2023 Updated Fix for SD Card Not Showing Up on Mac (Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur)

Connie Wisley
time January 04, 2023 Preview 6.4K
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SD Card has greatly increased the capacity of our mobile device, allowing us to save files as many as possible in real time. However, most of us may have ran into a similar problem when trying to access to SD Card files on Mac: the SD Card is not showing up.

Methods to fix the “SD Card Not Showing Up” can be either easy or difficult basing on the causes. Here we collect a full guide to fix SD card not showing up on Mac, no matter you are using iMac, MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, working on macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina or earlier. Also, we will show you a recovery method if the videos or pictures in your SD card are not showing up on Mac.

Following fixes are in the order of complexity, from easy to complex cases, you are recommended to try one after one if the previous fix doesn’t get the error solved.

First of All, Restart!

If you work with a Mac on a regular basis, it would be quite understandable to you that how magical the restarting can be. Personally, I prefer to restart my Mac when the system or programs work improperly, even crash. Most of the time, restarting works. No one can tell the exact reason why restarting help solving the problems, but it just works.

And here is another reason why we recommend to restart in the very beginning, the reasons causing SD Card Not Showing on Mac can be various and hard to pinpoint, while, restarting is the best way to make things extremely simple, always worth a try.

To restart, you need to disconnect the SD Card from your Mac, then restart Mac. Once the Mac runs properly, insert your SD Card into your computer again. Then wait upon for the magic. But if no magic, continue to read the following fixes to solve “SD Card Not Showing Up on Mac”.

restart mac

Restart Won’t Work? Check These Devices Carefully

When we read and write on a SD Card, there are 3 items required to complete this job: a Mac, an SD Card Reader and the SD Card itself. So, no matter what the ultimate reason is to lead to SD Card Not Showing up on Mac, it must be relating to any of these devices Consequently, we need to check these devices carefully before using 3rd party tools.

First, Check The Mac

Case 1: Ineffective Computer USB Port

Test: Connect the sd card reader to your computer via different USB ports.

Solution: If the previously USB port is ineffective, change to connect via another USB port, or connect your sd card reader to anther computer.

Case 2: Possible Virus Attack

Solution: Run the anti-virus program on your mac, scan the sd card or your whole computer to check if there is virus attacking your device.

Then, Check The SD Card Reader 

As time goes by, there will be dirt and dust accumulated in your sd card reader, which will adversely impact the contact between your sd card, sd card reader and the computer. In this case, lightly wipe your sd card reader with a cotton cloth soaking a little alcohol. Then try again to connect the SD Card to your Mac with the card reader and check if it works.

Finally, Check The SD Card Itself

Case 1: Poor contact of SD Card

Solution: Same as that for SD Card reader, try to blow away the dirt or dust clogged deep in the slot of your sd card, or lightly wipe. 

Case 2: Write Protections

In this case, we need to first make sure that your sd card’s lock switch is in the “Unlock” position, otherwise, there will be meaningless to remove the write protections.
remove write protection

Use macOS Tools to Fix SD Card Not Showing up on Mac (Finder, Disk Utility)

After restarting Mac or checking those 3 items, if the SD Card Not Showing up on Mac issue remains, then things may be a little complex than we think, but we still have multiple solutions to get it fixed, by using free macOS tools, like Finder or Disk Utility, basing on different situations. 

Fix SD Card Not Showing up on Mac in Finder App

When connecting another hard drive or storage device to your Mac, if it shows up on your Mac, that means your Mac just cannot show up this particular SD Card. Then you can use Finder to get it solved.


  1. Open Finder from Dock.
  2. Go to Finder>Preferences.
  3. Check the box before “External Disks”.
  4. Then go to Finder, check if the SD card shows up in the “Device” or on your desktop.show up on mac

Fix SD Card Not Showing up on Mac in Disk Utility

Case 1: If the SD Card Drive Letter is blank or not readable, assign a new drive letter to your sd card may get this problem solved.


  1. Go to Finder>Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility.
  2. In the “External” menu, choose your sd card device.
  3. Right click on the sd card icon, choose “Rename” and assign a new letter to your sd card.rename letter on mac

Case 2: Still fail to show SD Card on your Mac? There may be errors on your SD Card and we can use Disk Utility to repair it.

Disk Utility is the system utility tool to perform disk related tasks on Mac, like create, convert, back up, encrypt, mount, check, format, repair and recover disks. 


  1. Connect your sd card to Mac.
  2. Go to Finder>Application>Utilities>Disk Utility.
  3. Select your sd card, click “Info” to check if your sd card is Writable or Not. If yes, go to next case.
  4. If not, go to “First Aid”, and click “Run”, it will fix the errors leading to such a write protection.

first aid on mac

Videos or Pictures on SD Card Still Not Showing on Mac? Restore!

If you have tried all these methods, but still cannot access to your sd card, then, your sd card is much likely to be corrupted or damaged. Or your SD card finally shows up on your Mac, but you found the videos or pictuers just not showing up. Then, you will need to recover files from the sd card on Mac and backup, then format your sd card to check if it can be used again.

Recover Videos or Pictures from SD Card on Mac

Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is the best tool designed to recover various files from SD card, Memory Card, Audio Player, Video Camcorder, USD Drive, Hard Drive and nearly all storage devices, no matter the data loss results from deletion, formatting, corruption, virus attack, etc. It can retrieve files in 200+ formats and provides 2 scanning modes to scan and recover files efficiently.

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery on your mac, make sure you have connected the sd card to mac.
    Free Download
  2. Choose the SD card where you stored the videos or pictures.recover from sd card mac 01
  3. Click “Search for lost files” to find the files on your sd card. Go to Type, check video or photo from Video or Graphics folder. recover files from sd card mac 02
  4. Preview the found files, select them and click Recover button to restore files from your SD card.recover files from sd card mac 03

Also, you can check the video:


As a sd card user, there are great chances that we may encounter with all kinds of problems, such as sd card not showing up, sd card is damaged, sd card is corrupted, etc. Sometimes, a little trick may help, but sometimes, any recommended fixes won't help even you are a tech professionals. When things come to this, we still have an ultimate tool to recover your sd card files on Mac, such as Cisdem Data Recovery.

While, the good habit of backup regularly will be substantially helpful when you are facing with different sd card problems, including sd card not showing up.

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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