Fix ‘Pictures on SD card not showing on Mac’ and Recover Lost Pictures [2021]

Updated by Kisakye on Mar 20, 2021

Pictures on SD card not showing on Mac is a problem that could happen suddenly. What you’re supposed to do when it happens? Trying to find pictures everywhere on the SD card? Unplug and plug it again with Mac? Format it to fix the problem and losing the pictures permanently? Actually, you should follow the 2-step theory. Check out the details below.

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Step 1. Recover losing/missing pictures on SD card on Mac. For this step, iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is ready for help.
Step 2. Fix the problem of "pictures on SD card not showing on Mac" with 5 ways.

Part 1: Recover Pictures When They Are Not Showing in SD Card on Mac

When photos on an SD card not showing on mac, you can prevent a permanent loss by recovering them without any further delay. iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac is a trustworthy solution for recovering data on Mac. Using it will help you recover all the missing pictures from the SD card on Mac in a few simple steps. Please connect the SD card with your Mac, download and install the best SD card recovery software on your Mac.

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1. Launch the software and pick the file type(s) that you like to restore . As you want to recover photos from SD card on Mac, select "Pictures" as the file type and press the "Start" symbol.

2. iBeesoft will display all Mac's partitions as well as connected external hard drives in the next window along with the inserted SD card. Choose the SD card and click the "Scan" button. The program will begin scanning the SD card for the pictures.

3. After scanning, It will display the recoverable images from the SD card arranged in an order. You can select a file to view its content in the preview window. Based on the importance, you can choose the necessary files or all the files and press the "Recover" button. Pick a folder on the Mac to save the files.

Part 2: 5 Ways to Fix "Pictures on SD card not showing on Mac"

Method 1: Use a Different SD Adapter

If pictures on SD card not showing on mac, then it is time to use an external adapter. If you are already using one and still facing the problem, try to use a different SD card adapter. If you are using an old adapter, it is time to change it because it may not support the new SD cards. If you can see the pictures in a camera, then change the adapter. If the problem persists, continue to the following method.

Method 2: Use Another Mac

If SD card not showing pictures on mac, then try the card on a different Mac. If you are unable to see the photos in the other Mac, then the SD is corrupted. If you can see the images in the other Mac, then there is a problem with your Mac.

Method 3: Enable Hidden Files Using Terminal

Sometimes the SD card not showing on Mac mostly because they’re hidden by your macOS. To prevent the situation, unhide the files with Terminal. It will help you see if the SD card is in a hidden state, which causes Mac not to display the pictures. Follow the steps below to activate hidden files on your Mac.

1. Launch the Terminal app that is in the Utilities section in the Applications.

2. Enter the commands listed below and hit the "Enter" key after each code. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the command lines.

3. Entering the commands above will tell the Finder to show all Mac's hidden files, including those present on the SD card. The first command-line tells to show all files irrespective of the hidden flag settings. The second line will restart the Finder, allowing the changes to take place. At this moment, you will see the desktop disappear and appear, which is normal.

4. Try browsing the SD card and see if you can see the images. If you still cannot see the pictures on the card, then it is time to head to the following method.

Method 4: Update SD Card Driver on Mac

Even after working with the above solutions, if the photos on SD card not showing on mac, then trying to update the SD card driver may fix the issue. Although Mac automatically updates the software, at times, a few updates can cause problems. Updating the SD card driver is essential to ensure that Mac recognizes SD cards and other external hard drives without any problem. The following are the steps to update the driver on Mac:

1. If you are using macOS Mojave, then select "System Preferences" from the Apple menu.

2. From the menu, select "Software Update" to see if there are any available updates. Click "Update Now" to allow macOS to download and install the available updates.

3. If you are using earlier versions of macOS, launch the App Store and click the "Update" tab. Click on the "Update All" button to fix the pictures not showing on SD card.

4. Restart the Mac and see if the procedure helped.

Method 5: Format SD Card on Mac

Formatting the SD card on Mac using the Disk Utility will help you fix the problem of files losing, missing, or disappearing on the SD card on Mac. The steps are as follows:

1. Launch Disk Utility from the Utilities folder in the Applications folder. 

2. From the sidebar, highlight the SD card and press the "Erase" option from the toolbar at the top.

3. In the following screen, you can provide details such as name, format, and scheme. For SD cards, ExFAT and MS-DOS(FAT) file system is preferable. You can select the according to the capacity of the SD card. For the scheme, choose either GUID Partition Table or MBR (Master Boot Record).

4. You can set security options if you like to erase the contents securely. Use the slider to select the number of times you want to overwrite the data.

5. Press the "Erase" button to allow Mac to format the SD card.