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Fix Pictures Won't Load from SD Card Error in All Possible Ways

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Ciki Liu

Written by

Ciki Liu
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee


Summary: If you encounter the pictures won't load from SD card issue, this post offers working solutions for every scenario plus how to use iBoysoft Data Recovery to rescue your precious images.  

pictures wont load from SD card

SD cards are often used in cameras, Android phones, and PCs to expand the storage capacity and store mainly images, videos, documents, etc. Unfortunately, sometimes when you try to access the photos on the memory card, the pictures won't load from SD card.

Regardless of how you encounter the pictures won't load from SD card error, this post will walk you through possible reasons behind it and show you every working solution to troubleshoot pictures won't load from SD card.

Moreover, in case your pictures are lost, this post covers efficient SD card recovery software to help you recover photos from SD card with ease. Now let's start digging culprits of your faulty SD card.

Pictures won't load from SD card, why

There are different reasons that contribute to your photos not loading from the SD card, but generally speaking, here are the common causes.

  • Unreliable and improper connection. Before getting into anything deeper, many users fail to properly connect their SD cards to the device in the first place.  
  • Incompatible picture format. Not all image formats work on your computer. It's possible one format works on your camera but is not able to show up on your PC.
  • Logical errors such as a corrupted file system. A corrupted file system can lead to many problems, for example, your SD card is not showing up and what will be addressed here, the SD card is not loading pictures.
  • Virus or malware affection. Have you plugged your SD card in and out from multiple devices? Chances are that one device may contain the virus and affect your memory card.
  • The SD card is physically damaged. Considering the vulnerability of the SD card, users may easily bend, break, or drop the SD card without realizing it, and that can physically hurt it.
  • Outdated or incompatible SD card driver. If the driver fails to mount your SD card, consequently, no pictures will show up.

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Working solutions to fix pictures won't load from SD card

Here, you will get effective solutions to troubleshoot the pictures won't load from SD card issue under six scenarios, depending on which scenario you are in.

Scenario 1: The SD card is visibly damaged.

Take a close look at the SD card, is it worn out? Can you even see the module inside? If the SD card is visibly damaged, it's best to take the memory card to a local disk repair center and ask for a specialist for help. Or, you can contact the manufacturers to see if they can offer disk repair services.

Scenario 2: The SD card is having some issues connecting to your device.

It can be a faulty SD card slot, USB port, or SD card reader that's causing an unsuccessful connection between your SD card and the device. To verify and get rid of an invalid connection, you can try the following ways:

  • Switch to another connecting device, say, a new computer, Android phone, or camera.
  • Connect the memory card via an SD card reader instead of using the original slot.
  • Try different USB ports on the computer to exclude the faulty one, if you are using an SD card reader or adapter.
  • Change a new SD card reader if possible.

Scenario 3: There're some logical errors on your SD card.

If by all means pictures still won't load from your SD card after checking the SD card status and fixing the connection issue, chances are your SD card is encountering logical errors.

Fix 1: Assign a drive letter to your SD card.  

Possibly, your SD card letter is missing and that's why it won't load pictures since it's can't be recognized in Windows Disk Management. You can easily assign a new drive letter in the following steps:

Step 1. Press Windows + E keys to bring out File Explorer.

Step 2. Right-click on This PC > Manage > Storage > Disk Management.

Step 3. Locate your SD card from all disks detected. Right-click on the memory card and click the option, Change Drive Letter and Path.

assign drive letter

Step 4. In the pop-up dialog, select Change > Add to assign an SD card letter.

Step 5. Choose Assign the following drive letter and select a drive letter for your SD card. Click OK > Yes to confirm the change.

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Fix 2: Repair the corrupted file system by running CHKDSK command.

By using the CHKDSK tool, the partitions on your SD card are examined for logical and physical errors. It scans and marks any problematic sectors. Check the guide below to see how to roll CHKDSK command on your Windows PC.

If you are a Mac user, macOS also includes one disk repair tool named Disk Utility. See how you can repair corrupted SD card by following the instructions in the article below.

Fix 3: Format the SD card.

If nothing helps after you check and repair the SD card, formatting the memory card can be your last try. However, always remember by formatting, all your data will be erased. Therefore, you should either recover data from SD card that won't load pictures or have a full copy of your images before formatting the SD card.

To fulfill SD card recovery, iBoysoft Data Recovery can be your to-go choice. This free SD card recovery software is able to recover files from corrupted SD card with ease. Additionally, you can opt for formatted SD card recovery as well if you don't feel like recovering data first. Here's how you can rescue all pictures from the SD card with it.

Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows on your computer. Next, insert your SD card with an SD card reader and launch the program.

Step 2: Choose Data Recovery from the list of three main recovery modules. Click Next after selecting the problematic SD card that requires recovery from the listed partitions.

iBoysoft Data Recovery main interface

Step 3: After the scan process is finished, you can browse the files that iBoysoft has discovered by file type and preview them by right-clicking on the chosen files.

preview found files

Step 4: Find the pictures on the SD card that you want to recover, then click Recover. Since saving recovered images to the original SD card will lead to overwriting, choose a new storage location to save your contents.

recover files

For Mac users, download iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac below and recover files from corrupted SD card on Mac.

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Now you can proceed with formatting the SD card on your PC by following the guide below.

Step 1: Launch File Explorer and select Format by performing a right-click on your SD card.

Step 2: In the new window, select the file system of your memory card (either NTFSFAT32, or exFAT).

format SD card

Step 3: To begin the formatting process, click the Start button. Simple as that! You just need to wait right now.

Scenario 4: The SD card driver does not work well with your SD card.

It's possible the SD card driver is corrupt, incompatible, or outdated for your SD card. to solve this issue, you should uninstall and then reinstall the latest driver to see if it fixes the SD card won't load pictures issue.

Step 1: Click on Disk Drives in Device Manager.

Step 2: After selecting your memory card, right-click on it and choose Update driver from the context menu.

Step 3: When asked how you want to search for drivers, click Search automatically for drivers to proceed.

update driver

Step 4: Follow the onscreen guides to finish updating the driver. Once done, you should restart your computer and try accessing your SD card again.

Scenario 5: The picture format is not supported by your device.

Generally speaking, PNG, JPG, JPEG, GIF, AVI, and other file types are supported by Windows OS and Android mobile. However, if you have a unique file type that can't be presented by the connecting device, you may have to try loading the images on another platform.

Scenario 6: The SD card is infected by virus.

A malware-infected SD card might hide your pictures, luckily, you can run ATTRIB command to remove file attribute from all files and unhide your pictures.

Step 1: In the Windows Search Box, type cmd to launch the command prompt.

Step 2: Type the following prompts in the Command Prompt, then hit Enter.

attrib -h -r -s /s /d x:*.*

Once Windows has finished cleaning the virus-infected SD card, close the Command Prompt window.

Step 3: Restart your computer to see if you can access your memory card now.


This post elaborates on the pictures won't load from SD card issue with possible causes and effective solutions. Hopefully, you can find one perfect solution that fits your situation. Leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions!