Imac Sd Slot Not Working

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The SuperDrive on my MacBook Pro (circa 2007, rev. D I think), experienced a long, slow decline in its performance, and finally it stopped working altogether. When I say 'stopped working,' I mean that it wouldn't recognize a disc: I'd insert the disc, it would spin around a little, make some chugging noises, but then spit it back out. MacBook Pro:: SD Card Reader Not Working In Windows Feb 20, 2012. So here's a weird one. I have a Macbook Pro 15' (MacBookPro 8,2). SD card reader reads my SD cards just fine on the OSX side of things.

Summary: SD card not working on your Mac? Mac won't read SD card? macOS Big Sur is not recognizing SD card? In this article, we will help fix Mac not reading or recognizing SD card issue.

Accidents happen at any time (For example: When I insert SD card, nothing happens on Mac). When your SD card is not working properly, you can't open and access the files stored the SD card.

As you see SD card is not readable by your Mac, those are possible questions in your mind. Why is Mac not reading SD card and SD card not working? How do I get my Mac to recognize my SD card? How to do SD card data recovery?

This passage explains why SD card not reading or recognized on Mac, how to use SD cards to prevent 'SD card not reading or recognized' in future, and troubleshooting guide SD card not working, reading or recognized issue. It helps if:

  • SD card showing up in Disk Utility but not desktop
  • SD card shows up in Disk Utility but not Finder
  • SD card showing up in Disk Utility but not mounting
  • SD card is not recognized/detected by Mac Disk Utility

How to fix Mac not reading or recognizing SD card?

As below, we have listed some feasible solutions to fix SD card not working or reading on Mac:

  • 1. Check your Finder Desktop and Sidebar preferences
  • 2. Restart your Mac
  • 3. Check if SD card reader is not working
  • 4. Check for USB and other connection issues
  • 5. Check if SD card is locked
  • 6. Insert the SD card to a different device
  • 7. Reset NVRAM/PRAM
  • 8. Mount SD card in Disk Utility
  • 9. Update the SD card drivers on Mac
  • 10. Repair SD card via First Aid
  • 11. Reformat your SD card
  • 12. Send SD card to an expert for reparation
  • 13. Replace SD card with a new one

Option 1: Check your Finder desktop and sidebar preferences

On Mac, you can choose to show connected items on the desktop, including hard disks, external disks, connected servers. Therefore, if you don't set the preference to show your SD card on the desktop, it won't appear on Mac. Easy to understand, huh? Let's see how to show SD card on the desktop?

  • 1. Go to Finder > Preferences > General, make sure the 'External disks' option is ticked. This will make the SD card show up on the Desktop.
  • 2. Select the Sidebar tab on the top, make sure the External disks option under Locations is also ticked.

Option 2: Restart your Mac

Whether the issue is related to networking, graphics, slow performance, faulty programs or macOS issue, a simple reboot can fix a computer issue 80-90% of the time. It also works when external drives are not recognized by macOS.

When your SD card is not reading on Mac, you can try to remove the SD card and then switch off the Mac. Leave it for a few minutes, turn it back on, and try again.

Option 3: Check if SD card reader is not working

To access an SD card, you usually need a card reader. When your SD card won't work on Mac, the first thing to check is whether the card reader is working or not. It doesn't matter that you access the SD card by the built-in slot on your Mac or a third-party one. Simply follow these steps to check if the SD card reader is recognized or not.

  • 1. Simply click Apple Menu > About This Mac > System Report.
  • 2. Find Card Reader under the Hardware list.
  • 3. If the card reader works, you can see its Vendor ID, Serial Number, and some other product information. When your SD card is inserted, it should also be listed at the right with specifications.

If unfortunately, the card reader is not recognized, it might be an SD card hardware issue. For a broken slot built-in your MacBook, you need to send it to a local Apple store for repair service. Instead, for a malfunctioned external SD card reader, you can simply replace it with a new one.

• How to fix SD card reader not working on Mac?

Option 4: Check for the connection issue

If the card reader is working fine, then you should check the connections. First of all, make sure you insert your SD card properly. (The metal contacts must face down and point toward your Mac). Secondly, you can test your SD card on a different card reader. If you can access the SD card then, it should be the card reader that has a problem.

