The SD cards are widely used to increase the capacity of some digital devices, including smartphones, digital cameras, music players, and more, providing more space for data storage. Once you insert them, the SD cards can quickly detect, read, recognize, and mount by macOS. After this, the SD card can show up on Mac to give you access.
However, sometimes none of this shows up after the SD Card insertion. This prevents you from accessing the stored videos, audio, files, and pictures.
So, are there any workable ways to help you out of the trouble? Yes, of course! This article has collected a list of possible methods to help you deal with SD cards not showing up, reading, or recognizing on Mac. Alternatively, you can also click here for more solutions.
- 1 Causes For SD Card Not Showing Up
- 2 Effective Fixes for the Issue
- 3 Bonus Tip: Retrieve Data from the Unreadable or Unrecognized SD Card with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac
- 4 Final Verdict
Causes For SD Card Not Showing Up
SD card not showing up on Mac is because of an influence by many factors. Here, we have analyzed some common factors that cause your SD cards to be unreadable and unrecognized on Mac.
- A faulty card reader or USB port. The SD card reader or the USB port is not working properly, which can result in a bad connection. And then the SD cards attached to your Mac will not show up on Mac.
- SD card corruption. If your card has suffered from virus attacks, improper ejection, sudden power outages, or interrupted read-write operations, the SD cards will go corrupt. If this is the primary cause, Mac not reading or recognizing SD cards is an inevitable result.
- An incompatible file system. macOS is compatible with HFS, HFS+, APFS, exFAT, FAT32, or NTFS (read-only on macOS). If the format of an SD Card is with an incompatible file system, it can’t be recognized by Mac.
- Lack of necessary setup. You may accidentally turn off some necessary settings related to the display of your external disks. In this instance, your SD cards have no way to appear on Finder or the desktop.
- The outdated driver. If the driver you use is not up to date, Mac not recognizing SD cards is easy to occur.
- Physical damages. When you insert an SD card with physical damage into the Mac device, you can’t see the SD card show up on Mac because macOS can’t successfully read and mount it.
Effective Fixes for the Issue
Owing to different causes, the method used to fix Mac not reading and recognizing SD cards can be either easy or difficult. In the following part, we will elaborate on universal solutions to fix SD cards not showing up, recognized, or Reading on Mac.
Fix 1: Do Simple Checks on the Mac, the SD Card Reader and the SD Card
When performing the read-write operation on SD cards, you need help from a health Mac, a working SD card reader, and the SD card itself. If any of these devices work improperly, the SD card not showing up will occur. Thus, you should do some simple checks on these devices carefully.
- If the Mac uses a faulty USB port or shows an attack by viruses – If you find the USB port is not working, you can try connecting your SD card through another USB port or Mac. For virus check, run a trustworthy anti-virus program on your Mac to check if this Mac is infected with a virus.
- Check if the SD card reader is functioning well or is covered by dust or mud-If the SD card reader goes corrupted, use a new SD card reader to connect your SD card with the Mac. If dust or mud covers it, a clean cloth must be prepared to wipe the coverings slightly.
- Check if the SD card has physical damage or is write-protected –If there are physical damages on the SD cards, find a local repair store to get them repaired.
If the write protection is enabled, simply remove the write protection by moving the lock switch from the lock side to the unlock side.
Fix 2: Show the SD Card through Finder Preferences
The necessary setup in Finder Preferences has something to do with the display of your SD cards. Hence, checking the Finder Preferences setting may solve the SD card not showing up on the Mac issue.
- Click the Finder icon from the top menu and select Preferences to enter the Finder Preferences window.
- Click the General tab to locate the External disks option. If this option is a tick, you don’t need to change anything. If not, tick the checkbox beside it to make your SD card visible on the Mac desktop.
- Head to the Sidebar tab, find and tick the External disks option under Locations.
- Close the Finder Preferences window to check if this way can take effect.
Fix 3: Use the Disk Utility Program to Mount the SD Card
SD cards not mounting on Mac can also lead to SD cards not showing up. Thus, making the SD card mountable can work to help you out.
- Go to Launchpad > Other > Disk Utility to open the Disk Utility program to see if the inserted SD card is listed here. It is time for you to mount your SD Card if this section is grey.
- Select the unmounted SD card from the left panel. After this, click the Mount option from the top menu to finish mounting your SD card.
Fix 4: Run First Aid to Check and Fix SD Card Errors
Is the inserted SD card still unable to show up on Mac? There may be some errors on your SD card, causing it to be unreadable or recognizable on Mac. In this case, you need to run First Aid to check and fix SD card errors.
- Insert the SD card into your Mac and go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility to launch Disk Utility.
- Select the SD card attached to your Mac computer from the left sidebar, click First Aid listed in the toolbar, and then click Run. After that, the reparation process will start.
Fix 5: Perform SD Card Reformatting
Although erasing the SD cards will cause data loss, the Mac not reading or recognizing the SD card issue can be resolved in this way. First, remember to back up the unreadable SD card. This will prevent erasing the card’s stored files. Now, you can begin to reformat your unrecognized SD card.
- Go to Disk Utility and pick the SD card that needs to be formatted under External.
- Find the Erase option on the top toolbar, and then click it to open the formatting window.
- Type a new name, choose the wanted format and scheme, and click Erase to proceed.
Bonus Tip: Retrieve Data from the Unreadable or Unrecognized SD Card with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac
If you are stuck with data loss and have no idea about Mac data recovery, try iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to get your data back from the unreadable SD card.
- Go to the official website to download and install iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery on your Mac computer.
- Connect your SD card to the Mac with a working SD card reader.
- Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac. Then select the unrecognized SD card from the software interface, and click the Scan button to conduct SD card scanning.
- Filter the scanning result to locate the files you need quickly, take a preview of the wanted files, tick the checkbox beside them, and click Recover to get them back.
SD cards not recognized or showing up on Mac, or Mac not reading SD cards will block your access to the SD card files. These solutions mentioned in this article can help you when encountering such a situation. Also, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac will be a good helper that enables you to recover data from unreadable or unrecognized Mac quickly and easily.
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET’s Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He’s also the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks and Nook e-books, as well as audiobooks.