Solutions for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SD, MicroSD Card Issues [Part 1]

Have you been experiencing SD card problems on your Note 3? We have received a multitude of SD card problems lately so this troubleshooter series is our own little way to help some members of our Android community. This first article covers 9 problems that are commonly encountered by our readers.

Note 3 SD

If you have sent us a request for assistance regarding the matter before, please watch out for the next posts in this series. We are doing our best to publish all emails about this problem as fast as we can.

Problem #1: App transformed into a small icon after it was moved to the SD card

Hi TDG! On my phone I have the apps on the widget screen, I think that’s what its’ called.  But when I transfer the app over to the SD card the app turns into a small SD card that has the title of the app at the bottom instead of the regular picture looking app. Can that be fixed? — Terri

Solution: Hi Terri. Some apps are not designed to be stored in a secondary storage device like your SD card. If the app you have moved to the SD card does not work after the transfer, simply reinstall it so you can continue using it.

Problem #2: Note 3 stops reading SD card due to damaged tray

I bought a refurbished AT&T Note 3 N900A. I accidently put a nano SIM card in micro SD card tray. It was stuck and when I was able to get it out it seems I bent two teeth in the wrong direction and my Note 3 will not read SD cards now. I found a replacement tray on eBay for $5 but I am unable to find any information on how to replace the tray. Or can the current tray be repaired? — Christopher

Solution: Hi Christopher. We don’t provide hardware repair advice on this blog. We suggest that you let a professional fix the SIM card tray to ensure the phone’s reliability. If you want to do it yourself do though, you may want to search for online forums that cater to hardware repair. Websites like iFixit and some XDA-Developers threads specializes in issues like this.

Problem #3: Deleted photos and videos reappear after deleting them

Well, since taking the Android 5 update, or whatever it’s called, I’ve noticed that when I delete photos off of my phone storage, they automatically show right back up. Also, I have several movies stored on my SD card, when I try to delete a few of them, they just reappear later as well.

Just as frustrating, is the new problem of exporting a movie off of Dropbox and onto my phone. It will play just fine, but when I move the movie file to the SD card, it won’t play. With that being said, I have just as many .mkv video files on the card as I do .mp4’s.

I’m about to take a hammer to this phone. Please help if you can. — DMNCorry

Solution: Hi DMNCorry. We are still surprised from time to time that updating to Lollipop results to unusual problems like this one. The main reason that we can think of is the Android’s switch from Dalvik to ART. Both are set of instructions an Android operating system use to execute application loading. ART requires more storage space to function properly compared to Dalvik so if your phone did not have enough space during the update, that can potentially cause problems.

We also know that incompatible or outdated apps can also cause all sorts of problems. Users will only realize they have issues after using the phone for some time. Despite being given ample time, some developers may have failed to fine tune their system for Android Lollipop.

Start by deleting the phone’s cache partition and perform a factory reset if nothing works.

You also want to make sure that your storage devices (both internal and SD card) are formatted.

Let us know if nothing works so we can look into this issue further.

Problem #4: Apps no longer shows as installed after updating Note 3 to Lollipop

Hi. I recently updated my phone Note 3 to Lollipop. It was fine few days. Now suddenly its keep on showing SD card is the problem. But it is reading it though. All my installed apps which i saved in SD card like WhatsApp are now showing not installed. Only the device storage is working. And many messages like errors keep popping up when I restart or switch on my phone. Please help me asap. Thanks! — Karthik

Solution: Hi Karthik. Try to reformat the SD card and re-install the apps then observe. If the problem only resides on the SD card, it should be back to good working order after you format it again.

Problem #5: Note 3 “MicroSD card removed unexpectedly” error

Hello. Issue: Note 3 MicroSD card removed unexpectedly. I have read many responses, to purchase a new SD card, which I have done and I still get the same response. (had 16GB SanDisk, and purchased 16GB Lexar, reading there may be issues with SanDisk).

Looking for what else I can do to fix this problem. Thanks! — Michele

Solution: Hi Michele. The issue may be caused by faulty SD card tray or metal contacts on your device. Try cleaning the contacts with a clean soft cloth and insert the SD card again. If that won’t fix the issue, consider having the phone checked by a hardware technician so they can replace the defective part.

Problem #6: Photos and videos vanished after moving them from phone storage to SD card

Hi there Johnny here. I have some problem with the micro SD card 64GB with my Note 3. Hopefully you could help me out. I use the same micro 64GB SD card which I used in S3 and i insert & start up my Note 3. The phone system detect my 64GB SD card which still have my previous photos & files. The problem start here when I try to save or drag new files/photos/songs into my 64GB card. They were successfully transferred but once i restart/reboot my Note 3, those newly transfer photos/files were gone. I do not know if i miss out any setting or anything which might have cause this to happen. Hopefully & very much appreciated if you could try to help me out. Many thanks in advance. — Johnny

Solution: Hi Johnny. We hope you have created a copy of your files somewhere before you lost them. The Drag and Drop feature basically works like the “move” command in contrast to the “copy” command. We can’t see any logical reason why those files would vanish after you got the confirmation that they were transferred successfully unless there’s a glitch in your device that we are not aware of. Have you tried replicating the issue using another storage device or SD card? We highly recommend that you start with this troubleshooting step to help you isolate if the problem lies on your phone or only in the SD card.

Obviously, if you are able to transfer your files to a different SD card without problems, that you should tell to replace the old one. However, if the issue happens on another SD card, there must be a firmware glitch behind it. If you think the issue is with the phone, just perform a factory reset and it should fix it.

Problem #7: Note 3 showing “insufficient storage space” error when trying to transfer files to SD card

Hi. My name is Aasam Shahzad and I’m using Samsung Note 3. When I check the storage from settings, it’s showing about 1.26GB on SD card and when I open file manager they are showing 16GB.  My actual problem is when I copy or paste anything in file manager it’s showing an error containing massage “insufficient storage space”. Please help me. I am waiting. Thanks and best wishes. — Aasam

Solution: Hi Aasam. Make sure that you are not confusing the total storage capacity of your SD card with its current available storage space. Your Note 3 will only show the “insufficient storage space” error if it detects that the target storage device does not have enough space. Please revisit storage menu and make sure that your SD card has indeed more than enough storage space to allow file transfer. You may also consider reformatting the SD card to make sure there’s enough memory.

Problem #8: Note 3 does not detect multiple SD cards

My Note 3 doesn’t show me having an SD card in it. I have tried different cards and none of them show up. Is there something else to try? — Bobcat

Solution: Hi Bobcat. If you have tried multiple SD cards already, that’s a clear indicatory that you have a hardware issue at hand. Please have the device repaired or replaced.

Problem #9: How to recover deleted files from Note 3 internal storage

Hi there. My Gallery containing all videos, camera pics, images, everything, was cleared out overnight. I have no SD card inserted and would please know how to recover this.  Regards. — Eugene

Solution: Hi Eugene. If the storage device sectors where those files were stored have not been overwritten yet, you may have a chance to recover them using third party recovery tools.

Please check our previous post that talks about this issue and help yourself: Problem #4: How to restore corrupted files from Samsung Galaxy S5 internal storage.


Haven’t emailed us yet about your problem? Let us know about the issue via email provided below and we will do our best to provide the best solutions for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 SD, microSD card issues in our next posts!


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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 email at [email protected] 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. 

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One Comment

  1. I experience this problem after software update on my samsung galaxy note3. If I want to upload a file config into an app, it cannot read the sdcard directly unless I explore the file manager. Pls help me fix this problem..

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