How to Fix Unreadable SD Card on PC or Phone?

SD cards are used in many digital devices like Android mobile phones, DSLRs, cameras, or camcorders to expand memory space. And it is used as a means to backup important data such as photos, videos, audio files, or text documents. 

How to fix unreadable SD card on PC and Phone

There are various scenarios under which your SD card can become unreadable to your Windows or phone. In such instances, you might feel anxious since you cannot access your photos or files saved on the unreadable SD card. In this article, find out how to recover and fix unreadable SD card using reliable methods.

How to Recover Data from Unreadable SD card?

Make use of the Remo Recover software to recover data from any brand of SD card with ease. This software is compatible with all the latest versions of Windows and Mac operating systems including Windows 10 and macOS Big Sur. 

This tool helps you recover deleted or lost videos, photos, audio files, documents, etc., from formatted, corrupted, or unreadable micro/ SD card. Using this tool, you can also recover data from internal and external drives like a CF card, XD card, SDHC or SDXC card, pen drive, external hard drive, etc.

Remo Recover is a specially designed tool with advanced Deep scan algorithms to thoroughly scans unreadable and undetectable SD cards sector by sector. And restores more than 300 file formats like images, videos, audio, documents, etc., in just a few clicks. Download this software now!!!

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

Instructions to Recover data from unreadable SD card:

  1. Download and Install Remo Recover software on your Windows or Mac and connect your unreadable SD card to your system.
  2. Launch this tool and select the Recover Partitions option from the main screen.
    Recover files from unreadable SD card on Windows or Mac
  3. Now, select the unreadable SD card and click the Scan button to start restoring files from it.
  4. After the tool completes scanning of the unreadable SD card, you can double click on the recovered photos or videos to preview them for free and click the Save option to restore your data to the desired location.
    Preview recovered files from unreadable SD card
    Note: Click on the Deep Scan option, if you have not found your desired files from the unreadable SD card in the Normal Scan.

Tips to successfully recover files from unreadable micro/ SD card:

  1. Whenever your micro/ SD card cannot be read on Windows, Mac, or mobile phone, first recover data from it and then fix unreadable SD card. This will avoid permanent data loss.
  2. Do not try any unreliable way to fix a micro/ SD card not reading on a phone or computer, this can corrupt your SD card data.

How to fix an unreadable SD card on Windows and Mobile Phone?

After you restore files from an unreadable or corrupted SD card using the Remo Recover tool, the next step is to fix the SD card error on Windows or mobile phone. The following are the proven methods to fix unreadable SD card.

  1. Clean unreadable Micro SD card
  2. Update drivers for SD card not reading or showing media
  3. Run Command prompt
  4. Fix SD card not reading using Windows Explorer
  5. Format unreadable SD card using Disk Management
  6. Reshape the SD card slot

Method 1: Clean unreadable Micro/ SD card

If dust particles exist on the SD card/ memory chip, then it cannot be read by the Smartphone or Windows computer. Therefore check if the metal area is black or having any dust particles or not. If you find any, then you have to clean it with a cotton cloth and can insert the SD card on your mobile phone or card reader to use it again.

Alert: If your SD card can be read on phone and not on Windows computer, then your card reader might have some issue. During such a scenario, check if the card reader is properly connected to your Windows PC. In case, if the card reader is properly connected then, move on to the next method.

Method 2: Update drivers for SD card not showing media

SD card cannot be read on Windows computer if the drivers are not updated. Therefore following are the steps to update device drivers on Windows to access media files from SD card.

  1. Connect the unreadable SD card to your computer showing No media in Disk management
  2. Right-click on My Computer or This PC icon
  3. Select Manage and then click Device Manager
    fix unreadable SD card that does not show media in Disk management.
  4. Under Disk drives, you will find your corrupt or unreadable SD card
  5. Right-click on it and select Update driver
    Update driver to fix unreadable SD card error
  6. Choose Search automatically for updated driver software and wait till the process ends completely
    Search automatically for updated driver software to fix unreadable SD card error
  7. Then, Restart your computer to use your Unreadable SD card again showing no media in Disk management

Method 3: Run Command Prompt in Windows 10

This method is useful to fix corrupted SD card not reading or showing any files or photos on Smartphone or Windows computer.

  1. Connect your unreadable SD card to your computer and type cmd at Windows start menu
  2. Open Command Prompt with administrative permission
    Command Prompt with administrative permission
  3.  Type Chkdsk f: /r
    chkdsk built-in function
    Note: Replace F with your unreadable SD card’s drive letter
  4. Press Enter
  5. Follow the process and wait till the verification is completed to fix unreadable SD card file system error.

If the above steps do not help you fix SD card not reading issue, then, you can move on to the next method.

Method 4: Make use of Windows Explorer

Formatting or reformatting an unreadable SD card will erase all the data present in it, thus, you need to maintain a backup before performing this method to fix unreadable SD card. In case, if the SD card is not recognized, then move down to the next method.

  • In Explorer, right-click on the SD card not reading, and click on the Format option
  • Now, specify the file system, volume label, check on the Quick Format option and click the Start button
  • After this, you will get a warning message stating formatting will erase all data on the drive. But since you have already recovered files from the unreadable SD card, you can click OK and go ahead with the format.
  • When you get a confirmation message stating that the format is complete, you can click on the OK

Most of the time, you cannot format your not readable SD card on Windows Explorer due to the high severity of corruption. In such, cases scroll down to the below method.

Note: If your mobile phone cannot read an SD card that can read on PC or camera, then it can be due to formatting it with an incompatible file system. Formatting SD card on phone is not the same as formatting it on your Windows. For example, a particular file system, say FAT32, won’t be read on a smartphone having a FAT16 file system. Thus you need to format an unreadable SD card to FAT16 from FAT32 and vice versa. 

Method 5: Format unreadable SD card using Disk Management

Most of the time, an unreadable SD card cannot be accessed on Windows Explorer, but it can be read on Disk Management. Following are the steps to format your micro/ SD card not readable using Disk Management. But make sure you have restored your data using Remo Recover tool to avoid data loss scenarios.

  • Press the Windows button and R at once.
  • Type diskmgmt.msc in the Run window and click OK.
  • In Disk Management, locate your unrecognized SD card > Right-click on it > click the Format option.
    format unreadable SD card on Windows
  • Now, select the Quick format option and click OK.

Note: You can also rename the Volume Label and change the File system to NTFS. It is optional.

Method 6: Reshape the SD card slot

The design of the Micro SD card slot is delicate usually for some ultra-thin mobile phones. So if this slot gets squeezed when the thickness of the battery exceeds the requirements. Under this situation, you can replace the battery and reshape the slot to fix the SD card not reading on the phone issue.

Sometimes, when your mobile phone’s memory card slot is broken or the SD card itself is damaged, then your mobile phone or Windows cannot read SD card and the files saved on it. 

How to Fix Unreadable SD Card on PC or Phone? was last modified: July 9th, 2021 by John Harris

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