[10 FIXES] SD Card Not Showing up on Mac

[10 FIXES] SD Card Not Showing up on Mac

“Why isn’t my SD card showing up on my Mac and why I can’t access its data? There are crucial files that I need access to. Please, can anyone tell me if can I fix “SD card not showing up on Mac” error without data loss?

Reddit User

There could be various hardware and software issues at play behind this error. That’s why we offer a full guide that mentions common reasons behind “SD card not reading on Mac” issue and pinpoint the source of problem. It also comes with ten solutions from basic checks to advanced methods to fix this error and a bonus tip to recover data from your inaccessible SD card. So, read on!

Why Isn’t My SD card Showing Up on My Mac?

There could be many reasons behind “SD card not showing up Mac” such as following:

  1. Mechanical damage – SD cards can be damaged by water, drops, or humidity.
  2. Side switch is off – Full-size SD cards have a lock switch on the side that can prevent file deletion or modification. It might be switched off.
  3. Poor connection – Over time, the metal pads on SD cards can wear out, causing connection issues.
  4. Unsupported file system – The file system used on SD card is incompatible with your devices and operating systems.
  5. Logical corruption – Data on SD cards can be corrupted due to usage across different devices and operating systems.
  6. SD card reader not working – The issue might be with the SD card reader itself.

Recover Lost When Your SD card Won’t Read on Mac

When you face “SD card not showing up MacBook,” issue this means you can’t access data on it. In such a situation, it becomes vital to recover its contents. Otherwise, if you try a solution like formatting to fix SD card won’t read on Mac, it will overwrite your memory card, leading to permanent data loss. 

Luckily, we have exact solution right up our sleeve to recover your data. Consider trying 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery, a powerhouse of a tool to retrieve data from inaccessible storage devices. Check out its recovery features:

  • Recover data lost due to SD card issues like not showing up, not recognized, reading failure, formatting, or accidental deletion.
  • Retrieve corrupted, deleted, hidden, formatted, or lost files from SD cards in 3 simple steps without disabling SIP.
  • Retrieve lost data from internal drives and external drives like SD cards, USBs, drones, cameras, etc.
  • Recover 2000+ file types, including audio, videos, photos, and more.
  • High recovery rate and fast scanning.
  • Compatible with latest T2 chip, M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and macOS Sonoma.

Here’s how to recover data with this tool when your SD card won’t read on Mac:

Step 1: Launch recovery tool on Mac, connect the SD card to your computer, and select it for recovery on tool’s interface. Click “Scan.”

Step 2: Filter your search by choosing file type for files you want to recover. For entire SD card restoration, select “All Files.”

Step 3: Begin scanning process and wait for its completion. Preview recovered files and choose specific ones or select all. Click “Recover” to restore them.

Quick Fixes for the SD card Not Showing up on Mac Error

Before you go for advanced solutions to resolve “SD card not reading on Mac” error, there are some basic checks to find out whether the error is due to a hardware or software issue. Most often they are enough to solve problem. Check out six quick fixes below:

Inspect SD card

The first thing to do to fix “SD card not showing up Mac Disk Utility” problem is to check it for damage. Begin with inspecting for scratches or greasy substances on card’s contact points. If there’s any substance, clean thoroughly with a dry cloth, focusing on corners near contacts. Avoid water or saliva, as moisture can harm memory card during insertion.

Turn Off Physical Switch

When your SD card is not damaged but you still get “memory card not showing up on Mac,” glitch another solution is to check and unlock it. Locate the small switch on left side, typically labeled with a lock symbol. This switch enables write protection, preventing card reading. If it’s in “down” position (toward bottom), it’s locked. You can slide it up to unlock.

Check SD card In Disk Utility

Check whether “SD card is not showing up in Mac Disk Utility” to be absolutely certain whether your Mac is recognizing your card or not. Here’s what to do:

Step 1: Type “Disk Utility” in “Spotlight,” and click on its icon to launch it.

Step 2: Check if your memory card is displayed in “Disk Utility.” 

Step 3: You can also adjust “Finder Preferences” to display your SD card on desktop. Launch “Finder,” head to “General” tab, and Select “Externa Disks” to show memory card on desktop.

Step 4: Open SD card through “Finder,” navigate to its folder, and check whether “SD card won’t read on Mac” issue is resolved.

Restart Mac

If you’re getting “ “SD card not showing up MacBook” error, restart your Mac. Most often temporary processes, drivers, or a loose connection between your memory card reader and computer can cause this error. Whereas restarting Mac will free up resources, and clear system caches, giving it a fresh start. 

Insert Another SD card

The issue of “memory card not showing up on Mac” could be because of damaged SD card or card reader. Therefore, insert another card into card reader and connect it to your Mac. If SD card is working fine, the issue is with your previous card. But if it’s not, there’s a problem with your card reader or Mac.

Connect SD card to Another Device

Is it your Mac or card reader that’s causing “SD card not showing up MacBook” issue? To learn the answer, connect your SD card (the one with error) to another computer. If it works fine, the issue is with your Mac. Otherwise, the problem lies with your SD card reader and you can replace it. 

Advanced Methods for the SD card Not Showing Up on Mac Error

When there’s no issue with your hardware and basic checks are unable to identify source of “Mac not recognizing SD card” error, move to advanced solutions. These four methods will fix technical issues that are causing this error, on a deeper level:

Run First Aid

You can easily fix the “SD card not showing up on Mac” error with a bulit-in feature, First Aid. It will scan SD card for errors like file structure damage or bad sectors. First Aid will also help identify issues preventing your Mac from accessing the card. 

Moreover, it can automatically fix minor corruption, such as rebuilding indexes or remapping bad sectors. Even if it can’t fully fix corruption, it will let you know about severity of issue, aiding your decision on whether to replace the SD card. Here’s how to use First Aid to check your SD card:

Step 1: Type “Disk Utility” in “Spotlight,” and click on its icon to launch it.

Step 2: Choose your SD card in left panel and click “First Aid.”

Step 3: Press “Run,” and “Continue” to run First Aid repair. It will check partitions of memory card for content verification and notify you if your card is failing.

Repair SD card

When your SD card doesn’t mount successfully, this failure could lead to “SD card won’t read on Mac” error. However, you can repair your memory card with First Aid. Here’s how:

Step 1: Follow Steps 1 to 3 of “Use First Aid to Check SD card” and when repair process is complete, a box will display detailed info. 

Step 2: Choose “Repair Disk” to repair your SD card, so it can mount successfully and you can read its content.

Fix Disk Permissions

Your internal hard disk permissions could also cause “SD card not showing up MacBook” issue. You can resolve this via “Repair Disk Permissions” feature in Disk Utility. But note this feature is available only in MacOS X Yosemite and earlier versions. Here’s how to repair internal disk permissions to fix “Mac not recognizing SD card”:

Step 1: Type “Disk Utility” in “Spotlight,” and click on its icon to launch it.

Step 2: Choose your internal hard disk from left panel and click “First Aid.”

Step 3: Choose “Repair Disk Permissions” located at left bottom of drop-down box.

Format SD card (as the Last Resort)

Your SD card won’t read on Mac, if your card’s file system format is incompatible with your Mac. For example, if it’s formatted to NTFS which is a Windows-compatible file system. In such a case, your Mac won’t recognize the file system leading to an unsuccessful mounting. The only thing you can do here is to format your memory card. Here’s how to fix “SD card not showing up in Mac with Disk Utility:”

Step 1: Type “Disk Utility” in “Spotlight,” and click on its icon to launch it.

Step 2: Choose your SD card in left panel and click “Erase” at top.

Step 3: Name your SD card and choose a Mac-compatible file format. 

Step 4: Press “Erase” and once formatting is completed, click “Done.”

Final Words

Hopefully, we’ve answered your query, “Why isn’t my SD card showing up on my Mac?” with our comprehensive guide. We’ve discussed diverse causes behind this issue and detailed ten troubleshooting methods to address it. 

But before you try any fix for “SD card not showing up on Mac” it’s crucial to safeguard your data with 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery. This tool ensures recovery of corrupted, formatted, hidden, deleted, and lost data with just three clicks, offering a high success rate. So, don’t risk data loss. Use this tool before troubleshooting!

Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios. When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games