SD Card Not Working on MacBook : How to Fix?

If your SD card is not working on your MacBook or is not showing up in the Finder, you should be able to resolve the issue by following the troubleshooting methods outlined below.

Fix SD Card not Showing up, Reading or Recognizing on Mac

MacBook SD Card Not Working

A typical cause of SD Card not working on Mac is because the SD Card is in the Windows default NTFS format, which macOS does not recognize.

If you wish to use the SD Card on both a MacBook and a Windows PC, it must be formatted in FAT32 (which is compatible with all versions of macOS) or exFAT (Works only on newer versions of macOS).

Similarly, the most typical causes for an SD Card not appearing in the Finder on a Mac are that the SD Card is locked and the Finder is not configured to show External Drives.

1. Restart Mac

Click on Apple Logo in top-menu bar and select Restart option in the drop-down menu.

Restart Mac

After Mac restarts, you may find the SD Card showing up in the Finder window.

2. Unlock SD Card

SD Cards come with a slider lock that can be used to write protect the SD Card. The Card is write protected, if the slider is down and writable when the slider is up.

SD Card Lock Unlock

Remove the SD Card from Mac and check the position of Lock switch to make sure that it is not set to locked position.

3. Enable External Discs in Finder Preferences

Open the Finder on Mac > click on Finder tab in top-menu bar and select Preferences in the drop-down menu.

Open Finder Preferences on Mac

On Finder Preferences screen, switch to General Tab and select External Disks option.

Show External Drives in Finder on Mac

Next, switch to Sidebar tab and make sure both External Disks and CDs, DVDs and iOS Devices options are selected.

Show External Disks and iOS Devices on Mac

If the SD Card is still not being recognized by Mac, try to mount the SD Card by using the next step.

4. Manually Mount SD Card on Mac

Press Command + Option (Alt) + Spacebar keys to open spotlight search > type Disk Utility in the search bar and double-click on Disk Utility in the search results.

Open Disk Utility Using Search on Mac

On Disk Utility screen, select the SD Card in the side-bar and click on the Mount tab.

Mount External Hard Drive on Mac

5. Run First Aid

The built-in “First Aid” tool on Mac can be used to fix corrupted files and other issues, which might be preventing the External Drive from functioning properly on your Mac.

Open Disk Utility > select SD Card in the sidebar and click on First Aid.

Run First Aid Option in Disk Utility on Mac

On the confirmation pop-up, click on Run to confirm.

Run First Aid on External Hard Drive

If the First Aid tool is able to fix the problem, the Drive should now appear in the sidebar. If not, try to manually mount the External Drive.

6. Change SD Card Adapter

If you are using a SD Card Adapter, the problem might be due to the Adapter becoming faulty or damaged. The only way to rule out this possibility is to switch to another SD Card Adapter and see if it makes any difference.

7. Reformat SD Card

As mentioned above, you won’t be able to use the SD Card, if it is in NTFS format. To fix this issue, you need to Format the External Drive to a macOS compatible File Format.

Note: The format process will wipe out the entire data on the disk.

Open Disk Utility > select the External Hard Drive in sidebar and click on Erase.

Erase Disk Option in Disk Utility on Mac

On the confirmation pop-up, type a Name for the External Drive > select the desired Format type and click on the Erase button.

Type External Drive Name and Erase

Patiently wait for the Format Process to be completed, after which it should show up in the Finder window.