4 Ways to Fix SD Card Reader Not Working on Windows 10

Sep. 19, 2019 / Updated by Bessie Shaw to Windows 10

SD card reader is not working after the Windows 10 upgrade or update, like the Windows 10 Creators Update or Anniversary Update? The SD memory card drive is not detected when it is inserted into the card reader? The SD card is not working on Windows 10 but works fine on Windows 8.1 or Windows 7?

Many Windows users come across the SD card reader not working error after the Windows 10 update and fail to get access to their important SD card data. It's a very nerve-wracking but also common issue that Windows 10 is stuck on the “SD card not recognized” problem. Don’t be worried. In this Windows 10 guide, we’ll walk you through top 4 ways to tackle this card reader not working issue.

Way 1. Check the SD Card Reader-related Hardware Devices on Windows 10

What you need to do first is to check the SD card reader-related hardware devices, including the SD memory card, the card reader, the USB slot, etc. This can help to detect which device triggers the “SD card not recognized” problem.

1. Make sure your SD card is not corrupted and make sure the gold connector of the SD card is attached to that of the card reader.

2. You can use an eraser to wipe away the dirt on the gold finger of the card and re-connect it to Windows.

3. Insert the card into another Windows 10 computer to see if it is recognized. If the PC fails to detect the SD card, you may need to check the card reader slot on the computer.

4. Insert the SD card into an external card reader, for example, a USB card reader, to test if the computer could recognize it.

5. Try other USB slots of the PC to see if it is accessing the SD card data.

Note: If you lose your SD card data by accident, you can use Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery to recover the files, images, music, etc.

If there’s no problem with the hardware, you can take your time following the easy steps below to solve the card reader issue.

Way 2. Use Windows 10 Troubleshooting to Fix SD Card Reader Not Working Issue

Troubleshooting is a built-in tool in Windows 10 that allows you to quickly figure out the device issues. You can follow the steps below to run the troubleshooting and make Windows 10 to fix the SD card reader not working issue automatically.

1. Insert your SD card into the card reader on your PC.

2. Open the Control Panel.

3. Switch to the view by Small icons.

4. Click the Troubleshooting.

5. Click the Configure a device.


6. Click the Next button on the popup box to make Windows 10 detect device problem.

7. After that, Windows will give solutions to you and you can click the Apply this fix to solve the SD card reader issue.


For Windows 10 Creators Update users, you can troubleshoot the card reader issue via the Settings.

1. Use Windows shortcut keys Win + I to launch the Settings.

2. Go to the Update & security menu.

3. Select Troubleshoot on the left side.

4. On the right side, scroll down and highlight the Hardware and Devices.

5. Click the Run the troubleshooter to fix the problem.


Way 3. Name the SD Card Drive and Make the Card Reader Available

Assigning a drive letter to the SD card is one of the workarounds to solve the card reader not working problem. You can try the following steps to get access to the data on your SD card:

1. Right-click the Start menu.

2. Select the Disk Management.

3. Check your hard drive disks as well as the SD card drive on the list.

4. Right-click the SD card drive and select the Change Drive Letter and Paths if there’s no drive letter beside your SD card.

5. Click the Add or the Change button to name a new drive letter, for example, [H:].

6. Click the OK.


Then you can open the File Explorer and check the data on your SD card.

Way 4. Update the SD Card Reader Driver or the USB Driver

If Windows 10 can’t recognize your integrated card reader or USB card reader, you may need to check the card reader driver or USB driver. You can open the Device Manager and expand the device entries to see if there are yellow triangles with an exclamation mark. This means the device driver runs into problems and results in SD card reader not working issue on Windows 10.

The outdated, missing or incompatible device driver can also cause other Windows problems, like black screen after Windows update, USB device not recognized issue, hardware device error code 43, etc. In this case, you can use Driver Talent, the safest and fastest way to update drivers to help to download and install the compatible card reader driver or USB driver for Windows 10.

Download Now

As the professional driver download and update utility, Driver Talent offers the latest official or WHQL SD card reader drivers, such as Samsung Card Reader drivers, Dell Card Reader drivers, Realtek Card Reader Drivers, HP Card Reader Driver, etc.

Here’s how to update card reader drivers in seconds:

Step 1. Scan the Computer

Launch Driver Talent. Click the Scan button to make it detect the OS for faulty drivers.


Step 2. Download and Install Card Reader Driver Update

After the scanning, click the Update button if there is proper card reader driver or USB driver available. Or you can click the Repair button to fix the card reader not working issue instantly.


Step 3. Restart the PC

Perform a reboot to make the driver changes take effect.

Note: It’s better to create a system restore point and backup the drivers before any system changes so that you can restore the system and the drivers once Windows 10 runs into other problems.

That’s it. Hope this post can be a reference for you to troubleshoot the SD card not recognized issue. If you still fail to fix the “card reader not working” problem on your Windows 10, please comment below or click the LEFT MENU on this page for more help. Any other Windows 10-related issues, see Windows 10 Issues and Fix section on this site.

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