How to Fix SD Card not Reading on Computer?

All of us use SD cards for the storage of photos, audio, and videos.

One of the reasons being it is compatible with many devices having internal storage compatibility.

However, sometimes the SD card is not recognized or it is not reading on the computer.

This is a common issue reported by various users. While sometimes the SD card goes blank on inserting or the photos disappear and then reappear.

If your SD card is also not responding, then here are a few fixes to troubleshoot the SD card not reading on computer issue.

How to fix SD Card not reading on the computer?

Now there can be various reasons why your computer is not detecting the SD card.

So before you try the methods to fix SD card not recognized on computer issue, make sure you dig a little to know the reason behind it.

This can be due to poor contact, outdated device driver, corrupt SD card, or file system of the SD card.

Once you know the cause you can actually repair the defective SD memory card.

Method 1 – Check SD Card

If your SD card is not reading on the computer, then the first thing to test is your memory card.

So what you can first do is check whether the connection of your SD to the computer is proper.

Also, sometimes due to a defective card reader, USB cable or USB port can cause the issue. So check all these things.

Try your SD card with different USB slots or card readers. In this way, you will know if the USB port or card reader is creating the problem.

Or next, try your SD card on a new computer. Sometimes due to a problem with the computer, your card is not read on the computer.

So testing it on a different computer can rule out that reason.

Method 2 – Clean SD Card and Reader

Dirt and dust clog your SD card and card reader resulting in a poor connection. And so if your SD is not getting detected on the computer then try cleaning it.

Use a cotton cloth to lightly wipe off the dust. You can also use a little water or alcohol to clean the card.

However, for card readers, you need a compressed air device for cleaning. Or you can purchase the contact cleaner for better results.

Method 3 – Update Card Reader Driver

When your SD Card reader corrupts then you will see a yellow triangle or an exclamation mark beside the driver. And so when you are facing a driver issue, then here is what you need to do .

Step 1 – Insert your SD card into the working card reader.

Step 2 – Then open the Control Panel. And click on System.

Step 3 – Next select Device Manager and choose the Disk Drives option.

Update Disk Driver

Step 4 – From the list of device drives, right click on the USB device. And then select Uninstall.

Step 5 – Lastly, choose scan for hardware changes.

Scan Hardware Changes

Now follow the on-screen instructions and refresh the card reader drivers.

Method 4 – Update Micro SD Card Driver

Device drivers also lead to errors like this. Sometimes our drivers get outdated or corrupt and fixing them can troubleshoot the issue.

You can either do it manually or go for the automatic process.

One way is to visit the manufacturer’s official website and search for the latest version of the software. Or you can follow the steps given below.

Step 1 – Click on the Start button. And then right click on the My Computer or This PC option.

Step 2 – Choose Manage. And then select Device Manager.

Step 3 – Now click on the correct disk drive. And within the drive, right click on your SD Card.

Update SD Card Driver

Step 4 – Next select the Update driver option.

That’s it. Now follow the on-screen instructions to update the SD card drivers installed on your system. You can either manually search for the right driver version or let your device do it automatically.

Method 5 – Change Drive Letter for Unrecognized Card

In case you are not able to see the SD card along with your other drives in File Explorer then it might be due to the missing card drive letter.

You can go to the Disk Management to make sure whether the SD card not reading on the computer is due to the missing or disappearing drive letter.

Step 1 – Launch the Run window by pressing the Windows key icon + R simultaneously.

Step 2 – In the provided space, type mgmt.msc and press Enter.

Step 3 – The Disk Management window will open. Locate the SD card and right click on it.

Step 4 – Choose the Change drive letter and paths option.

Change Drive Letter and Path

Step 5 – Next you just need to add a letter to the drive. So click on Add and assign a letter to the drive.

Step 6 – Press Ok to save the changes.

This method has also proved to fix SD Card not recognized on computer error. If not then move to the next method.

Method 6 – Use CHKDSK Command

An undetectable or corrupted SD card can be fixed via the command prompt of your device. You can use the CHKDSK command to get the card back to its regular running.

Step 1 – To open the Command Prompt, click on the Start button. Type Cmd in the Search bar and hit the Enter key.

If prompted, choose the Run as Administrator option.

Step 2 – When the command prompt window opens, type the following command-

chkdsk H: /f

H here stands for the letter that you assigned to the SD card drive.

Run chkdsk command

Step 3 – Press Enter.

Windows will scan the device and look for any possible corruption in the SD card drive that you mentioned. It will further fix the corruption or any issue detected.

Once the process is completed, you will be able to use the SD card like before.

Method 7 – Run Hardware and Device Troubleshooter

Do you know, Windows provide you with different Troubleshooting options? There is a completely separate window for that.

So if your SD card is not being read or detected on your computer then you can follow the given steps.

Step 1 – Click on the Start button then in the Search bar, enter Troubleshooting and open the first result that comes up.

Step 2 – Now under the Hardware and Sound section, click on Configure a device.

Run hardware troublehsooter

Step 3 – In the next prompt window, click on the Next option.

The SD card will be recognized and the issues will be detected and further fixed.

Once the process completes, close the window and check if the SD card is readable or not.

Method 8 – Format the SD Card

If your SD card is not getting detected or recognized by the computer, you can try formatting the Micro SD card.

Formatting can clean up your card and all your data will be lost. So before formatting make sure you have a backup.

Follow the steps given below when you are ready –

Step 1 – Insert the memory card that is causing trouble.

Step 2 – Press the Windows icon key + R at the same time. The Run command window will open.

Step 3 – Type mgmt.msc and press enter. The device Management window will open.

Step 4 – Now locate your SD card and then right-click on it. Choose the Format option.

format SD card

Step 5 – Next choose the Perform a quick format option. And press Okay.

After the format, your SD card will be squeaky clean. And now the card should become readable.

You can also format your SD card via the Disk Management option.


Micro SD cards are the most reliable and portable way of storing and transferring pictures, videos, and much more from one device to the other.

However, you do not always have the best day. And sometimes your SD card is not read or recognized by the device.

Now the reasons behind this can be many. And so if possible, first look for the clues that might be causing the error.

Once you know the cause that led to the SD card’s unexpected behavior, you can easily apply one of the methods to see which one works for you.

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