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How to fix a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 that is unable to read a mounted SD card?

External storage devices like SD cards are designed to address a common issue regarding insufficient phone storage. In fact, SD cards are deemed among other necessities by mid-range smartphone users, whenever they needed additional storage space to allocate more apps and files. New Android smartphones including Samsung’s Galaxy series have a microSD card slot as one of its major features. But not all of those who utilized microSD cards have the same positive experience, as other people end up having trouble getting the SD card recognized by their phones. This problem isn’t only affecting midrange devices but also seen on some high-end smartphones.

When a smartphone cannot read the SD card even it’s properly inserted and mounted, it maybe because the SD card is corrupted or damaged. Or it’s also possible that the phone system is glitching and the SD card reading system is afflicted. In general, this problem can be tied to software errors or hardware damage. The solutions I compiled in this context are applicable to an SD card problem on the Galaxy Note 9 device. Read on to find out what options to try if your Samsung Galaxy Note 9 smartphone is unable to read a mounted SD card.

Before anything else, if you have other issues with your device, try to browse through our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed several issues with this device. Odds are that we’ve already published a post that tackles similar problems. Try finding issues that have similar symptoms with what you currently have and feel free to use the solutions we’ve suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, then fill up our questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

How to troubleshoot Galaxy Note with some issues with its SD card

Before troubleshooting, verify and ensure that you are using a compatible SD card for your device. The Galaxy S9 and Note 9 support a wide variety of microSD cards including class 10 rated and UHS-rated cards, ideally U3. You can always do some research on the leading and trusted brands before procuring an SD card to use on your device. Formatting the SD card prior to use is likewise recommended. If you’ve already done all these and your phone is still having trouble reading the card, then try these simple workarounds to rule out software errors.

First solution: Unmount SD card then mount again.

Should this be a random glitch on your phone’s the SD card system, performing a soft reset or device restart will likely be able to deal with it. Otherwise, unmount the SD card on your Galaxy Note 9 and then mount it again. Doing so can help clear out minor errors affecting the SD card reading functions on the phone. Here’s how to unmount and mount SD card on your Galaxy Note 9:

  • Unmount the SD card by going to Settings-> Device maintenance-> Storage-> More option-> Storage settings-> SD card-> then select the option to Unmount.

Unmounting the SD card first is highly encouraged to prevent data corruption to any of the SD card files. It’s like ejecting the SD card for safe removal. Continue with these steps after unmounting the SD card:

  1. Turn your phone completely off.
  2. With the display facing up, head over to the top corner of your phone and then remove the card tray by inserting the removal tool or a paperclip into the provided slot. Doing so will unlock the tray.
  3. Gently pull out the tray and then remove the SD card.
  4. Check the card for any visible signs of damage or dirt. If there’s none, insert the SD card back into the tray with the gold contacts facing down.
  5. Push the card tray back into its slot then press in to secure it.
  6. Turn on your phone.
  7. After the phone boots up, mount the SD card again by going to Settings-> SD card and Phone Storage menu. Finally, tap the option to Mount SD card.

Try to access the SD card after it’s mounted and see if your device is able to read it this time.

Second solution: Try mounting SD card while in safe mode.

To determine if the problem is due to application errors, booting your phone in safe mode can help. Doing so will temporarily disable third-party apps on your phone thus, leaving only stock or preinstalled apps. This makes it easier for you to determine whether or not the problem is due to a third-party application. To enable safe mode on your Galaxy Note 9, refer to these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Power button until the power menu shows up on the screen.
  2. Touch and hold (long press) on the Power off option until it switches into a Safe Mode option.
  3. Then tap on Safe Mode.

Try to access the SD card while your phone is running in safe mode and see if it’s recognized. If your phone is able to read the card in safe mode, then you will need to remove the bad app. But first, you’ll have to determine which from your downloaded apps is the culprit. If necessary, you can disable or uninstall individual apps starting from your most recent download. After disabling or uninstalling an app, test your device to see if the problem is fixed.

Third solution: Format or re-format your SD card.

If your Galaxy Note 9 shows an error message that says, SD card error: a read write error, which occurred when attempting to transfer files from the SD card, formatting your SD card will likely fix it. Here’s how to format an SD card on your Galaxy Note 9:

  1. Swipe up on an empty spot from the Home screen to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Device maintenance.
  4. Tap Storage.
  5. Tap Menu.
  6. Select Storage settings.
  7. Tap SD card.
  8. Select Format.
  9. Tap Format again to confirm action.
  10. Finally, tap Done.

Formatting the SD card deletes everything from the card including corrupted data that caused conflicts.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your Galaxy Note 9.

Invalid settings on the phone can also be the main reason why it’s unable to read external storage devices. This is usually transpiring after installing an update that automatically overrides your current settings. The newly applied settings might have caused conflict on to the SD card system and yields to a read/write error. To clear this out, try to reset all settings on your Galaxy Note 9 with these steps:

  1. Swipe up on an empty spot from the Home screen to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Select General Management.
  4. Tap Reset.
  5. Select the option to Reset settings.
  6. Tap RESET SETTINGS to continue.
  7. If prompted, enter your PIN.
  8. Then tap RESET SETTINGS again to confirm

Unlike a factory reset, this reset won’t affect saved data on your device. All it does is to erase current system settings and then restores the default values. After the reset, you can configure necessary options, enable necessary features, and manage settings according to your previous preferences before the problem started.

Fifth solution: Factory reset your Galaxy Note 9.

A full system reset or master reset would be necessary to clear more complex system errors that prevented your phone from reading the SD card. The fastest way to master reset and restore the original factory settings on your phone is through the settings menu. Again this will delete your personal information on the internal storage including downloads, ringtones, photos, apps, contacts, and other contents. So don’t forget to back up these files beforehand. Here’s what you should do then:

  1. Swipe up on an empty spot from the Home screen to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Select Cloud and accounts.
  4. Then tap Backup and restore. You may select to enable Back up my data and Automatic restore options as you would prefer.
  5. Tap the Back key at the bottom right until you reach the main Settings menu.
  6. Scroll to and tap General Management.
  7. Tap Reset.
  8. Then select Factory data reset from the given options.
  9. Scroll to the bottom of the screen then tap RESET.
  10. Tap DELETE ALL to confirm.
  11. If prompted, enter your screen lock credentials or verify your Samsung account.
  12. Tap CONFIRM then wait until the reset is finished.

Your phone will restart automatically when the reset is successfully completed and then loads the factory default settings. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the initial setup process and then set up your phone as new.

Other options

Since you’ve already exhausted all possible means to clear out software problems that might had caused conflict but to no avail, service can be considered among the next options especially if the card is read by your other devices. There may be some sort of physical or liquid damage on the Galaxy Note 9 SD card components and that therefore needs repair.

For further suggestions and assistance, you may likewise contact your device carrier or Samsung Support.

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