Your PC may not detect the memory card if it has corrupted files, malware or random physical damage and device issues. You may also encounter this problem if the microSD card is not properly mounted on your smartphone. Try restarting your smartphone and see if that helps.
Note: This article was written on the premise that: (i) your Android smartphone detects the microSD card, but your PC does not, and (ii) your smartphone and your PC do not recognize the microSD card.
1. Reinsert the SD card
If the microSD card does not appear on your Android smartphone and PC, try using it on another smartphone and computer. But if your phone recognizes the card and your PC doesn’t recognize it, remove the microSD card from your smartphone, reinsert it, and try again. You can disconnect the microSD card from your smartphone in two ways:
- Unmount the microSD card via the Android Settings menu.
- Physically remove the microSD card from your phone.
How to unmount SD on Android
Step 1: Launch the Settings menu and select Storage.
2nd step: Tap the eject icon to the right of the microSD card. Wait until you receive a “SD card is safely ejected” notification at the bottom of the screen.
Step 3: Wait a few seconds and reassemble the ejected card. To do so, just tap the microSD card and select Mount when prompted.
When the microSD card has been successfully remounted, reconnect your phone to the PC and check if it is now readable. Perform the physical removal of the microSD if the problem persists.
Before reinserting the microSD card into your phone, make sure the contact points are clean and free of dirt, grime, and other foreign matter. Wipe the contact pins with a clean microfiber cloth (or Q Tips) and isopropyl alcohol – not too much, so as not to corrode the metal contact.
Finally, reinsert the microSD card into your smartphone to check if it is now readable by your PC.
2. Check for malware on your phone and PC
You may also encounter this problem if the PC or microSD card (or both) contains a virus or malware. If your smartphone’s microSD card is properly mounted but remains undetected by your PC, you should scan your PC and microSD card for malware.
There are trusted third-party tools like Malwarebytes that can help remove malware from your PC and Android smartphone. Download Malwarebytes on your PC and see our in-depth tutorial on using Malwarebytes to remove malware from a PC.
If the tool does not detect any malware that is preventing microSD cards from being detected on your PC, download Malwarebytes on your Android device and run a scan.
Note: Make sure the relevant microSD card is mounted on your phone before performing the scan.
Malwarebytes is available for free on both platforms (Windows and Android), but the premium / paid plans unlock advanced features like automatic scheduled scans, ransomware protection, and more. To scan your PC and microSD card for malware, the free version should do the trick.
3. Format the SD card
If the anti-malware tool does not find any malicious software or files on your smartphone and PC, try to format the microSD card. This will remove all content on the microSD card, including malicious files and viruses that prevent it (read: your microSD card) from showing on your PC.
Note: If you have important files on the microSD card, be sure to back them up – preferably on another computer – before formatting it.
Follow the steps below to format a microSD card on your Android smartphone.
Step 1: Go to Settings and select Storage.
2nd step: Click on the SD card.
This will reveal the contents of the storage drive.
Step 3: Next, click on the three-dot menu button in the upper right corner and select Storage Settings from the menu.
Step 4: Click Format and select “Format SD Card” from the confirmation prompt to continue.
Wait for the contents of the storage drive to be erased and reconnect your phone to the computer via USB.
Now you see me
If your smartphone’s microSD card is still unreadable after applying the solutions recommended above, try connecting it to a microSD adapter and inserting it directly into the same computer. If your PC still does not detect the microSD card, the microSD card may be damaged or tampered with. You can also try using another USB port on your computer or another USB cable. If another computer detects both your phone and your microSD card, there is probably a problem with your PC’s USB driver. Check out our full guide on updating Windows 10 drivers to upgrade your computer’s USB driver and try again.
The “Low internal storage” message is pretty disappointing, right? Well, read the article linked below to discover a quick tip to increase internal storage on Android smartphones.
Last updated on Dec 7, 2020
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