SD Memory Card Won't Read Error on Computer and Phone

This article provides detailed solutions and recommendations for fixing SD memory card read errors on computers and phones. It also addresses common questions related to this issue.

Nene Aly

By Nene Aly / Updated on March 7, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

SD memory cards are widely used to store and transfer data in various devices, including computers and phones. However, it's not uncommon to encounter read errors where the computer or phone fails to recognize the card. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this problem, along with effective solutions and recommendations for resolving it.

The Problem: SD Memory Card Won't Read

When your SD memory card is not being detected or read by your computer or phone, it can be frustrating. This problem can occur due to multiple reasons, such as:

1. Connection Issues

A faulty or loose connection between the SD card and the device can prevent proper detection. Poor contacts or a misaligned card can lead to read errors.

2. File System Compatibility

SD memory cards use different file systems, such as FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS. If your device's operating system is not compatible with the file system of the SD card, it may fail to read it.

3. Physical Damage

Dropping the SD card or exposing it to moisture or extreme temperatures can cause physical damage that hinders proper reading. Cracked or bent connectors can prevent the card from being detected.

Solutions to SD Memory Card Read Errors

Solution 1: Check and Clean the Connections

Follow these steps to ensure proper connection and clean any dirty contacts:

  1. Turn off your device and remove the SD card.
  2. Inspect the card and check for any visible damage or misalignment.
  3. Use a clean microfiber cloth or cotton swab to gently wipe the metal contacts on both the SD card and the device.
  4. Reinsert the SD card firmly and turn on your device.
  5. Check if the card is now being recognized.

Solution 2: Format the SD Card

If the SD card has a compatibility issue with your device's file system, formatting it can help resolve the read errors. Before formatting, make sure to backup any important data on the card. To format the card:

  1. Connect the SD card to your computer using a card reader.
  2. Open the file explorer and right-click on the SD card.
  3. Select 'Format' from the context menu.
  4. Choose the appropriate file system (FAT32 is generally compatible with most devices).
  5. Click 'Start' to begin the formatting process.

Solution 3: Use Data Recovery Software

If the above solutions don't work and you still can't access your data on the SD card, you can utilize data recovery software. One recommended software is MyRecover. It offers the following features:

  • Pro: Supports SD card data recovery with a high success rate.
  • Pro: User-friendly interface with step-by-step instructions.
  • Con: Free version has limitations on the amount of data that can be recovered.

To use MyRecover:

  1. Download and install the software on your computer.
  2. Connect the SD card to your computer using a card reader.
  3. Open the software and select the SD card as the target drive.
  4. Click 'Scan' to search for lost files on the card.
  5. Preview and select the files you want to recover.
  6. Click 'Recover' to retrieve the selected files to a designated location on your computer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Why is my SD card not being recognized by my computer or phone?

A: One possible reason for this issue is a faulty connection. Try cleaning the card contacts and reinserting it firmly. If that doesn't work, formatting the card or using data recovery software might be necessary.

Q: How can I prevent SD card read errors in the future?

A: To minimize the chances of encountering read errors, handle your SD card with care, avoid exposing it to extreme conditions, and regularly backup your data.

Q: Can I use the same SD card on multiple devices?

A: Yes, you can use the same SD card on multiple devices as long as they support the same file system and storage capacity. However, it's always recommended to backup your data before switching devices.

Q: Can I recover data from a physically damaged SD card?

A: Depending on the severity of the physical damage, data recovery might still be possible. It's advisable to seek professional help or use reliable data recovery software.

Q: How do I know which file system my device supports?

A: You can check your device's user manual or manufacturer's website for information about supported file systems. Alternatively, you can format the SD card using a universally compatible file system like FAT32.

Q: Can I recover deleted files from an SD card?

A: If the files haven't been overwritten, there is a good chance of recovering them using data recovery software. Stop using the SD card immediately after deleting files to maximize the chances of successful recovery.

Q: Can read errors be caused by a virus?

A: Although it's rare, read errors can be caused by a virus infection. Make sure to scan your SD card and device for malware using reliable antivirus software.

Explaining Tech Terms

1. File System

A file system is a structure that determines how data is organized and stored on a storage device, such as an SD card. It defines how data is accessed, managed, and named.

2. Data Recovery

Data recovery is the process of retrieving lost or deleted files from a storage device. It involves using specialized software or techniques to extract and restore inaccessible or accidentally deleted data.

3. Microfiber Cloth

A microfiber cloth is a cleaning tool made of tightly woven synthetic fibers. It is commonly used to clean delicate surfaces without scratching or leaving lint behind.

Tips to Enhance SD Card Performance

  1. Avoid forcefully removing the SD card from the device. Use the proper removal procedure to prevent physical damage.
  2. Regularly backup your important data to prevent loss in case of any unexpected read errors or device failures.
  3. Keep your device's operating system and firmware updated to ensure compatibility with the latest SD card standards.


SD memory card read errors can be frustrating, but with the right solutions and precautions, they can be resolved. By checking and cleaning connections, formatting the card, and using data recovery software when needed, you can overcome these issues and regain access to your valuable data. Remember to handle your SD card with care and regularly backup your data to avoid future complications.

Nene Aly
Nene Aly · Editor