What to do if your SD card is not detected on your Samsung Galaxy S9 (easy steps)

A prompt solution to insufficient storage issue in mobile devices is the use of SD card. It provides extra storage space to allocate more files and media contents. However, not all SD cards work smoothly on every device given the diversified SD card support system. SD card mounting issues in mobile devices are usually attributed to different factors. Among common culprits are not supported SD card type, corrupted SD card, and damaged SD card , SD card slot, or device itself. In other cases, a device may not be able to detect or recognize the SD card simply because the card is dislodged or not installed correctly. Here in this post, we will tackle a pertinent issue on the new Samsung Galaxy S9. Find out what to do if your SD card is not detected on your new Galaxy handset.

The new Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus support microSD or TransFlash memory card types, preferably class 10, UHS class 1, 3 or newer memory card types. To rule incompatibility issue out from the underlying cause, verify and ensure that you are using a compatible microSD card. Otherwise, consider replacing it with the right card.

If your phone still cannot detect your SD card even if it’s the correct card type, then move on and troubleshoot software issues on your Galaxy S9 that might have caused you this trouble. And here are your options.

Before going further, if you found this post because you were trying to find a solution to your problem, then try to visit our Galaxy S9 troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed most of the commonly reported issues with the phone. We’ve already provided solutions to some of the problems reported by our readers so try to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you and if you need further assistance, fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit.

First solution: Remove and reinstall SD card.

Sometimes, a device won’t be able to detect or read an SD card simply because the card is dislodged or covered in dirt. To make sure this isn’t causing you this trouble, try to remove the SD card from your phone. For safe removal, be sure to unmount before removing the SD card. Here’s the proper way to remove and reinstall SD card on your Samsung S9:

  1. Unmount the SD card by going to Settings-> Device maintenance-> Storage-> More option-> Storage settings-> SD card-> then select the option to Unmount.
  2. Turn your phone completely off.
  3. 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.
  4. Gently pull out the tray and then remove the SD card.
  5. 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.
  6. Push the card tray back into its slot then press in to secure it.

Turn your phone on again and test to see if the SD card is already recognized. Most devices will automatically mount an SD card after it’s inserted into the SD card slot. But if this isn’t the case, then you can mount it manually through the Settings-> SD card and Phone Storage menu. Finally, tap the option to Mount SD card.

MicroSD card cleaning tip:

  • If there’s a need to clean the SD card, you can use a white colored rubber eraser to gently rub the copper piece or gold contacts on your microSD card to remove any dirt. You can also use some nail polish cleaner, dab it in with a Q-tip then gently rub it over the gold contacts of the SD card. Doing so can help detach any erosion. After cleaning, allow the SD card to dry out and then plug it back into the SD card slot on your phone. After securing the SD card tray, turn your phone on. See if you find any luck from the prior workaround.

Second solution: Test SD card on your other device.

To determine if your SD card is working or not, try to insert it into your other devices that support the same SD card type. If the SD card is recognized by your other device, it means that something is preventing your S9 from reading the card but the card is working. In this case, you will need to find out which from your phone’s system components is the culprit. Again you can start by booting your Samsung S9 into safe mode and diagnose third-party apps. Refer to the next procedure.

Third solution: Boot your phone into safe mode.

All third-party apps are bypassed or temporarily disabled in this mode so it would be easier for you to determine whether or not the issue is triggered by a third-party app or not. Here’s how to boot your Samsung S9 into safe mode:

  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.

Your phone will then automatically reboot to safe mode. You should see a Safe Mode badge on the bottom left corner of the screen. If your phone is able to recognize the SD card while in Safe Mode, then it means that a third-party app is to blame. In this case, you may need to uninstall the most recent app you’ve added and then test your phone.

To uninstall an erratic app, go to Settings-> Apps menu, then select the app you want to remove.

If the problem persists while running your device in Safe Mode, press and hold the Power button then tap on Restart to switch back to normal mode. Proceed to the next applicable solution.

Fourth solution: Format your SD card.

If your SD card is new and still empty, you can format it directly. However, if you already have stored some files in it, you will need to do a file transfer first as they will all be wiped out in the formatting process. You can move your SD card contents to your computer through a card reader. Once everything is set, follow these steps to format your SD card:

To format SD card on your Samsung Galaxy S9, follow these steps:

  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. Wait until the SD card is completely formatted then tap Done.

Restart your phone and see if it’s now able to detect your SD card.

Fifth solution: Hard reset your Galaxy S9 (factory reset).

This should be considered as the last resort if all else failed to fix the problem and your Samsung S9 still cannot detect your SD card. A full system reset will likely fix the problem especially if it’s triggered by a complex system error on the phone. But it’s also worth to note that this reset will wipe all your data including personal settings and information stored on the internal memory. That said, back up your phone before you proceed with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Scroll to and tap on General management.
  3. Scroll to and tap Reset.
  4. Select Factory Data Reset from the given options. This will wipe out all your data and personal information from your device. Bugs and software glitches are also obliterated in the process thus gives your device a clean fresh start.

Wait until the reset is finished and your phone reboots. Proceed with the initial device setup and try to mount your SD card again to see if it’s now recognized by your phone.

Seek further assistance

Contact Apple Support and seek further assistance and other options if your Samsung Galaxy S9 still cannot detect any SD card you tried to insert. There might be a more serious problem on the device that needs to be fixed by a technician or intricate system error that needs to be dealt with on your phone.

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