How to Fix It When SD Card Won’t Mount on Android

If your SD card or MicroSD card won’t mount on Android, it might be a compatibility issue. You might also have to manually mount the card in the settings app, or format the file system to an appropriate one for Android devices.

I’m Caleb, and I have plenty of hands-on experience with SD cards, using them with multiple devices ranging from my cameras to my phone. I’m familiar with some of the problems and quirks that can come up when using them.

In this article, I’ll look into some of the specific reasons why an SD card might not mount on Android, and how you can fix it. 

If you already have an SD card picked out, but it just isn’t showing up on your Android device, keep reading for the best ways to solve this problem.

Fixing SD Card Won’t Mount on Android

Unfortunately, there’s no one, definitive solution for this problem. It can have a variety of causes, so you might have to try different methods to find a working fix.

Before we get into the solutions, I should mention that the methods here work for both full-sized and microSD cards. So, while I’ll be referring to SD cards here, everything is still applicable if you’re using a microSD card with your device.

1. Check if the SD Card is Compatible

Most SD cards should be compatible with most Android devices, but it’s still possible to run into problems. For example, you might be using a very old SD card with a newer phone.

In cases like these, your SD card might not have the required performance specs to keep up with your high-end phone, and as a result, your phone doesn’t recognize the SD card.

Because the list of Android devices is very long and diverse, I can’t give a list of every single device and which SD cards are compatible with each one. 

I can only suggest looking up your specific device and seeing if it has specific requirements for SD cards. For example, your device might require a certain speed class.

Mount SD Card In Settings

If your SD card isn’t mounted automatically for whatever reason, you may be able to mount it from the settings app and begin using it.

The exact process depends on your phone manufacturer. However, on my device, the correct path within the settings app is Storage, then Advanced, followed by SD Card.

And then tap Mount to continue. 

2. Try Using Another SD Card

If you’re still stuck after trying to mount the SD card from the settings app, one possible solution is to try a different card.

Seeing how your phone does with a second SD card can reveal whether the problem is with the SD card itself, or with your phone. If the problem goes away when using the other card, then it’s most likely a compatibility issue, or something wrong with the SD card itself.

3. Format Your SD Card

For your Android device to recognize your SD card, it has to have the right file system format. Android can read FAT32, EXT4, EXT3, and exFAT systems. 

Notably, this list doesn’t include the NTFS format, or APFS, which are common formats for Windows and Apple-based devices respectively. If your SD card’s file system isn’t one of the types recognized by Android, you’ll have to reformat it on your computer.

Place the SD card in your computer’s card slot, or use a card reader. Then, right-click on the device in the file explorer and choose the Format option, following the prompts to format it into one of the accepted Android file systems.

Be warned, however, that this will erase any files you have on the SD card at the time. If your SD card has anything you would like to save, be sure to make a backup elsewhere.

4. Clean the SD Card or Slot

Physical dust, dirt, and grime can also get in the way of your SD card working properly. This can apply whether it’s the SD card itself that’s dirty, or the slot on your phone.

You can use a camera lens blower to gently get rid of dust from the area of the slot without causing damage. 

Additionally, you may want to clean the SD card’s contacts, and the gold parts on the back, with a cotton swab and 99% or higher isopropyl alcohol. Lower grades than this have too much water to be fully safe with electronics.

5. Update Your Android Device

Finally, make sure that your Android device is up-to-date. Software is always changing, and there’s a chance that the latest update will address your problem from the software side. 

Updates can also improve your phone’s performance in general, which can cut down on bugs like your SD card not being recognized.


Here are some of the frequently asked Android SD Card questions.

Why Is My SD Card Not Showing on Android?

If your SD card isn’t showing up at all, it might not be compatible with your specific Android phone. It might also have the wrong file system format, in which case you’ll have to format it to the correct one using your computer.

How Do I Force My SD Card to Mount on Android?

If your SD card isn’t automatically mounted, you can do so by heading to the settings app, finding the Storage section, and the SD Card option. From there, you should be presented with a choice to mount your SD card.

How Do I Reset My SD Card?

Formatting your SD card will “reset” it in a way, as this removes all the data and rewrites the file system. You can format your Android SD card by going into the Storage options, selecting the SD Card menu, and choosing Format.


Ultimately, there are a number of reasons why an SD card might not mount at first on Android. You might have to mess around for a bit to find a solution, whether that’s through mounting the SD card in the settings or formatting it with the right file system using a computer.

Is there any method you’ve found to fix this Android problem? Tell us in the comments!

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