My Computer Won't Read My SD Card

By Jason Diaz

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • SD card

  • Purchase or download recovery software

  • Computer

Secure Digital (SD) cards are portable devices used to store data.
i memory card image by Dariusz Urbanczyk from

Secure Digital (SD) memory cards are small devices that make it convenient to store information. However, much like other memory devices, they can malfunction, causing them to be unreadable on the computer. This occurs when the files become corrupted due to viruses or the SD card has been incorrectly removed from a device. Fortunately, you can recover these important documents or pictures and restore them to the computer or other storage devices.

Download a data recovery program such as Recover My Files or Pro Data Doctor. Follow the on-screen prompts and save the program to the desktop on your computer.

Double-click the icon that was downloaded. A dialogue box will pop open. Click “OK” and run the program. It will take a few seconds to run.

Click “Next” when the installation wizard window opens. Read the terms and agreements, then select “agree” and click “Next.” Continue to follow the on-screen prompts to finish installing the program.

Insert the SD card into the computer's SD card slot; if your computer does not have an SD card slot, purchase an USB card reader from a computer or electronic store. Plug the SD card into the computer or SD card reader in a USB port in the computer. Once the computer detects the SD card, launch the card reader program that was saved to your desktop.

Click “Next” on the card recovery window. Scroll down the categories on the scan options and select “SD card” in the dialogue box located under “Drive Letter.” Select a location to save the recovered files to, then click “Next” to begin the scan. The process of scanning your SD card will take up to three minutes or more. Once the scan is finished, all files including the ones that are corrupted or unreadable, will display.

Select and preview the files you want to recover, then click “Next.” A window will open prompting you to select the location you want to save the files to. Once you pick the destination, click “Next.” Wait for the files to fully save, then the corrupt files will be accessible.