How to Fix SD card not Recognized/ Detected?

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If recovering files from an unrecognized memory card is a priority, then Remo Recover software is the best choice for you. It can easily recover photos and files from SD card not showing up on various devices. This tool is compatible with all the versions of Windows and Mac operating systems including Windows 11 and macOS Monterey.

It is always frustrating if your SD card is not recognized or undetected on Windows or any other device, especially when you have saved all your important data, such as photos, raw images, videos, audio files, and documents on it without any backup.

There are many instances under which your SD card will get detected on camera but not on PC, or cannot be read on camera but can be recognized on mobile phone, etc. If your micro/ SD card is not recognized on Windows PC or any other device, then you need not worry. Solving SD card not recognizing or micro SD card not detected/showing up is easier now. 

Here is a complete guide on how to fix SD card not recognized issue, along with the safest way of recovering data from it using Remo Recover.

How to fix SD card not recognized/ detected/ showing up?

You can make use of the following proven methods to fix the memory card, SDHC / SDXC card, USB drive, and micro SD card not detected on Windows, Mac, mobile phone, and or digital camera.

1. Basic troubleshooting methods to fix SD card not Recognizing

  • Check if your micro/ SD card has some dust particles on it. If found, clean it properly using a piece of cloth before inserting it back into the computer.
  • Connect your memory card that is not showing up to a different device or new computer. If your SD card gets recognized on a different PC, then the issue is with the card reader or the computer's USB slot.
  • Check if the SD card reader, Windows USB port, and USB cable are properly connected or not. If they are loosely connected or faulty, then it will cause the SD card to not show up on Windows.
  • Verify whether your memory card is physically damaged or broken. In case, if it is damaged physically, then you need to buy a new SD card.

If your SD card is still not detected on your system, then move down to the below methods to fix it for free.

2. Change the micro/ SD card drive letter using Disk management

Due to conflict in the assignment of drive letter, your Windows computer might not recognize your SD card. In such a case, it is recommended to change the micro/ SD card not detected drive letter.

Changing the drive letter of an SD card that is not recognized is way different from changing the drive letter of a working SD card on Windows. If your SD card is properly working, then you just need to open This PC or My Computer and then right-click on the connected SD card and select Rename option to change the memory card drive letter.

However, if your SD card is not showing up due to an unrecognized memory card error, then you must make use of Disk Management to change the conflicting SD card undetected drive letter. To do so, follow the below steps;

  • Connect your unrecognized SD card to your PC.
  • Press Windows + R button at once and type diskmgmt.msc in the open box and click OK.
    disk management to change unrecognized sd card drive letter
    Note: Now, the Disk Management dialog box will appear, displaying all the available drives.
    change unrecognized sd card letter

  • Right-click on the unrecognized memory card and choose Change Drive Letter and Paths from the pop-up menu.
    Change memory card drive to fix undetected error
  • Click on the Change button.
    Note: The unrecognized memory card’s current drive letter will be displayed in a drop-down list. 
  • Now, you choose from the SD card not detected drive letter from the drop-down list. Such as E, F, X, Y, or Z will be less possible to conflict with an existing drive letter, and click on OK to save the change.
    Assign new letter to SD card not detected

  • Now, check if your undetected memory card is showing up on your Windows system or not.

3. Run cmd to fix memory unrecognized problem

In case, if your SD card is not detected on Windows due to corruption, then you can fix this issue by making use of the command prompt method.

  1. Type cmd in the Windows search box.
    cmd to fix undetected sd card

  2. Open Command Prompt by clicking on Run as administrator.
    Run cmd to fix memory unrecognized

  3. Type Chkdsk E: /r
    Note: Replace E with your undetected SD card drive letter.

Now, the command prompt will fix minor SD card corruption to make your SD detectable on Windows PC and camera or phone. In case, if your micro / SD card is severely corrupt, then you can repair it using the below method.

4. Update SD card driver on Windows 10/11

Most of the time, due to the outdated SD card driver, your SD card won’t show up on Windows 11, 10, or on its previous operating system. Here are the simple steps to update the SD card driver on Windows.

  1. Connect your undetected or not recognized SD card to your computer.
  2. Press Windows key + R at once to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type devmgmt.msc and, then click OK to open Device Manager.
    Update SD card driver

  4. Under Disk drives, Right-click on your unrecognized SD card and then click Update driver.
    Update memory card not recognizing driver

  5. Now, click on Search automatically for updated driver software option and then, follow the self-explanatory steps to update your undetected memory card driver.

