How to fix a Nokia 5.1 Plus smartphone that cannot detect SD card, SD card not detected error [Troubleshooting Guide]

SD card reading problems in mobile devices are either due to software errors or hardware damage. In most cases though, the phone would fail to read or detect a SIM card because of some software problems inflicted by rogue apps or system malfunction. Bad updates can likewise be the main trigger sometimes. Hardware-related SD card errors in smartphones on the other hand usually surface after the phone was dropped or got wet.

Apparently, there’s nothing more can be done on your end to fix the problem if it’s a damaged hardware is to blame. But not with those that are attributed to software issues. To give you some clues on how to deal with software-related SD card reading error on an Android smartphone, particularly the Nokia 5.1 Plus device, I’ve listed some simple solutions and troubleshooting methods. Read further to find out what to do if your Nokia 5.1 Plus smartphone cannot detect or read the SD card and prompts an SD card not detected error instead.

For smartphone owners who found our site while trying to find a solution, try to see if your phone is one of the devices we support. If it is, then visit the troubleshooting page for that device, browse through it to find issues that are similar with yours and feel free to use our solutions and workarounds. However, if you still need our help after that, then fill up our Android issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

First solution: Reboot or soft reset the phone.

To clear minor software errors that halt the phone’s SD card reading system to fail suddenly, perform a soft reset or reboot your Nokia 5.1 Plus. It’s the simplest yet very effective solution to random app glitches and system malfunctions. And here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds and then release when the menu appears.
  2. Select Power off option. Your phone will then turn off.
  3. After 30 seconds, press the Power button to turn the phone on again.

A soft reset won’t delete information stored on the phone’s internal memory, therefore no data gets lost.

Second solution: Update the phone software to the latest version available.

Software updates also offer security enhancements and fix patches to clear random bugs that caused various symptoms to occur on the phone. This is the main reason why it’s highly recommended to keep your device system up-to-date. To manually check for and download OTA updates for your Nokia 5.1 Plus, refer to these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Select About phone.
  3. Tap System updates.
  4. Tap Check for update.

Your phone must have strong and stable Internet connection, preferably through Wi-Fi because most updates come in huge file size. Thus said, downloading and installing the update file can take time. In line with that, your device must also have at least 50 percent battery life and ample of RAM to allocate the update file.

Third solution: Unmount the SD card then remove it.

Sometimes, SD cards would just go rogue even when they just remain seated in the card slot. The same thing can happen if they’re loose or dislodged. To make sure none of these is halting the phone to detect your SD card, remove and reseat the SD card on your phone. It is highly recommend to unmount or eject the SD card before removing it from the phone. Removing the SD card without mounting it can lead to data corruption or data loss. Here’s how to unmount the SD card on your Nokia 5.1 Plus:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Device.
  3. Tap Storage.
  4. If prompted, tap Eject to unmount the SD card.

You can now safely remove the card from your phone. Continue with these steps to remove the SD card from your Nokia 5.1 Plus device:

  1. Insert the provided card tray ejector into the tiny hole next to the tray.
  2. Gently push the ejector tool to pop the tray out then pull out the card tray.
  3. Take the SD card off from the microSD card slot and then check it for any visible signs of damage. If the card is good, place it back into the card slot in the same position before you remove it. The gold contacts must be facing downwards to establish contact with the card circuit.
  4. After securing the SD card, push the card tray back into place until it’s locked.

When the SD card tray is locked and secured, turn on the phone then mount the SD card. See if your phone can now detect it.

Fourth solution: Boot the phone in safe mode then mount the SD card again.

Some third-party apps particularly those that have gone erratic can also cause trouble when accessing the SD card. If your phone suddenly prompts an  SD card not detected error after downloading a new app, then that app must be the culprit. To figure this out, you can immediate disable the suspected app or boot your phone in safe mode to diagnose other apps. Here’s how to enable safe mode on your Nokia 5.1 Plus:

  1. With your phone turned on, press and hold down the Power button for a few seconds.
  2. Release the Power button when the menu appears.
  3. Touch on the Power off option until the Restart in safe mode prompt appears.
  4. Tap OK then wait for your phone to boot into safe mode.

You should then see a Safe Mode label on the bottom-leftmost corner of the Home screen. Try to access the SD card while your phone is running in safe mode and see if it works. If it does, then you need to determine which app is the trigger and must remove that app. You may need to uninstall individual apps starting from the most recent download.

Fifth solution: Erase/format the SD card on a computer.

Formatting the SD card can be considered the last option and possible solution to try if the problem persists after performing the previous methods. It’s possible that the SD card gets totally corrupted and no longer works unless it reformatted. All files you saved on the card will be deleted in the process, so create backups beforehand if possible. It’s recommended to format SD card on a computer so that you can set appropriate options. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Get your computer, phone and SD card ready.
  2. Insert the SD card into the provided card slot on the computer. You may need to insert the SD card into an SD card adapter first in order to insert them into the computer.
  3. In Windows, open the Windows Explorer.
  4. Locate the drive letter that identifies your SD card.
  5. Right-click on the SD card drive then select Format from the menu options. Doing so will prompt the Format screen.
  6. Set the file system to exFAT for larger cards from 64GB and above storage capacity.
  7. Enter a name for your SD card into the Volume Label textbox.
  8. Click the Start button to begin SD card formatting.
  9. If prompted with a warning message, click OK to proceed.

Wait until your card is successfully formatted. All files stored in it will then be erased.

If you’re attempting to format your SD card on a Mac computer, then follow these steps instead:

  1. Insert the card into the SD card slot on your computer or use an SD-to-USB adapter to connect your SD card.
  2. Open the Finder icon in the Dock.
  3. Click on the Go menu.
  4. Scroll down to and select Utilities.
  5. Double-click Disk Utility.
  6. Click on your SD card’s name in the left-side of the Disk Utility page.
  7. Then click the Erase icon.
  8. Select ExFAT (Recommended) format option from the dropdown list. This format works on both Windows and Mac computers and has no storage limit.
  9. If prompted, specify the name for your SD card, if desired and then click Erase twice to confirm.

Mount the SD card again on your Nokia 5.1 Plus smartphone and see if the problem is fixed or not.

Other options

Try to insert other compatible SD card to your Nokia 5.1 Plus and see if it’s able to detect other cards. If possible, format the SD card first on a computer before mounting it to your phone. Some SD cards could not be read by a device unless it’s pre-formatted as exFAT.

If you suspect that the problem is tied to a damaged component like defective SD card slot or tray, then take your device to the nearest Nokia-authorized service center for hardware assessment. This would be necessary if your phone failed to read your SD card after an accidental drop or liquid exposure.

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