SD card not mounting on Mac, what to do?

The SD card is commonly used for both tech professionals and normal users due to its portability and compatibility. However, digital devices can’t last forever and some problems may occur. For example, SD card not detected by the computer, SD card not showing up on the device, SD card not mounting, and SD card not readable on Mac. This post focuses on solutions to the mounting issue when you can’t find the device or can’t access the files on the SD card. Read on if you’re troubled by the same issue.

Solutions to SD card not mounting on Mac

There are quite a few checks and fixes when SD card not mounting on Mac. You are suggested to do it one by one to find out the reason and solution to fix this annoying issue. let’s get it started.

Solution 1: Try the memory card on another Mac or card reader

Sometimes it’s not the SD card itself that is having issues, to verify that, you can test the card on another device. You can either insert into another computer or try a new card reader. If fortunately, the card is behaving well, it means the memory card is not damaged or corrupted.

Solution 2: Restart your Mac

Don’t underestimate the power of restarting your Mac. A quick start over can surprisingly fix the problem. Therefore, if your SD card is misfunctioning, reboot your Mac and see what happens. Chances are that it can be detected and mounted then.

Solution 3: Check the format of your memory card

Compatibility can also be an issue. Mac won’t read SD card if it’s Windows BitLocker encrypted. This feature is developed by Microsoft and does not work on macOS. If you are asked to input the password for the SD card, it means it’s BitLocker encrypted. To use BitLocker encrypted drives on Mac, you can first decrypt it in a Windows computer and then connect it with your Mac.

Solution 4: Update the disk driver

An out-of-date disk driver might not mount your SD card properly. Therefore, to keep up with the external storage device, your disk driver needs to be updated to the latest one as well. You can find if there’s any Software Update in System Preferences and update the software.

Solution 5: Check the settings in Finder and Disk Utility

There’s one scenario where your memory card is actually mounted but not set to show up. That’s why you can’t see the card on the desktop or Finder. You can check the settings in both Finder and Disk Utility. Here’s how.

In Finder:

  • Open Finder from the Dock.
  • Choose Preferences… from the upper left icon.
  • Click General and check if you tick External disks. If not, select the option.
  • Click Sidebar and check if you tick External disks. If not, select the option.

In Disk Utility:

  • Go to Launchpad and find Disk Utility in Other.
  • Check if your SD card is listed in the left sidebar. Make sure you choose Show All Devices.

If you can find a grayed-out memory card in Disk Utility, your storage media might have some system errors like damage or corruption. Move to the next solution to see what can be done for corrupted SD cards.

Solution 6: Repair problematic SD card in Disk Utility

A grayed-out icon means the computer does detect your SD card but finds in unable to mount it normally. It could be a file system error under this circumstance. Luckily, Apple has a built-in repair tool in Disk Utility that might help a little when it comes to disk repair. Let’s see how the magic goes.

  • Open Disk Utility by following the steps mentioned above.
  • Click View in the menu bar and make sure Show All Devices are checked.
  • Select the misbehaving SD card and click First Aid from the top of the window.
  • Click Run to start disk diagnosis and repair.

Once it’s done, you can try out the card to see if it works.

Solution 7: Reformat the SD card (not recommended)

There’s a fair chance that after trying everything above, the SD card not mounting on Mac issue remains unsolved. So far, there’s another yet the ultimate solution for you, that’s to reformat the memory card to have a fresh start. Warning: reformatting a drive will wipe out all the data stored within and the files cannot be restored. You are highly suggested to restore data before reformatting an SD card by using professional data recovery software such as iBoysoft Data Recovery. After settling down the files, you can proceed with reformatting.

Sum up

Though there are feasible solutions to solve external storage drives not working on Mac, this kind of issue may happen at any time. What needs to be noticed is that it’s always a good habit of keeping a regular backup, just in case any accident occurs.

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