Option 5: Check if SD card is locked

Another case for SD card not working on Mac is that the SD card is write protected. When you try to write content to the locked SD card, you cannot modify the files on the locked SD card. To work on the SD card again, you need to safely eject the SD card and adjust the lock slider tab on the card to unlock the card. Then you can access the SD card after you reinsert it to the slot.

Option 6: Insert your SD card in different devices

Another very effective strategy that you can implement is to insert the SD card in different devices, such as phones, digital cameras, or other computers. For instance, you can remove the SD card from your Mac and insert it into your Android phone. If your SD card is still not detected or working on a phone, the card might be damaged or you need to try the following solutions.

Option 7: Reset NVRAM/PRAM

NVRAM/PRAM is a chip in Intel-based Macs used to remember the setting for your computer, including sound volume, display resolution, startup disk selection, time zone, peripheral devices and more. It's worth resetting whenever you find your computer's hardware acting in unexpected ways.

To reset NVRAM, you should shut down your Mac, then turn it on and immediately press and hold Option + Command + P + R. Keep holding down those keys for about 20 seconds. Then release the keys and allow your Mac to continue starting normally.

Option 8: Mount SD card in Disk Utility

After resetting NVRAM/PRAM, your SD card is still not recognized on Mac. You should go to Disk Utility again and see whether the SD card is listed. If you can see your SD card in Disk Utility, but the SD card is greyed out, that means the SD card is not mounting. Simply select the Mount option to see if the SD card will be mounted in Finder and desktop.

Option 9: Update the drivers on Mac

If the issue still exists, you can check whether the drivers on your Mac is renewed. If your Mac drivers are outdated, your SD card or other external hard drives will not be recognized by your Mac. Here are steps to update drives on Mac:

1. If you have upgraded to macOS Mojave, you should choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, then click Software Update to check for updates. If any updates are available, click Update Now to install them.

2. If you are using earlier macOS versions, just launch the Mac App Store, click the Update tab on the top and then choose the 'Update All'.

Option 10: Repair SD card via First Aid

Still, have no luck to get your Mac to read the SD card? The SD card may be corrupted and needs to be repaired. All portable hard drives have a limited life span, as wear and tear could bring bad sectors on the disk. Thankfully, macOS has a built-in repair tool - First Aid, which allows you to fix SD card errors on Mac.

  • 1. Go to Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  • 2. Select the corrupted SD card and click 'First Aid' on the top.
  • 3. Wait until the reparation process finished.

Option 11: Format your SD card

If unfortunately, you receive the error message: 'Disk Utility can't repair this disk. Back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files', the file system of your SD card is seriously damaged and you need to reformat it.

Step 1: Recover data from SD card.

Reformatting will erase all data on the SD card, so please recover important data from SD card first.

• How to recover data from SD card on Mac?

Step 2: Format your SD card with Disk Utility.

• How to format an SD card on Mac?

Option 12: Send SD card to an expert for reparation

If your SD card can't be seen in Disk Utility at all after trying all above methods, it means the SD card has some hardware problem so that Mac can't detect it. In this situation, you have no choice but to send the SD card to an expert for reparation.

Option 13: Replace SD card with a new one

If the warranty of your SD card is still valid, it's most likely time to invest in a replacement or ask for a refund.

Understanding why SD card not reading or recognized on Mac

However, there are times when you insert SD card into Mac, the SD card won't show up on Mac. Or what's worse, SD card won't work on your Mac. You must have experienced a similar situation. Don't be panicked, as you are not the only person, many Mac users have encountered this problem:

I connected my SD card to transfer some necessary files and folders, but my card is not recognized by MacBook Pro. I thought to check my card properly and I connected that SD card to my friend's machine but again card didn't get recognized on his Mac machine. Maybe there is a problem with my SD card? Any solution to resolve the issue?

Wondering why the SD card is not recognized by Mac? Go on, please.

SD cards are prone to be damaged. Here are 7 common reasons why an SD card isn't working on Mac.

  • USB port is not working or damaged.
  • SD card reader is not working.
  • SD card is formatted incorrectly (the file system is not compatible with macOS)
  • SD card driver is outdated.
  • SD card is logically corrupted.
  • There are bad sectors in the SD card.
  • SD card is physically damaged.

