How To Fix SD Card Problems on Samsung Galaxy S5 [Part 1]



We can’t imagine a smartphone user today who does not know what an SD card is. Ubiquitous as they seem though, many users are still trying to really understand how an SD cards work in an Android environment as well as how they must be maintained to last longer.

If you are reading this article, chances are you have a Samsung Galax5 S5 and looking for some answers to an issue related to your phone’s SD card. We hope that this article will help you address your problems.

If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply contact us by leaving us a message on this form and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem. 

When describing the problem, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start.

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Common SD Card Problem and Resolution:

A common reason for people running out of memory is due to the photos and videos stored on the phone.  The easiest way to solve is this to sign up for Amazon’s Prime subscription with 30 day free trial, all member will get unlimited storage for photos saved onto the cloud.  Once set up correctly, you can have all photos automatically saved onto the cloud and you can safely delete all photos on your phone to clear the memory space.  Oh, and be sure to check out all the other perks that comes with an Amazon Prime account.

The following topics have been raised by some of our readers:

Problem #1: Samsung Galaxy S5 saying “Storage space running out. Some system functions may not work” error | Samsung Galaxy S5 lag problems due to SD card

Recently, the phone is no longer reading my SD card and now it keeps saying that space on my phone is running out. The one thing that I hate most of all, is that it’s SO SLOW with the simplest tasks. Just yesterday, it took an hour to load up the Internet. Not to mention that when it does freeze, I have to take the battery out and restart the phone. I am doing this now almost 5 times a day. I don’t want to end up having to replace it because I just got it in October and I’m hoping that it won’t need major fixing. Please help. — Liz

¬†I have AT&T, and my SD was working fine. After I installed Android 5, my S5 Active stopped recognizing it. I’ve removed the card & restarted the phone, but it’s no longer working. — Steven

Solution: Hi Liz and Steven. Your problem descriptions are consistent with what a user will experience if there’s a problem with the SD card and not on the phone itself. Whether the SD card has been corrupted or damaged after an update, it always results to performance issues when trying to open apps, slow performance browsing via a browser, phone freezing, annoying error notifications like what Liz’s phone is showing, and/or a message showing that the SD card cannot be detected.

An Android device is designed to alert its user if the internal or primary storage (NOT the SD card) device is nearing its capacity. The error “Storage space running out. Some system functions may not work” is normal if a user usually uses the internal storage device to keep large numbers of photos, videos, music and apps. Leaving barely enough internal storage space often causes random restarts and app’s not loading the way they normally do. You must give your phone enough storage space (internal) for it to work properly. That being said, try to do a simple trick byclearing the phone’s dumpstate/logcat files. This trick was especially helpful for older smartphones because of their significantly smaller internal storage space. Deleting dumpstate/logcat files will not affect personal data so you don’t need to worry about deleting those precious photos and videos. Here’s how:

  • Pull up the phone dialer app.
  • Dial *#9900#.
  • Tap Delete dumbpstate/logcat button.
  • Hit OK.
  • Scroll to the end of the screen and tap Exit.

Now, if deleting dumpstate won’t give your phone enough space to operate properly or if you continue to receive the same error, try to manually deleting unused apps or move them to your SD card. Remember, some apps are designed to work only when stored in your phone’s primary storage.

Steven, your issue may be a little different so try inserting another SD card to your S5 first. There’s no better way to isolate the issue than this. We’ve heard of some rare cases that SD cards get corrupted after installing the Lollipop update. If you still can, try to insert your current SD card to another device and make sure to create a copy of whatever files you may have in there. Afterwards, reformat the card using a computer if your S5 continues to refuse to read it.

Problem #2: Samsung Galaxy S5 showing “SD Card has been removed unexpectedly” error

Hi. I have got your mail address from a site. My phone is showing that the SD card has been automatically removed and shows the dialogue box “SD Card has been removed unexpectedly.”

Please help me with this as it’s really annoying. I have seen your suggestions. Mostly you recommend hard reset but I don’t want to do hard reset. Give me the solutions without hard reset if it is possible. Hope you could help. — Avin

Hi there. Since the Lollipop update a few days ago, several problems keep popping up with my Samsung S5 with one of them saying that the SD card was unexpectedly removed. Then a message that says preparing SD card. Any fixes you have would be greatly appreciated. Sign me – missing my iPhone! Thanks. — JA731

Solution: Hi Avin and JA731. When an Android phone shows the “SD Card has been removed unexpectedly” error, any of the following conditions may be true:

The phone’s microSD port is messing up. The microSD port is where you insert the SD card in. it’s a simple metallic housing that doesn’t look much but if it’s faulty due to some unknown reason, creating enough space for the SD card to lose contact with the metal connecters, that’s considered a hardware failure. You can either have the port replaced by a technician or simply ask for a replacement from the store or your service provider.

The microSD card’s metallic contacts are dirty. Considered part of the microSD port, the metallic contacts may sometimes become dirty due to dust or smudge. Try cleaning it with a clean, soft cloth or any dust remover. Don’t use any liquid to clean it. Make sure that the card fits snugly in the port when you insert it.

The microSD card is bad. The best way to verify this is to use another SD card or insert the SD card to another device to check its functionality. If the SD card will work on another device, create a copy of your personal files and reformat it before inserting it back to your S5.

Problem #3: SD card gets corrupted after rebooting the Samsung Galaxy S5

My SD card becomes corrupted every time I reboot the device. Therefore I need to reformat the SD card every time after reboot in order to work again, losing all my card content in the process. — Robin

Solution: Hi Robin. This problem can be caused by either be a software bug in your phone, or a faulty SD card. Try using another SD card on your phone and see what happens.

If you need to recover something from your SD card (in case there’s not a problem) with the phone, we recommend that you try the steps in this guide posted by an AndroidCentral forum member: This will walk you through the steps on how to use Chkdsk command in a Windows computer to recover your files.

Let us know if you have other concerns or if nothing works.

Problem #4: Purpose of the SD card on Samsung Galaxy S5

Hello. I have a 64GB SD card. When I take a picture, it automatically saves to my SD card but yet even when I move the app to my SD card it still takes up space on my phone. So why have a large SD card? I thought the purpose of the SD card expandable storage was to free up room on the phone. My phone lags when you go from screen to screen or app to app. How can I fix this, besides deleting my apps? Thanks. — Michelle

Just got my S5 a couple weeks ago.¬† Had a Galaxy Nexus and had plenty of space. When I transferred over to S5, I started getting error notices that state I don’t have enough room to add an app. I bought a 64GB SD disk and moved as many apps over to it.¬† I cleared out my pictures in gallery to a minimum. The photos and video storage bar says I still have 5GB taken up by pictures. Cleared the cache as well and nothing has made a difference. My phone dealer told me to call Samsung. Please advise. Thanks. — Lori

After moving 300 plus photos to a new micro SD card, the device memory still indicates that they are there ( they also are on the SD card) and it hasn’t opened up any storage space (which means I can’t do the software update).¬† An earlier response to the same question was to restart the phone, which I have done twice to no avail.¬† Any other suggestions? Thank you. — Mark

Solution: Hi Michelle, Lori, and Mark. The Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone has a rather disappointing 16- or 32GB internal storage capacity if we consider the file sizes of today’s high definition contents. A good high definition movie clip can significantly eat up a lot of capacity when kept in your phone’s S5 primary storage. That’s the main reason why Samsung chose to continue supporting SD cards (at least until the S5 as the S6 no longer supports a secondary storage device). Having a secondary storage like your SD card however, does not mean that users can simply pile up files in the phone without checking for the remaining space. Keep in mind that your phone cannot automatically move files or apps to an SD card by itself. Once the primary storage runs out, the user must ensure that files are managed properly by transferring them to another location. As mentioned above, not all apps are designed to be moved to an SD card so try to keep watch on your phone’s storage space regularly.

Mark, make sure that you delete the duplicate files that are still stored in your phone’s internal storage. We think that you simply selected the “copy” (and not the “move”) option when transferring the files to the SD card. If this keeps on happening though despite having manually transferred your files to the SD card, kindly do a factory reset to eliminate possible bugs.

Problem #5: How to choose the best SD Card for a Samsung Galaxy S5

I have had my Galaxy S5 since the first of 2015 and have taken a number of model train action videos using it. I do occasionally get a lag, or out of focus issue, in the footage, but I am not sure if it is caused by the focus or saving speed.

Would a better SD card improve the quality of my videos? I currently have a class 4.

If it is caused by a focus issue is there a better way to help insure less lag or out of focus situations.

Thanks. — John


Solution: Hi John. For standard camera usage like single-shot takes, even the slowest SD card speed class may tolerate it. However, if you are recording a fast sequence of photos or shooting high-resolution videos, the card has to be fast to keep up.

Getting higher speed class SD card also works well for users who need to capture moments in rapid succession or high-resolution videos and need them to save their work directly on the SD card. If you are using the phone’s internal storage to store the raw file first, you can skip upgrading to a faster class. We recommend though that you use a class 10 UHS-1 card to optimize your phone camera’s capability. Samsung’s own line of EVO Memory Cards are all rated Class 10 with up to 48MB/s capture speed (in contrast to your Class 4 card’s 4MB/s) so that would be fully compatible with your device.

In theory, the higher the speed class, the faster the card’s data rate is. Keep in mind though that class ratings can only indicate the minimum speed and not the actual speed of the card. There’s a chance that your Class 4 card’s actual speed may be faster than a low-quality Class 10 card although that can be harder to track. If you want to know how to check the real speed of your card, you can run a benchmark test in this link.

Class 10 cards will definitely blow Class 4s but your specific question might also be due an entirely different reason. Try using an upgraded SD card and see the difference first. We believe it all boils down to the speed class of your SD card.

Because you want to record a probably high definition video, try using a respectable brand of SD card. While we have no stake on whatever brand you’ll buy, you can always count ones from SanDisk, Toshiba, Panasonic, Lexar Pro, and Platinum II.

Problem #6: Email downloads not going to the SD card

Recently my S5 will not download new emails as it says space is not available. I added an 119 SD card but it hasn’t changed as down loads are not going to the card? How do I fix it? Thank you. — Kevin

Solution: Hi Kevin. The email that you are using is most probably locked in the phone’s primary storage for security. This is true for the stock email app for Samsung Galaxy series. Even after the Lollipop update, some apps are still designed to run only when stored in the phone’s internal memory. The best thing that you can do is to manually free up storage space in your phone’s primary storage or by uninstalling unnecessary apps. If you have tons of pictures, videos, or music in your phone, you may want to consider managing them to allow more space for your incoming emails.



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