If you're experiencing the pain of dealing with a corrupted SD card, you should know you're not alone. They are prone to all sorts of damage - that's simply how things are.

Thankfully, there are ways to repair your SD card on Mac and get your data back. This guide will help you learn to recognize the signs of a corrupted SD card and offer multiple solutions to recover corrupted SD card data on your Mac computer.

In this article
    1. Using a Memory Card Recovery Software for Mac
    2. Contact a Data Recovery Service for a Severely Damaged SD Card
    1. Reinsert Your Card Into Mac
    2. Repair Your SD Card on Mac Using Through Formatting
    3. Repair Your Corrupted SD Card With First Aid
    4. Try to Reset the NVRAM and SMC
    5. Use the Terminal App

What Are the Signs of a Corrupted SD Card on a Mac

A corrupted SD card is a common problem that all computer users face more than once. Since these cards have a lifespan, it's no surprise they stop working or become damaged or corrupted.

You can use them to store music files, videos, images, projects, documents 鈥?you name it. However, storing many different types of data makes the card prone to corruption.

With that in mind, here are some common signs of SD card corruption to keep in mind:

Signs Description
💻 Black device screen If your device shows a black screen when you insert your card, it might be corrupted.
❗ Random error messages If you keep seeing messages such as Access is denied when you try to reach files on your SD card, it is probably corrupted or on the verge of failure.
📝 Read/write failure The inability to access data on an SD card or save new files to your card is a clear sign of a corrupted SD card.
🗑 Missing files A corrupted SD card will either show incorrect or unknown files. On the other hand, your files might be missing if your card is corrupted. If your files are in the wrong order and some are missing, you're dealing with a corrupted SD card.
🚫 SD not recognized If your computer can't detect your SD card, it's damaged or corrupted.

How To Recover Corrupted SD Card Data on Mac

Here you have several ways to recover corrupted SD card data on your Mac computer.

Way 1. Using a Memory Card Recovery Software for Mac

Memory card recovery software provides the easiest, quickest, and most secure way to recover lost data from memory cards like an SD card.

In addition to recovering corrupted SD card data, data recovery tools can help you retrieve your files from many different causes, such as system crashes, computer corruption, formatting, accidental deletion without backup, emptied Trash Bins, etc.

Recoverit data recovery for Mac is an excellent data recovery tool you can use in this situation. It utilizes the latest deep recovery algorithm and engine frame to retrieve audio files, videos, photos, and other 1000+ types of information from corrupted or damaged SD cards.

corrupted sd card recovery on mac
Free Download
Free Download

Recoverit supports nearly all memory card types in existence:

  • SD card
  • SDHC card
  • microSD and miniSD card
  • MMC card
  • xD Picture card
  • CF card

Whether your files got lost due to a corrupted SD card or light damage has rendered your files inaccessible, Recoverit will get your data back in a few easy steps. Here's how to recover lost files from a corrupted SD card on Mac with Recoverit.

  1. Download and install Wondershare Recoverit on your Mac and launch the application.
  2. Select your corrupted SD card device in the Hard Drive and Locations section. You should find your SD card in the External Drives section. Click Start to proceed to the next step.
launch recoverit sd card recovery software
  1. Recoverit will scan your corrupted SD card for hidden, deleted, or lost files. Wait for the software to complete the scanning process.
scan sd card for files on mac
  1. Once Recoverit completes the scan, the tool will display all scanned data in folders. Preview recoverable files to select the ones you want to recover, and click Recover to get your data back.
preview and recover corrupted sd card data on mac
Free Download
Free Download

Way 2. Contact a Data Recovery Service for a Severely Damaged SD Card

If your SD card is severely damaged beyond recovery with a SD card recovery software for Mac, consider a SD card recovery service near you to weigh your recovery options.

4 Ways You Can Repair a Corrupted SD Card on Mac

In addition to using professional data recovery services, here are a few solutions to help you repair a corrupted SD card on Mac.

Way 1. Reinsert Your Card Into Mac

In the best-case scenario, you can repair a corrupted SD card by reinserting it into your Mac computer. You can connect the card to another device if you have another computer.

Sometimes, a device fails to detect or read an SD card due to poor connection, incompatibility issues, or driver-related glitches. If that's the case with you, removing and reinserting your card into the computer should do the trick.

Way 2. Repair Your SD Card on Mac Using Through Formatting

If the data on your card appears to be corrupted, you can use Disk Utility to repair it. It is the native Mac tool for repairing, formatting, and reformatting SD cards. Though formatting essentially means deleting all data on the card, it can help to:

  • Repair corrupted SD cards;
  • Fix and remove common SD card errors;
  • Delete unwanted, corrupted, or outdated data;
  • Make your SD card compatible with various file system types.

