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Fix: Windows Not Reading SD Card or SD Card Reader

Windows not reading SD card or SD Card reader can be a severe issue. It means you cannot access your SD card files, write new files, or take a backup. However, in most cases, Windows doesn’t recognize the SD card for no reason, and sometimes, the issue can be a little problematic. However, to help you, I have mentioned some of the quick and advanced ways to fix Windows not reading SD card issues.

Basic Troubleshooting

1] Check your SD Card Reader

First, make sure that your SD card is working fine. If your SD card isn’t working at all, there is no way your PC is going to detect your SD card.

To check your SD card reader, you can connect it to another device like a computer, Smart TV, or any device that supports USB storage.

If your other device recognizes your SD card reader, it’s all good. Alternatively, you can also try using another SD card reader to check what’s the problem.

2] Try Different USB Port

Sometimes, specific USB ports don’t recognize a USB device, even though the USB port is working just fine. So you can try using a different USB port and see if that resolves the issue. If not, move to the other fixes.

4] Check Disk Management

You should also check whether your PC recognizes your SD card. Sometimes even after Windows recognizes the device might not show it under File Manager. Hence, you must go to Disk Management and see if you get to see your SD card. To do so, follow the below steps:

  • Press Windows Key + X to launch Quick Menu.
  • Go to Disk Management (It will take a while to load up)
  • Now check if you see any storage drive apart from your drives shown under This PC in File Manager. You can also look at the storage size to confirm the SD card.
  • If your SD card is recognized, right-click on it and select Change driver letter and path.

change sd card drive letter

  • Finally, click Change, assign a new Drive letter, and reboot your PC.
  • Once done, check if you get to see your SD card under File Manager or not.

4] Check Your SD Card

Maybe it is not your SD card reader, but your SD card is the main culprit. If you have any other SD card, use the same card reader and connect it to your PC or any other device to see if it’s working fine.

Fix: Windows Not Reading SD Card or SD Card Reader

If the basic troubleshooting didn’t help you solve the issue. Then there are some advanced methods that you can try out:

  1. Turn off Write protection
  2. Run CHKDSK to detect the SD card
  3. Update SD Card driver
  4. Reinstall the Universal Serial Bus Controllers driver

Now let me talk about these methods one by one below:

1] Turn off Write Protection

If your SD card has Write Protection enabled, you won’t be able to edit, open the copy or save any file on your SD card. But you are allowed to view the files. However, sometimes this write Protection could be the main error why your PC doesn’t recognize your SD card.

To solve this, look for any slider or button on your SD card and then slide it to the opposite side. After that, connect the SD card to your PC and see if it’s getting recognized.

You can also Google your SD card model and check how to enable or disable write Protection.

2] Run CHKDSK To Detect The SD Card

You can also run the CHKDSK command to detect the SD card. The CHKDSK command is used for verifying the logical integrity of the file system. It can help you determine if your SD card is corrupted or not. To run the command, follow these steps:

  • First, ensure that your SD card is connected to your PC.
  • Next, go to Disk Management using Windows + X Quick Menu and note down the SD Card drive path like – D:
  • After that, right-click on Start Menu and select Windows Terminal (Admin).
  • Over here, run the following command: CHKDSK D: /f Make sure to replace D: with your SD card path.
  • Now let Windows run the scan and see if it helps you fix the issue.

3] Update SD Card Driver

The error could also occur because of a driver issue. So you can update your SD card driver and see if it resolves the issue. For this, follow the below steps:

  • Press Windows + X to launch Quick Menu.
  • Go to Device Manager and Expand Disk Drives
  • Look for your SD card and right-click on it.
  • Next, select Uninstall device and follow the screen instructions.
  • Once done, click the search icon (scan for hardware changes) from the navigation menu.
  • Now check if your SD card is being recognized or not.

4] Reinstall The Universal Serial Bus Controllers Driver

Similarly, it would be best to consider reinstalling the Universal Serial Bus Controllers drivers. To do so, follow these steps:

  • Go to Device Manager.
  • Expand Universal Serial Bus Controllers.
  • Now right-click on each driver individually, select Uninstall device, and follow the screen instructions.
  • Once done, reboot your PC, and the drivers will automatically reinstall.

Related: Best Video Recovery Tools for Windows PC and Mac


So those were a few quick ways to fix Windows not reading SD card or SD Card Reader error. In the end, if nothing works out for you, there is a good chance that your SD card will be corrupted or damaged, and it will be hard for you to recover.

Nayan is a crypto and gadget enthusiast who likes to cover topics related to Tech, Startups, Crypto, Gaming, Windows, and other interesting areas. But when he is not working, you can find him playing games or watch random videos on YouTube.



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