In a word, you'll need to determine whether your SD card's error is due to a logical problem or a physical one. For the former, you can try to fix it by yourself, otherwise, you have to ask for help from a trained expert.

How to prevent 'SD card not reading or recognized' in future?

SD cards are easy to be damaged, but using them in the right way, corruption can be avoided to some extent. Read on for 7 effective tips to prevent 'SD card not working':

  1. Format the new SD card as soon as you get it. When you buy an SD card, you should format it on the device and make sure it is compatible with the device system.
  2. Always safely eject SD card from the device. On Mac, click on the Finder icon on the Dock. Locate the SD card from the left sidebar and click on the Eject icon next to the name of the SD card. As an alternative, you can drag the device to the Trash on the desktop to eject it. More specifically, you should avoid removing the SD card from the device when it is still accessed, such as transferring data or reading data, etc.
  3. Keep some space left on the SD card. Keep in mind that you should never run out of the space of your SD card.
  4. Turn off the device before removing the SD card. If you want to remove your SD card from a digital camera or mobile phone, you should ensure the device is entirely turned off. Otherwise, the SD card can easily be corrupted.
  5. Properly store your SD card in a safe place. Store the SD card in dry, cool space since dirt, moisture, and other factors could damage them.
  6. Stop using the SD card when getting any errors. As soon as you receive any errors when trying to access the SD card, such as “the disk you inserted is not readable by this computer”, you’d better stop all operations at once in case further damage will be made to the SD card.
  7. Install antivirus software and run it regularly. It’s important to scan an SD card for viruses and running antivirus software to remove any malware on your computer. In this way, you can prevent malware and virus from damaging your SD card.

How to use and open SD card on Mac?

Apple dropped the SD card slot in MacBook Pro starting with 2016 model. While MacBook Air 2015 and later MacBook never included an SD slot.

If your Mac comes with a built-in SD card slot, you can insert a compatible SD card, avoiding using SD card that has a thickness greater than 2.1mm.

When inserting SD card, you should make sure that the metal contacts face down and point toward the computer. Then your computer will recognize SD card inserted into the card slot as a storage device. You can read and write to SD card just like any other external drive.

• How to fix Mac not recognizing external drives issue?

But if your Mac doesn't have an SD card slot, you need to buy an SD card adapter. Insert the micro SD card into the slot face up with the gold pins going first.

How to open an SD card on Mac?

Step 1: Open SD card in Finder.

Click the Finder app, you will see your SD card listed in the left pane and then view the contents of the SD card in the right pane.

Step 2: Safely eject SD card.

After you finish your work on the SD card, you can remove it properly. But before that, you need to make sure that all data transfer to SD media is completed. Then the SD card will work correctly next time. To eject the card, drag its icon on the desktop to the Trash. After the icon disappears from your desktop, you are safe to remove the card from the slot.

You should avoid removing an SD card while your Mac is sleeping. It could lead to data loss. Always wake your computer, save your work, and then safely eject the SD card.


How to deal with SD card not working or recognized on Mac? No matter what causes this problem, there are lots of potential solutions. You can begin by checking the connection and then try to repair the corrupted SD card. If your SD card is still not recognized by Mac, you should format the SD card on Mac to see if this fixes your issue.

If you experience any data loss issue during this process, the good news is that your data can still be recovered with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac. This free Mac data recovery tool can recover deleted/lost photos from SD card quickly and easily, also compatible with Apple Silicon M1 Mac and macOS Big Sur.

Should you have another suggestion to fix SD card not working or detected issue on Mac? Or have any questions when you are using iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac? Please feel free to contact us by sending an email.

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Dec 03, 2020 • Filed to: SD Card Solutions • Proven solutions

If it is your first time experiencing your SD card not showing up on your Mac, you are probably panic-stricken. My advice, relax and read on.

The SD card errors can result from minor factors, such as dust, any other substance coating the contact points, or imperfect insertion into the slot. These are usually the first areas to address before you even get worried.

There are also other causes surrounding the issue of your SD card not showing up on Mac. How can we fix this issue? Or How to solve the device not support the SD card? Let’s together find the solutions.

