How to Fix SD card not Recognized/ Detected?

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.

If your micro/ SD card is not recognized on Windows PC, then you need not worry. Solving memory card errors like SD card not recognizing or micro SD card not detected or not 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.

If recovering files from an unrecognized memory card is your priority, there is a safe tool called Remo recover which can easily recover photos and files from SD card not showing up on Windows or Mac.

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1. Check your SD card/ Card Reader

  • Check if your micro/ SD card has some dust particles on it and clean it properly using a piece of cloth before inserting it back into the computer.
  • Connect your memory card not showing up to the different 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.

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 which 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 the 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 that 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 the SD card not recognized on Windows using the below method.

4. Update SD card driver on Windows 10

Most of the time, due to the outdated SD card driver, your SD card won’t show up on Windows 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 recognizing 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 attack, 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 detecting 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.

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  • 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 few steps. 

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To Recover data from SD card not recognized 

  1. Download Remo Recover software on Windows or Mac and connect your unrecognized SD card to your system from which you want to recover data.
  2. Launch the tool and select the Recover Partitions option.
  3. Select the SD card not showing up or recognized from the list of available drives and click the Scan option to get back data from it.
    Note: Once the scanning process completes,  your data from the unrecognized memory card will be displayed in Data View and File Format View.
  4. Now, you can preview the recovered files from the SD card not recognized for free and click the Save button to restore them in any location of your choice.

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

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

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


With the help of this article, you can easily access your unrecognized memory card effortlessly. In case, 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. 

How to Fix SD card not Recognized/ Detected? was last modified: June 22nd, 2021 by John Harris

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