Solutions for Samsung Galaxy S5 SD, MicroSD card Problems [Part 1]

s5 sd

SD card problems are some of the most common issues a user may encounter when using any smartphone device today so it’s hardly surprising that TheDroidGuy receives a fair share of questions about them. This first installment of our troubleshooting series hopes to offer solutions for Samsung Galaxy S5 SD, microSD card problems. This article also shares some tips on how to recover files that appears to have become corrupted. We encourage you to share your problems or solutions with us to make Android community in general. We provide our email at the bottom should you decide to contact us.


Problem #1: Samsung Galaxy S5 unable to detect SD card after updating to Lollipop, Samsung Galaxy S5 keeps saying SD is blank

Hi. I just downloaded  the new Lollipop operating system on my Samsung S5 and now I am unable to view  any of my images in the gallery that are stored in my SD card. 

Only  pictures stored on my device.  — Dejuan

I am having a problem with my Galaxy S5. For the last month my phone keeps telling me that my SD card is blank, or that it is ready to remove. I can’t get this to stop is there anything I can try. Thank you for your time. — Lesley

Solution: Hi Guys. Have you tried inserting the SD card to a computer or another device to see if it still works? Doing this would help you pinpoint where to start. If the SD card works on other devices, that suggests that you have to work on isolating what the real problem is on the phone. Otherwise, you really need to do a more in-depth potential solutions by following the rest of the suggestions in this troubleshooting series (most probably on how to recover files from an SD card) before you consider a replacement.

Problem #2: How to edit files stored on SD card in a Samsung Galaxy S5

Why can’t I edit my files on my SD card? — Brad

Solution: Hi Brad. We need more information to be able to help you properly. Please send us an email with answers for the following questions:

  • What do you exactly mean by “edit”? Does this imply modifying, say, a photo or video stored in the SD card so they look different from the original one?
  • What error message are you getting when trying to “edit”?
  • Can you “edit” the same files when they are transferred to the phone’s internal storage?

We will wait for your response and update this post to reflect them and our solutions.

Problem #3: Samsung Galaxy S5 saying that the memory card has been removed unexpectedly

Dear DroidGuy. My S5 developed SD card issues this morning. It gave me an error that the memory card has been removed unexpectedly. And after I removed it and inserted it back in the phone it didn’t read it anymore, nor any other SD card. I had to eliminate all other possible issues.


Be anxious for nothing but by prayers and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know unto GOD. — Samuel

Solution: Hi Samuel. An S5 suddenly losing its ability to read SD cards rarely happen and if they do, the issue is more likely hardware in nature than firmware, which means you have to consider having it replaced or repaired. If the phone does not read any other SD card, that’s a clear indicator that you have to isolate the exact cause of the problem on your phone. To rule out possible involvement of firmware causes, kindly do the following:

Boot up in Safe Mode. This is to ensure that no third party apps are affecting your phone’s function in reading an SD card. Try using another working SD card while in safe mode and see what happens. If your phone reads that SD card fine, that’s your hint to start removing third party apps from your phone until you eliminate the source.

Delete the phone’s cache partition. This potential solution is usually done after installing a major operating system update but doing it in your case is a good trial and error step to isolating the problem. Because this operating implies deleting the existing phone and system cache, this may or not be effective.

Restore the phone to factory defaults. Always make sure that personal files like photos, videos, contacts, etc stored in your phone’s memory are copied somewhere else before you proceed. If there’s an underlying software problem in your phone, performing a factory reset will most likely eliminate it.

For a complete list of standard troubleshooting solutions for an S5, please visit this tutorial page.

Problem #4: How to restore corrupted files from Samsung Galaxy S5 internal storage

I had originally stored pictures on my phone and transferred them to an SD card to free some space on my phone. The new files are giving me the black broken box icon (the file was corrupted in transfer). Is there any way to recover the original file on the phone, assuming it wasn’t overwritten?

