How to Fix Corrupted SD Card without Losing Data

Home > HowTos > Troubleshooting Tips Updated by William on June 26, 2024 | Approved by Anthony Spadafora

In today's digital age, an SD card is an essential accessory that helps us store important data, documents, and memories. However, it can be a nightmare when the card gets corrupted, rendering all the stored files inaccessible. It's frustrating when you lose your precious memories or vital business documents. But you don't have to worry too much about that anymore because here are ways to fix corrupted SD card without losing data in Windows 10/11 and Mac.

Quick Navigation
Part1. Can I Get My Corrupted Memory Card to Work Again?
Part2. How to Fix Corrupted SD Card without Losing Data?
Part3. How to Repair Corrupted SD Card with Formatting (No Data Loss)
Part4. How to Avoid Data Loss Caused by Memory Card Damage
Part5. FAQs

Can I Get My Corrupted Memory Card to Work Again?

Losing your precious memories on a corrupted memory card can be a frustrating and devastating experience, especially if those photos or videos can never be replicated again. However, there's still hope. Although the symptoms of memory card corruption are various, as long as it is not physically damaged (cracked, twisted, missing pins, burned, scratched, etc.), you still have a chance to salvage the data in it. Next, we will provide comprehensive solutions to help you complete a corrupt SD card fix without formatting or data loss.

How to Fix Corrupted SD Card without Losing Data

Are you facing a situation where your SD card has become corrupted, and you're worried about losing all your important data? Don't panic! Next, we will show you multiple ways to solve this problem without losing any information. In this regard, you can find corresponding solutions according to different symptoms.

Method 1. Try Replacing a USB Port/Card Reader

You don't get feedback when your SD card is plugged into a computer or other storage device. Sometimes, it might be a contact problem rather than your SD card being damaged. For this, you can replace a USB or card reader after cleaning the pins of the memory card.

Method 2. Re-detect Your SD Card

  1. Press and hold the Windows + X keys simultaneously and select "Computer Management" in the expanded window.
  2. In the left panel, select "Disk Management."
  3. Click Action > Rescan Disks on the top menu.
  4. After waiting for the scan progress to complete, check whether your memory card is listed in the disk list.

Method 3. Update SD Card Driver

Any external storage device requires drivers to communicate with the computer. If the driver has a problem, the system will not recognize your memory card. So you can perform the following steps to try to fix this problem.

  1. Click "Start," type "Device Manager," find it, and click Open.
  2. Find "Disk drives" in the hardware category and expand it.
  3. Click "USB Storage Device USB Device" and right-click. (Different computers may have different names)
  4. Select "Update Driver" and click "Search automatically for drivers" to complete the update.

Tip: You still try to "disable > enable" or "uninstall > reinstall" the driver after right-clicking.

Method 4. Change a drive letter

The drive's letter is unique; if there is a duplicate, your SD card still cannot appear in Explorer. So you can try the steps below to modify it.

  1. Press "Windows + X" and select Disk Management.
  2. Select your SD card in the disk list.
  3. Right-click and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths."
  4. Click "Change..." in the newly opened window and assign an unused letter to your memory card.

Method 5. Fix Corrupted SD Card without Losing Data Using Command

for Windows PC:

  1. Hit the "Windows" key and type "CMD."
  2. Find "Command Prompt" and click "Run as Administrator."
  3. Type "chkdsk F: /f /r"
  4. Type the "exit" after repairing the damaged SD card.

for MAC:

  1. Open "Terminal"
  2. Type "sudo diskutil list"
  3. Type "sudo fsck /dev/disk*s1" (** is your memory card)

Tip: If there are still errors, then you can repeat the fsck command to fix corrupted SD card without losing data on Mac.

Method 6. From Troubleshoot

  1. Move the mouse to the "Start" icon in the lower-left corner of the screen and right-click.
  2. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  3. Select Hardware and Devices and click "Run the troubleshooter."
  4. Complete fix corrupted SD card without formatting according to the wizard.

Method 7. Repair a Corrupted Memory Card Using System Built-in Options

For Windows 7/8/10/11:

  1. Connect your SD card to the PC.
  2. Find it in Explorer and right-click.
  3. Select Properties > Tools and click the "Check" button under the Error checking option.
  4. Click "Scan and repair drive" to corrupt SD card fix.

