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SD card reader not working

Does your SD card reader fail to work when you insert an SD card to it? Why does this happen? How to fix this issue? In this post, MiniTool shows you 4 solutions to SD card reader not working.

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SD Card Reader Not Working Windows 10

Windows 10 is quite an excellent Windows operating system and many Windows users have chosen to upgrade their system to Windows 10. However, lots of users reported their SD card reader not working on Windows 10.

Hey, my laptop came with Windows 8, but I bought an SSD and downloaded Windows 10 for it. It has a built-in SD card reader but my SD card won’t show up.tom’sHARDWARE forum

“Why is my SD card reader not working” may be the most concerned question for these new Windows 10 users. The culprits behind this issue are various, but the most possible factors are a poor connection between SD card and SD card reader, missing SD card driver, and SD card infected with virus.

For most computer issues, you can try restarting your computer to see if the issue has been fixed successfully. So, when running into SD card reader not working on Windows 10, you can try restarting your computer first.

Before restarting your computer, disconnect the external card reader if you are using it to read your SD card and then reconnect it after restarting. See if your SD card reader can work well. If not, you can try the following solutions.

Fix 1: Check the Hardware Issues

When SD card reader stopped working on Windows 10, you should check the following hardware, including the SD card, SD card reader, the USB cable, etc.

Check the SD card reader

You should make sure that the used SD card reader is compatible with your current operating system (Windows 10). Older readers might be unable to work with the newer operating system.

Apart from the incompatibility between the older reader and the current operating system, the incompatibility between memory card format and the older reader can also lead to SD card reader not working.

Some older memory card reader is unable to recognize the SDHC and SDXC memory card format. Is your SD card reader too old? If yes, you may need to buy a new one and make sure it is compatible with the SDHC or SDXC format or your current operating system (Windows 10).

Check the USB cable

Excluding the above factors, you should check whether the USB cable leads to SD card reader not working if you are using the external SD card reader. To do that, you just need to try to replace the current USB cable with a different one.

Check the SD card

Check whether the gold finger (transmitting signals) on the SD card turns black. If yes, it means that the gold finger has been oxidized and you need to use an eraser to erase the oxide layer.

gold finger on the SD card

Then, check if the SD card gets corrupted. If you unplugged SD card while the card was being read, leading to a loss of electrical power to the card, the card may be corrupted. To repair the corrupted, you can read the post Fix Corrupted SD Card with Professional SD Card Repair Tools.

Check the USB port

SD card not working can also be ascribable to the USB port if you are using the external SD card reader. As we know, the external SD card reader needs power through the USB connection when it connects to your computer. However, when the USB port on your computer doesn’t carry enough electrical current to power the reader, the latter will not work.

Therefore, try a different USB port on your computer to see if the SD card reader not working issue could be fixed.

After excluding all the above hardware issues, you can try the following fixes if your SD card reader still does not work.

Fix 2: Run Windows Hardware Devices Troubleshooter

Maybe some potential device issues lead to SD card reader not working on Windows 10. If that is in case, please run the built-in Windows tool – Hardware and Devices troubleshooter. This tool will quickly figure out the device issues.

How to run this tool? Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Insert the SD card into the card reader. Connect the reader to the Windows 10 computer if it is an external SD card reader.

Step 2: Hit the Windows icon and then click the Settings icon from the menu.

Step 3: On the Settings window, click Update & Security.

Step 4: Select Troubleshoot from the left pane of the new window and then find and click Hardware and Devices from the right pane and click the Run the troubleshooter button.

click the Run the troubleshooter button

When the tool finishes its work, please see if SD card reader not working has been solved.

Fix 3: Change Drive Letter to SD Card

SD card reader not working can be ascribed to the driver letter confit. For example, the SD card has a drive letter that is D, while the CD/DVD on the computer also uses the same letter.

If the drive letter conflict is the reason for this issue, you can try changing a drive letter to the SD card.

To finish this fix, you can try the Windows built-in tools (Disk Management and Diskaprt) and a third-party program (MiniTool Partition Wizard).

Here I would like to show you how to change drive letter to SD card with MiniTool Partition Wizard. Apart from this function, this program can also help you restore partition on SD card, format 256GB micro SD card to FAT32, and erase an SD card with ease.

If you want to use Disk Management or Diskpart to complete this changing, you can click here.

Free Download

Step 1: Download the free program by clicking the above downloadable button and then install it and launch it to get its main interface.

