on the SD card device.
  • Choose Format and perform a quick format.


We have high hopes that you have gained relevant information on How to fix SD Card not reading error issues. For more issues regarding your devices, download Bitwar Data Recovery to recover first your files before any disaster happens.

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Read More

  1. How to Recover Deleted Files from SD Card
  2. 4 Methods to Format SD Card | Solutions to Fix SD Card Corruption Error


  1. Hey, hope you are doing great. Sorry to bother, but my question is: it doesn’t matter why are the reasons the card is not working, do the software helps with all of them? In my case, I think the file system is not compatible with windows anymore. It used to work perfectly, I guess it was after being formatted or something, i can’t recall, but I don’t think is anything else. Do the program works for that? Thank you!

    • Are there any prompts showing there on your computer while you are inserting the SD card? If your SD card can be detected in the Disk Management, our data recovery software is still available for you to restore data on your SD Card. Thanks.

  2. I’m sure this is the biggest issue with SD Cards, right? At least it’s been that way for me. So after recover the data with Bitwar Data Recovery, should I format the SD and then put the files back? Thank you for your time!

    • Yes, if the SD card was formatted successfully and can be used as normal, you can put the files back to the SD card to use, before doing that, just don’t cut all of the files and paste to the SD card, instead is to copy the files (in order to make backup on your computer). Thanks.

      • Thank you for the fast reply, followed your instructions and everything went perfectly, now i can use my SD card as normal again! The software is great, easy to use and super helpful! Thanks!

  3. WOW! it was SUPER easy to do! I used the CHKDSK command method from this article, thank you for your help! Very well explained the step by step, so was pretty easy to follow for me, good job!

  4. Well, indeed I think the best is to prevent, or have a backup plan, mostly if this technology becomes your daily use doe to work or hobby, I’ve been using Bitwar for a couple of weeks already and it’s great, makes it all easy so, great job!

    • Dean, I agree with you, a gradually backup plan is excellent for keeping your data safer in most of the situations. But I reserve my opinions for sometimes, the backup data is out-to-dated, just like, the backup data doesn’t contain your latest documents. And yes, that’s what we do, to be your strong backing to help you retrieve the documents you haven’t backed up yet. Thanks for using our data recovery software. Please feel free to contact us if you need anything!

  5. I love how simple this article has explained everything, and also legit information, I followed the information to format the SD card using CMD, was great! I was a bit scared to do it wrong or that I wouldn’t understand the steps, so thank you for making it simple.

  6. THANK YOUUU! Needed this information. I think i need to update the card reader driver, but also have a question, can I still do this procedure if there is a virus? I don’t think the files are damaged! 5 starts for this article, very helpful!

    • Thanks for your question, Mary, at times the virus can corrupt the file system of the card, makes the SD show blank in your phone or computer, though, you should first try to perform data recovery with our software, and then save the files in a new external devices, such as external hard drive. After that, use anti-virus software to fix the issues of the card, or, perform the complete format is another choice.

  7. Hello, indeed I agree with many things in this article, very good compilation. Sometimes is not that easy to detect when an SD card is broken, I remember long time ago when I borrowed for a little bit my camera to my dad, and after he forced the SD card too much trying to put it in different holes, it was the end, but at the time, I couldn’t detect any psychical damage. So, for those who are trying to find a solution and think “nah that can’t be”, well it can. Good luck to everybody

  8. Hey! i started to learn and practice photography couple months ago, indeed I use a bunch of SD cards, and I’ve had a lot of issues with them.
    Thank you for this article, I’m amazed about all the information and how easy it is to follow, thanks to your words, i figure it out that my USB connector was not working properly, I was really frustrated but now I know how to handle it!


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