How to Fix SD Card Unexpectedly Removed Error on Your Phone

Jean updated on Aug 05, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


This page answers the questions of 'why does my phone keep saying SD card unexpectedly removed' and 'how to fix SD card unexpectedly removed issue'. Try it to solve the problem if you get the SD card unexpectedly removed error message on LG g3, moto g, moto e or other Android phones and attempt to figure out why does the SD card keep unmounting.

"I am having an annoying issue on Samsung S7 Edge, which keeps saying external SD card unexpectedly removed. This error message occurs every second when I tap on an app. I have tried to restart the phone for a couple of times, but the issue still exists. Does anyone know why SD card keeps disappearing? Is the card corrupted or something goes wrong with the phone?"

As Android devices allow you to expand the storage capacity by adding an external micro SD memory card (TF card), phone owners would insert a 4GB, 8GB, 16GB or even a 32GB card to their newly bought phone. With sufficient storage room, they can save as many pictures, games, Apps and other favorites as they want. The longer you use the phone, the more likely it gets a problem. One of the problems happens to Android phones and tablets is "SD card unexpectedly removed", such as LG g3, moto g, moto e, etc. If you are undergoing the same issue, this article is ready to help.

sd card unexpectedly removed

Quick Navigation [Causes & Solutions]

  • Your phone or card is damaged and makes a loose connection
  • Reinsert the card several times and restart your phone.
  • Or take out the card and connect it to the other phone of your family's or friend's,check if the memory card is ok.
  • SD card becomes corrupted

Usually, it develops bad sectors on it, you need to repair damaged SD card.

  • SD card is incompatible with your phone

A class 10 SD card won't get along with a phone that can only handle a class 2 or 4.

  • The SD card is just broken beyond fix

Give up the card and buy a new one.

Remove SD Card Unexpectedly Removed Error [3 Fixes]

Once you're told that the SD card has been unexpectedly removed, but it's really not, refer to the following three troubleshooting workarounds to get rid of it.

Fix 1. Unmount and mount SD Card

Sometimes, mobile phone or digital camera hardware failure might also cause SD cards to be unreadable, showing the "unexpectedly removed" error. For Android phone users, you can unmount an SD card on your phone and then mount it again after rebooting your smartphone. 

Step 1: Go to Settings > storage > scroll down and select "Unmount SD card".

mount and unmount sd card

Step 2: After unmounting your SD card, remove it from the device.

Step 3: Now turn off your smartphone.

Step 4: Insert the SD card and then turn it back on.

Step 5: Again, go to settings > storage > this time select "mount SD card".

Finishing all these steps, you can check if the "SD card unexpectedly removed" error still exists.

Fix 2. Re-format SD Card

Perhaps there is nothing wrong with the SD card, however, it comes up with the "not formatted" error. The "SD card not formatted" error may cause your phone to be unable to read it, sending the message "SD card unexpectedly removed".

In this case, re-formatting SD card can remove the constantly generated error.

Do not directly format the SD card. Use data recovery software to recover data on it first. After making sure the data is safe, format the SD card.

Stop using your SD card immediately once you lost files on it. Continuing using the card would hugely increase the chance of data overwriting, which makes data unrecoverable.

Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC

Insert the SD card to a card reader, and connect the card reader with your SD card to a healthy computer.

Step 2: Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

  • Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card under the External Devices column.
  • Then click Scan to start finding lost data on your SD card now.
Run SD card recovery software.

Step 3: Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can preview and find your lost SD card files from below listed tabs:

  • Deleted Files: List your deleted files there.
  • Drive X: All lost files can be found here.
  • Lost Partition Files: Check first if it's for formatted recovery.
  • Extra Files: Finds files that lost names or paths.

And you can use Filter and Search to quickly find your files.

Find lost SD card files.

Step 4: 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 an external storage.
Restore lost SD card files.

Since your phone cannot connect the SD card properly, you should format the SD card using a Windows computer. You can format SD card via Windows File Explorer, Disk Management, CMD and a free disk format utility. All options are free to use. We use the Windows File Explorer as an example.

Step 1: Connect the SD card with a card reader to your PC.

Step 2: In the Windows File Explorer, right-click the removable disk that represents your card, and select "Format."

Step 3: On the popup window, choose FAT under "File System" and Default Allocation Size under "Allocation Size". For other options, leave alone.

Step 4: Click "Start" to format the disk. Safely eject the SD card and insert back to the phone. No error messages are there again. You'll get a blank card for reuse.

format sd card in windows file explorer

If Windows was unable to complete the format, you can only use the cmd or third-party disk format utility to format the problematic SD card.

Fix 3. Factory Reset Android

The last resort to remove SD card removed unexpected error is to factory reset the Android phone. It's a risky operation, but most times, it solves the problem. 

Backup Android to PC before doing a factory reset, as a factory reset will erase all data on the phone.

Step 1: Go to Settings > Backup & reset > Factory data reset.

factory reset android

Step 2: Tap Erase all data (factory reset) and then Reset phone or Reset tablet. If needed, enter your PIN, pattern, or password.

Step 5: To erase all data from your device's internal storage, tap Erase everything.

Step 6: When your device has finished erasing, pick the option to restart.

Step 7: Set up your device and restore your backed-up data.

If all attempts failed eventually, contact the manufacturer and request a new phone or SD card if it's under warranty.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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