SD Card Won't Read or Open on My Computer

Does your SD card fail to read or open on your computer? Here are proven ways on how to fix the 'computer cannot read the SD card' error step-by-step. If you worry about a data loss disaster, try EaseUS Data Recovery software to rescue your files by following these simple steps.

Table of Contents

In the following, you will find comprehensive solutions for "SD card won't read or open" error on Windows PC. If you are having this issue, follow and fix it to rescue your data now:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Recover Data Connect SD card to PC > Run EaseUS file recovery software > Scan and recover data...Full steps
Case 1. Fix RAW SD Fix 1. Run CHKFSK in Command Prompt to fix SD card error;
Fix 2. Format SD card to FAT32...Full steps
Case 2. SD Shows Now Media Open Device Manager > Disk drivers > Right-click SD card and select "Update driver"...Full steps
Case 3. SD Shows Unallocated Open Disk Management > Right-click unallocated SD > "New Simple Volume"...Full steps
Case 4. SD Won't Read 1. Update SD card driver; 2. Change SD card adapter or USB port; 3. Send for repair...Full steps

What to Do When SD Card Won't Open or Open on Computer

Many users are complaining that their SD card always worked fine, but suddenly cannot read or open on their computer and are asking for help online. Here’s a real story of a user from the Microsoft community:

"Today I've been trying to use my Toshiba SD card on my laptop, but the computer won't recognize it. Nothing comes up on my computer or anything. Any idea on how to fix it?"

If you are suffering from the same issue and worrying about the unreadable SD card, you are in the right place. We provide tried-and-true solutions to fix the issue without data loss.

Part 1: Recover Data When the Computer Cannot Read or Open SD Card 

Before you get down to fix the "SD card not opening" issue, you should recover data first to avoid further data loss. How to recover your data? now EaseUS disk data recovery software can help! After data recovery, you can go to Part 2 to learn how to repair a Micro SD card that can't be read. 

When you find your SD card can't be read on your computer, right-click This PC --> choose Manage --> select Disk Management. Check if the memory card is listed there. If yes, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard can help you retrieve your valuable data by following a few simple steps.

Step 1. Download EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard - the dependable SD card recovery software for Windows on your PC. Connect the SD card to your computer with either a card reader or by attaching the device that contains it. Launch the software so you can see the SD card from the disk list presented on the interface. Select the SD card and click Scan.

select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. The scan process should be running. A quick scan is able to quickly find the files that were recently deleted or items emptied from the recycle bin, and the later deep scan is useful for files that are harder to find, which might lose file names. During the course of scanning the SD card, you can start checking the results from the leftside tree-view pane, or simply use the Filter function to show up only the pictures, doucments, videos, emails and so on.

find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Double-click on a file will allow you to preivew its content. At last, select the desired files you wish to recover and click the Recover button to get them all back. When you're asked to choose a location to save the recovered files, do not use the SD card but another drive, to avoid data overwriting.

recover sd card files

You can also watch this video tutorial to see how to perform SD card recovery with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard.

Part 2: Fix SD Card Won't Read or Open on My Computer

After retrieving all your data, you can fix the "SD card can't be read or opened on the computer" issue step by step. 

1 - Not Opening SD Card Becomes RAW

Your SD card can be recognized under Disk Management, but it's inaccessible. That is to say, the device becomes RAW. You can fix it through two ways - use CHKDSK or format the SD card.

① Run CHKDSK to Fix SD Card Not Reading (Fix the File System Error)

If the SD Card is detected but cannot open, run CHKDSK to scan for errors! Note that CHKDSK will permanently remove all saved data so make sure that you recover all files first with reliable file recovery software.

  • Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC via an SD card reader.
  • Step 2: At the start, type cmd and right-click Command Prompt. Click "Run as administrator".
  • Step 3: Type "chkdsk h: /f". Replace h with your SD card drive letter.

use chkdsk to fix the sd card not rad issue

After this, you can try again to see whether you can open it or not. If not, format the SD card.

EaseUS CleanGenius is a user-friendly computer fixing tool that is both safe and lightweight. It's a perfect alternative to CHKDSK command. Use this one-click tool to fix the damaged file system easily.

Step 1.  DOWNLOAD EaseUS CleanGenius on your computer and complete the installation. 

Step 2. Run the software. Click "Optimization", and then choose "File Showing" . 

select the file showing option

Step 3. Select the drive with a corrupted file system. Tick the "Check and fix file system error" option and click "Execute".

fix file system

Step 4. Wait the tool performs the repairing task. After that, click the "View" button to check the drive.

fix file system

② Format the SD Card (Can Also Solve Lost Partition Issue)

SD card can be recognized under Disk Management, but it's inaccessible or the partition is lost. SD card formatting can solve it easily:

SD card formatting will cause data loss. Recover data from formatted SD card if you want to get back important data.
  • Step 1: Connect the SD card to your PC. Right-click on This PC/My Computer, select "Manage".
  • Step 2: Click "Disk Management", locate and right-click the SD card, then choose "Format".
  • Step 3: Select wanted file system for the SD card and click "OK" to confirm.

format the sd card to make it readable

2 - SD Card Shows No Media

If your SD card shows 0 bytes in Disk Management, you'll need to take your device to a local data recovery service center and ask for help.

sd card shows no media

But you can still try to update the drivers to fix it. Most users say it works.

  • Step 1: Connect the SD card to PC. Right-click on "This PC/My Computer" icon, select "Manage" and go to "Device Manager".
  • Step 2: Expand "Disk drivers", find and right-click on the no media sd card, choose "Update driver".
  • Step 3: Select "Search automatically for updated driver software" and wait patiently till the process completes.

update sd card driver

3 - SD Card Showing as Unallocated

If the device is showing as unallocated, the computer certainly cannot open the sd card. For this case, things could be easier. All you have to do is create a new volume for the SD card. The steps below are manual steps. If you prefer to using the software, refer to this page - create a new partition using the software

  • Step 1: Connect the unallocated SD card to PC. Right-click on This PC/My Computer > Manage > Disk Management.
  • Step 2: Locate and right-click on the unallocated space of the SD card, select "New Simple Volume".
  • Step 3: Set partition size, drive letter and file system (NTFS), etc. Click "Finish" to complete the process

create a new volume to repair the sd card

4 - Other Fixes for SD Card Won't Read Issue

  • If the SD card partition doesn't show up in Disk Management but can be found in Device Manager:

① Update the SD card driver

② Change SD card reader, adapter or USB port

  • If both the Device Manager and the Disk Management cannot recognize your SD card:

① Send it to a local device repair center

② Give up this SD card and buy a new one

That's all about how to fix the "SD card won't read or open" issue. 

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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.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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