How to solve phone not detecting SD card issue on AndroidAs infuriating as it can be, the problem of unidentified MicroSD card isn’t a new one. Being a piece of technology which is always prone to faltering, a number of things can be causing the phone not detecting SD card that you have inserted. If you have been facing the SD card not detected problem on your Android device, here's a simplified guide with solutions to all your SD card woes.
Solution 1: Gently clean the SD cardIf you have been using an SD card on your device for a while and it suddenly stops working, this trick might just work for you. Since every nook and cranny on your Android device like the charging port and headphone jack accumulate all kinds of dust and grit, it wouldn’t be unusual if your SD card is covered in filth too. Maybe the reason why your SD card isn’t being detected is that it’s covered with dirt. All it may probably need is a good and gentle scrubbing, so follow the steps below to clean it up.
- Take your external memory card off your Android smartphone or tablet. Make sure that your device is turned off before you do this.
- Use a white colored rubber eraser and gently rub the copper piece (gold yellow color) on your MicroSD card to clean off the dirt.
- If you have some nail polish cleaner around, dab it in with a Q-tip and gently rub it over the contact points of the SD card to detach any erosion.
- Let the SD card dry out and once you’re quite sure it’s clean, plug it back into the memory slot and then turn your Android smartphone or tablet on.
Solution 2: Erase SD card and all the dataThis solution may not be a problem for you if your SD card is empty or a brand new one. However, erasing your MicroSD card completely could cost you all of your important images, videos, and other files stored on there. In case your SD card is damaged or corrupt, you saved data is already at the risk of being destroyed. Before you proceed to erase all content of your SD card, try using it with another phone or connect to your computer using a card reader. If you are able to read the data and files of your MicroSD card, the first thing you need to do is backup all your content right away. Once you have your data saved and nothing to lose, you can go ahead and perform a factory reset on your SD card. This is the part where you delete everything on your external storage. Follow the steps below.
- Head over to the ‘Settings’ app on your device and then scroll down to find the Storage tab.
- Find the ‘Erase SD card’ option and tap on it. This deletes all data and makes it look like a new memory.
- Once you have erased the content of your SD card, reboot your device and check to see if you have successfully solved the SD card not detected Android issue.
Solution 3: Use your PC to diagnoseAt this stage, you need to do something more technical than just wiping your MicroSD card or erasing its data. Since the issues that arise with the phone not detecting SD card can be software related as well, you will need the help your computer to see how the issue can be diagnosed and fixed.
- Connect your Android device to a PC or laptop via the USB cable.
- Ensure that the device is connected to MSC (Mass storage mode), not MTP (Media transfer mode). You can do this by accessing the notification shade once you have connected your Android device.
- Launch Windows Explorer on your PC and right click on the MicroSD card driver seen on the screen. In the options that appear, choose Properties>Tools>Error Checking. Wait for the entire process to complete.
- The computer will attempt to update the driver software for your SD card and fix any prevailing errors that are causing it to malfunction.
- After completion, eject your SD card and put it back into the memory slot on your phone or tablet. Check whether it works.
Solution 4: Format your SD card with the computerIn the case that your MicroSD card is being detected on the PC, but not showing on your smartphone, this means that you can’t erase it using your Android. However, you can use your computer to format the SD card directly, so go ahead and try this fix.
- Create a folder on your PC’s hard disk storage, and name it as you like. This folder will be used as a temporary storage to backup files on your malfunctioning SD card.
- Paste the entire content of your microSD card into this folder as a backup.
- Head over to ‘My Computer”, right-click on your SD card as it is shown among the storage devices and choose the “Format” option and use to erase your MicroSD card.
- Once the format process is complete, copy back your data you stored on your computer from the folder into the SD card.
- Eject the SD card from your computer and plug it into your phone and check whether it’s showing up under external storage.
- If it doesn’t work the first time, you can try repeating the steps again.
Solution 5: Check your Android device’s compatibilityOne issue that most of the users with old Android phone users face is the fact that the SD card is recognized by their computer, but not on their device. One major reason for this issue could be the fact that your SD card is incompatible with your smartphone. For instance, the latest version of MicroSD cards such as SDXC is built for higher speeds at extra storage capacity. This format of SD cards is not supported by low-end and older Android devices. Moreover, most Android devices have a limit up to which they support a certain type of SD card. For instance, if you find that your Samsung J5 SD card not working, this could be because of the fact that you’re using a higher capacity SD card that the phone is compatible with. If a certain SD card is not detected by your Android device, try swapping it with a basic one to see if the problem is solved. To find out more about the authenticity of your MicroSD card, move on to the final solution.
Solution 6: Have a professional check out your deviceWhile the tell-tale signs on a broken SD card are quite obvious with the rusty connector pins and cracks all over, finding out if the SD card slot is almost impossible. The only way to find out if the phone’s hardware, which is the SD card slot is damaged, is by opening it up and verifying the connector pins and flex cable. To a non-techy user, these details may already seem quite frightening, which is why we suggest you make an appointment with the phone doctor right away. Depending on whether the SD card slot needs to be cleaned out or replaced, this issue will most probably cost you nothing if your phone is still under warranty.
Bonus Tip: Check to see if your SD card is genuineMost SD card related issues arise either when the storage device is far too old and damaged, or if the SD card isn’t 100% genuine. Even if you did buy the MicroSD card brand new online, there’s still a chance that the device could be a close rip-off of the original product. If you weren’t careful enough to notice the oddities in the packaging of the MicroSD card, you can still find out if your SD card is a cheap fake or a genuine one with an app called SD Insight. Note: This app is not for if your Android device can’t detect the external storage at all. If you can detect the SD card but experience issues with it, you can use this method to find if it’s a genuine version or not.
- Download the SD Insight app from the Google Play Store.
- Insert the SD card into your device and once it is recognized, launch the SD Insight app.
- You can verify details such as manufacturer name, serial number, year of manufacture and others with the package to ensure that they match.
- If the SD Insight app gives you a message such as “SD card is invalid” or “Origin is unknown” it probably means that the SD card is either damaged for a fake one.
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