Thank you for your help! I’m really disappointed that these photos were corrupted; they were of me and my sister (who I rarely get to see) at Disney Sea in Japan (we’re both American, so this was a once-in-a-lifetime) trip. — Angela

Solution: Hi Angela. Assuming that the sectors where the photos were stored previously have not been overwritten, there are a handful of effective software that you can use recover them. Be warned though that they are not free and their demo or trial version may have significant limitations that may not suit your needs.

Try to use Recuva first. This recovery software was developed by Piriform, the same company that made Ccleaner. These are steps on how to recover your files using Recuva:

  • Download the product to your Windows computer from their official site.
  • Install Recuva on your computer.
  • Connect your phone to your computer via USB cable.
  • Open Recuva and follow the instructions from the wizard that  will appear. Make sure to select “other” from the list.
  • Select the appropriate option when browsing to the location you want to recover the files from.
  • Check off “enable deep scan” option.
  • Hit the Start button.
  • Wait until the process is finished. Depending on the storage device being scanned, this may take from a few minutes to an hour.

Keep in mind that we are, in no way, affiliated to the developer or to this product. Any harm that may  come to your devices from using Recuva should be settled between you and their customer support team.

If you want to look for other third party recovery software, you can also try:

See another set of solutions for Samsung Galaxy S5 SD, MicroSD card problems in this post .

Problem #5: Samsung Galaxy S5 saves corrupted photos to SD card when using the rear camera

Hi. I’m having an issue with taking pictures and it saving correctly to the SD card. I can take the picture, see the thumbnail.  When I go to the Gallery to see the picture, it shows up with a black screen with an exclamation point.

If I take a picture with the front facing camera – no problems. Everything works as expected. If I take a picture with the picture saving to the device, no issues. I just want to save to the card because the phone is low on space as it is. I’m baffled. Any thoughts on what I can do? Thanks. — Anay

Solution:  Hi Anay. There may be a firmware bug preventing the device from properly saving photos taken by its rear camera. Please do the standard solutions we recommend for Samuel above to help you determine if there’s a software side to this problem.

If you have another SD card, try using it to also check if the problem stems from your current SD card.

Problem #6: Samsung Galaxy S5 showing an exclamation mark on all photos stored in the SD card

Hi. I recently got an SD card and started using it in my phone. The problem occurred when i transferred all my photos to the SD card to free up some space. After I did that, I went to check my photos and realized they were all corrupt and wouldn’t be displayed. Instead there was a photo of a black background with the photo symbol and a “!”. Please help me figure out a way to retrieve all my photos. Thanks. — Cam

Solution: Hi Cam. Hopefully these photos can still be recovered. Try using third party applications like the ones mentioned above and see if any of them work.



Engage with us

If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply contact us by email at [email protected] and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem. 

When describing the problem, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start.

TheDroidGuy has social network presence as well so you may want to interact with our community in our Facebook and Google+ pages.

3 Replies to “Solutions for Samsung Galaxy S5 SD, MicroSD card Problems [Part 1]”

  1. Good day
    Because of limited space in my Samsung J5 I set my camera default to store on my sd card.
    As of recent all the pictures that I have on my sd card come up with a black screen with a picture image of a mountain and an exclamation mark on it. What is this and why all my important pictures can’t be accessed. I need to recover them is this possible ?

  2. I am trying to load an samsung sd card 128 gb with about 30gb of music. I have attempted this five times now with the same result, and after I replaced a generic 128 gb card with this samsung card. The phone is a samsung galaxy s5..I have reformatted the card several times. The files take about 3 hours to download, and once they do, a major part of them are corrupted and wont play, and give an error message that this type of file is not supported, but they are mp3 files and would play if not so many were loaded
    Some do play.. Sometimes they play sounding like a severe skipping cd. Sometimes after rebooting the phone, the corrupted files disappear.

  3. for some strange reason i can view my my sd card images but not ithose stored in the phone memory with “my files” or “gallery” apps included on the phone samsung s5…. help please

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