Fix: SD Card Not Showing Up

SD cards are an integral part of our daily lives. We use SD cards in so many devices from cellphones to digital cameras. These provide a great way to increase our storage capacity for almost every device. Usually, we like to have the contents of the device on our computer and, for that, we need to connect our SD cards to our computer. There are, of course, many other ways to transfer the media but most of us prefer to connect the SD card. But, sometimes, your computer might fail to recognize the SD card. Your computer won’t give you any notification about the SD card or storage device being connected to the system. You also won’t be able to see the SD card in the drives of your My Computer. This can be problematic because it will prevent you from using your SD card and, therefore, transferring your media to the computer. Since your computer can’t recognize the SD card, you won’t be able to access it.

There can be many reasons behind this issue. The most common one is your SD card being locked which basically means that your card is write protected. Your computer might not be able to read or recognize a protected card. Another reasons might be bad connectivity. This includes bad port, bad SD card, bad adapter and bad card reader etc. All of these can cause this issue. Lastly, your card might be inaccessible for your computer because of some badly configured options on your PC.

Since there are quite a few things that can cause the issue, there are a wide range of methods to solve this issue. Start from method 1 and keep moving to the next method until your problem is solved.

Method 1: SD Card Lock Switch

Most of the SD Cards (but not all) have a small switch on the side of the card (usually on the left side). This switch is not present on all of the SD cards available out there but if your card does have it then follow the steps in this method.

The switch on your SD card makes your card writable/not-writable. So, if the switch is in the lock position then the contents of your SD card cannot be modified. Mostly, your computer will let you know about the locked SD card by giving a message like “Your card is encrypted”.  However, there are cases where you won’t see this message at all and your card won’t be recognized by your computer.

So, look for a small switch on the side of your SD card and make sure it is in the middle or at the unlock position. Again, this will depend on the manufacturer of your card but there should be an indicator for the unlock/lock side.

Once you have successfully moved the switch to the unlock position, try to use your SD card again.

Method 2: Change Write Policy

As mentioned in the method 1, if your SD card is write protected then your computer might not be able to recognize the card. If the method 1 didn’t work or if your card didn’t have a lock switch (a lot of them don’t have that) then follow the instructions below to change the write policy from registry editor.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type regedit.exe and press Enter

  1. Go to this path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\StorageDevicePolicies. If you don’t know how to navigate to this path then follow the steps given below
    1. Locate and double click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE from the left pane
    2. Locate and double click SYSTEM from the left pane
    3. Locate and double click CurrentControlSet from the left pane
    4. Locate and double click Control from the left pane

  1. Locate and click StorageDevicePolicies. If there is no StorageDevicePolicies then you will have to make that folder yourself. Follow the instructions below to make the StorageDevicePolicies folder
    1. Right click Control and select New
    2. Select Key

  1. Name this newly created folder/key StorageDevicePolicies
  2. Right click StorageDevicePolicies and select New
  3. Select DWORD (32-bit) value

  1. Name this newly created value WriteProtect

  1. Now, double click the WriteProtect value from the right pane
  2. Enter 0 as its value and click Ok

Now close the registry editor and check if the SD card works or not.

Method 3: Remove Write-Protection

Another way to remove the write protection from your card is from the device manager. It is the simplest way to remove the write protection, which might be causing the issue, but it isn’t available for all card or systems. You can still try and see if the option is available.

Insert your card in the computer

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and press Enter

  1. Double click Disk Drives
  2. Right click your card and select Properties
  3. You might see an option related to the write policy. If you do, turn off the write protection and click Ok. Again, the option might or might not be there and it might be a little different depending on your manufacturer.

Note: if you can’t see the option in the general tab then select the Policies tab and look for the write-protection option in that section.

Method 4: Card Adapter

A lot of us use an Adapter for our micro SD card while inserting into the computer. If you are using an adapter then that might be causing the issue. Sometimes, the adapter that you are using for the micro SD card might be faulty of incompatible with your card. Even if the adapter and the card are of the same manufacturer, there are cases where the micro SD card and Adapter of the same brand didn’t work together.

So, try to change the adapter and see if it works or make sure that the adapter that you are using is compatible with your SD card.

Method 5: Check Card Reader

Make sure that the card reader you are using is functional and is compatible with your SD card. There can be a compatibility issue between the card and the card reader. So, try changing the card reader to see if the card works or make sure that the card is readable from the card reader you are using.

Related Articles:

  1. SD Card Music Not Showing Up on Android Phone
  2. Computer Fails to Recognize SD Card
  3. MicroSD Card Not Detected By Android Phone
  4. Corrupt SD Card via Chkdsk

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: SD Card Not Showing Up

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