8 Solutions to Fix SD Card Not Showing Up

Eleanor Reed
7 min readJul 10, 2020

Q. My SD Card does not respond sometimes. At other times, it just goes blank or the photos and videos disappear and reappear. Most of the time I am not able to access my card. It is normal? How can I fix my SD card which can’t be read?

Answer. Yes, it is normal.

SD card or Memory cards have become an inseparable part of our lives. With the ever-increasing quantity of data, be it personal or professional, we are always in a need of more space to store them.

Many times our SD card gets corrupt or damage and there are a lot of reasons behind this. However, it is also possible to fix the SD card which cannot be read. Read and follow the instructions given below to retrieve your data.

7 Reasons why an SD card is not detected

As mentioned earlier, every solution brings along a few other problems. In the case of SD cards or memory cards, the problem is that many times you are bound to find your card unread by your computer.

There are dozens of reasons why your SD card might not be responding even after being connected to a computer. In certain cases, while the problem might be logical damage, it can also be physical damage.

1. Connection Issue

A lot many times, there is an issue of connection. This connection issue can be due to a damaged card reader, adaptor, or a damaged USB port. The problem might not be in the SD card but in any of the connection points, which leads to you not seeing the files of the Card.

2. SD Card is Locked

There is a little trigger kind of a thing at the side of your SD card. Sometimes, while handling the card, the trigger gets turned on. Thus, rendering the SD card as ‘write protected’.

If the SD card has turned to a write-protected feature then it will not be read or detected anywhere. Check your card for the same.

3. Improper Operation

While the hotplug is supported by a majority of SD cards now, consistent and frequent operation of the same might lead to a corrupt file system or metal wires.

A hotplug means that you can remove or insert your card from your device even while it is running.

4. Driver Letter is Lost

Without a driver letter, a partition cannot be accessed in the Windows Explorer. In case your SD has lost its driver letter, then it will not be displayed in the system.

5. Corrupted Driver

If your SD card can be seen with a yellow mark in the Device Manager but is not showing up in the system, then it can be concluded that there is something wrong with the SD card’s drivers. Under such circumstances, your SD card cannot be seen in Windows File Explorer, but in Disk Management.

6. Partition Loss

Another common phenomenon is that your SD card’s partition gets deleted. This will leave your SD card full of unallocated space.

7. The SD Card is Physically Damaged

In terms of physical damage, your SD card could have been dropped into water or you might see the plastic shell as damaged. In such cases, it becomes difficult to even get the card inside the reader.

Fix SD card not recognized on Windows computer

Here are 8 solutions to fix your SD card if your Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 computer is not detecting or recognizing it.

1. Use A Different USB Port

While we always tend to blame the SD card for not working, the problem might be lying somewhere else altogether. Many computers have more than just one USB port and to find out about yours, you can check the computer’s I/O.

In case your computer happens to have more than one, then try plugging in your card through the other one and see if it works from that one or not. In case your card works well on the other one, then the problem is not with the card, but rather with the computer.

2. Test SD Card On Another PC Or a New Card Reader

Sometimes, the problem might lie in your computer, thus rendering your SD card as unreadable. Under such circumstances, you can resort to testing your SD card on another PC. You can take any other PC and try on its various USB ports.

Also, you can try a different card reader, preferably a new one.

3. Turn Off Write Protection

You might be able to see your SD card on your computer but you might not be able to modify it or make changes to it. If the situation persists, then you might have turned on write protection.

SD cards have a tiny switch kind of thing at their sides. You might have unknowingly turned on the switch which is for write-only protection.

If your SD card does not have a switch and still happens to be write-protected, then follow the following steps:

  • Step 1 — Access Device management
  • Step 2 — Press Windows key + R. This will launch Run Window
  • Step 3 — Type devmgmt.msc in the given box & click OK button
  • Step 4 — Locate & expand ‘Disk Drivers’ option
  • Step 5 — Find your SD card
  • Step 6 — Right-click on your card & choose ‘Properties’
  • Step 7 — Under ‘General Tab’ or ‘Policy Tab’, you will find an option related to writing policy. Turn the tab off & click OK

4. Change the Drive Letter of Unrecognizable Card

Your SD card will not show up in your computer system unless it has a drive letter. If you see a message that says ‘please insert a disk into removable disk’ even if your card reader has been assigned a drive letter, your card might be unreadable.

Here are the steps which can be followed to solve the problem:

  • Step 1 — Right-click on the ‘Start’ button & select ‘Disk Management’ from the menu
  • Step 2 — Find your SD card there. Right-click on it & choose ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths’ from the drop-down menu
  • Step 3 — Click the ‘Change’ button & choose a drive letter from the list
  • Step 4 — Click on OK button

In case your SD card is missing a drive letter, click on the ‘Add’ button.

5. Run CHKDSK To Make The SD Card Detectable

You can follow the following steps to run CHKDSK to make the SD card detectable:

  • Step 1 — Right-click on ‘My Computer’ & select ‘Manage’
  • Step 2 — Click on ‘Disk Management’
  • Step 3 — Press Windows + R keys and type cmd. Hit ‘Enter’ button
  • Step 4 — Type chkdsk D: / f and press ‘Enter”

You do not have to have any technical knowledge to carry out this fix.

6. Update The SD Card Driver

If you see a yellow sign beside the card reader (on going to Device Manager), then your SD card issues are a play of driver issues.

Here is how you can update the SD card driver:

  • Step 1 — Connect your SD to your computer
  • Step 2 — Carry out the following. Control Panel > System > Device Manager > Disk Drivers
  • Step 3 — Find your SD card. Right-click and ‘Uninstall’
  • Step 4 — Choose ‘Scan for hardware changes’. This will refresh the drivers

7. Force SD To Show Up From Virus Or Malware

Many times your SD card is attacked by virus or encrypted by malware, which can even hide your SD card from showing up. Follow these steps to run and clean software from virus or malware:

  • Step 1 — Plug in your SD card
  • Step 2 — Go to ‘Start’ menu > type cmd in search bar > hit enter
  • Step 3 — Click on cmd. Exe under the programs list
  • Step 4 — Right-click on cmd. Exe
  • Step 5 — To recover files, type attrib -h -r -s /s /d drive letter:\*.*

8. Format SD Card

If nothing seems to work for you, then the last resort is to format your SD card.

Here are the steps you can follow to format your SD card on your computer:

  • Step 1 — Press Windows + D on your computer to open Desktop View
  • Step 2 — Press Windows + E to open ‘Computer’
  • Step 3 — ‘Devices with removable storage’ will display your SD card.
  • Step 4 — Right-click & select ‘Format’

SD card is a removable storage device that is used in multiple kinds of electronic devices such as Android smartphones, computers, laptops, tablets, and cameras.

How can you fix an SD card that is not showing up in Windows 10/8/7? Just follow the 8 solutions. They show you the steps.

Originally published at https://recoverit.wondershare.com.



Eleanor Reed

I am specialized in picture, video, camera and SD card fixes. I ‘d love to translate complicated solutions into easy-to-understand ones.