And you don't need to worry about losing data after the formatting, because Wondershare Recoverit can help you recover data from formatted SD card on Mac.

Free Download
Free Download

Here's how to repair (format) your corrupted SD card on Mac using the Disk Utility tool:

  1. Connect your SD Card to your Mac;
  2. Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility;
  3. Locate your SD card in the sidebar (it'll appear under Untitled or No Name);
  4. Select the filesystem format (FAT32 or exFAT for 64GB and above) and click Erase.
repair corrupted sd card mac disk utility

If this doesn't give the desired results, try reformatting the SD card:

  1. Go to the dock on your Mac and open Finder;
  2. Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility;
  3. Select the corrupted SD card and click Erase;
  4. Fill out the necessary information (card name, file format, and scheme) and click Erase again.
recover corrupted sd card on mac reformat

Way 3. Repair Your Corrupted SD Card With First Aid

If formatting and reformatting your SD card doesn't yield any results, you should try repairing your card via Disk Utility's First Aid. This feature helps Mac users fix any issues on connected devices, including SD cards.

Connect your SD card to your Mac and follow these steps to repair a corrupt card using First Aid:

  1. Go to the Finder menu and select Go;
  2. Select Applications>Utilities and double-click on Disk Utility;
  3. Choose your SD card from the detected external devices;
  4. Select First Aid and click Run to start the SD card repair.
repair sd card on mac first aid

First Aid will scan the card and fix any issues.

Way 4. Try to Reset the NVRAM and SMC

recover corrupted sd card on mac smc reset

Zapping the NVRAM and resetting the SMC can solve many inscrutable Mac problems, corrupted SD cards included. NVRAM is the modern-day PRAM replacement for Mac devices.

Instead of storing all types of information, NVRAM focuses on the essentials, such as your time zone, screen resolution, speaker volume, startup disk, etc.

Here's a complete guide about how to reset NVRAM and SMC on Mac.

Way 5. Use the Terminal App

If you're an advanced Mac user, you can use the Terminal app to repair your damaged or corrupted memory card with a few simple steps.

Here's how:

  1. Run the Mac terminal;
  2. Navigate to Applications > Utillities;
  3. Enter this command: diskutil verify volume /Volumes/[SD card drive letter]/;
  4. If you discover any issues, run the repair mode using the following command: diskutil repairvolume /Volumes/[SD card drive letter] /;
  5. When the app completes the remediation process, click Repair Disk.
repair corrupted sd card on mac terminal app

Tips to Avoid SD Card Corruption on Mac

Memory cards have become an integral part of daily life. Love them or hate them, but you'll end up using one or more of them sooner or later.

Since memory cards come with games, phones, cameras, computers, laptops, and other electronic devices, you should do everything possible to extend their life and prevent card corruption, damage, etc.

Here are a few good tips to prevent losing data from your SD card:

  • Always take the necessary steps before inserting or removing the SD card;
  • If your device requires a shutdown before operating an SD card, turn off your device;
  • Store your SD card properly in an original casing to keep it away from water, dust, hot, and cold;
  • Use one SD card per computer or electronic device;
  • Don't share your SD cards with others;
  • Avoid downloading internet files directly to your SD card;
  • If you need to move files to your SD card, do so by copying them;
  • Charge your SD card device regularly;
  • Avoid editing or changing SD card content on your computer;
  • Make sure you leave some free space on your SD card at all times;
  • Format or scan the SD card using the correct procedures.


This guide is a detailed tutorial on how to fix a corrupted SD card on Mac. No matter how careful you are with your SD cards, they'll become corrupted at some point in time.

Whether due to expiry, physical damage, virus infection, file corruption, or other reasons, SD cards can stop working or become corrupted.

Thankfully, you can do many things to prolong your memory card's life for as long as possible to keep your data safe from corruption, damage, and data loss.

FAQ About Corrupted SD Card on Mac

  • Can I uncorrupt an SD card on my Mac?
    If you suspect that your SD card might be corrupted or damaged, you can recover your data from the card on a Mac in several different ways:
    Use data recovery software;
    Contact a data recovery service;
    Reinsert your card;
    Recover your data using the First Aid utility;
    Format your SD card;
    Use the Terminal app to repair your card.
  • Is it possible to fix a corrupted SD card?
    The best way to make a corrupted SD card work again is using a memory card file recovery software solution like Wondershare Recoverit. Such solutions use the latest recovery engines and algorithms to piece corrupted data back together and present you with recoverable files.
  • Should I format a corrupted SD card?
    If there's no other way to fix your SD card, you should try formatting it using the Mac-native Disk Utility tool. Formatting can help repair common card issues and render your card files usable again.
Theo Lucia
Theo Lucia May 14, 24
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