For macOS:

  1. Open "Disk Utility."
  2. In the left panel, click your memory card.
  3. Select "First Aid" in the top menu and follow the wizard to repair corrupted SD Card without formatting.

Tip: The above steps can also help you fix Mac USB transfer very slow.

Method 8. Fix Corrupted SD Card without Losing Data by CHKDSK

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Type diskpart > list disk > select disk X (X is your SD card) > recover.
  3. Wait for a while, and the system will refresh the status of the SD card.

Method 9. Check Hidden Files on Your Memory Card

The data stored on the memory card disappeared? Incorrect settings or malicious programs may cause it. You can use the following steps to recover SD card data without formatting.

  1. Open your SD card on the computer.
  2. Switch the top option to View and click Options.
  3. witch to View in the Folder Options window.
  4. Select "Show hidden files, folders, and drives." in the advanced settings.
  5. Finally, check your memory card for your disappeared items.

Method 10. Modify the Read and Write Permissions of the SD Card

If the pictures or videos on your SD card can only be previewed, it may be caused by your lack of permission. Therefore, you can use the steps below to unblock it.

  1. Select your memory card in Explorer and right-click to select "Properties."
  2. Switch to "Security" and click the "Edit" button behind "To change permissions."
  3. Select the account you log into the computer with and select "Full control" under the "Permissions for Authenticated Users" option.

Tip: Some memory cards have physical buttons refuse to modify their saved videos, pictures, or other files, so you can slide the switch to cancel the protection. As shown in the figure:

Method 11. Use TestDisk to Repair Corrupted SD Card

TestDisk is an open-source app that can fix various SD card corruption issues caused by multiple logic errors or help you recover permanently deleted files in Windows 11, 10, and macOS. To do this, you need to perform the following steps.

  1. Download and run TestDisk.
  2. Go to Append > Select your SD card > Select partition table type > Advanced > Boot > RebuildBS > Choose List.
  3. Click Quit after finishing repairing corrupted SD card without losing data.

Method 12. Seek Help from the Manufacturer

Different manufacturers have unique solutions for the problem of micro SD card corruption. If you're facing this problem, head to the after-sales service center of your memory card brand, and they can try to fix corrupted SD card without formatting or losing data.

Method 13. Corrupt SD Card Fix by Data Recovery Service

As a last resort to repair a corrupted SD card without data loss - data recovery services, they can use advanced techniques and software to retrieve files from damaged or corrupted devices and fix your memory card. However, this service is expensive, and there is a risk of privacy leakage. If the data it saves is important to you, it's worth a try too.

How to Repair Corrupted SD Card with Formatting (No Data Loss)

You may be disappointed if all the above corrupt SD card repair solutions fail. But keep hope. You have another option available to you - formatting. It's understandable if you're hesitant about this because you want to keep all your valuable data. However, you can use professional recovery software to recover files from corrupted SD card before formatting it to ensure nothing important is lost. For this, following a few simple steps can quickly fix corrupted SD card without losing data in Windows 10/11 and Mac.

  1. Connect your memory card to the computer.
  2. Download iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac or Windows according to your system.
  3. Download for Windows Download for macOS
  4. Select your SD card and click Scan.
  5. After the scan is complete, select the found files and tap Recover to save them.
  6. After making sure all the data is found, go to Explorer and right click on your memory card, and click format to repair the damaged SD card.
  7. Finally, migrate all data to your SD card.

How to Avoid Data Loss Caused by Memory Card Damage

Memory cards are common devices for storing photos, videos, and other data. However, an SD card corrupted can cause irreversible data loss. To avoid this, you can take the following steps to minimize the risk.

Following these simple measures, you can secure valuable data and avoid SD card corruption.



As technology advances, our reliance on digital devices increases. From capturing precious family photos to storing essential business documents, our memory cards are often our lifeline to critical data. Unfortunately, SD card corruption is a common occurrence that could result in the loss of valuable information. Luckily, this article provides multiple methods to help you fix corrupted SD card without losing data or formatting in Windows 11/10 or Mac. I hope they can save your items.