If you're constantly on the go, you probably use SD cards on your Android phone every day. SD card can store and move any type of data you can imagine because they add extra storage to your Android phone. Unfortunately, an SD card can be as problematic as it is useful if it gets corrupted.

If your SD card gets corrupted, your Android phone may report an SD card error. You'll probably see "SD card not recognized" and "memory card not detected" messages. Therefore, it's essential to know how to fix a corrupt SD card on Android, either with or without a computer, to ensure your data remains accessible and secure.

In this article
    1. Reinstall SD Card Drivers
    2. Use CHKDSK to Repair Your Android SD Card
    3. Change the Android SD Card to FAT32
    1. Try SD Card on Other Android
    2. Clean the SD Card
    3. Check Physical Damage
    4. Connect via the USB Port
    5. Repair SD Card on Android by Updating Your OS
    6. Unlock the Android SD Card
    7. Format the Card
    8. Repair Your Android OS
    1. Safely eject the SD card
    2. Properly power off your device
    3. Use high-quality SD cards
    4. Format the SD card correctly
    5. Keep your device's software updated
    6. Use antivirus software
    7. Avoid overloading the SD card
    8. Back up your data regularly

Why Does My SD Card Get Corrupted on Android?

Your SD card can get corrupted on Android for various reasons.

Causes Description
📵 Improper Handling An SD card could become corrupted if you don't handle it properly. Improper removal of an SD card from your Android phone without safely ejecting the card can corrupt your SD card.
🕷 Virus Attack Android mobile devices are prone to cyber threats. A virus infection can also cause SD card corruption. If a virus or malware infects your SD card on Android, this infection could result in SD card corruption.
❌ Incompatibility You may also face SD card errors if your SD card isn't compatible with your Android device. All types of SD cards for Android are prone to corruption.
✍ Data Writing/Reading Errors You may see a corruption error message when you try to remove a card from your Android device during a file transfer. On the other hand, you can also see the same message if you try to use the same SD card on multiple Android devices. SD card corruption is typically associated with data writing and reading errors.

If your SD card becomes corrupted on Android, you'll notice the following symptoms:

  • Slow file access speed,
  • SD card appears empty;
  • Your Android device can't recognize SD card;
  • Frequent requests to reinsert the card.

Since they are highly prone to file corruption, data loss, accidental deletion, formatting, and physical damage, SD cards could cause you to lose your Android data. Here's how to fix a corrupted SD card on Android and retrieve your data.

How To Recover Data From a Corrupted Android SD Card

Before you start repairing the SD card on Android, you should recover your data to ensure you don't lose any files in the process. Wondershare Recoverit is one of the best, most versatile SD card recovery software for Android that allow you to recover lost files from any memory card in a few simple steps.

Recoverit supports all types of SD cards you can think of, including:

  • MiniSD (miniSD);
  • MicroSD (microSDUC, microSDXC, microSDHC);
  • WiFi SD cards;
  • SDHC;
  • SDXC.

Whether you've lost your data due to SD card corruption, unintentional formatting, accidental deletion, physical damage, interrupted file transfer, improper SD card removal, or virus or malware infection, Recoverit can help you fix your SD card on Android and recover your files.

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Here's how to get your data back from corrupted Android SD card in a few easy steps.

Step1Choose the Android SD Card

Connect your Android device to the computer and make sure the Android SD card can be detected by the computer. Install and run Wondershare Recoverit. Then, click the Hard Drives and Locations tab and choose the Android device you just connected to the computer.

choose the corrupted android sd card
Step2Scan your SD card for data

Select your SD card and click Start to prompt Recoverit to scan it for lost data. Recoverit needs only a few minutes to scan the card and find any retrievable files.

scan lost data sd card of android
Step3Preview and recover your SD card files

Preview retrievable files to check all recovered data. If your files are there and ready for recovery, hit Recover to get them back. Choose where you want to save your recovered files (do not save to the same SD card).

recover files from sd card corrupted android phone
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How To Fix a Corrupted SD Card on Android With a Computer

Here are the most effective methods to fix your SD card corrupted on Android with a computer.

Way 1. Reinstall SD Card Drivers

If your PC can't recognize your Android SD card upon insertion or connection and you can't find it in Windows Explorer or Disk Management, you should reinstall SD card drivers. Here are the steps to follow.

