A micro SD card allows increasing the memory capacity of an Android device significantly. Therefore, if your Android cannot see a micro SD card, you have to figure out the cause of the glitch immediately to eliminate any negative factors.
Memory Card Related Problems
If Android cannot see a memory card, the problem can be caused by either the device or the card. Troubleshooting should be started with the external memory. The most common causes of the glitch are as follows:
- An unsuitable file system (for example, NTFS or ExFat instead of Fat32).
- Some formatting errors or file system failures.
- Incompatibility of the card and the phone, a capacity which is not supported (if you install a 32GB, 64GB or 128GB card while your device is unable to operate with any cards exceeding 16 GB)
- Some hardware related troubles of the memory card or some contacts physically damaged.
If a memory card from a camera or a video recorder cannot be read when installed into a phone, first of all make sure that your mobile device supports that format and capacity.
The only way to rectify the incompatibility problem is to replace the storage device with a suitable one. It is much easier to deal with some file system errors (or an incorrectly selected file system). After formatting the card will be detected without resetting or any other additional steps:
- Connect the memory card to a PC. It should be detected as soon as it is inserted into the card reader. Use an adapter as laptops and PCs do not have a micro SD slot.
- Find the storage device in the “Computer” folder. Right click and select “Formatting”.
- Specify FAT32 file system and press “Start”.
When formatting, all data will be deleted from the memory card. If necessary, save them in your PC before clearing the storage device and after the file system is changed, you can transfer them to the card again.
Phone Related Troubles
If your memory card is compatible with your phone, the format of the file system is suitable for Android, and there are no hardware damages, you should search for reasons in the smartphone operation. If your smartphone does not detect a memory card which has been taken from another smartphone, while a PC recognizes it, the following factors may account for it:
- Incorrect card installation.
- Memory card slot is damaged/ contaminated.
- A software failure in Android operation.
Try to take the memory card out and install it again after you have made sure that the slot is in good order. If you see that contacts are contaminated, clean them using an ordinary eraser or a wet wipe. If cleaning does not help, contacts might be loose or damaged. You can hardly repair them yourself as replacement is usually required.
If your device detects the memory card in Recovery while Android cannot find the SD card in applications although it shows that the place is occupied, the cause of the trouble should be searched for in the system operation. If the error is caused by a system failure, device restarting may help to rectify it.
Another solution is to reinstall the troubled application or transfer it from the internal storage to a micro SD card. For this purpose take the following steps:
- Open the settings.
- Go to the “Applications” section.
- Select the application that is causing problems.
- Press “Transfer to SD card”.
If the troubles with detecting the external memory have occurred after the device flashing, you should reflash it using Android official assembly provided by the manufacturer. You can also try a less drastic method and just reset your device to factory settings through Android interface or Recovery Menu.
In order to access the Recovery Menu, turn the phone off and then press the volume up button and the power button (there may be other combinations, check it for a particular smartphone model). Only physical keys work in the recovery menu. Use the volume rocker to go to “wipe cache partition” and press the power button to select the option.
Resetting will be completed after restarting only. Ensure that there is enough battery charge and do not do anything that can damage system files.