Fix SD Card Reader Not Working on Windows 10

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Jul 21, 2020 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions


Nowadays SD Cards are one of the most common removable storage devices, mainly Micro SD, which are used as an extension of storage space in many models of cell phones and digital cameras, among others. The practicality of having a large number of Gigabytes of information on a plate of a few millimeters, results in a very practical utility for users and they simply need an SD Card reader to transfer their data to a computer. However, like any device, the SD Card reader may stop working and multiple reasons which origin this situation will be described here.

Part 1: Fixed: SD Card Reader Not Working on Windows 10

Q: I often use my Micro SD Card to transfer my photos to my computer. Some days ago, the SD Card reader did not recognize my Micro SD Card and I can’t buy a new one right now. Could you help me to find a solution?

SD Card readers are devices that connect to a USB port to access information from a computer. By working in this way, they need electricity, so any detail that prevents the power flow from reaching correctly will be enough for there to be problems that prevent the SD card from being read properly.

You may think that the situation of your SD Card reader is serious in the first instance, but in the next part we will review the causes, which can be easy to solve and you only need a few minutes to realize what is preventing your SD Card reader works as indicated.

Part 2: Overview of SD Card Reader Not Working on Windows 10

As mentioned above, an SD Card reader will always run on electricity so all of its components should be checked to see if there is anything preventing the power flow from being distributed as indicated. In the vast majority of cases, your device may not read your SD Card correctly due to a hardware error, either from the reader or from your computer. Next, I will mention some causes of the malfunction and their respective solutions:

Method 1. Check the Hardware issues

1. Check the SD card reader: The first thing you should do is to check if your SD Card reader does not present any problem. Check that the slot where the card is inserted is not dirty; it is common for dust to be stored and the user may not be aware of that due to the small dimensions of the space, so using a lamp is absolutely necessary. If you notice dirt, you can use compressed air to remove it; if you do not have one on hand you can also use a cotton swab and soak it in antiseptic alcohol (isopropyl), this way you can put the swab and clean the dust. Do not use your device until you are sure it has dried, so waiting some minutes is recommended.

2. Check the USB cable: USB cables are the means by which electricity reaches the SD card reader. The constant use of them, as well as the continuous connection and disconnection, causes them to wear out, bend or tear, this may be minimal, but enough so that there is no correct operation. Check all the cable in detail and find if it is stripped, bent or frayed; if that’s the case, you can try to connect another it to another SD card reader (if you have one) and check if it works, or you can buy a new one, generally these types of USB cables are not expensive and are easy to get in any computer store and also in online stores.

3. Check the SD card: first, you should check that the connection pins of your SD card are clean and free of scratches. On the other hand, you must bear in mind that SD cards have a useful life and that for each file that is stored, deleted or transferred, it will generate minimal “wear”. This is because in this type of storage units the information is stored in tiny cells, due to the fact that the data is energy interpreted in binary language. Thanks to flash technology, high read speeds are possible to perform, however, SD cards, like all of flash memory devices, have a limited life cycle, which will be defined by how much stored data can be in the cells of the memory until reaching the limit to retain it. So, the life cycle is shortened if more and more information is stored; although of course this usually takes a long time to happen as SD cards are made to last for quite a few years. If you have recently acquired the one you use, it is very difficult to present problems of this type.

4. Check the USB port: with the exception of some PC cases that have protectors that cover the ports, they generally have contact with the air, an aspect that causes dust particles to constantly enter. When dust accumulates, it can isolate the connection or making intermittent, since the dust is an element that interferes the passage of electrical energy. As with the SD card reader, using compressed air is the most effective and practical option, however, you can also use a cotton swap dipped in alcohol. Remember that you should not turn on your computer until you make sure that the USB ports you have cleaned are completely dry.

Hint: in addition to the above elements you should check if you have your operating system updated as well as the drivers corresponding to your SD Card reader; if they are not updated this can also be a factor that prevents your device from working correctly. If these tasks are not carried out, it can generate incompatibilities that lead to lower performance by your device. Windows Update usually performs updates automatically, however you should check this yourself in the native Windows Update tool in your version of Windows 10.

Recover your information from an SD Card

If you have confirmed that your SD card is not working correctly, you will surely be worried about your information and think that you are at risk of not being able to recover it. Until not so long ago when a removable storage device (such as a removable SD Card) did not work properly, it was a headache for users, so it was not uncommon to have the bad luck of losing stored information. Of course, the most advisable thing is to make a daily and constant backup of your data, but, if for some reason you are not used to it or you have forgotten to do it, you should not worry, since you can use the Recoverit software to recover your information, even from a damaged device.

Recoverit is an application dedicated to recovering information from all kinds of storage devices. It can even retrieve data from damaged SD cards, due to the sophisticated technology it has. It will only be a matter of giving a few simple clicks, so there will be no greater difficulties for you to recover your files. Next, I will show you some simple steps to carry out this process:

Step 1: Select the external device


To recover lost or deleted files from the removable storage media, please select the devices as the target location. And then hit on the “Start” button to move forward. Even though the partition on the device has got lost, you can still use Recoverit to bring the lost data back.

Step 2: Scan the external device


An all-around scan will be launched on the external storage media. Wait a few minutes to finish the scanning. During the process, you can locate the targeted files, as well as pause or stop it.

Step 3: Preview and recover files


Once the scanning ends, you can preview the files from the scanning result. To get the files back, click “Recover” and save them into another safe location.


SD cards are very useful and popular removable storage devices today. Despite being below flash drives in terms of general preferences, its micro SD version is a widely used option in electronic devices such as cameras and cell phones. It should be remembered that they need a reader to transfer information to a PC, however, it is easy to acquire one and very simple to use. If you have had problems with your SD card you can always use Recoverit, since thanks to its sophisticated technology you can recover your information very easily.

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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