  • Step 1: Connect your Android device to your PC using a USB cable, or use a card reader to connect the SD card to your PC. Press Windows and X keys and select Device Manager from the list.
  • Step 2: Click on the Disk Drivers tab and find your Android device. Right-click on the device and select Uninstall.
sd card corrupted android fix with computer
  • Step 3: Confirm your action by clicking OK. Remove the Android SD card from your computer. Restart your PC and connect the Android SD card to your computer again to reinstall the latest drivers automatically. Your card should now be readable.

Way 2. Use CHKDSK to Repair Your Android SD Card

Another way to fix a corrupted Android SD card on a computer is to use CHKDSK cmd to identify SD card file corruption problems and repair bad sectors on your memory card. This method lets you fix your Android SD card and recover files without formatting the card or losing data.

Here's how:

  • Step 1: Connect your Android phone to the computer via USB cable or connect the SD card to the computer via a card reader. Navigate to the Search menu and type cmd to launch Command Prompt. Press Enter to access the cmd.exe window.
run command prompt on computer
  • Step 2: Type the following command: , and hit Enter. Allow your PC a few minutes to check and repair the corrupted SD card file system of your Android phone.
chkdsk sd card android cmd
  • Step 3: You should see that Windows has made corrections to the file system message once Windows fixes the problem. If you see it, your SD card files are accessible again.

Way 3. Change the Android SD Card to FAT32

You can also fix a corrupted Android SD card by changing the file system to FAT32. However, this step will require you to format (delete all files) your SD card to fix data corruption on it. So, make sure to back up your important data first. Here are the steps.

  • Step 1: Connect your Android phone to the computer via USB cable or connect the SD card directly to the computer via a card reader. Press Windows and X keys and select Disk Management.
sd card showing corrupted in android
  • Step 2: Find your SD card in the Volume section, right-click it, and select Format.
corrupted sd card recovery app for android
  • Step 3: Change the name of your Android SD card by typing it in the Volume label section. In the File system section, change the setting to FAT32. Tick the Perform a quick format box and click OK.
sd card is corrupted unable to read android

How To Fix Corrupted SD Card on Android Without a Computer

Way 1. Try SD Card on Other Android

Disconnect the SD card and insert it into another Android phone, camera, laptop, or any other device to check whether the SD card works. If it works well on different devices, then the SD card is incompatible with the Android you’re using now.

Way 2. Clean the SD Card

If there is too much dust or dirt covering the SD card, it can cause a corrupted SD card as well. To fix this, disconnect the SD card from your Android device and wipe away the dust with a cloth. An air gun can help you achieve this effectively. After that, insert the SD card back to the Android device to check if it works now.

Way 3. Check Physical Damage

Remove the SD card from your Android device to inspect and check for any physical damage, such as scratches.

Way 4. Connect via the USB port

If the SD card doesn’t work when you put it in the SD card slot, you can try to connect it to the Android phone via the USB port to repair corrupted SD card.

Way 5. Repair SD Card on Android by Updating Your OS

A system update can fix a corrupted SD card and help you access your data on Android. Here's how to update your Android OS:

  • Step 1: Connect to WiFi;
  • Step 2: Navigate to Settings > About phone > Check now for update;
  • Step 3: Select Install Now (if an update is available).
fix corrupted sd card by android update

Allow your phone to reboot and try to access the files on your SD card.

Way 6. Unlock the Android SD Card

The easiest way to unlock your SD card is by flicking the lock switch to the unlock position. This step will remove the SD card write protection.

unlock sd card on android

If the lock switch is broken, you can try unlocking your card with a password:

  • Step 1: Insert your card into your Android phone;
  • Step 2: Navigate to Settings > Lock screen and security > Decrypt SD card.
decrypt corrupted sd card on android

Way 7. Format the Card

You can repair a corrupted SD card on Android by formatting it directly from your Android phone. Though formatting will delete all the files on your card, it may also fix the corruption problems and restore your SD card to normal. After fixing the problem, you can use a memory card recovery software like Wondershare Recoverit to retrieve your lost files.

Here's how to format your SD card on an Android device:

Navigate to Settings > Battery and device care > Storage > Advanced > SD card > Format.

format corrupted sd card android

Way 8. Repair Your Android OS

The last thing to try to eliminate SD card corruption is to repair your OS by resetting your Android device to factory settings. This step will erase all data on your phone, including the files on the connected card.