Step 2: The SD card will be displayed on Disk Map. Highlight the SD card and then select the Change Drive Letter feature from the left pane. Or right-click the card and select Change Letter.

click Change Drive Letter

Step 3: Choose a drive letter that has not been used by other drives from the list. Then, click OK to confirm.

select a drive letter

Step 4: Click the Apply button to execute the changes. It will just take a few seconds.

click the Apply button

After changing the drive letter to the SD card, check whether the SD card reader still fails to work.

Fix 4: Update SD Card Reader Driver

The fourth reason for “SD card reader stopped working on Windows 10” is that the device driver is outdated, missing or incompatible.

To check whether the device driver is the culprit behind this issue, you can open Device Manager by typing Device Manager in the Cortana’s search bar and selecting the best-matched result.

On the Device Manager window, expand the two places: Disk Drives or Universal Serial Bus controls to see if there is a yellow triangle mark.

check whether there is a yellow triangle mark

If you see a yellow triangle on SD card, it means that your SD card driver goes wrong and you need to replace it with a good one. If not, it means your SD card driver is normal and you can try the following fix to get rid of SD card reader not working.

To update the problematic device driver, you can right-click the target device driver and then select Uninstall device and the Uninstall button. After that, right-click Disk drives and then click Scan for hardware changes to refresh the device driver.

click Scan for hardware changes

Once the device driver has been updated, you can check whether your computer can detect the SD card reader.

Fix 5: Clean up Virus or Malware on SD Card

If you have tried all the above fixes and you still cannot see your SD card on your computer when you put it into the SD card reader, it is possible that your SD card has been hidden or encrypted on your computer by virus or malware.

Why has your SD card been attacked by virus or malware? The possible reasons include:

  • You have connected your SD card to a virus-infected system.
  • You have transferred virus-infected files to the memory card.
  • You have explored malicious website while using the SD card.

When your SD card gets attacked by virus or malware, you may run into the following situations (including SD card reader not working).

  • Files saved in SD card turn into the hidden state.
  • The SD card performance becomes sluggish.
  • Files miss from the SD card.
  • You cannot copy files on the SD card (click here to know more reasons for copy and paste not working).
  • You will see error code when accessing the SD card.
Tip: Virus attack is an annoying problem that might happen anywhere and anytime. To keep your data on SD card safe, you need to back up your SD card and scan for virus regularly.

To clean up the virus or malware on your SD card, you need to utilize Command Prompt.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt by pressing Windows + R and typing cmd on the Run window.

Step 2: On the Command Prompt window, type attrib -h -r -s /s /d #:\*.* (# means the drive letter of the SD card) and then hit the Enter key to run this command.

After executing this command, your SD card should appear on your computer.

The mentioned fixes in this post have helped me get rid of ‘SD card reader not working’. If you are also bothered by this issue, you can try these fixes.Click to tweet

We Want Your Voice

This article comes to an end. Hope all the mentioned fixes can help you solve the issue ‘SD card reader not working’. If you have some doubts when carrying out the above fixes, please do not hesitate to let us know by sending an email to via [email protected] and we will replay to you as soon as possible.

If you have other feasible solutions to the SD card reader not working, please leave them in the following comment zone to help other users who run into the same issue.

SD Card Reader Not Working FAQ

????️ Why is my card reader not working?

The possible reasons for card reader not working are:

  1. The reader is incompatible with your operating system or memory card.
  2. The drive letter conflicts with other drives.
  3. The driver of card reader is outdated or missing.
  4. Your card gets virus attack.
????️ Why is my SD card not showing up on my computer?
  1. The connection between the SD card and your computer is poor due to the damaged USB port, USB cable, and card reader.
  2. Your Sd card has been write-protected.
  3. The drive letter of your SD card is missing.
  4. The driver of SD card is corrupted.
  5. The partition on SD card is missing.
  6. Your SD card is corrupted.
????️ How can I repair my SD card without formatting?
  1. Check the SD card health by using the CHKDSK command or MiniTool Partition Wizard.
  2. Reassign a drive letter to the SD card.
  3. Update the SD card driver.
  4. Remove the write protection of the SD card.
????️ How can I recover data from corrupted SD card?
To recover the data from the corrupted SD card with ease, you can utilize MiniTool Partition Wizard. The detailed steps are list in the post Hard Drive Recovery - Recover Lost Data and Restore Lost Partitions.
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