[Solved] SD Card Not Readable by Mac

While trying to connect SD card to your Macbook Pro or any other Mac if you encounter error such as “The disk you inserted (or attached) was not readable by this computer” or your SD card does not shows up in Finder or Disk Utility, then this guide is for you!

There are 4 methods to fix the issue of SD card not readable by your Mac:

  1. Restart your Mac
  2. De-Activate Lock Switch on SD Card
  3. Repair with Disk Utility
  4. Converting SD Card File System to FAT32

Before proceeding with troubleshooting, it is wise to first check that your SD card is not faulty. This is because if the issue is with SD card (for example it is faulty or damaged), then trying the fixes below won’t help.

So to check that the SD card is correct, try inserting it to any other Mac or Windows computer. If that particular SD card connects with other computer without any issue and shows its file in Finder/Explorer, then the SD card is okay, and the problem lies with Mac.


Method # 1: Restart your Mac

Sometimes, a simple restart fixes all annoying errors and problems on Mac.

Basically, macOS just like any other OS, has many complex processes going in background, and often if your Mac has been running for quite long (we are taking about days), then restarting it clears it cache which fixes many problems that you may encounter.

Method # 2: De-Activate Lock Switch on SD Card

Most of the full size SD cards have lock switch on them.

Although Mac should be able to read the content on SD card with lock switch activated as it only blocks write permission, it is possible that the error may be due to this switch.

So simply de-activate the lock on your SD card and try connecting it back to your Mac.

Method # 3: Repair with Disk Utility

If you get error message that reads “The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer” when you connect your SD card to your Mac, then repairing it with Disk Utility (built-in Mac tool) can solve the problem.

Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Close the error message by click on “Ignore” button.

Step 2: Access Disk Utility by clicking opening Launchpad and then searching for it. (Refer to screenshot below):

Step 3: In the Disk Utility, select your SD card on the left side panel, and then click on “First Aid” button at the top.

Now your Mac will try to repair your SD card. Once done, you will get “procedure was successful” message.

If the “First Aid” process fails or your SD Card is not showing up in Disk Utility, then try 4th method.

Method # 4: Check SD Card File System (Convert to FAT32 or ExFAT)

If your SD card file system is NTFS, then this is the problem causing the error. This is because Mac reads FAT32.

You can verify the file system of your SD card in Disk Utility tool. (Refer to screenshot below):

So if the SD card is not FAT32 or exFAT, you need to format it.

Please note that converting your SD Card file system to FAT32 requires formatting which will erase all the data. So if you have important data on your SD card, please back it up.

To convert file system on your SD card to FAT32 or ExFAT, follow below steps:

Step 1: Launch Disk Utility on Mac. (Detailed steps to open Disk Utility explained in method 2)

Step 2: Select your SD card from left panel.

Step 3: Click on “Erase” button.

Step 4: Enter the name for your SD card, and in File System, select FAT32 (or ExFAT if it is larger than 64GB).


So that’s it folks.

I hope that after following above mentioned fixes, you were able to connect your SD card to your Mac without any issue.