Top 5 Fixes for SD Card Not Showing on Android

Most Android phones today offer at least 32GB or 64GB of internal storage space. However, you can easily expand that storage with an SD card if you enjoy capturing many photos and videos or playing high-end games. Of course, this is not possible if your Android fails to detect or show the SD card in the first place.

Top Fixes for SD Card Not Showing on Android

The solution to the problem can be as straightforward as reinserting the SD card or as complicated as formatting it. One of our solutions listed below will help you fix the problem. So, let’s take a look.

1. Restart Your Phone

Sometimes, your Android phone may fail to detect or show your SD card due to temporary OS-related glitches. Restarting your phone usually helps resolve such issues. Hence, restart your phone.

Press and hold the power button on your phone and select Restart. After your phone reboots, check if it shows the SD card in the storage settings or the file manager app.

Restart Android Phone

2. Check the SD Card and Insert It Properly

Another reason your SD card might not work is if you haven’t inserted it properly or is damaged. To rule out such issues, take out the SD card for a thorough inspection. Take a close look at the card to check for any indications of damage or abnormalities that may be affecting its functionality.

Removing SD Card From Phone

Ensure that the metal contact points on the SD card are clean and free from any dirt or dust. You can use a soft dry cloth to clean them. While you’re at it, clean the SD card tray as well. Make sure to be gentle and not apply too much pressure.

Insert the SD card back in your phone. After that, check if the SD card shows up.

3. Install Android Updates

Bugs and glitches within the Android or custom skin on your phone can also contribute to such problems. Fortunately, both Google and phone manufacturers are usually quick to address and fix such major issues through subsequent updates. Hence, it’s a good idea to install any pending software updates.

To check for pending software updates on your phone, use these steps:

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your phone.

Step 2: Scroll down to tap on Software update and select Download and install from the following menu.

Wait for your phone to download the pending updates and install them. After updating your Android to the most recent version, check if it shows your SD card.

4. Boot Your Phone Into Safe Mode

At times, interference from a rouge third-party app on your phone can also prevent Android from detecting or showing the SD card. To investigate this possibility, you can boot your phone into Safe Mode, which allows Android to run solely with system apps.

Press and hold the power button to access the power menu. Long-press the Restart option and tap the green checkmark to boot your phone into Safe Mode.

Once your device boots into Safe Mode, see if it shows your SD card in the storage menu. If it does, it means one of the apps running on your phone caused the issue. Any third-party apps that you have installed recently may be responsible for this problem. You will need to remove these apps one by one to resolve the issue.

5. Format the SD Card

If your SD card doesn’t show up even in Safe Mode, there’s a high chance it has become corrupt. In that case, you’ll have to format the SD card. That will erase all data and files stored on it, including the corrupt ones.

As the SD card does not appear in the Settings app, you cannot format it directly on your Android phone. Instead, you will need to format the SD card using a Windows or Mac computer.

A person holding an SD Card

After formatting the SD card, reinsert it into your phone and check if it shows up.

Revive Your External Storage

Unless your SD card is damaged, one of the above tips should help solve the problem and get your Android phone to recognize and show your SD card. Go through them all and let us know which does the trick in the comments below.

Last updated on 10 July, 2023

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