5 Easy Ways to Fix SD Card Not Showing Up on PC

SD Card not showing up can be a headache if you don’t know the exact reason it’s happening. You might even be in urgent need of your SD Card to copy data or transfer data, then suddenly encounter issues with it. Not to worry anymore, all you need to do is follow the solutions here, step by step.

1Why is SD Card not Showing up?

There are several reasons that causes the SD Card not show up. The SD Card is either damaged in its physical condition or it is logically damaged. All the damages are influenced by various factors. Some of the reasons include:

The SD Card might be locked – an SD Card that is write protected cannot be read by the PC and it will not show up.
Loss of SD Card driver – an SD Card cannot be accessed on the PC if the driver is lost. If the drive letter of an SD Card is lost, it will not be detected.
Poor connection – the SD Card might not be properly connected to the PC because of a damaged card reader, adapter or USB port.

There are a number of solutions that can be applied to an SD Card that is not detected. The 5 solutions listed can all be applied one after the other till you get to the one that fixes the issue.

2How to Fix “SD Card Not Showing up” Issue?

Solution 1: Try on Another PC or a New Card Reader

When you encounter the issue of SD card not showing up on your PC, the primary thing to check is if there’s a connection problem. You need to test the SD Card on a different USB port or on a new card reader in order to ascertain it’s not from those devices.

After testing the SD card on a new card reader or computer and it can be detected, then the issue isn’t a damaged SD card. If it still persists, then there is likelihood that you have a damaged SD Card.

Solution 2: Enable Card Reader

The card reader is automatically enabled on the windows 10 version, however, it can be disabled and then enabled again in a manual way. This has proved to work for numerous users and it has different steps to it.

Right click start menu and type "device manager" from menu list to open device manager.

Open the "Memory technology devices" category and double-click on card reader.

enable card reader

After the window pops up, select driver tab and click on "Disable" button.

enable card reader

A message will pop up saying “Disabling this device will cause it to stop functioning. Do you really want to disable it?”… click on the "Yes" button.

Finally, double-click on card reader again to open properties window and click on “Enable”.

Solution 3: Re-install SD Card Reader Driver

If the card reader driver on your PC is missing, incorrect or outdated, it will most probably lead to an unidentified SD Card.  This is why we propose that you try to reinstall card reader driver on your PC and see if SD card will be detected.

You open device manager on your PC, right-click on computer icon on desktop and select manage – click on device manager on the computer management window.

Next step is to open memory technology devices and locate card reader.

Right-click on card reader and select “Uninstall” option from context menu.

Select “Delete driver software for this device” and click on "OK". After the driver is removed, you have to reboot your PC.

uninstall sd card reader drive

Download the latest driver for the card reader and install in compatibility mode.

To install, right-click on driver installer and choose "Properties" from context menu.

On the properties window, click on "Compatibility" tab and select "Run this program in compatibility mode for", under the compatibility mode.

Select windows version from the list and click on "Apply" and "OK".

reinstall sd card reader drive

Run setup file and follow instructions prompted to complete installation.

Restart computer after installation is complete.

Solution 4: Change the Drive Letter of Unrecognized SD Card

Some SD Card do not have driver letter and this will affect it from being detected on the PC. Sometimes, the card reader is assigned a driver letter and you still get the error message saying the card is not readable. You can solve the problem in 3 steps.

Right-click on start button on your PC and search "Disk management" from menu list.

Search for SD Card and right-click on it to select "Change drive letter and paths" from the context menu.

change drive letter

Click on the change button from the menu, choose a drive letter from the list and click on OK. If SD Card doesn’t have a drive letter, click on Add button.

Solution 5: Format SD Card to Make it Detectable

This may be the last choice you want when SD card is not showing up on PC. As formatting SD card will erasing all data on the card. But you may need this way somehow, let's see how to format SD card.

Put your SD card into a card reader, then connect it to your PC.

Right click on the SD card, then click "Format".

format sd card

3How to Recover SD Card Data If It’s not Showing up?

If you tried all previous methods and don’t want to format your SD card and lose all data. AnyRecover is the best choice. It is a data recovery software that is used to recover lost or deleted files from situations when you lose data. It is used to recover lost files such as photos, documents and used to recover data from formatting, partition loss, deleting and virus attack.


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Key Features of AnyRecover        
  • AnyRecover is a trusted software for recovering lost and deleted files through its high-tech based processes and at a very good speed.

  • The software supports over 1000 file formats, so there is no issue of incompatibility with the software. This helps the software achieve a high success rate for every file format.

  • AnyRecover can restore lost data from all devices ranging from PC to SD Card and all other storage devices.

  • AnyRecover gives you a number of features for free so you will enjoy before you even decide to purchase.

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Easy steps to recover undetectable SD card using AnyRecover:

Step 1. Install AnyRecover on your PC. Connect your SD card to your computer with a card reader. Select the SD card under “External Removable Devices" tab.

select location external device

Step 2. After selecting the location, hit “Start” button to start scanning.

start scan

Step 3. Preview your files from the list scanning out and choose the ones you will like to recover. Then click "Recover". The files will be retrieved in a few seconds.

scanned files preview

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By  James Crawford , to External Device Recovery

Posted on Apr 22, 2019  ( Updated: May 15, 2020 )

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