What to do if your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 does not detect SD card (easy steps)

With constant downloading of apps and new contents, the built-in storage of your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 will eventually run out. When this happens, you will no longer be able to store more files on your phone as the internal memory gets fully occupied. As resolution, you can get extra storage through an SD card or external storage media. All you have to do is insert the card into your phone, mount the card if prompted and you should then be all set to add more files to use on your phone. But then again, there are factors that can trigger things to go wrong and suddenly your device failed or unable to read the SD card even when it’s properly seated. And if this happens, you’ve got a problem to fix.

To give you more inputs on how to deal with pertinent issues on your Galaxy Note 8 like when your device does not detect the SD card, I have mapped out a few possible solutions and workarounds for you to try on. This should serve as free reference if ever you needed more help.

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 Note 8 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.

How to troubleshoot your Galaxy Note 8 that can’t detect your SD card

SD card errors in mobile devices as depicted by the error prompts saying SD card not detected, not recognized, or no SD card inserted are usually tied to software glitches, if not hardware damage. Software-related errors concerning SD card detection for example, are usually triggered by corrupted data within the SD card or phone system itself. These are usually random occurrences that can be remedied by some workarounds. On the other hand, hardware-related errors with the SD card are usually due to a bad or damaged card reader in use, damaged SD card slot or tray on the phone, or the SD card itself is physically damaged and/or malfunctioning. There are also other cases wherein your phone cannot read the SD card due to incompatibility issues like when you’re using an SD card that is not supported by your Note 8.

Before you get a new SD card replacement though, try these things first.

First solution: Reboot your phone (soft reset).

Should the SD card error is inflicted by random firmware glitches, then performing a restart or soft reset on the phone can possibly fix it. A soft reset clears minor system errors and temporary files (cache) from the phone’s internal memory and refreshes the system too. For as long as it’s a minor issue, a soft reset will take care of it. So if you haven’t done it yet, then follow these steps to soft reset or reboot your Galaxy Note 8:

  1. Press and hold the Power button for a few seconds until the Power off prompt appears.
  2. Tap the Restart option.
  3. Tap Restart again to confirm.
  4. Give your phone up to 90 seconds to complete the restart process.

Alternatively, you can use the hardware keys to soft reset your device, especially when it gets frozen from the error. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and hold the Power button and Volume Down button simultaneously for up to 45 seconds.
  2. Release both buttons when the phone power cycles.

Both these restart methods won’t affect your data so no need for backups.

Second solution: Unmount and mount SD card again.

Many factors can trigger certain apps to go rogue or get corrupted. And when this happens, there is a higher chance that other system functions on your get affected. This then could result to certain errors, including SD card reading failure. As possible solution, try to unmount the SD card on your phone and then mount it again. Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Navigate to Storage.
  2. Scroll down and tap the option to Unmount SD card.
  3. Wait for your phone to say that it is safe to eject the SD card.
  4. Carefully pull the SD card out from the tray.
  5. Inspect the SD card for any visible signs of physical damage that may be preventing your phone from reading it. Among the possible signs of damage are missing gold prongs and dents in the card. In this case, you may need to replace your SD card.
  6. To get rid of any dust particles that may be interfering with your card, you can blow the SD card gently or wipe it off with a soft or microfiber cloth.

If the SD card looks good to you, then reinsert it into the SD card slot on your phone and then see if it works. Otherwise, consider other options.

Third solution: Format SD card on your Note 8.

If you think your SD card is corrupted or malfunctioning, then you can possibly fix it by a reformat. This will wipe all contents you stored on the card so don’t forget to create a copy of your important files beforehand. There are different ways for you to format a microSD card. You can do the SD card formatting through your phone settings, or using a computer.

Here’s how to format SD card on your Note 8:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Navigate to Storage or SD & Phone Storage.
  3. Scroll to and tap the option to Erase SD card or Format SD card.
  4. If the Format SD card is disabled or grayed out, you will need to unmount your SD card first by tapping on Unmount SD card option.
  5. If prompted, tap the option to confirm SD card formatting. This will trigger your device to start the formatting process on your SD card and erase all its contents.

After you have successfully formatted your SD card, mount it again and see if your Note 8 is already able to read it this time.

Other options to consider

First option: Update device software to the latest version.

Installing the latest software update on your device can also be the key to fixing the problem especially if some tough bugs are inflicting it. There might be some complex errors transpiring on your Galaxy Note 8 system and eventually caused the phone’s SD card reading system to crash and malfunction. Software bugs are usually addressed by a fix patch contained in the new software update so all you have to do is install the update file so as to implement the fix patch.

  • To check for software update on your Note 8, open the Apps tray, then go to Settings-> Software Update menu. Then tap the option to Download updates manually. Tap OK and then Restart. When the restart message appears, tap OK to confirm.

After the restart, try to see if your phone already detects the SD card.

Second option: Test your SD card on another device.

Try inserting your SD card to your other compatible devices and see if it will be detected. If the SD card is recognized by your other devices, then most likely the issue is within your Note 8. In that case, you will have to perform more advanced workarounds to troubleshoot and fix complex software issues on your device.

If the problem started after installing a new Android version and it persisted after exhausting all possible solutions on your end, then contact Samsung Support instead to report the issue and ask further assistance and recommendations.

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