Mac won't read SD card, how to fix it?

By Katrina | Posted to Mac Data Recovery Tips on November 12th, 2018 |

When you are so excited to insert an SD card and want to edit pictures you took during your last vacation, the Autoplay window doesn't pop up as expected to present you with the content of your SD card. Time and again, the SD card is not showing up on Mac desktop or Finder and there are no pop-up windows, no sound notification, nothing at all. Mac won't read SD card, how to fix? If unfortunately, you didn't back up before, how to get lost data back?

Why SD card is not readable on Mac?

Usually, there are many different reasons causing SD card not readable by Mac issue, such as virus attack, sudden power failure, file system corruption, bad sector, Physical damage, etc. These reasons are possible to damage the Mac system, the SD card as well as the SD card reader. As a result, your SD card not showing up on Mac desktop or Finder.

Mac won't read SD card, how to fix?

If you received an error as "The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer" after inserting an SD card to your Mac, you can follow the solutions here to fix this error.

Solution 1: Check the SD card is connected properly

Sometimes, if your SD card is not connected properly, the SD card will be unreadable on Mac. Please replug the SD card to see if Mac can read SD card.

Solution 2: Check the SD card reader

After that, please make sure your SD card reader is in good working condition. If you can, please try another SD card to see if the SD card reader is able to recognize the SD card. If it does, the SD card reader is okay and it's the problem with your SD card. If it doesn't, the SD card reader has some problems. To fix problems on SD card readers, go to the manufacturer's website and download the most recent drivers.

How to fix SD card reader not working on your Mac?

Solution 3: Modify Finder preference

If your SD card reader has no problem, it's possible that you have not set external disks on desktop. Therefore, the SD card is not showing up on Mac.

Step 1: Go to Finder > Preferences > General tab.

Step 2: Tick the "External disks" option to show the SD card on the desktop.

Step 3: Go to Sidebar tab, tick "External disks" under "Devices" to show your SD card in Finder.

Show SD card on desktop

Solution 4: Recover data from corrupted SD card

After leaving out the connection issue and SD card reader problem, you can be sure that your SD card is corrupted. Whatever it has logical or physical problems, you have no access to the data on the card. Have important files on the SD card but didn't make any backup? The first thing is to recover lost data from unreadable SD card.

How to recover data from unreadable SD card on your Mac?

After data recovery, you can follow the solutions below to fix "Mac won't read SD card" issue. If you don't have any important data, please skip to the solutions.

Solution 5: Run Disk Utility to repair the SD card

Disk Utility's First Aid is a handy tool to verify and repair disk errors. Once you have any problem with your disks, you have a try of it.

Step 1: Go to /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility/, then click Continue.

Step 2: In the sidebar, select the SD card you want to repair.

Step 3: Click the First Aid button.

If Disk Utility tells you the disk is about to fail, back up your data and replace the disk. You can't repair the SD card. Otherwise, continue to step 4.

Step 4: Click Run.

Solution 6: Erase the SD card

If you have no luck to repair the SD card with Disk Utility, that indicates the SD card is severely corrupted. But don't be panic, any file system corruption can be solved by reformatting. The operation will erase all data on the card, please back up with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac firstly.

How to format an SD card on your Mac?

Solution 7: Send the SD card to local repair center

If your SD card is not showing in Disk Utility, the SD card might be physically damaged so that your Mac can't recognize the SD card. Under this circumstance, you need to send it to local repair center or replace it with a new one.

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