Fix SD Card says Full or Empty and Recover Files | 2022 Guide 

🕔 7 minutes read

Does your SD card show, full but empty? Here in this write-up you will learn various effective solutions to fix the SD card showing empty and also recover your valuable media files and data with it. Download Remo Recover now and effortlessly restore your data

For most devices like digital cameras, mobile phones, and music players, an SD card is the primary storage component. You insert an SD card into your computer or any other device to access files or store files on it. There are two peculiar errors about SD cards being full or empty that are quite tricky. The information below briefly explains about the following errors and how to fix them without causing any harm to data on the SD card:

  1. SD card showing full but its empty
  2. SD card showing empty but its not

Does your SD card show full, but nothing on it?

Is your SD card showing full but shows empty? Or have you experienced your SD card showing blank suddenly? Have you lost your important personal data with it?

Well, if you have encountered any of the above-mentioned situations, in the article below you will learn the hassle-free methods to fix and recover data from your SD card showing empty or saying full, but empty.

Before moving ahead with solutions, let us first understand the common scenario for the “SD card full, but empty” or “SD card says empty” error and the aftermath of data loss due to this error in the section below.

If you wish to recover your data before implementing the manual methods mentioned below you will need a reliable data recovery tool like Remo Recover. Click on the download button now to recover your valuable data before going ahead with the manual methods, methods like fixing the error using CMD will erase the residing data on the SD card. Download now!

Why does the SD card show Empty?

It's quite natural to be confused when your SD card is showing as empty when you actually have files on your SD card. Here are a few reasons why the stored data is not recognized on your SD card.

  1. Memory card file system corruption - Sometimes, due to improper operation, the file system of the memory card might get corrupted and hence could show memory card empty error.
  2. Virus attack – Due to various viruses like Trojan, etc. The memory card may become inaccessible due to the malfunctioning of the virus.
  3. Bad sector – If there are any bad sectors in the memory card, it would affect the normal functionalities of the storage device.

The below section will guide you through the hassle-free methods to recover data from SD cards showing empty.

  • Using Command prompt to fix the SD card showing empty
  • Recover files from SD card showing full but empty using Remo Recover

Before attempting the above-listed methods, check if you SD card file are hidden. In order to d so follow the below method

Show Hidden Files Using CMD 

There might be a possibility that there are hidden files residing on your SD card. In many cases, the data stored on the SD card not showing is caused by hiding files. Follow the steps below to show hidden files if the SD card saying full when empty.

  1. Windows + X keys and select Command Prompt (CMD) as an Administrator.
  2. Determine the SD card or storage device where the files are hidden.
  3. Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:\*.* and hit Enter. (If it's drive D, then replace G: with the drive letter for your device).

Recover files and Repair SD card Showing full but is Empty

Data loss in SD cards due to the above-mentioned errors are unforeseen scenarios if you have a backup of all the important data, no worries. But what if you don’t? In the section below you will find effective solutions to recover data from SD card showing empty or showing full, but empty.

Before going ahead with solutions, you will understand that the lost data is not permanently lost from the logical memory of your SD card. With the help of effective methods or reliable data recovery tool, you can effortlessly retrieve data from your SD showing empty

Fix SD Card full, but can't see Files

  1. Attach camera or phone to PC
  2. Try to access SD card files directly
  3. Use command prompt
  4. Format the SD card properly
  5. Recover your SD card showing full but empty with Remo Recover

Method 1: Insert the SD card into Phone or Camera

Note - If you are unable to access the SD card data through your operating system, we recommend you to connect it back to phone or camera as it may resolve any nominal file system errors.

Usually your camera or phone will act a card reader and you can access the camera or phone but connecting the same to the computer to enable access to the existing files without any errors

Method 2: Access the SD card files directly with DCIM 

If your SD card is showing full or empty and if you want to access the data on your SD card, follow the below listed method. The media files which you save on SD card usually reside on a folder called DCIM. Hence if you are able to access the DCIM folder, and save your data, you can fix the issue later using steps in the next sections. 

