Why is my SD Card Not Recognised?

SD cards are used to store photos, videos, and other digital files. But these compact storage devices can throw up a whole host of problems.

Losing your precious photos from an SD card can be frustrating, and if you’re a professional photographer, can be incredibly costly. But your photos appearing to be gone doesn’t necessarily mean they are lost forever. There are several scenarios you could face. Your SD card might not be recognised by your machine. This could be a fault with the SD card itself, either hardware-based or software-based, or a problem with your card reader. You may have accidentally wiped your SD card, or a virus could have deleted your photos. Due to all of these potential problems, we see a lot of SD cards in the data recovery lab – standard SD cards, MicroSD and MiniSD. But before you contact a professional data recovery specialist, you should try some of the below tips first, as flash data recovery can be costly.

One of the main problems SD card users face is their card not being recognised by their machine, meaning their photos are most likely still there, but they just can’t access them. The first course of action you should take in this circumstance is to check that your SD card reader isn’t the one at fault, rather than your SD card itself. Try connecting your SD card to your machine with another reader. If your computer or laptop has a built-in SD card slot, buy a removable one and try that. If possible, try out at least two other SD card readers to determine if your SD card is at fault. If it isn’t recognised by any SD card reader, you have determined that the SD card is at fault.

There are several possible reasons that your SD card isn’t being recognised. You may need to update your SD card driver. To do this, go to Device Manager, and locate your SD card reader from the list of devices. If there is a yellow sign next to it, it’s most likely a driver issue, requiring an updated driver. Right-click and press ‘Update Driver Software’, and then ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’. Once the driver has installed, wait for your computer to restart. Another common problem is an SD card not being recognised because it has no driver letter assigned. To do this, open Disk Management and locate your SD card, right-click it and select ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths’. Choose a letter from the drop-down list, and if the SD card doesn’t have a letter, assign one to it.

SD cards are small and delicate, and often made with cheap components, meaning they are particularly susceptible to physical damage. If your SD card still isn’t detected after following the above recommendations, there are two options. You can try using data recovery software, like Disk Drill or MiniTool Power Data Recovery. Alternatively, consult a professional data recovery specialist.

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