SD Card Not Showing Up on Mac (Sonoma)? 8 Quick Fixes

Kelly Wu
Last updated: Dec 13, 2023

In this blog post, you'll discover why your SD card isn't showing up on your Mac and find troubleshooting tips to address the issue.

It can be frustrating when you insert an SD card into your Mac, and it doesn't show up. Curious about why this happens and how to get your Mac to recognize your SD card? You've come to the right place. In this article, we'll guide you through the reasons behind it and offer a few effective ways to solve the problem.

8 Fixes for SD Card Not Showing Up on Mac (Sonoma)

Why Doesn't My SD Card Show Up on My Mac?

It's important to figure out why the SD card is not showing up on your Mac. Here are some common ones:

  • Connection issues
  • Corrupt SD card
  • Locked SD card
  • Incompatible SD card reader
  • Faulty SD card
  • Unsupported file system
  • Issues with macOS

Now that you have a clear idea of why your Mac doesn't read your SD card, read on to learn how to get your Mac to recognize your SD card successfully.

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How to Get Your Mac to Recognize Your SD Card

1. Remove Your SD Card and Inset It Again

The most straightforward troubleshooting step is to remove your SD card from the card reader and insert it again. This can help address connection issues that lead to the SD card not showing up on your Mac.

2. Try with Another SD Card Reader

Sometimes, your SD card may not mount on your Mac because of a faulty or corrupt SD card reader. If possible, insert your SD card into another SD card reader to check if the issue persists.

3. Check if Your SD Card Is Locked

Some SD cards feature a lock switch designed to prevent accidental writing to the card's contents.

If your SD card is not mounted on your Mac, check the card's edge for a small switch. If the SD card is locked, toggle the switch to unlock it.

4. Check Finder Settings

Once you insert an SD card into your Mac, it should appear in the sidebar of your Finder. If you don't find it, it may be due to the Finder settings. Follow these steps to set your Finder to show your SD card:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Click on the Finder menu and select Settings.
  3. Switch to the Sidebar tab and check all the options under Locations.
    Show SD Card in Finder Sidebar
  4. If you want to show your SD card on the desktop, switch to the General tab and check External Disks and CDS, DVDs, and iPods.
    Show SD Card on Desktop
    Related Article: iPhone Not Showing Up in Finder? Try These 9 Fixes

5. Format Your SD Card

If your SD card is in a format that Mac doesn't support, it will not show up on your Mac. To have your Mac recognize it, it's advisable to back up your SD card on a PC. Afterward, format it to a format that Mac can read, such as FAT32 or exFAT.

Here's how to format your SD card on your Mac:

  1. Connect your SD card with your Mac.
  2. Open Disk Utility and select your SD card in the sidebar.
  3. Click the Erase button in Disk Utility's toolbar.
  4. Rename your card, choose the format you want, and click Erase.
Erase SD Card on Mac with Disk Utility

6. Restart Your Mac

Restarting can resolve various minor issues with your Mac. Simply click the Apple menu and select Restart to reboot your Mac. After restarting, check if the SD card appears.

7. Repair Your SD Card

If none of the above methods help your Mac recognize your SD card, there might be issues with your SD card. In such a case, first, check if your SD card appears in the sidebar of Disk Utility, then use the First Aid tool to repair your card.

Here's how:

  1. Open Applications > Utilities > Disk Utility.
  2. Check if your SD card is listed on the left side.
  3. If it appears, right-click on it and choose Mount to force it to mount on your Mac, or click the First Aid option in Disk Utility's toolbar to address the potential issues with your SD card.
Repair SD Card with Mac Disk Utility

8. Update Your macOS

Some bugs in older macOS versions may cause SD card not showing up issues. It's a good idea to check if your macOS is up to date. Simply click the Apple menu > System Settings > General > Software Update.

Check Software Upate on Mac
Whether you're upgrading or downgrading macOS, it's recommended that you create a backup for your Mac beforehand.


In the above content, we list 8 solutions for an SD card not showing up on your Mac. We hope that at least one of them works for you. If all of them fail to get your Mac to read your SD card, try on another Mac or PC, or contact the SD card seller for professional assistance.

Living in Chengdu, Kelly is an Apple technician focused on Mac, iPhone, and iOS repairs. Meanwhile, he's also a columnist at Dr.Buho, with a simple mission to help fix Apple things that are with software or hardware glitches.