What to Do When Mac not Reading SD Card?

Reading SD Card
Reading SD Card


Suppose you are familiar with the SD card in daily life. You can find it used in phones, cameras, monitory devices, and computers. As an external storage media to expand the capacity, the SD card gains its reputation since it’s portable, small-in-size, and lightweight. However, it doesn’t mean the memory card is immune to damage, both logically and physically. Macusers have encountered several situations where SD cards not working, such as SD card not showing up on Mac, SD cardnot mounting on Mac, and what we are going to address today, SD card not readable on Mac.

Effective ways to fix SD card not readable on Mac

There are quite a few reasons why Mac won’t read SD card on Mac. It could be a loose connection, faulty SD card slot, updated card reader, wrong file system, malicious software attack, and so on. To fix SD card not readable on Mac, you can try the following methods one by one.

Fix 1: Check all connection-related peripherals

  • Make sure the connection is tight

Just need to plug out and re-plug the memory card to make sure it’s tightly connected with your Mac.

  • Check if the slot is functional

Older versions of Macs have built-in SD card slots. The card slot may be dusty inside and therefore cause SD card not readable on your Mac. Clean the slot and try the card again to see if it works.

  • Check if the card reader is in good condition

To verify this, you can check the SD card information in the System and see if there are any software updates in System Preferences.

Fix 2: Make sure the system is set to show up external disks

One reason that you can’t see your memory card on Mac is the system does not set to display it. You can modify this in Finder.

  • Open Finder from the dock.
  • Click Finder Preferences in the left corner of the menu bar.
  • Go to General and Sidebar, tick External disks to make it shown on the desktop.

Fix 3: Use the built-in tool to repair the SD card

If everything’s fine about the connection, card reader, and the system setting, then it’s highly possible that your SD card gets damaged or corrupted so it’s unreadable on Mac. Disk Utility is one built-in tool in macOS that offers the function to repair corrupted drives, and it may help you out if there’s only a minor issue on the memory card.

  • Open Finder and click Applications from the left sidebar. Launch Disk Utility.
  • Locate the problematic SD card from the list.
  • Select and click on the First Aid button from the top of the window.

Here Disk Utility will tell you whether the disk is repairable or about to fail. If it works successfully, click Run to complete the process. However, if the issue is too severe to be fixed, you are strongly suggested stopping using it and recover the data as soon as possible. Otherwise, your data may be in great danger.

Fix 4: Erase the card to have a fresh start

This is the least recommended way for the one who has no other choices. Erasing the SD card means wiping out everything in it and writing a new file system to it. All your previous data cannot be traced back if you reformat the memory card. If you are OK with this, you can proceed by following the steps below.

  • Open Disk Utility and select your SD card.
  • Click Erase from the menu bar.
  • You’ll be asked to input a name, file system, and scheme to the disk.
  • Click Erase again to finish reformatting.

Tips for SD card recovery

In case you want to recover data from the unreadable SD card, here’re some useful tips.

  • Stop using the drive as soon as it’s showing errors. Keeping writing to the SD card can cause the data overwritten and you shall never get the files back.
  • Handle the memory card with caution and place it in a fine environment. The SD card is prone to physical damage due to its small size and rather fragile fabric. Therefore, try to avoid violent touch on the card.
  • Use professional data recovery software. Adopting a reliable and trustworthy data recovery tool can help you recover the data with a profound success rate and guaranteed security. The recommendation goes to iBoysoft Data Recovery, which performs fairly well in the data recovery industry.