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How to Fix SD Card Saying Full When Empty in Windows 11/10/8/7

Updated by Tracy King on Aug 30, 2021
Written by Brithny

format sd card to fix sd card empty but says full

Format SD Card If SD Card Says Full (Quick Access)

Most of the time, formatting is used to fix SD card errors or disk-related issues. If the SD card is empty but says it is full is caused by the incorrect file system issue, then it is better to reformat the SD card to its normal state

  • Open EaseUS Partition Master
  • Find your SD card and right-click the partition...Read More>>

How to Fix SD Card Empty But Says Full (6 Tips)

"I was trying to take a photo on my Canon camera; however, it was saying my SD card was full. I plugged the card into my computer, dragged the four photos on there to my desktop, and deleted the file "100 CANON". I usually do this when downloading and emptying my SD card, but I am unsure if it's the correct way of doing it as I have never been taught! Any help would be appreciated!"

According to many SD card and memory card users, it seems that SD card saying full when empty issue often happens. If you have a similar problem with your SD card, you can apply the solutions below for help. You may not need to try them all, work your way down until you find the one that works for you.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
1. Show Hidden Files Using CMD Press Windows + X keys and select Command Prompt (CMD) as an Administrator...Full steps
2. Using CMD Alternative Start EaseUS CleanGenius, choose "File Showing" on the left pane. Next, choose...Full steps
3. Check SD Card Error Press Windows + R keys to bring up the Run box. Type cmd and hit Enter...Full steps
4. Recover SD Card Data Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card. Then click "Scan"...Full steps
Other Effective Solutions Format the SD Card > Restore SD Card to Full Capacity...Full steps

Fix 1. Show Hidden Files Using CMD If SD Card Says Full

Like the mentioned case, the user has deleted the files, and your SD card still shows full. There might be hidden files on your SD card. In many cases, the data stored on the SD card not showing is caused by hiding files. Follow the steps below to show hidden files if the SD card saying full when empty.

Step 1. Press Windows + X keys and select Command Prompt (CMD) as an Administrator. 

Or you can click the Windows icon, select "Search" and type the command prompt. Right-click it and choose to open Command Prompt as Administrator.

show hidden files on sd card to fix sd card showing full

Step 2. Determine the SD card or storage device where the files are hidden.

Step 3. Type attrib -h -r -s /s /d G:\*.* and hit "Enter". (If it's drive D, then replace G: with the drive letter for your device).

You can also apply this command to show USB drive hidden files and more.

Fix 2. Show Hidden Files Using CMD Alternative

Manual execution of the command line is suitable for computer professionals, since incorrect commands can do more harm than good. Therefore, for security and usability, we strongly recommend you try an automatic command line alternative - EaseUS CleanGenius. It is a practical tool that enables you to check and fix file system errors, enable/disable write protection and update your system with one-click instead of typing intricate command lines.

Follow the simple steps below to show hidden files with this 1-click-fix software. 

Step 1.  DOWNLOAD EaseUS CleanGenius for Free.

Step 2. Start EaseUS CleanGenius, choose "Optimization" on the left panel. Next, click "File Showing" on the right panel. 

show hidden files - step 2

Step 3. Select the hard drive and click "Execute".

file fixing - step 2

Step 4. After the operation completes, click the here link to check the hidden files. 

show hidden files - step 3

Fix 3. Check SD Card Error to Fix SD Card Showing Full

You may also encounter an empty SD card full error if the memory card has file system errors. You can run CHKDSK to fix SD card errors. Here are the steps to fix SD card error:

Step 1. Press Windows + R keys to bring up the Run box. Type cmd and hit Enter. 

check sd card error if your still says full when empty

Step 2. In the Windows Command Prompt, type chkdsk [drive letter]: /f /r /x. For example, the Dive F in the beginning scenario is with the problem, so we replace the F's drive letter parameter.

Then, you can check your SD card to see if the error has been solved.

Fix 4. Recover SD Card Data Before Formatting

Besides, you can run reliable SD card recovery software to scan your card to find more data. Then, recover wanted data to another location. All you need is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. With it, you can recover photos, Word documents, Excel files, and videos from any device.