5. Force SD To Show Up From Virus Or Malware

If your SD card is not showing up on Windows due to malware or virus attacks, then the following method can easily solve the issue. 

  • Connect your undetected SD card to your Windows.
  • Type cmd in the Windows search bar.
  • Open the Command Prompt window.
  • Now, type attrib –h –r –s /s /d drive letter:\*.* and hit Enter.
    Eg:  attrib –h –r –s /s /d M:\*.*
    Force memory card to Show Up From Virus Or Malware

Note: If this method fails to make your SD card detected on Windows, then the only possible way of fixing the SD card not recognized is by formatting it.

6. Format SD card using Disk Management

Formatting the SD card is the last thing one can execute to fix the micro / SD card not recognized on Windows, Mac, Digital camera, or mobile phone. This method not only resolves the SD card not mounting or detecting issue but also completely erases the data from it. Therefore, it is recommended to take a backup of all your important files saved on the unrecognized memory card before formatting it to avoid a permanent data loss scenario.

In case, if you have not taken a backup of your important photos or files from the memory card not recognized or formatted the SD card without a backup, then you can make use of Remo Recover software to easily restore files from it instantly.

free-download-for-win free-download-for-mac

  • Press Windows key + R at once.
  • Type diskmgmt.msc and click OK to open Disk Management.
  • Locate and Right-click the unrecognized SD card on Disk Management and click the Format option.
    format sd card not showing up or detecting

  •  Now, select the Quick format option and click OK.
    format sd card not detected

Note: You can rename the Volume Label and change the File system (NTFS is always recommended).

In case, if you can’t format the SD card, then this cloud be due to SD card protection from writing. You can easily resolve this issue by moving the slider located at the left position of your unrecognized SD card from Lock to Unlock.

How to Recover Data from SD card not recognized or detected on Windows or Mac?

Utilize Remo Recover which is an advanced SD card recovery tool to restore more than 300 file formats like photos, raw images, videos, excel files, PPT files, audio files, and many more. This tool works with Deep scan algorithms to thoroughly recover data from SD card not detected in just a few steps. 

free-download-for-win free-download-for-mac

To Recover data from SD card not recognized 

  • Download and install Remo Recover software on Windows or Mac and connect your unrecognized SD card to the system from which you want to recover data.
  • Launch the tool and select the SD card not showing up or recognized from the list of available drives. In case, if your corrupt hard drive is not visible on the main screen, then click Can’t find the drive option and click the Scan option to get back data from it. select the SD card
  • Once the scanning process completes,  your data from the unrecognized memory card will be displayed under the Lost and Found folder or Lost Partition folder.choose data from partition
  • Now, you can preview the recovered files from the SD card not recognized for free and click the Recover button to save them in any desired location of your choice.

preview the recovered files from the SD card

Why SD card is not detected on PC or any other device?

There are various reasons why your SD card might not recognize your Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, or its previous versions. Below are some of the quite common reasons for SD card not reading on Windows, digital cameras, or mobile phones.

  1. SD card is not properly inserted in Windows or memory card reader.
  2. USB cable is loosely connected. 
  3. SD card has compatibility issues with your device, like camera or Windows.
  4. SD card is write-protected.
  5. Micro/ SD card and or its card reader is dirty.
  6. Outdated SD card device driver on Windows.
  7. The memory card is physically damaged or broken.
  8. The memory card is severely corrupted.
  9. SD card letter is not assigned, or it is conflicting with the existing drive letters on your Windows 11/10.

Note: If you work with multiple SD cards, then there might be a chance that one of your SD cards is corrupt and you have wrongly picked it up to access your data which is saved on a different card. During such a scenario, none of the above methods can resolve your issue. Make sure you have labeled the SD card using some gaffer tape. This can avoid such confusion, and it will be easier for you to access the right SD card at any time. 


With the help of this article, you can easily access your unrecognized memory card effortlessly. If the same problem repeats regularly, then you may conclude that your unrecognized memory card is severely corrupted or damaged. Due to this, you may lose your valuable files. However, at such times you can recover your SD data with the help of Remo SD Card Recovery software. 

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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