Here's how to do it:

  • Step 1: Navigate to Settings > Reset > Factory data reset (Erase all data);
  • Step 2: Confirm by tapping Erase all data again;
  • Step 3: Enter your passcode and confirm by tapping Ok.

How To Prevent SD Card Corruption on Your Android Device in the Future

To prevent SD card corruption on your Android device in the future, follow these guidelines:

Safely eject the SD card

Always unmount or eject the SD card through your device's settings before physically removing it. This ensures that all ongoing processes are completed and prevents data corruption.

Properly power off your device

Turn off your Android device before removing the SD card or battery, as shutting down your device improperly can cause data corruption.

Use high-quality SD cards

Invest in a reliable and reputable SD card brand. Cheap or counterfeit SD cards can be more prone to corruption and data loss.

Format the SD card correctly

Format your SD card using the correct file system (typically FAT32 orexFAT for Android devices) to ensure compatibility and prevent corruption.

Keep your device's software updated

Regularly update your Android device's operating system and applications to fix bugs that may cause SD card corruption.

Use antivirus software

Install a reputable antivirus app on your Android device to protect your SD card from malware or virus infections that may cause corruption.

Avoid overloading the SD card

Do not fill your SD card to its maximum capacity, as this may cause performance issues and increase the risk of corruption.

Back up your data regularly

Regularly back up your SD card's data to another storage device or cloud service, so you can easily recover your files in case of corruption or data loss.

By following these preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of SD card corruption and ensure the safety of your data on your Android device.


  • Why is my SD card saying corrupted?
    1. Improper handling: Removing the SD card from a device while it is still in use or not following the proper eject procedure can lead to corruption.
    2. Power issues: Sudden power loss or shutting down your device improperly while the SD card is being accessed can cause corruption.
    3. File system errors: The file system on the SD card might become damaged, leading to corruption. This can happen due to improper formatting, software bugs, or hardware issues.
    4. Bad sectors: Over time, SD cards can develop bad sectors, which can result in corruption and data loss.
    5. Virus or malware infection: An SD card can become corrupted if it is infected with malware or a virus.
    6. Incompatible file formats: Using an SD card formatted with an incompatible file system or using files that are not supported by your device can cause corruption.
    7. Faulty or low-quality SD card: Cheaper or counterfeit SD cards may have poor manufacturing quality, leading to a higher risk of corruption.
  • Can corrupted SD card be fixed in Android?
    Yes, a corrupted SD card can often be fixed in Android by using one of the following methods:
    1. Reboot your Android device: Sometimes, a simple reboot can resolve issues with a corrupted SD card. Turn off your device, remove the SD card, reinsert it, and then turn the device back on to see if the issue is resolved.
    2. Repair the SD card using a computer: Connect the SD card to a computer using a card reader. You can try to fix the card using built-in Windows tools such as CHKDSK or by using third-party software designed to repair corrupted SD cards.
    3. Format the SD card: If the above methods do not work, you may need to format the SD card. Be aware that formatting the card will erase all data stored on it. To format the SD card, you can use the Android device's built-in settings or connect the card to a computer and use a formatting tool.
  • How to fix corrupted SD card in Android without losing data?
    To fix a corrupted SD card in Android without losing data, follow these steps:
    1. Connect your Android device to a computer.
    2. Download and install a data recovery software like Wondershare Recoverit on the computer.
    3. Launch Wondershare Recoverit and select the corrupted Android SD card from the list of available drives.
    4. Begin the scanning process, which may take some time, depending on the size of the SD card.
    5. Once the scan is complete, the software will display a list of recoverable files. Browse through the list and select the files you want to recover.
    6. After recovering your data, you can now attempt to fix the corrupted SD card by formatting it.
    7. Go to Settings > Storage > SD card > Format SD card. This will erase all data on the card, but since you have already recovered your important files, you should not lose any data.
    8. Once the formatting process is complete, you can transfer the recovered data back to your Android SD card.


Whether you can fix a corrupted SD card on your Android device depends on the condition of your memory card. If there are no signs of physical or electronic damage, these guidelines should help remedy corruption and render your card readable again.

However, if it is physically damaged, you should contact your local vendor and seek professional help. Since a corrupt card can lead to losing your data, you perform regular backups.

Eleanor Reed
Eleanor Reed Jan 26, 24
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