Step 1. Select SD card to scan

  • Downoad and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your Windows PC.
  • Use the proper way to connect your SD card to the computer. Let Windows recognize the card and assign it a drive letter.
  • Launch EaseUS SD card recovery software. All connected drives will display here. Select your SD card according to its drive letter under the Devices section. Click "Scan" to start finding lost data on your SD card.
select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check for scan results

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" and specify one or several file types to show up, like Pictures, Word, Excel, PDF, Videos and so on. This will help you quickly find wanted files of one kind.

find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Preview and recover data

  • After the scan, you can check and preview found files by double-clicking each one of them.
  • Choose desired files and click Recover.
  • Choose a different location to save the recovered files instead of the orginal SD card.
recover sd card files

Fix 5. Format Your SD Card to Fix the Empty SD Card Says Full

A simple choice to fix the "empty SD Card but it says full" is to format the SD Card. This helps you reclaim lost or unallocated space and safely and efficiently restore the SD card to full capacity/original size. Here we recommend you EaseUS Partition Master, a powerful disk management tool that allows you to format hard drives and multiple removable storage devices. 

Now you can try the following guide to reformat SD card and restore SD card to full capacity with this tool in simple steps.

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Step 1. Find your SD card and right-click the partition you want to format and choose "Format".

Step 2. Set a new partition label, file system (NTFS/FAT32/EXT2/EXT3/EXT4/exFAT), and cluster size to the selected partition, then click "OK".

Step 3. Click "OK" on the pop-up window to continue.

Step 4. Click the "Execute Operation" button on the toolbar, then click "Apply" to start formatting your SD card.

Fix 6. Restore SD Card to Full Capacity with CMD

If format the SD Card fails to solve the "empty SD Card says full" error, just run this command to restore your SD Card to full capacity.

Step 1. On Windows 11/10, press Windows + X, select "Search", and type command prompt, right-click on it and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 2. On the Command Prompt black window, type diskpart and hit "Enter".

type diskpart to clean SD card with command prompt

Step 3. Now type list disk and press "Enter".

All the disk drives will be listed, including your external drives that connected to the computer.

type list disk to clean SD card with command prompt

Step 4. Refer to the list disk information, type select disk + disk number, for example, select disk 2 and press enter.

You're telling DiskPart to locate and lock disk 2 so as to clean and format it with the continuing steps.

type select disk 1 to format hard drive with command prompt

After this, you can use the Disk Management tool in Windows 11/10 or other Windows PC to create a new partition on the SD card so to make it available for storing data with the full capacity again.

Conclusion

You have learned various ways to tackle the SD card when it returns an empty or full error without losing your data. EaseUS data recovery software and EaseUS partition manager can do you a great favor if sd card is empty but says it is full.

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Black Friday, huge discount

SD Card Saying Full But Empty FAQs

If you other questions about the SD card, you can read the following questions and answers.

Why does my SD card say full when it's empty?

Here are the reasons:

  • There are files on the SD card, but the files are invisible or hidden, so the SD card shows full but no files.
  • The SD card is not correctly formatted.
  • Your camera goes wrong.

How do I know if my SD card is full?

If your mobile is using the Android operation system, then follow the steps to check the available space:

  • Go to the Home screen.
  • Select the Menu key.
  • Select Settings.
  • Select SD card & phone storage.
  • At the top, under the SD card, you will find the Total space and Available space on your SD card.

How can I tell how fast my SD card is?

An SD card's speed class is identified on the SD card itself - look for the logo. You'll also see the speed class on the online store listing or the card's packaging when purchasing it.

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

Read full bio

Written by Brithny

Brithny is a technology enthusiast, aiming to make readers' tech life easy and enjoyable. She loves exploring new technologies and writing technical how-to tips. On her spare time, she loves sharing things about her favorite singer - Taylor Swift on her Facebook or Twitter.

Read full bio

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  • I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes. I also think the overall look and feel of EaseUS Partition Master Free makes whatever you're doing with your computer's partitions easy.

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  • Partition Master Free can Resize, Move, Merge, Migrate, and Copy disks or partitions; convert to local, change label, defragment, check and explore partition; and much more. A premium upgrade adds free tech support and the ability to resize dynamic volumes.

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  • It won't hot image your drives or align them, but since it's coupled with a partition manager, it allows you do perform many tasks at once, instead of just cloning drives. You can move partitions around, resize them, defragment, and more, along with the other tools you'd expect from a cloning tool.

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All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

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