First. Check and Open SD Card on Mac

So, you have your SD card at hand, and you are stuck as the SD is not reading. Well, first things first, check on the following:

Step 1. Examine your SD card physically.

Check that there is no damage, i.e., scratches on the shiny contact points or greasy coatings of any kind like food substances, dust or mud.

Clean your SD card with a clean and soft dry cloth. Do it thoroughly, especially on the corners around the contact points. However, don’t use water or lick the fabric with saliva. The moisture can destroy it when you insert it to the device.

Step 2. Insert the SD card to the Mac computer.

To avoid write protection, make sure the switch on the side is on.

The slot is usually thin and wide. To embed, make sure the contact points are facing down, and they should go in first.

Push in the SD card on your Mac. You will hear a sound produced if it is insecure. It holds the card so that it doesn’t slip out.

Step 3. Go to disk utility to check if Mac detects it.

For that, type disk utility in the spotlight. Click on the icon on the right or go through /applications/utilities/.

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If you’d like to see it on the desktop, change preferences on Finder Preferences. Under the General tab, select External disks. Do the same under the sidebar tab.

After the steps, you can now open the SD card and access the contents through the Finder app. Enter into the SD card folder. On the right pane, contents get displayed.

However, if the above processes don’t work for you and your SD card is not reading, take a look at the next part.

Second. Fix SD Card Not Showing Up or Reading on Mac

Like every other advanced piece of technology, the SD card is bound to be affected by inevitable glitches in one way or another.

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In reality, many technical reasons are associated with your SD card not showing up on your Mac.

Damage to the SD card reader slot.

It can be very frustrating because the damage might be too small even to notice. So how would you know? You can try inserting your SD card into another machine and see if it responds.

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The operating system errors.

If your OS prevents your SD card from being recognized, reinstall it and try restarting your Mac. It should generally solve the issue for you.

Viral infection of the SD card

A virus can most likely affect your SD card if you share it with several people, especially Windows users with no virus protection. Viruses are dangerous.

An unsupported SD card format.

Your SD card should conform to SD 1.x, 2.x, and 3.x standards for it to work. To investigate this, check out your SD card’s manufacturer website. There are also file systems that your macOS version might not support.

The Corruption of your SD card firmware.

If your SD card gets corrupted, how would you know? You can check if your SD card has the signs as follows.

  • A black screen appears, displaying the error 'SD card is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable'.
  • Most of the contents in your SD card are missing.
  • An error message 'Read/Write error on SD card' appears. You can't open any folders.
  • Materials on your SD card are visible, but you can’t copy them.
  • When you are trying to access your images or files, an error message 'memory card error' pops up.
  • The SD card has been recognized, but is blank on your computer, even though you had data stored in it.

Considering the issues mentioned above, how can you repair a corrupted SD card or perform any other fix? Looking at some of the possible solutions, they include:

Method 1. Restarting your Mac

There are three ways of doing so:

Step 1. Click on the Apple icon and choosing to restart on its menu.

Step 2. Press the Power button and on the dialog box that appears, click on 'Restart'.

Step 3. Simultaneously hold on Control + Command + Eject/Power button. It is the most reliable option, as it’s not dependent on the OS.

After that, try inserting your SD card once again. With this method, most people can find their SD card recognized on Mac now. If not, you need other solutions.

Method 2. Mounting your SD card in Disk utility

Even after modifying your Mac preferences, your SD card might still not be visible on the desktop. It means it’s only visible from the disk utility, thus not mounted.

Step 1. You can access Disk Utility through the spotlight. Simply type it on the search box or use the shortcut command + space.

Step 2. On the left pane, select your SD card. The right side of the screen will display the details.

Step 3. On the top sections towards the right is the mount option. If mounted, there will be an option of unmounting. Click on it to mount your SD card.

Method 3. Perform a First Aid check on your SD card

The First Aid check on Disk Utility is complete when you suspect something could be wrong with your SD card or any other external disk plugged in on your Mac.

Step 1. Go to Disk Utility.

Step 2. Select your SD card from the left pane.

Step 3. On the top options, First Aid is on the far left, click on it.

Step 4. Disk Utility performs a check on the partitions to verify its contents.

If the SD is going to fail, Disk Utility will inform you, and you should perform a backup before it’s too late.

