How to Fix Phone not Reading SD Card

Is your phone not reading SD card? Don’t panic and go through this guide as here we have covered several tips you can use to fix this problem with ease.

By Abby Walsh | Posted on: Mar. 27, 2019, Last Updated: Mar. 27, 2019

It is quite often a situation when the phone fails to read an SD card, resulting in entire data stored to the phone internal storage space. To free up the internal memory of the phone, users insert an SD card into their phone. That’s why it is quite frustrating when your device can’t read an inserted SD card. It seems to be a common problem as we got so complaints regarding this issue from a lot of users.

Sadly, there can be many reasons why the SD card can’t be recognized by your phone. But, in this pose, we have mentioned effective tips that can help you to come out of “SD card cannot be read” issue with ease.

 5 Tips to Fix Phone not Reading SD Card

Below, we have listed numerous tips you can follow to fix the problem you are going through. So, let’s give a try to them and maybe it works for you.

Tip 1: Check Phone’s Compatibility

The first thing you can do is to check if the SD card you are using is compatible with your phone. Now, there are different types of SD cards available and that’s why you have to ensure that SD card you have purchased is compatible with your phone. For instance, many lower-end phones are not compatible with SDXC microSD cards. Plus, most of the smartphones don’t come with microSD card slots and that’s why they can’t be used. You can check your phone’s compatibility with the SD card from the internet.

Tip 2: Insert SD Card to another Phone

Another thing you can try is to insert the SD card to another phone. By doing this, you will get to know if the problem is with SD card or your phone. If there is no problem with the SD card, then another phone will be able to read or detect it. But, if the SD card is still can’t be detected by another mobile device, then the problem resides within the SD itself. Don’t worry and below are some more tips to fix “SD card cannot be read” issue.

Tip 3: Update SD Card Driver

There can be outdated SD card driver for which your phone fails to read the inserted SD card. In this case, all you can do to fix the problem is to update your SD card driver.

Here are the simple steps on how to update the SD card driver:

Step 1: To begin the process, connect your SD card to the computer. Next, go to “This PC” or right-click on “My Computer” and then, select the “Manage” option.

Step 2: After that, tap on “Device Manager” from the taskbar and then, expand the “Portable Devices” option.

Step 3: Here, right-click on SD card and click on “Update Driver”.

 Fix Phone not Reading SD Card via Update SD Card Driver

Fix Phone not Reading SD Card via Update SD Card Driver

Tip 4: Repair and Fix the Problem with the CHKDSK Command

If the SD card has bad sectors or an internal error, then it will surely not be detectable by your phone. Thankfully, you can fix the problem by simply running CHKDSK command.

Here are the steps on how you can do this:

Step 1: To start with, right-click on “This PC or My Computer” and then, choose “Manage”. Next, tap on “Disk Management” and look for the device in the drive viewer in order to check whether your system can read your card or not.

Step 2: If it is not detectable, then press “Win+R” and then, enter: cmd and press Enter.

Step 3: Enter: chkdsk E: /f/r/x and press Enter, where E is your SD card drive letter.

Fix Phone not Reading SD Card via CHKDSK Command

Fix Phone not Reading SD Card via CHKDSK Command

This will certainly repair and fix the SD card and make the card again detectable by your phone.

Tip 5: Check File System Format

Check out your SD card size and if it is over 33 GB, then it is probably to have been changed to exFAT. This file system is not supported by every Android version.

To fix the problem, all you have to do is to restart your device in recovery mode and then, select Wipe cache partition from the menu. In this way, your SD card will be formatted to FAT32, i.e. most appropriate file system to store files on the mobile phone.

Bonus Tip: How to Transfer Files from SD card to Computer:

If you ever want to transfer files from your SD card to computer, then you can take advantage of AnyTrans for Android. It is software specifically designed to manage content on Android devices in a better and efficient way. With the help of this tool, you can easily transfer data from SD card to computer. Plus, it is a safe and secure way to transfer data as it will transfer without any data and quality loss. You can download this tool either on your Windows or Mac computer.

Step 1: Run the software and connect the Android phone in which you have inserted the SD card to the computer. Once the software detects your phone, it will show all the files including SD card files on its interface.

 AnyTrans for Android - Step 1

AnyTrans for Android – Step 1

Step 2: Now, select the file category you want to move to the computer and then, click on the “Transfer to PC” button to transfer SD card data to your computer.

AnyTrans for Android - Step 2

AnyTrans for Android – Step 2


That’s all on how to fix the SD card that won’t read. Here, we have given the most probable solutions that can help you to resolve this issue. To protect your SD card data, the best thing you can do is to transfer data to a computer with AnyTrans for Android. If you have any more doubts, feel free to ask in the below comment section.

Abby Walsh

Member of iMobie team, an Apple fan and a horror movie lover. Always be willing to solve all kinds of Apple-related issues as well as Android's.