The computer doesn’t see the microsd card

The computer does not see the SD card

SD-cards will remain a popular storage format for a long time to come. The standard is very closely entrenched in the market of photographic and video equipment, and therefore the need for card readers was, is and will continue to be. From time to time, users encounter problems with SD cards (or card readers) in Windows 10 computers. You insert the card into the corresponding port, but the computer fails to recognize it and the SD-card is not displayed in Explorer. This is quite widespread and rather unpleasant problem, which fortunately is very easy to fix in the overwhelming majority of cases. Here are some tips to help you if your computer can’t see the memory card.

Although in this article we mainly talk about SD cards (the bigger ones), the advice also applies to microSD cards. Nowadays computers (Surface tablets for example) are often equipped with microSD-slot. The tips described in this article are also relevant for these devices.

The SD card isn’t working or the “SD card” device is damaged

The most frequent variant of the considered situation, when your device doesn‘t “see” the memory card: when you connect the memory card to Android you get a message that the SD card is not working and the device is damaged or not supported, and depending on the brand and model of the phone and the specific situation with the memory card the notifications can be different:

When you click on the message, you are prompted to format the memory card (or set it as a portable drive or internal memory on Android 6, 7, 8 and 9 Pie more on this topic. How to use the memory card as Android internal memory).

This is far from always an indication that the memory card is really corrupt, especially if it works and has been used on a computer or laptop. In this case, a frequent cause of such a message. unsupported by Android file system (eg, NTFS) or simply the absence of any file system, which can be obtained by some manipulations with the memory card on your computer.

What to do in this situation? There are the following options.

  • If you have important data on the memory card, transfer it to your computer (using a card reader, by the way, almost all 3G/LTE modems have a built-in card reader) and then format the memory card to FAT32 or ExFAT on your computer or just insert it to your Android device and format it as a portable drive or internal memory (the difference is described in the instruction, the link to which I gave above), clicking on the notice of unsupported or corrupted SD-card. Or by going to Settings. Storage. SD card or, on Samsung. to Settings. Device Maintenance. Memory. SD card (you may need to open the menu in this section to format it, shown in the video below).
  • If there is no important data on the memory card, use Android tools to format it: either click on the notification that the SD card is not working, or go to Settings. Storage and USB drives, under “Removable drive” click on “SD card” marked “Damaged”, press “Configure” and select the option to format the memory card (item “Portable drive” allows using it not only on the current device, but also on the computer). The path for Samsung smartphones was specified in the previous paragraph.

However, if your Android phone or tablet can’t format the card and still can’t see it, then the problem may be more than just the file system, as follows.

Note: You may get the same message about the SD card being damaged or unreadable on your computer if it has been used as internal memory on another device, or on your current device and it has been reset to factory defaults. In this case your only option is to format the SD card. Read more about: Can I recover data from an SD card formatted as Android internal memory.

Why is the SD card not showing up

This is a common problem when the SD does not show up on a Windows PC. Check the list of possible causes and you may find the exact reason why the SD card is not being displayed or recognized.

  • Bad contact between the SD card and the computer.
  • The drive letter of your SD card is missing.
  • The SD card’s file system is unrecognized or damaged.
  • The device driver is outdated.
  • SD card is infected with a virus.

These problems are not unique to PC users. So you really need to know how to solve them. A similar problem occurs from time to time with Mac users, you can follow this link: flash drive not showing up on Mac to get rid of the SD card problem on Mac.

For the reasons above, we’ve put together a list of solutions to fix the problem. You can try solutions one by one to repair a corrupted memory card that is not detected, and then no data loss will occur.

Reinstall the controller

If your SD card is faulty, your computer doesn‘t recognize it. To check, you need to find another computer with a card reader and test your SD card on that computer to see if it works.

If your SD card doesn‘t work on another PC, it’s probably faulty and you need to replace it.

If it does work in another computer, it is not a faulty card, but it could be. Your card reader is defective.

Why can’t the computer see the memory card??

Since the aforementioned drives are extremely fragile, they often become unusable due to defects or malfunction.

Help! Sometimes it happens that after a short time of using the card it is unreadable or undetectable, so it is not recommended to rely on it for a long time.

There are a number of common reasons why a laptop or PC can’t map an SD card. These include:

  • Hardware problems;
  • USB flash drive breakage;
  • misplacement of the assigned partition letter;
  • the presence of malware and viruses in the OS.

If the carrier is no longer detected with the phone, camera or other device, it is required to cure it and install it in PC in order to diagnose, determine and eliminate the problem.

