How to Recover SD Card not Reading or Recognized on Mac?

One of the most frustrating things that can happen when you’re trying to access your SD card files is discovering that your Mac fails to recognize or read the card. This can be especially exasperating if you’re not able to access any of the data on the card. There are a few DIY tricks one can do on your Mac to recognize and read your SD card. One step is to insert the SD card into another computer or device to see if it’s recognized there. If it is, then the problem may be with your Mac and not the SD card itself. Another potential solution is to reformat the SD card using a different file system. If you’re still having difficulty accessing your SD card files, then you may need to use data recovery software to recover the files. Mac recovery software can be helpful to scan the SD card for any recoverable files and then save them to a different location. Although it’s not always possible to recover every single file from an SD card, data recovery software can give you the best chance of recovering as much as possible. For accessing your SD card files, you need to make sure that your Mac recognizes the storage card. Sometimes, Mac fails to acknowledge or read the SD card, and thus, you cannot access the data.  This blog discusses how to recover files on SD cards not recognized on Mac.

Reasons Behind ‘SD Card Not Reading or Recognized On Mac’ Error

Listed are below the possible reasons behind the SD card not reading or recognizing on Mac error:

  • Defective card reader
  • Virus infection
  • SD card corruption
  • Incorrect system settings

Methods to Fix SD Card Not Reading or Recognized On Mac

Follow the procedures mentioned below to fix the SD card not reading or recognized on the Mac issue:

Method 1: Try a different card reader

A damaged SD card reader can be why the SD card is not showing up on Mac. Therefore, you can try accessing your SD card by using another card reader. If available, you can insert it in another Mac card slot.

Method 2: Force Quit the Finder

The SD card may show up on Mac if you force quit or relaunch the Finder. The SD card is shown in the device’s sidebar when the Finder restarts after the force quit. Follow the below-given steps for staff leaving the Finder:

  • Simultaneously press Option + Command + Escape keys. It will display a dialog box with a list of the Force Quit Applications.
  • Scroll down to select Finder and select the Force Quit option.
  • Lastly, ensure if the SD card shows up in Finder or not.

Method 3: Restart your Mac System

All the software and driver-related issues can be resolved by restarting the Mac system. First, disconnect the SD card and then continue your


Method 4: Check if the SD Card is hidden

If your SD card isn’t listed in the Finder, it’s hidden. You can

unhide your SD card on Mac by following the below-given steps:

  • Connect your SD card to Mac and open Finder.
  • Click on Locations > Show.
  • It will display your SD card, and the ‘Show’ option will turn to ‘Hide.

Method 5: Mount SD Card in Disk Utility

If you haven’t mounted the SD card in Disk Utility, it won’t be readable or recognized on Mac. Therefore, open Disk Utility and check if the SD card is mounted. If not, then follow the below-listed steps to climb your SD card:

  • Type Disk Utility in the search box and press the Enter key.
  • Select SD card from the Disk
  •  Utility window.
  • Click on Mount and close the window.

Note: If your SD card is mounted, it will display the Unmount option. In that case, you can close the window and move to the following method.

Recover Data from SD Not Showing Up On Mac

If the SD card that stores all your crucial photos and videos is

not showing on Mac, implement the above methods to make it detectable. If the SD card files are still not visible; consider using a data recovery software, such as Stellar Data Recovery for Mac. It helps you recover photos, videos, and audio files from SD cards.


To access your SD card files on Mac, it must be detected and shown in Finder and Disk Utility. If not, try following the methods mentioned in this blog to fix the ‘SD Card not Reading or Recognized on Mac’ issue. If none of these works, you can trust Stellar Data Recovery for Mac to recover your lost data, files, photos, and videos. It allows you to recover lost or deleted data from corrupt SD cards and is compatible with the latest macOS. Several factors can result in an SD card not working correctly on Mac. It could be due to a technical glitch or physical damage. In some cases, the issue could also be with the SD card reader or the port. Whatever might be the reason, you can follow the methods mentioned in this blog to troubleshoot and fix the issue. The best part is that it’s compatible with the latest macOS and offers a simple, user-friendly interface.

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