SD Card not Showing Up or Recognized on Windows & Mac PC

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Have you ever come across the issue that your SD card is not detected or recognized by your computer? If SD card is not showing up on your computer, you will not be able to access any of your important data saved on it. With the help of troubleshooting methods explained in the article, you will be able to understand what to do when SD card not showing on Windows, Mac and on your camera.

Why Is My SD Card Not Showing Up?

Here are a few reasons why your SD card is not being recognized or showing up on your computer:

Any mechanical or physical damage caused to SD card can lead to the issue not recognized by the PC.

Multiple usage of SD card on several devices can lead to logical corruption and cause damage to file system. Therefore, SD card will not be able to detect by the computer.

Sometimes, problem may lie within the card reader or the USB port. Verify if your card reader working by accessing card reader with other devices.

SD cards are usually formatted with the supported file system by the operating system. If the SD card file system is unsupported or unreadable, the problem SD card not showing can occur. You can easily format the SD card to any file system that is supported by the operating system you are using.

And lastly, if the SD card is locked with the switch, that might also lead to the problem of not being detected by the computer. Therefore, check for the lock and ensure the lock is off.

How to Fix the Issue SD Card Not Showing up?

The SD card not showing up issue can not only be seen across Windows or Mac PCs but also in cameras. However, below mentioned are a few best workarounds that helps you fix the issue on Windows, Mac and camera devices.

Issue SD card not showing up/ recognized/ detected Solutions


Basic Fix to fix SD card not showing up


Restart your Windows/Mac PCs

Check SD card is inserted properly

Insert the SD Card into a Different Device

Check if the SD card drive is assigned a drive letter

Keep the SD card clean

Verify if the lock switch is ON or OFF. If it is on, make sure you switch it to OFF.



It is important to know that a few methods explained below involve data loss scenarios. Therefore, it is recommended to perform SD card recovery at first and follow up with fixing the issue.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac



SD card not showing up on Windows  



Reinstall the SD card reader driver

Assign the SD card drive letter

Use CHKDSK to repair SD card corruption

Create a partition on the SD card

Reformat the SD card on Windows


SD card not showing up on Mac  



Check your Finder Desktop

Reformat the SD card on Mac


SD card not showing up on Camera  


Check if the SD card is supported by the camera

Reformat the SD card on your computer (Windows/Mac)

For Windows Users: Fix SD card that is not detected or showing or recognized on Windows

If you are facing the issue SD card not showing up or recognized on any version of Windows, here are the best workarounds to fix it.  You can try these methods on all Windows PC including 11, 10, 8 and any older versions.

Reinstall the SD card reader driver

Most of the SD card drivers can be resolved by reinstalling the SD card drivers. Therefore, even if the SD card is not showing up or detected, make sure you reinstall the driver. Also, make sure that your SD card reader is working properly by inserting another SD card into it. Press Windows + X.

reinstall the SD card drivers

    1. Select Device Manager >> Under Disk drives or SD card, Memory technology devices >> your SD card reader.
    2. Open the Action menu >> choose Update driver

Assign new drive letter to SD card

To access the SD card when inserted, it is important SD card is assigned a drive letter. Although Windows is supposed to assign drive letters to storage devices automatically. However, due to technical errors, it may have not been possible to assign the drive letter. To manually assign a new drive letter to your SD card:


    1. Press Windows + X >> Select Disk Management
    2. Right-click your SD card reader >> select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option.
    3. Select the new drive letter >> Confirm

Use CHKDSK to fix SD card corruption

CHKDSK is an inbuilt command-line tool that can automatically repair many file system errors on Windows computers and helps fix most SD card errors.

Press Windows + X >> Select Windows PowerShell (Run as Admin).

Enter the following command and press Enter:

CHKDSK to corrupt SD card

chkdsk D: /F/R (make sure you replace D with the letter assigned to your SD card)

                The /R parameter tells CHKDSK to checks the entire SD card for bad sectors and repair

The process may take time based on size and speed of the SD card. Wait for CHKDSK to finish and exit the command prompt

Create SD card partition

If the error SD card not showing up is due to non working partition, by creating another partition on SD card drive, the error can be fixed.

Assign the drive letter to SD card

    1. Press Windows + X >> Select Disk Management.
    2. Right-click on the unallocated SD card space >> select the New Simple Volume option.
    3. Click Next and choose to format the new volume >> select the Perform a quick format option
    4.  Click on Next >> then Finish.

For Mac Users: Fix SD card not recognized/ showing up on Mac

If your SD card won’t show up on your Mac, here is the fix that you can try to resolve the issue-

1. Check Your Finder Desktop

When an SD card is connected to your Mac, it is shown in the Finder’s sidebar and on your desktop as well. If the SD card is not showing up on your Mac this may be due to changed Finder desktop and sidebar preferences or SD card corruption.

Steps to display SD card in the Finder’s sidebar:

    1. Launch Finder >> Click on Finder on the top bar >> select preferences
    2. Go to the Sidebar tab >> Make sure all items under Locations are checked.

To also display the SD card on your desktop:

    1. Launch Finder >> Click on Finder on the top bar and select preferences.
    2. Go to the General tab >> Check all items under Show these items on the desktop are selected.

Fix SD card not recognized on Camera

It is more important to keep your SD card secure in this digital world to reminisce the good memory captured in your camera.  On your camera including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic or the digital camera can be seen displaying the camera won’t recognize SD card error. Troubleshoot the error by following few methods explained below:

Verify if the SD card is supported by the camera

You must know that not all SD cards are supported by all digital cameras. To overcome this issue, you need to verify that the type and capacity of the memory card are compatible by your camera model. Older cameras support only SD and SDHC cards. If memory card is not supported by your camera model, the issue cannot be fixed effectively.

·         SD: Up to 2 GB

·         SDHC: 2 GB to 32 GB

·         SDXC: 32 GB to 2 TB

·         SDUC: 2 TB to 128 TB

Reformat the SD card on your computer (Windows/Mac)

In some cases, the camera won’t recognize SD card error is displayed because the file system is unsupported by the camera. In such cases, you need to reformat the SD card on your computer.

However, reformatting will erase data from the SD card; therefore it is always recommended to recover data from SD card before reformatting the drive. You can make sure of SFWare SD card recovery tool to recover data from not recognized drive. The well designed search algorithm, helps scanning the drive thoroughly and recovers data from the formatted or corrupt SD card drive.

Free Download for WindowsFree Download for Mac

After the completion of SD card recovery, you can reformat your SD card on a Windows or Mac computer: This tool can even recover data from SD cards that cannot format or are RAW.

Reformat the SD card on Windows

Insert the SD card into your memory card reader >> Open File Explorer.

Go to This PC >> Right-click your SD card.

 Select the Format option >> Choose a compatible file system (NTFS/FAT32) and click Start.

Reformat the SD card on Mac

Insert the SD card into your memory card reader >> Open Disk Utility app.

Select your SD card from the list of devices on the left >> Click the Erase button.

Choose a compatible file system (FAT32) and click Erase.

Tips to keep safe your SD /Memory cards

    • Safely eject the SD card after use
    • Do not over use single SD card on multiple devices
    • Stop using SD card when you encounter the card is corrupted
    • Keep your SD card away from any mechanical or physical damages
    • Always make sure your SD card is assigned and drivers are installed
    • Do not make use of 100% of capacity, clean unnecessary data from SD card
    • Always make sure to keep your camera batteries charges. This helps you from accidental data loss from camera SD card.

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