Method 4. Repair your SD card

Perform a repair on your SD card if it did not mount successfully.

Step 1. Through Applications > Utilities open Disk Utilities.

Step 2. Select your SD card from the sidebar.

Step 3. On the details pane, click on the First Aid at the top and wait for the repair process until it completes.

Step 4. When complete, a drop-down sheet displays detailed information. Select the Repair Disk option on the bottom right.

In some cases, Disk Utility might fail to repair your SD card. In such a case, it will warn you of failure so you can make a backup.

Method 5. Repair Disk Permissions

As from MacOS X Yosemite and earlier, you can perform a repair of disk permissions on your start-up disk. You should do this because your internal hard disk permissions could in some ways be hindering your SD card from reading.

Step 1. Launch Disk Utility and select your Hard Disk from the sidebar.

Step 2. On the details pane, click on First Aid.

Step 3. Under the drop-down sheet, on the left bottom side, click on 'Repair Disk Permissions'.

Method 6. Format your SD card

The option to format your SD card certainly sounds scary. However, do not be dismayed. Formatting your device, even though you may not have been able to perform a backup, is not the end for you. The article later addresses a means to recover files.

Step 1. Go to the Utility Disk. After selecting your drive, click on 'Erase' at the top.

Step 2. Disk Utility will choose a format for you. You can also select your preference, depending on how you plan to use the SD card.

Step 3. You are required to name the drive. Let it be a memorable name.

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Step 4. On the security options, move the slider to where it is least secure to allow you to recover any lost files. It is also the fastest way of performing the erase.

After that, click on the erase button on the bottom right. When erasing is complete, you can now make the recovery of your files.

Third. Learn What SD Card for Mac Is and How It Works?

If you are still wondering how the SD card works, then you are in the right place. The SD card is a nifty little device that can pack a tone of storage capacities of more than 1 TB.

With an SD card adapter used together with a microSD card, it gives you the flexibility to also access files it may have from any other source.

But what does SD stand for? It stands for Secure Digital, a standard that describes non-volatile memory. Mac computers come with the SD card slot, also known as Secure Digital or Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC) card slot through which you can insert your SD card.

So, there are formats and standards discussed above. Also, the SD card slot has its measures such as:

  • The SDXC standard that supports 4GB to 2TB in capacity.
  • MMC standard.
  • The UHS-II standard supports up to 2TB that’s only available to iMac pro.
  • The SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) standard supporting 4 to 32 GB.
  • The average SD supports 4MB to 2GB.

You can use these cards with adapters that conform to the specified physical standard.

All these storage media use specified file systems for them to store data. File systems store data in a breakdown of various clusters, depending on the type of file system.

The most known file system is the FAT32 format. It is available up to 32GB in capacity. For media that exceeds this, uses the exFAT file system. Cards of smaller sizes utilize the FAT16 file system.

Last. Recover Lost Data from SD Card on Mac

In this case, formatting is one method of restoring your SD card functionality, but you probably can't view the files or have no backup and thus data gets lost. Here Recoverit comes in.

Recoverit Data Recovery software is an efficient software in the recovery of files from your SD card on Mac.

  • With precision, it lets you select the file format types as you like.
  • Preview files before you save a batch of data onto the desired location.
  • When scanning for images, it offers a sneak preview of images, videos, and documents in a larger window.
  • The files you recover are usually intact. Also, it can retrieve raw data.
  • Recovered files come with their original names and paths.

Step 1. Find and select your SD card from the Mac drives displayed on the screen.

Step 2. Click on Start for the software to begin scanning files.

Step 3. The preview window helps you get a sneak peek of your data. You can choose your preferred files if you don't want to recover everything. Finally, press the Recover button on the bottom right of the interface.

You also have the option of doing a deep scan of the files at the bottom.

The process of troubleshooting an SD card can seem tedious, but it is enriching. Furthermore, the steps might seem much at first as this article goes out of its way to give extra details, but the information will always be useful in the longer run.

In case files are not visible on your SD card, don’t panic if you have no backups. It is a common characteristic of an SD card that can’t read data. Just follow the instructions, and an option to recover lost files will be available.

Lastly, if this article has been of any help to you, please don’t forget to share it widely with everyone.

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