What to do about the Samsung Galaxy S8 that cannot detect the new SD card [Troubleshooting Guide]

We have some readers who contacted us because their new phone cannot detect or read the SD card they inserted. Typically, this problem is very easy to fix and as long as your phone hasn’t been physically damaged or had its firmware modified, you can rest assured the problem is with the SD card and not with the phone.

In this post, we will try to look into this problem with the Samsung Galaxy S8 being the subject of our troubleshooting. The very first thing we will have to do is to look for signs of both liquid and physical damages and once we can verify that this problem isn’t caused by them, we’ll proceed with our practical troubleshooting. So, if you are one of the owners of this phone and are currently bugged by a similar problem, continue reading as this post may help you.

Should you have other issues with your phone, feel free to visit our Galaxy S8 troubleshooting page for we have already addressed a lot of problems before and odds are that there could already be issues that are similar with yours. If you need further assistance, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

Troubleshooting SD Card that can’t be detected by Galaxy S8


This troubleshooting guide will be centered on making sure it’s not an issue with the phone but we will also be giving you some pointers on how to thoroughly check the SD card itself. We don’t suggest things that can potentially damage your phone or its accessories so you can rest assured that this troubleshooting guide will be safe yet effective.

Verify the problem is not due to physical or liquid damage

Determining physical damage is easy as there should be visible dents or scratches if the phone was dropped or got hit by something hard. If you tried removing its covers and then this problem started, it should also be a sign of a physical damage. Depending on your expertise, you may try fixing the problem by undoing what you did with your phone if possible.

As to the possibility that this is due to liquid damage, the best thing you could do is check the USB port and the liquid damage indicator itself. Look into the  charging port to see if there is trace of moisture or if it’s wet. If it is, then use a cotton swab to clean around the area or insert a small piece of tissue to absorb the moist.

To check the liquid damage indicator, remove the SIM card tray and look into the slot. Look for the small sticker which would tell you if liquid has entered your phone. If the sticker is still white, then the device is free from liquid damage but it’s a different story if it turned red, pink or purple.

Should there be signs of physical or liquid damage, the best thing you could do is bring the phone to the shop and let the tech handle the problem for you.

Test the SD Card with other devices

It’s simple. If the SD card work with other devices, then the problem is with your phone but it doesn’t mean it’s serious. However, if the SD card doesn’t work with other devices as well, then it’s clear that the issue is with it and there’s a whole bunch of other possibilities that we have to consider.

But assuming it works with other devices, here’s what I suggest  you do with your phone:

  • Run it in Safe mode but make sure the SD card is properly mounted. Access your files from the card to see if you can, if you can’t, then move on to the next procedure.
  • Make sure it’s virtually mounted on your phone. For the SD card to work, it should be physically and virtually mounted in your phone. Go to the Settings > Storage and see if it’s mounted.
  • Make sure the SD card is compatible with your device. There’s a small percentage of SD cards that aren’t compatible with certain models of phones. Refer to the user guide or packaging label to know more about the SD card or contact the store where you bought it.
  • Reset your phone and see if it works. Assuming the card is compatible with your phone but it still fails to read it, then let’s rule out the possibility that your phone’s settings have been messed up. Backup your important files and data and then reset your phone to see if it can read the card after that.

Things you should do if the SD card can’t be detected by other devices

You will only have to do these things if the SD card doesn’t work well with your S8 and other devices. Go through the list and see if one of them works…

  • Let your laptop read it. If possible, get an SD card adapter and then let the computer or your laptop read it. Computers can easily read external storage devices even if they have issues.
  • Format the SD card using a computer. Regardless whether your laptop can read the SD card or not, try to reformat it. This is the best solution if the card got corrupt for some reason. Of course, if your computer can read it, grab that opportunity to make a backup of your important files.
  • Mount the SD card back on your phone. After you’ve reformatted the card, it’s time to try it on your phone to see if the format process did help.
  • Buy a new one. After doing all these things and the SD card is still unreadable by your devices, then it’s time to get a new one. If you just bought it, you better bring it back to the store and have it replaced.

SD cards are often subject to corruption especially if your device randomly restarts. The first time you’re getting an error when trying to access files from the storage device, do your best to make a backup of your important files and data so that you won’t lose them if things go south.

I hope that this troubleshooting guide can help you fix a problem or two with your phone. If you need further assistance, we’re always willing to help you. Feel free to contact us anytime.

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