How to do when an SD card not recognized on Mac or MacBook?

How to do when an SD card not recognized on Mac or MacBook?

Nowadays everyone uses memory cards. With this, users keep many other documents and images, including their personal data, saved on mobile or computer. But it sometimes happens that your SD card is no longer recognized by the macOS operating system, making it impossible to access our data. Here are some essential tips on what to do with an unrecognized SD card.

Solution 1: Make sure the SD card is working

The first step is to connect the SD card and verify that it is not broken. 

  • Remove the SD card and reinsert it into the SD card slot. After that, check if it now appears on the desktop or Finder.
  • If it doesn’t show up. So, take out the SD card and insert it into another SD card slot on your computer (if available).
  • The best way to rule out the possibility that the SD card is bad or corrupted would be to insert the SD card into another computer and confirm that it actually works.
  • You can clean the SD card a little with a cotton swab slightly moistened with alcohol.

Solution 2: Check options in Finder

In the Finder (the macOS file explorer, the first icon on the left of the icon bar at the bottom of the screen), click on “Finder”, then “Preferences”. Click on the “General” tab and check “External disks”. Make the same in the “Sidebar” tab of the same menu. Reconnect the SD card to the Mac or MacBook computer and check if the SD card can be recognized.

Solution 3: Run first aid to repair the SD card

Still in the Finder, click “Applications”, click “Utilities”, then click “Disk Utility”. Here you will see all the disks that the system sees, sorted with internal disks on top and external disks on the bottom. If the utility sees a disk, but the disk does not appear on the desktop or in the file explorer, then right-click on the disk and choose “Run SOS”. Disk Utility will then scan your disk for possible causes of problems, errors that it can fix. 

 Solution 4: Check the file system of the SD card

In case the file system like NTFS is not supported by Mac, SD card cannot be recognized on Mac. You can go to Finder > Application > Disk Utility. Open the Disk Utility and select the SD card to see its file system. Otherwise, you can connect the SD card to the computer with Windows. If the SD card can be detected, it is most likely the problem with the file system. One can format SD card in Windows to exFAT and FAT32 file system supported by Mac.

Enabling NTFS write in macOS the Open source way | by Viktor Šulák | Mac  O'Clock | Medium

However, formatting deletes all data from the SD card. Please backup files before formatting. If you think the format process is too much trouble, you can also install iBoysoft NTFS for Mac and get full access to the SD card on Mac. Fully compatible with Apple M1 Mac and macOS Big Sur, this tool has a fast file transfer speed while keeping your data in safe. You can go to iBoysoft NTFS for Mac official site to download and install it:

Solution 5: Format your SD card on Mac

The possibility of formatting your SD card certainly sounds scary. However, don’t be appalled. Formatting your device, even if you couldn’t make a backup, is not the end for you. The article further discusses a way to run Mac data recovery on an SD card.

Step 1: Go to Disk Utilities.

Step 2: After selecting your SD card, click “erase” at the top of the page.

Step 3: Disk Utility will choose a format for you. You can also choose your preference based on how you plan to use the SD card.

Step 4: You are required to name the SD card and give it a format. 

Step 5: Then click on the erase button at the bottom right.

Once the erase is complete, you can now proceed to recover your files.

How to recover data from an SD card on Mac for free?

In this case, formatting was used as a method to restore functionality to your SD card, but you probably couldn’t view the files for you to take a backup. This is where data recovery software comes in. iBoysoft Data Recovery is a free and effective software for getting back lost files on your SD card. It is designed to recover data from corrupted, unreadable, inaccessible, and unrecognized SD cards. This software is a read-only tool that doesn’t modify the data on the corrupted SD card. The recovered files are usually intact, and no damage is caused by overwriting.

Step 1: Choose a location

Find and select your SD card from the Mac drives displayed on the screen.

Step 2: Scan the location

Click Scan for the software to begin scanning the files.

Step 3: Preview and recover

iBoysoft Data Recovery’s preview window will allow you to get a better overview of your data. In the left pane, you can choose your favorite files if you don’t want to get everything back. Finally, tap on the Recover button at the bottom right of the interface.

Why Mac doesn’t recognize your SD card?

One of the major reasons for memory card damage is mobile phones. While browsing in the smartphone or downloading any third-party app, viruses come, which can damage the memory card along with the mobile. It is believed that the reason for the malfunction of the memory card is Android because viruses easily enter it. In addition, there may be technical reasons associated with your SD card not showing up on your Mac. These reasons are as follows:

  • SD Card Reader Slot Damage: This can be very frustrating as the damage may be too small to notice. So how do you know? You can try inserting your SD card into another machine and see if it responds.
  • An OS issue causes a system error: If it’s your operating system that is preventing your SD card from being recognized, remove it and try restarting your Mac. This should usually fix the problem for you.
  • An unsupported SD card format: Your SD card must meet SD 1.x, 2.x, and 3.x standards for it to work. For more information, visit the website of your SD card manufacturer. There are also file systems that your version of macOS may not support.
  • Corruption of your SD card firmware.