SD card not showing up on Mac, how to fix?

SD card not showing up on Mac, how to fix?

by Ciki
1 comment 0 views
SD card not showing up on Mac, how to fix?

Nowadays external storage devices are widely used as a supplement to computers with less capacity. However, one scenario happens a lot when you connect them with either an iMac or a MacBook, that is the external storage media becomes invisible, including external HD, USB drives, and SD cards. Since the SD card acts as an increasingly important role in people’s daily life, how to make it work properly? Don’t worry, this post will shed a light on how to locate SD card on Mac. Let’s keep on reading.

How to fix the SD card not showing up on Mac desktop?

By default, the SD card will automatically list all detected and mounted external storage devices on Mac desktop, including the SD card, external HD, USB flash drives as well. Nevertheless, the setting might be accidentally changed. In this case, when you can’t find your SD card, why not try to check the setting first? To do this, you need to:

  • Click Finder at the top menu of the Mac computer. Then choose Preferences….
  • Click the General tab.
  • Tick the External disks option.

Then, you’ll be able to see the SD card on the Mac desktop.

How to fix the SD card not showing up in Mac Finder?

You can access all attached and detected internal and external disks in the sidebar of Finder. If your SD card is not showing up in the Finder, you are advised to check if the Finder Preferences have been set up properly. The steps are similar to the above method.

  • Click the Finder at the upper left of the computer and select Preferences….
  • Choose the Sidebar tab.
  • Tick External disks option under Locations so the SD card can be found under Mac Finder.
  • Launch the Finder and check if the SD card is visible in the Finder sidebar.

Now you should be able to locate it in Finder, however, here’s another possibility. Your SD card might be hidden if you accidentally make some modifications. You can try the following steps to unhide the SD card.

  • Get your SD card connected to the Mac properly, wait a second so that Mac can recognize the SD card.
  • Click the smiling face on your desktop to open the Finder.
  • Find Locations in the left sidebar. If no storage device is listed here, the SD card is hidden in the Finder.
  • Point your mouse at the Locations, and then click Show. Your SD card should be able to show up and the option will become Hide.

How to fix the SD card not showing up in Disk Utility?

Disk Utility, a built-in system utility designed by Apple, is used for performing disk and disk volume-related tasks on the macOS operating system. By default, it will list all disks and volumes at the left sidebar in the Disk Utility window. However, sometimes the hard drives become invisible on your computer. It’s possible that the setting is modified somehow. To make your SD card visible in Disk Utility, here’s what you can do:

  • Launch Disk Utility.
  • Click View at the top menu bar.
  • Choose Show All Devices.
  • Check if your SD card shows up in Disk Utility.

If the SD card doesn’t show up in Disk Utility, still, you can try to restart your Mac, does your SD card finally make its appearance?  If not, it’s not your day. But don’t worry, you have one more thing to do, that is to connect your SD card to a Windows PC. Then you can check if Windows disk management can recognize it. If the PC doesn’t show your memory card as well, unfortunately, either your SD card or the card reader may be physically damaged.

  • If the card reader is damaged

This situation is easy to check and handle. All you need to do is change another card reader to test if the memory card can be listed on your Mac. Likewise, you can use other media devices like a camera and access the SD card via a USB port.

  • If the SD card is physically damaged

Under this circumstance, you have no way but to send it to a local data recovery specialist for help, especially when you have important data on it. You can also simply buy a new one as a replacement if you don’t care about the previous data.

How to fix the SD card in Disk Utility but not mounting?

One strange scenario is that you can find your SD card in Disk Utility, but it’s grayed out. It means it’s not mounting and that’s why you can’t normally use it on the Mac. An unmounted SD card can result from both computer setting and card corruption. Here are some methods to fix an unmounted SD card:

Method 1: Mount the SD card manually

Right-click on the SD card and choose the Mount icon beside it, or you can click on the Mount button on the top of the Disk Utility window. Either way should be helpful.

Method 2: Repair the SD card with First Aid

If the SD card is showing up but you can’t mount the SD card manually, then the SD card is corrupted for some reason. You should check and repair the disk with Apple’s built-in disk repair tool, First Aid. It can repair disk-related issues on Macs, which include SD cards failing to show up on your Mac.

To use First Aid:

Step 1: Go to Launchpad> Others> Disk Utility, launch it.

Step 2: Click on View and choose Show All Devices to list all detected disks and volumes.

Step 3: Select the drive or volume that you want to repair in the left sidebar, here it should be your SD card.

Step 4: Click First Aid on the top menu of Disk Utility.

Step 5: Click Run to check and repair errors in this drive. Wait for the process.

Method 3: Format your SD card

Likely, the SD card is too seriously damaged to be repaired, in this case, it’s time to format your memory card to have a fresh start. However, formatting your SD card is very risky since it will wipe out all your previous data. Therefore, before formatting it, you are strongly suggested to recover your data with professional data recovery software. Then you are good to go.

Step 1: Open Finder, go to the Applications folder and Utility folder, launch Disk Utility.

Step 2: Select the SD card at the left sidebar and click on the Erase button at the top toolbar.

Step 3: Name the SD card and select the file system and scheme for it.

Step 4: Set security options if you want to securely erase all data. Use the slider to choose how many times to write over the erased data, then click OK.

Step 5: Click on the Erase button to format your SD card.


It’s indeed annoying if your SD card doesn’t appear on the Mac, but it’s solvable. Next time when the storage device becomes invisible on your computer, hope you can have some clues after reading this post.

1 comment

Shailendra Kumar Imsec January 21, 2021 - 2:55 pm

Useful tips! In my case, SD card recognized on mac but files not found then I used Stellar Photo Recovery on Mac and recover all files after format SD card.


Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You may also like

TechPosts Media, A Technology Media Company – All Right Reserved. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign

%d bloggers like this:

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.