How to View Pictures from SD Card on Macbook

Need to check and view camera photos, pictures or videos on a Macbook Air and Pro? This guide is for you, which provides users with several feasible solutions to connect a camera/phone/game console SD card to Mac, and how to view pictures from SD card on Mac even when the SD card has a corruption issue.

Table of Contents

camera sd card

Q1: What are devices using SD card?

  • Digital cameras
  • Camcorders/DVD recorders
  • Android mobile phones
  • Television
  • portable game devices
  • Printers

Q2: How to access and view files from an SD card?

connect sd card to mac

  1. Step 1. Take out the SD card from the device
  2. Step 2. Connect the SD card to a PC or Mac
  3. Step 3. Find the SD card drive
  4. Step 4. Open the SD card and view files through a photo/video viewer application

Q3: What's the problem with checking SD card photos/videos on Mac?

  • No SD card slot is available on my Mac
  • SD card icon is not showing up on Mac's desktop
  • SD card pictures are missing but folders are there

Today's topic is about how to view pictures from an SD card on Mac, like a Macbook Air and Macbook Pro.  According to the three questions in the beginning, we learned that there are still many devices are using an SD card to store data, and connecting an SD card to Mac seems to be simple and operable. Despite that, you can still face the problem of not being able to access the SD card data due to the connection issue or SD card issue. Next, we'll guide you through several common issues and fixes of SD card not showing up on Mac.

Mac SD Card Photo & Video Recovery Software

How to Connect SD Card to Mac and Make It Visible

#1. First, check the SD card slot on either side. Make sure that the lock switch is turned off. Otherwise, your SD card will be recognized as read only file system on Mac, which will prevent you from making changes to the card.

check the lock switch on sd card

#2. Then check if your Mac has an SD card slot that lets you directly insert the SD card into the slot for connection. 

These Mac models have an SD card slot:

  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2021
  • MacBook Pro introduced in 2011 through 2015
  • Mac mini introduced in 2011 through 2014
  • 13-inch MacBook Air models introduced in 2013 through 2017
  • 27-inch iMac models introduced in 2010 or later
  • 21.5-inch iMac models introduced in 2010 or later

For devices that don't have the SD card slot, you need to prepare a USB-C to SD card reader for connection. 

usb-c to sd card reader mac

How to Fix SD Card Not Showing up on Mac

#3. The SD card disk icon is not showing up on the macOS desktop as normal. This problem can be the reason for the system settings, or it's because the SD card has been corrupted. Both troubles have a solution. Let's move on.

Fix 1. Show "external hard disk" in Disk Utility:

  • On your Mac, click the Finder icon in the dock, and then choose Finder > Preferences.
  • Under the General tab where you'll choose what items to show on the desktop, you should tick the option "External disks". 

show sd card on mac by turning on finder preferences setting

Fix 2. Repair a corrupted SD card with First Aid:

  • First, go to your "System Preference" and then tap on the "Disk Utility" button.
  • Now highlight the external hard drive and select "First Aid."
  • Next, you will be asked if you want to run it on the media, then just hit on the "Run" button.

run first aid to fix sd card corruption issue

How to Recover Missing Photos and Videos from SD Card on Mac

#4. SD card is connected and recognized, but photos and videos are missing. This can be a headache thing for most camera users. Once you're caught up in this situation, to be able to view pictures from the SD card, you need to perform SD card recovery with the help of EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.

You can watch the following video to learn how to recover missing photos with the best SD card recovery software. If you don't know how to install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac, follow the guides in this video:

  • 00:11 What causes data loss on an SD card
  • 00:50 Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac
  • 00:58 Select the SD card and scan it
  • 01:12 Filter the results

Step 1. Select the SD card

  • Correctly connect your memory card to your Mac. Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac.
  • Go to "SD Card Recovery", find your Canon/Nikon/Go Pro/DJI/Sony SD card, and click "Search for lost files".

Note: Before data recovery, you'd better click "Disk Backup" from the left sidebar to create a backup of your SD card to avoid further data loss. After backing up the SD card, the software can recover data from your SD card backup, and you can remove the SD card and use it again.

select a location and scan for lost SD card data

Step 2. Filter lost SD card data

After the scan, all files will be presented in the left panel in the scan results. Find wanted photos, videos, and other files.

filter lost data on your SD card

Step 3. Preview and recover data

Preview the SD card data and select the wanted files. Then, click the "Recover" button. Don't save the recoverable files to the SD card itself in case of data overwriting.

recover data from SD card Mac

To Sum up, This is the General Method to Open and View SD Card on Mac...

  • Insert the SD card to the SD card slot on your Mac, or use a USB-C to SD card reader.
  • Open the Finder app, which is designed with a blue two-faced icon
  • Click the drive (volume) that macOS assigned to your SD card in the left pane, and view the contents of the SD card in the right pane.
  • In any case when your SD card files were missing, download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to perform recovery.

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Updated by Dany

Dany is an editor of EaseUS who lives and works in Chengdu, China. She focuses on writing articles about data recovery on Mac devices and PCs. She is devoted to improving her writing skills and enriching her professional knowledge. Dany also enjoys reading detective novels in her spare time.

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Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

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