Types of flash cards. Does your card reader support SD cards?

Learn more about this. Many users often mix up one type of card with another. The thing is, there are three kinds of SD flash cards: microSD, miniSD, SD.

There are simply different devices: for example, a small audio player (or a small cell phone) and, for example, a camera or a photo camera. Т.е. The devices are completely different in size with different requirements for speed of flash cards and the amount of information. There are several types of flash drives for this. Now more about each of them.

MicroSD flash cards are very popular with portable devices: players, phones, tablets. Using microSD, the memory of these devices can be quickly increased by an order of magnitude!

Typically, when buying, they come with a small adapter, so that the flash drive can be connected instead of the SD card (about them below). By the way, for example, to connect this flash drive to a laptop, you need to: insert the micsroSD into the adapter, and then the adapter insert into the SD slot on the front/side of the laptop.

Once popular cards used in handhelds. Today, they are used less and less frequently, mainly because of the popularity of the microSD format.

Most of the uses for these cards are in devices that need large amounts of memory and high speeds. E.g. video camera, car DVR, camera, etc. devices. There are several generations of SD cards:

Very important points when working with SD cards!

1) In addition to the amount of memory, SD cards indicate the speed (or rather class). For example, in the screenshots above card class “10”. this means that the speed of exchange with such a card is not less than 10 MB / s. It is important to pay attention to what speed class flash card requires for your device!

2) microSD cards with the special USB memory stick. adapters (they usually have an adapter written on them (see the fine. screenshots above)) can be used instead of regular SD cards. But it is not recommended to do it always and everywhere (just because of the speed of data transfer).

3) Devices for reading SD cards are backward compatible: t.е. if you have an SDHC card reader, it will read SD cards 1 and 1.1 generation, but will not be able to read the SDXC. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what cards your device can read.

By the way, many “relatively old” laptops have built-in card readers that can’t read new kinds of SDHC flash cards. The solution in this case is quite simple: buy a card reader that plugs into a normal USB port, it is incidentally more like a normal flash drive.

SDXC card reader. Connects to a USB 3.0.

Same drive letter. cause invisibility of USB sticks, hard drives, memory sticks!

The thing is, if your hard drive has drive letter F: (for example) and your inserted flash card is also F:. then flash card will not appear in explorer. Т.е. you will go to “my computer”. and the flash drive will not be there!

To fix this, you need to go into the “disk management” panel. How do I do it?

In Windows 8: Press WinX shortcut, select “Disk Management”.

In Windows 7/8: Press WinR, type “diskmgmt.msc”.

Then you should see a window, which will show all drives, flash cards and other. devices. Even devices that are not formatted and are not visible in “my computer” will be displayed. If your memory card is in this list, you need to do two things:

Change its drive letter to a unique one (to do this, simply right-click on the flash drive and in the context menu select the operation to change the letter, see. below is a screenshot);

Format the flash card (if it is new or has no data on it). Warning, the formatting operation will destroy all data on the flash card).

Lack of drivers is a popular reason why the computer can’t see the SD card!

Even if your computer/laptop is brand new and you just brought it from the store yesterday. it does not guarantee anything. The point is that the sellers in the store (or their experts, who prepare the goods for sale) may simply forget to install the correct drivers, or simply be lazy. Most likely you were given disks (or copied to the hard drive) with all the drivers and you only need to install them.

Let’s see what to do if the bundled drivers are missing (e.g. if you reinstall Windows and format the disk).

In general, there are special programs that can scan your computer (or rather all of its devices) and find the latest drivers for each device. I’ve already written about these utilities in previous posts.

Let’s consider that we have sorted out the drivers.

Grades and Formats of SD Cards

SD-card is not like SD-card. they differ not only in capacity and manufacturer, but also in size and class (speed). generation. All this, of course, can affect the visibility of the SD-flash drive in the card reader.

There are three form-factors of SD cards: SD, miniSD, microSD (they differ in size). Cards are used in a variety of portable devices: phones, cameras, camcorders, tablets, etc.

The most widely used are microSD cards (because of their compact size you can even plug them into a tiny phone or MP3-player).

To connect the microSD card to your notebook or computer there is always a small adapter (see. photo below).

Standard Information on an SD Card

The manufacturer: no Комментарии и мнения владельцев here. The only point. when you buy a SD-card, I recommend to stop at the well-known manufacturers: SanDisk, Transcend, Sony etc.д.

Because SDHC operates on a different principle than standard SD cards, the new format is not backward compatible with SD card readers.