To access DCIM folder, follow the steps mentioned below

  1. The drive letter of your SD card (For example D:\DCIM here, this may vary according to your operating system)
  2. Search for D:\DCIM folder and hit enter, this will allow you to access the files on SD card

Even after this if you are unable to access the files on SD card, it could be due to corruption of the SD card. Hence in the following step we recommend you to format the SD card and recover data from it in the below listed sections

Method 3: Using Command prompt to fix the SD card showing empty”

If you are wondering how do I find files that are not showing on your SD card, don’t worry. First, try to fix the SD card empty error using an inbuilt Windows utility called Command prompt.

Command prompt also known as cmd.exe. is a inbuilt repair utility which repair any corruption. The application works on commands which is programmed to automate tasks via scripts and batch files, to perform advanced administrative functions

  1. Run the Check Disk tool in File ExplorerSD card says empty
  2. Firstly, open File Explorer, and then locate your SD card and make a right-click. Now, go to “Properties” > “Tools” > “Check”.
  3. Select one among the following options which is based on a specific situation and then click “Start”.
  4. Automatically fix file system errors
  5. Scan for SD card and attempt recovery of SD card with bad sectors.

Note – Only if the Command prompt resolves the issue, you will be able to perform recovery from your SD card. However, if it fails to fix the error, you can make use of an effective Windows 10 SD card recovery tool to recover your files from the SD card.

Method 4: Format the SD card Properly

Is your SD showing full but empty? Formatting your SD card will usually fix any sort of corruption on it.. But the data residing on the SD card can be lost while formatting it. Hence we recommend you use this method as a last resort to fix the error.

  1. Connect your SD card to a working PC
  2. Locate and Go to Windows File Explorersd card showing full but empty
  3. Once you have located the SD card, right-click on the SD card and click on Format option. In the opening dialogue box click on Quick Format
  4. Select your File System as NTFS and click on Format Option

Once you have formatted your SD card, you will need a reliable SD card recovery tool like Remo Recover to recover your data from the SD card. In the below section you will learn how to perform effective data recovery from your SD card using Remo Recover

Method 5: Recover files from SD card showing full but empty using Remo Recover

The software is known for flawlessly recovering data from malfunctioning memory cards as well. This application can restore all types of media files including RAW photo files from memory cards. This tool is the best answer when you are wondering how to recover data a blank SD card

The software has the ability to recover files with file names and file attributes. In addition, you can use the ‘Find’ option to locate a particular file based on its attributes

Remo Recover’s advanced scan engines can restore data from memory cards of various form factors like SD, SDXC, Mini SD, SDHC, XD, and is also capable of recovering data from MMC card

How to Recover files from SD card saying Empty?

To know how to recover lost photos follow the below-mentioned step-by-step guide. You have to start by connecting the memory card to the system with the help of a card reader. Now download and run the software.

  1. Download and install Remo Recover and start the recovery process
  2. Click on the SD card on which you choose to recover data and hit the Scan button
    Note – If your SD card is not detected, use the Can’t Find Drive option to easily get them and choose your SD card to Scan SD card empty but full.
  3. The tool will initiate Quick Scan, automatically followed by Deep Scan. You can recover your data simultaneously while the Deep Scan is running, by going through the Dynamic Recovery Viewclick on the scan option
  4. You can see your images/ files in Pane View or Thumbnail View
  5. You can make use of the Advanced Filter to sort out your files easily
  6. Click on the files you wish to recover from SD card and hit Recover
  7. You will be able to Preview the recovered files preview the recovered files from the SD card
  8. Click on Save option to save the recovery


The article summarizes how to repair and recover data from an SD card showing full but empty. The above-mentioned manual method like CMD usually leads to data loss during the process of repair, hence we recommend you to recover data and fix the SD card showing full or empty. For any further queries, you can make use of the comment section below.

Default image
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.

Articles: 518

Leave a Reply