How to Fix “SD Card Blank or Has Unsupported Filesystem” Error

When using an SD card, the last thing you want to experience is an error message that says “SD card blank” or “Unsupported File System Error”, which can cause you to fear that you may lose your data. However, the good news is that these errors can be fixed.

Hello folks! My name is Lavelle and I am a professional photographer and videographer. Since 2009 I have been providing professional services to clients across the United States. During this time, I have also been using SD cards to store important data and on more than one occasion I have encountered error messages.

In this article, I will explain why errors occur and offer you some tips to fix these issues. I will also answer a few of the most commonly asked questions.

Key Takeaways

  • Save your data by backing it up to a secure location. The best way to avoid loss of information is to back it up regularly.
  • Keep your SD card clean and free of dust or debris.
  • Try using another SD card or using your current SD card on another device before going through the process of formatting.

Why Does an SD Card Say Blank or Unsupported Files?

There are several reasons why your device is telling you that your SD card is blank or has unsupported files. These error messages occur when an SD card is removed from a device while the device is still in use. This abrupt removal can cause corruption issues and even lead to damage to your SD card.

Another reason why you might get these error messages is if a virus has infected the SD card. Many viruses and malware attack your SD card, rearranging or destroying the files and spreading bad sectors through the system. 

Also, if your card is physically damaged, it can cause the data to become inaccessible and result in error messages.

How to Fix Blank or Unsupported File System Error

The biggest question is “How can you fix this error?” Throughout my career and research, I’ve come across four basic fixes to this problem.

1. Try an SD Card on Another Device

Firstly, you can always try to use your SD card on another device to determine if it’s a card problem. If the card works on another device, then your device may be the problem. Conversely, if the card does not work on either device, then the card may be the culprit.

2. Show Hidden Files

Secondly, you may need to look for hidden files. To do this is fairly simple. You start by inserting the SD card into your device. Next, open File Explorer and go to the Tools menu, then to the Folder option. After doing this, click on the View Tab menu and then click the box next to the Hidden Items. You should be able to see the hidden files now.

For Mac users, go to the Finder menu, then go to the main folder where the hidden files may be (such as the Mac root directory), then press Shift + Command + Period to see all the hidden files.

3. Run CHKDSK Command

Lastly, if none of these options work, you may try using the command prompt to conduct a CHKDSK process. Please note that this process should only be attempted if you are technologically astute. If you are not, I suggest that you seek the help of a professional since incorrect commands may lead to fatal data loss.

To run the CHKDSK command, I suggest that you use the Command Prompt App. This app allows you to run the check disk command easily and quickly. You start by typing Command Prompt in the search window. Then you click the Run as Administrator. If you see a prompt asking you if you want to make changes to your computer, click the Yes button

Next, type “CHKDSK” and hit the enter button. Now, the app will scan your computer to look for error messages. If your drive is currently in use, the App may prompt you to restart your computer. Hopefully, the scan finds and fixes any issues that you have at that point.

4. Format SD Card

If you have tried the above methods and have not found success, you can try to format the SD card.

To format the card, click on the drive that represents your SD card. Next, click the Format option. Now, in the File System menu, you should see a drop-down menu. If you are only using the card on Windows devices, select NTFS. If you may use the card on other types of devices, select FAT32. Click Start to start the process. 

The device should give you a pop-up message that asks if you are sure that you want to proceed as this process will erase all your data. Click OK to proceed.


Here are some answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about fixing unsupported filesystem errors.

How Do I Fix an Unsupported Micro SD Card?

You can start by replacing the micro SD card or the card read/adapter if you are using one. If this does not work, show hidden files on the card or consider formatting an unsupported SD card.

Can an SD Card Become Unusable?

Yes, if the card becomes corrupted or damaged, it may be unusable. Likewise, if the card has been used for a lengthy amount of time (perhaps more than 3 years) and has been re-written repeatedly, it may become unusable.

What Does Invalid File Format Mean on an SD Card?

An invalid file format error on your SD card indicates there is some type of corruption on the memory card. There are several ways to attempt to fix this error with the most common method is to format the card.

Final Thoughts

Getting any type of error message when using your SD card is a frustrating experience. No one wants to lose data. As we have discussed here, there are several ways to attempt to fix this issue. As a reminder, please seek the assistance of a professional if you are not familiar with how to conduct command prompt steps.

Have you experienced an SD card error message? How did you address it? Share your experience in the comments below.

Until next time, save and protect your data and enjoy your technology!

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