SD Card Keeps Disconnecting or Disappearing

Tracy King updated on Feb 15, 2020 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


SD card keeps disconnecting from the camera, mobile phone or Windows PC? Most of the time, SD card shows up and then disappears when copying or transferring files. This page divides the workarounds into two parts, to maximumly help you get out of the constantly disappearing SD card problem on multiple devices. As a complementary solution, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard comes handy when you wish to recover data from SD card that is not currently accessible.

There are seven fixes for the SD card keeps disconnecting or disappearing. The table below gives an outline. Read the content for details.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Reinsert SD card When the SD card disconnects or disappears randomly, you can retry to insert the card to the computer...Full steps
Fix 2. Change SD card reader If the SD card reader is not working properly, your SD card won't be able to show up on the computer...Full steps
Fix 3. Change to another computer You can also insert your SD card to another computer to see if it shows up stably or not...Full steps
Fix 4. Disable PC turning off device When the computer turns off the Mass Storage Device, your SD card won’t be able to show up correctly...Full steps
Fix 5. More useful methods  Update SD card driver, change SD card drive letter, or format SD card to NTFS/FAT32...Full steps

Memory card is tiny, portable and extensible, which makes it widely used in digital devices nowadays. As we know, Android phones are using micro SD cards, previously TF cards, while digital cameras using bigger SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. All storage devices would degrade over time from scratching, bending, connecting and disconnecting.

Here, we are going to talk about one commonly seen consequence of SD card problems after a long time use, or simply improper use, which is an unstable SD card connection. Many people say that SD card keeps disconnecting from their computer, Android phone or camera. Why this problem produced and how to solve the randomly happening issue by yourself? Let's check.

This page mainly solves the SD card problems on a Windows computer, if you see SD card disconnecting or disappearing issue on Android & camera due to "SD card unexpectedly removed" error, or "SD card blank or has unsupported file system" error, the linked pages are helpful to solve this kind of SD card problem.

SD card keeps disconnecting in Windows 10/8/7 [7 fixes]

Usually, we use a card reader to connect a micro SD card or SD card to a computer. Being different from the 'SD card not working showing up' issue, sometimes the SD card shows up a while but then disappears. If you're willing to wait for a second, it appears again. Something definitely goes wrong, and the below seven solutions are useful for you.

1. Remove and reinsert SD card to Windows PC

When the SD card disconnects or disappears randomly, you can retry to insert the card to the computer again to see if it’s stable to be read.

2. Change SD card reader and reconnect to your PC

If the SD card reader is not working properly, your SD card, of course, won’t be able to show up on the computer.

3. Insert SD card to another computer to see if it shows up

Another way is to insert your SD card to another computer to see if it shows up stably or not.

After these three steps, if your SD card shows up and can be accessed again, the problem gets resolved then. If the issue still persists, continue with following steps to get rid of the problem on your SD card.

4. Disable PC from turning off Mass Storage Device

When the computer turns off the Mass Storage Device, your SD card won’t be able to show up correctly. Here are the steps to disable this feature:

  • Press Windows + X to bring up a menu, and choose "Device Manager" from the list.
  • Go to "Universal Serial Bus Controller" > "USB Mass Storage Device".
  • Click the "Power Management" tab and uncheck the box in front of "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power". 
  • Click "OK" and save the changes.

Fix SD card keeps disconnecting error.

5. Update SD card driver

SD card starts malfunctioning as soon as the card driver is incompatible or outdated, so it's necessary to update the driver to the latest if SD card randomly connects and disconnects.

  • Press Windows + X to bring up a menu, and choose "Device Manager" from the list.
  • Expand Disk drives, right-click the SD card driver and choose "Update driver software".
  • By "Search automatically for updated driver software", Windows is able to find the available driver for you. 

update sd card driver

6. Change SD card drive letter

Drive letter confliction can be the reason why the connection is unstable, and you see SD card disappearing and then appearing randomly. Try to assign a new drive letter to the SD card in Disk Management in this case.

  • Press Windows + X to bring up a menu, and choose "Disk Management" from the list.
  • Right-click on your SD card, and select "Change drive letter and paths..."
  • Choose a new drive letter for your SD card and click OK to save all changes.

change drive letter to the sd card

7. Format SD card to NTFS/FAT32

This method is particularly for SD card that has been using for long, of which the health state is not so well. Normally, a disk formatting is able to fix some elementary level of SD card corruption, and restore it as a new one.

Disk formatting can be dangerous to data, though it indeed fixes many corruption issues. If there are important pictures, videos and other files on it, back it up before formatting. Otherwise, you can only rely on third-party data recovery software to recover data from a formatted SD card.

To format a memory card in Disk Management:

  • Enter Disk Management again.
  • Right-click on your SD card and this time, select "Format".
  • Choose a file system like NTFS/FAT/FAT32 and click "OK".

format sd card in disk management

After this, your SD card should be able to connect to your computer uninterruptedly and work properly again. 

How to recover data from an inaccessible or formatted SD card

According to all the above 7 troubleshooting methods, you don't need to worry too much about losing data expect you directly formatted the SD card without making a backup.

But the real cases are complex, they are far from our expectation. Frequently not showing SD card is likely to develop further damage, and eventually fails to show up in the computer at all. That's why we always emphasize the importance of backing up important data before it's too late.

Losing access to data is terrible, but not the end of the day until you find a reliable, powerful and easy-to-use hard disk data recovery software. For example, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It goes compatible with all Windows and Mac OS X/macOS platforms and supports 250+ types of files. Most of all, you can always preview the files it found before deciding to recover them or not. Very dependable yet user-oriented software that deserves your try.

Step 1. Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card. Then click "Scan" to start finding lost data on your SD card.

select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to quickly find wanted files.

find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Restore SD card data.

You can check and preview found files by double-clicking each one of them. Then click Recover to save found SD card files to a secure location on your PC or external storage.

recover sd card files

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

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"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.