How to fix Galaxy A5 won’t detect SD card issue

While it’s not everyday that a phone fails to detect an SD card, the problem is one of the most frustrating issues anybody can encounter. If your Galaxy A5 is having a problem detecting an SD card, follow our troubleshooting steps below.

Problem: Galaxy A5 won’t read SD card

Hi. I have a Samsung Galaxy A5 and I’ve been using an SD card for more than a year now with no trouble. Suddenly, one day it stops reading it. The rest of the phone works just fine. The card nor the phone have experienced any trouble at all. I tried removing it and putting it back in, and restarting the phone but still doesn’t read it. What can I do?

Solution: Troubleshooting an issue like this is not straightforward and requires patience. Below are the troubleshooting steps that you can try:

Check SD card with another phone

One of the first things that you want to establish early on is to know whether or not you have an SD card issue. To do that, you can insert the one you have a problem with to another phone and see if it will read it. If the second phone won’t also read the SD card, that means it is not working. It may be corrupted. On the other hand, if the second phone detects it and reads files in it, the cause of your problem must be phone-related. If that’s the case, you can continue with the troubleshooting below.

Use another SD card

To confirm if there’s an issue with your phone, insert a second SD card. Borrow one from a friend, or buy one. If your Galaxy A5 will still not recognize that SD card, you can bet there’s a phone issue you need to deal with.

App or software bug

If your Galaxy A5 detects the second SD card though, it can mean that either there’s a software bug that prevents your device from detecting the card. This bug may be due to an app or something from the Operating System.

To see if it’s a bug issue, try to restart your phone to safe mode. Here’s how:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Take out the SD card.
  3. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  4. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  5. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  6. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  7. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  8. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.
  9. Insert the SD card and see if your A5 detects it.

Remember, no downloaded apps will run on safe mode. So, if your A5 only reads your SD card on safe mode, that means one of the apps is causing the problem. To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your A5 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Reset app preferences

Apps can become a problem for a number of reasons but one of the most common cause is due to a disabled default app or service. In order to do a certain task, most apps depend on default Samsung or Android apps. If, for some reason, a necessary default app has been disabled, third party apps that might need it may not work properly. Such a situation can lead to problems. To ensure that all default apps are enabled, try to reset your app preferences with these steps:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap More settings (three-dot) icon at the upper right.
  4. Tap Reset app preferences.

Reformat

If you think that the problem lies on the SD card itself, what you can do is to reformat it. Afterwards, insert it back to your Galaxy A5 and see what happens.

We suggest that you reformat the SD card using your A5. NOTE: Doing this step will erase all contents in that card.

To reformat an SD card:

  1. Turn off the phone.
  2. Insert the SD card.
  3. Turn the phone back on.
  4. Open Settings app.
  5. Tap Device maintenance.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap SD card.
  8. Tap More settings (upper right)
  9. Tap Storage settings.
  10. Tap SD card.
  11. Tap Format.

Factory reset

If your Galaxy A5 won’t read any SD card you insert, it’s possible that there may be a software bug causing it. To check, revert all its settings to their defaults with factory reset.

  1. Back up data in the internal memory. If you have signed into a Samsung account on the device, you have activated Anti-theft and will need your Samsung credentials to finish the master reset.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Get Samsung support

If your A5 won’t read any SD card even after a factory reset, there must be a problem with its hardware. It can be a bad SD card tray or another component inside. Send it in for repair to resolve the issue.