When the card and the card reader support UHS. will reach the maximum speed (up to 50MB/s). UHS-50; 104 MB/s. UHS-104). Otherwise, the card reader and card will use the slower, maximum available SD speed.

Important! Your card reader and SD card types are compatible with each other

In principle, on every card reader (on its package) it says what cards it supports. Of course, if you insert a newer card, it simply won’t see it and you won’t be able to read it. The table below will show you the compatibility of card readers and SD card types.

SD cards do not usually indicate the speed (in MB/sec, although sometimes they do), but the class of the card. With the tables below you can find out what speed your card will support.

computer, doesn, microsd, card


The higher the speed, the more expensive the card. Some devices require a specific class of card (for example, a camera, otherwise video recording will be slow or not at all). so be careful with this point!

Class Minimum speed
2 2 MB/s
4 4 MB/s
6 6 MB/s
8 8 MB/s
10 10 MB/s
UHS Class Minimum Speed
1 10 MB/s
3 30 MB/s

The more. the better. Really, be guided by your real needs: if you need to keep a dozen or two photos, it might not make sense to overpay and take a high-capacity card?

Can’t read Micro SD card. 3 effective ways to recover your SD card

We all know the situation when an SD card or flash drive stops working or can no longer be recognized by different devices. There can be several reasons for this: an outdated or corrupted driver, the presence of malicious software, the RAW format of the drive, and a formatting error.

Regardless of the problem that caused this error, it is not difficult to fix it. In this article we’ll cover 3 effective ways to recover the visibility of SD card on your computer, phone or digital camera.

If you are worried about losing important files or photos, at the end we will tell you valuable information on how you can recover a document of any extension from a formatted drive, including the SD card

Update the SD card driver

The first thing you need to check is to make sure that the driver you have installed is up to date. It is an important link in the function of every device on your computer, so if it is outdated or damaged it can have some negative consequences.

Connect the SD card to your computer.

Open the Device Manager. The easiest way to open it is to go to the Properties of My Computer icon and select the Device Manager option on the left menu.

Find Disk drives in the list that appears, and expand the menu. Find your drive. In our case it is an SDHC Card.

Right-click on the SD card name and click Delete Device.

Warning ! Do not be alarmed if the drive name disappears from the drive list. This is how it should be. This tells you that you have uninstalled an existing driver.

Right-click on the Disk Devices option and select Update Hardware Configuration.

Once the process is complete, your drive will appear in the device list again and be usable.

If this method does not help you, go to the next one.

Disk Management

This method of solving the problem does not offer complicated ways with having to update the software or enter a long list of incomprehensible commands. It is nevertheless easy and efficient to use.

Connect the SD card to your computer.

Open Run utility with Win R and type diskmgmt command.msc.

A Disk Management window will appear and forcefully force your SD card to appear in the list of installed devices.

In the same window if you want you can also open the contents of the card just by right clicking on its letter.

In case something went wrong and your SD card is still not visible to the computer, try the third way.

Remove the malware

Often the cause of most of the evils on our devices are viruses that can easily block their functionality. To fix the problem when the SD card still won’t “come out”, here’s how to remove the virus that’s causing it.

Connect the SD card to your computer.

Open the Start menu and run the command line as administrator.

In the window that will open, type the command attrib.h.r.s /s /d F:\.

Type the letter of your drive instead of F:. It can be G: or any other, do not forget to check in Explorer.

Data recovery and formatting the SD card

In some rare cases the above methods may not be able to resolve the issue. The only possible way out of this situation is to format the device. But what about the data?

If you have valuable files on your SD-card and you cannot afford to lose them, you can use Starus FAT Recovery. It will quickly and effectively restore a document of any extension from a FAT-format device and can even delight you with finding an old file you might have already forgotten about.

Connect the SD-card to your computer and run the Starus FAT Recovery software. You will be greeted by the Recovery Wizard, the autorun of which can be disabled later. Press Next.

In this window you will see a list of all found disks. Select the device you want to scan and click Next.

Select the type of scanning:

Quick scan. performs a lightning scan of the HDD and reveals the latest files installed on it.

Full analysis. deep scanning of your device, which reveals even the oldest documents. This check can take considerably longer than a quick.

We recommend that you do a Full Analysis to get more information.

Handy preview function allows you to examine any file format before you start recovering it. Starus FAT Recovery shows you image, video and text files.

Highlight the files you want to get back, right-click on any of them and click Restore.

You can evaluate all chances to “get back what you’ve lost” before you register the Starus FAT Recovery tool. Download SD card data recovery software and try it out for free. All functions are available in the trial version, including the preview of the recovered files.