Fix: SD Card Not Detected or Showing Up on Windows 10

Here what to do when SD card not detected or SD card not showing up after insert on your computer.

Did your Windows 10 computer not detect micro SD card inserted in the slot or the SD card not showing in disk management? The issue could be hardware or software problems such as an outdated device driver, corrupted or unsupported SD card file system, bad computer USB port, the write protection of SD card and more. Here in this post, we have a few simple tips that help fix SD card not detected or SD card not showing up problems on Windows 10.

Check Physical Connections

Let’s first check if the issue is caused by hardware problems:

The first step is to ensure that the SD card is properly inserted into the card reader or slot on your computer. Sometimes, a loose connection can prevent the SD card from being recognized. Try removing the SD card and reinserting it firmly to establish a secure connection.

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If possible, test the SD card with another device to determine whether the issue lies with the SD card itself or your Windows 10 system. Insert the SD card into a different computer, camera, or card reader to see if it is detected. If the SD card works on other devices but not on your Windows 10 computer, the problem likely resides with your system.

Disable and then enable your card reader

Several Windows users report, that this simple fix “Disable and then enable SD card reader” helps them fix the problem SD card not showing up on Windows 10.

  • Open device manager using devmgmt.msc
  • Expand disk drives and locate your card reader (Note if didn’t find SD card under disk drives then locate and expand SD Host Adapters or Memory Technology Devices)
  • Right-click on the installed SD card reader driver From the menu, choose Disable device. (When it asks for confirmation select Yes to continue)

Disable SD card reader

Wait for a while, then right-click the card reader again and select Enable device. And see if you can use your SD card now.

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Check SD Card in Disk Management

If the SD card is not showing up in File Explorer, it may not have been assigned a drive letter. Let’s open Disk Management, and check whether there is a drive letter assigned for the card. If not then add or Change your SD card drive letter by following the steps below.

  • Press Windows key + R, type diskmgmt.msc and click ok,
  • This will open the Windows disk management utility where you can view and manage the disk drives installed on your computer.
  • In Disk Management, your SD card will appear as a removable disk. Check if it has a drive letter like D or E.
  • If not, Right-click on the SD card’s partition (usually labeled as “Volume” or “Unallocated”) and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths.”
  • Click “Add” and choose a drive letter from the list. Click “OK” to confirm.
  • Your SD card would be working in the File System along with local disks.

Update or Reinstall SD Card Reader Driver

Most of the time, SD card readers automatically install required drivers when you plug them into your computer for the first time. However, sometimes Outdated or corrupted drivers can cause issues with SD card detection. Let’s update the SD card drivers on your Windows 10 computer, and check if this helps.

  • Press the Windows key + X, and select “Device Manager” from the menu
  • Expand the “Disk drives” and “Universal Serial Bus controllers” sections.
  • Right-click on the SD card-related devices (such as SD card readers or USB controllers) and select “Update driver.”
  • Select “Search automatically for updated drive software” and follow on-screen instructions to allow Windows update download and install the latest driver software.

Update SD card driver

If there is no new driver, try to look for one on the manufacturer’s website and follow the installation wizard.

You can also choose Uninstall device, and then click Action -> Scan for hardware changes to reinstall the SD card reader driver.

scan for hardware changes

Remove Write Protection on the SD Card

Again if the SD card is write-protected, then you might experience the SD card not showing up in Windows 10. Follow the steps below to remove the write protection of the SD card using Diskpart command.

  • Open the command prompt as administrator,
  • Type diskpart and press Enter to open the Diskpart window.
  • Next type command list disk and press Enter.
  • Type select disk *, please replace “*” with the exact drive letter of the SD card. Press Enter.
  • Type attributes disk clear readonly and press Enter.

that’s all remove and re-insert the SD card into your computer and check the status.

Run check disk command

In addition, run the check disk utility that helps fix the unreadable micro SD card problem attached to your computer.

  • Open the command prompt as administrator,
  • type command chkdsk e: /f /r /s and press enter key, (Replace drive letter e: with your SD card drive letter)

Here chkdsk represent checking the disk drive for errors, the /F parameter fixes errors on the disk, /r locates bad sectors and recovers readable information and /X forces the volume to dismount first

  • Type Y and press enter when ask for schedule run the check disk command on the next reboot and restart your PC.

Here is a video on how to repair a damaged SD card with chkdsk.

Sometimes, third-party antivirus or security software can interfere with the detection of external devices such as SD cards. Temporarily disable any antivirus or security software on your computer and check if the SD card is detected.

Format your SD card

Still, need help? This step might be painful since applying the following steps below erase all data on your SD card. If the above solutions don’t fix the problem, before buying a new SD card this is the last step we recommend.

Here is how to format an SD card:

  • Connect the damaged SD card to your computer.
  • Then open Device Management using devmgmt.msc
  • Locate your SD card  Right-click on it and choose Format.
  • Click Yes when you see the message warning you about your losing all the data on the chosen partition.
  • Choose to Perform a quick format and click OK to proceed.

Now check the status of the SD card it’s showing up on your computer.

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