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How to Find Hidden Files on SD Card in Windows PC, Mac, and Android

Home > HowTos Updated by William on July 1, 2024 | Approved by Daryl Baxter

Have you inserted an SD card into your device only to find that some of your files have disappeared? This comprehensive guide will show you how to find hidden files on an SD card, whether you're using Windows, Mac, or Android. By the end of this article, you'll master the art of managing and recovering hidden files effortlessly.

Why Are My Files Hidden on My Memory Card?

It can be frustrating when files stored on your memory card seem to vanish. Here are some common reasons:

  • 💢 Unexpected changes
  • Sometimes, files may not be missing but are hidden due to system settings or being marked as hidden.
  • ⚠️ File System Errors
  • The SD card's file system might get corrupted due to improper ejection, power failures, or software glitches. This can render some files invisible or inaccessible.
  • 🦠 Virus or Malware
  • When your memory card gets infected, data can be hidden, deleted, or corrupted, causing them to disappear.
  • 😂 Human error
  • Accidental file deletion, formatting the SD card without backup, or unintentionally moving files to a different location can make files seem to disappear.
  • 🚫 Compatibility Issues
  • Using the SD card across different devices or operating systems might cause files to be hidden.
  • 🧩 Physical Damage
  • This is a serious question about how to see hidden files in the SD card. Pin wear, breakage, and water damage may cause this issue.

Understanding these reasons can help prevent future occurrences and guide you in recovery.

How to Find Hidden Files on SD Card in Windows 10/11

Regarding Windows PCs, there are several methods to show hidden files in the Memory card. Here's how:

Method 1. Search in File Explorer

Sometimes, the target files are moved to other directories due to your accidental operation, causing you to think they are hidden mistakenly. In this case, this will be the easiest way.

  1. Connect your card to a computer and open it.
  2. Enter "*.png" in the search box of the file explorer. This will list all the PNG files stored on the SD card. To do this, replace it with the suffix of the file you think disappeared.

  3. After completing the query, check the list to see the hidden files.

Method 2. Use the Hidden Items Option

For those who accidentally changed the settings, this is a quick solution.

  1. Open File Explorer and go to the directory where the SD card files disappeared.
  2. Click on the "View" tab at the top.
  3. Check the box labeled "Hidden items".

Method 3. From File Explorer Options

It offers an easy way to unhide files in the SD card; here is the guide:

  1. Click the "Windows" key and type "folder options" in the search box.
  2. Find "File Explorer Options" and click "Open."

  3. Switch to the "View" tab in the open window.
  4. Under the "Advanced settings" option, select "Show hidden files, folders, and drives."

  5. Click "OK" and go to where the SD card files disappeared to check them.

Method 4. Try Browser

You may be confused about this method, but it is indeed effective.

  1. Open Your Browser.
  2. Type "file:///#:/" in the address bar (replace "#" with your SD card's drive letter) and press Enter.

  3. Navigate to the target folder to see hidden files.

Method 5. Use CMD

For technology-conscious users, this is a good choice. Here's how to find hidden files on SD card:

  1. Press the "Windows + R" keys.
  2. In the prompt box that opens, enter "cmd" and click OK.

  3. Type "attrib -h -r -s /s /d #:\*.*" (replace "#" with your SD card's drive letter) and hit Enter.

  4. Open the SD card and go to the corresponding folder to check for hidden files.

Method 6. Use Disk Management

Sometimes, reassigning a drive letter can see hidden files on an SD card in Windows 10 and 11.

  1. Right-click on "This PC" and select "Manage."

  2. Go to "Disk Management."
  3. Locate your SD card, right-click, and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths."

  4. Assign it a brand new one and click OK.

Method 7. By Professional Tools

If all the above methods fail, you can also try a professional tool - iBeesoft Data Recovery. With the help of special algorithms, it can find data that was once stored on the drive, regardless of its state. Here are the detailed steps on how to recover hidden files from an SD card:

  1. Download and install iBeesoft Data Recovery.
  2. Launch it, select your SD card, and click "Scan."

  3. Check the disappeared files in the result list.
  4. Select them and click "Recover" to save.

How to See Hidden Files in SD Card on Mac

Mac users have a variety of methods to find hidden files in the memory card. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Method 1. Utilize Finder

This method is similar to Windows and is helpful for those who are careless.

  1. Insert your card into your Mac computer and open it.
  2. Click the magnifier icon on the top right and type the extension of your lost file.

  3. After the process is completed, check the listed files.

Method 2. Use Keyboard Shortcut

In macOS, many shortcuts can help users quickly complete various tasks, including showing hidden files. To do this, navigate to the folder where the files disappeared in the SD card and simultaneously hold down "Command + Shift + ." (period).

Method 3. Check the "Whether the File is Visible" Option

Although this method of seeing hidden files on an SD card is relatively complicated compared with using shortcut keys, it is more useful.

  1. Open Finder and go to your SD card.
  2. In the top menu, click "File" > "Find."

  3. Click "Kind" and select "Other" in the menu.

  4. When the dialog box opens, scroll down to find "Whether the File is Visible."

  5. Click the checkbox at the back to select it and click OK.

Method 4. Use Terminal Command

This is a more technical approach to how to find hidden files on SD card on Mac.

  1. Open Terminal (you can find it in Applications > Utilities).
  2. Type "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true" and press Enter.
  3. Type "killall Finder" and press Enter.

Tips: This command makes all hidden files visible. To hide them again, replace "true" with "false" in step 2.

Method 5. Use Data Recovery Software for Mac

Here, you can still use iBeesoft Data Recovery, which is compatible with both Windows and macOS. This powerful tool can not only help you locate hidden files but also help you recover deleted files from SD card on Mac. The specific steps are similar to those mentioned above.

How to View Hidden SD Card Files on Android

Although Android users have fewer options than desktop users, but you can still accomplish this task using the following methods:

Method 1. Use File Manager

Most Android devices have a built-in file manager. So, you can find hidden files on the SD card using it.

  1. Open the File Manager app.
  2. Go to the SD card directory.
  3. Tap the three-dot menu and select "Show hidden files."

Method 2. Try Third-Party Apps

You can also use a third-party application if the above method does not work. Here are some popular ones:

Conclusion

Whether you’re using a Windows, a Mac, or an Android device, finding and recovering hidden files on the SD card is entirely possible with the right methods and tools. By understanding why files go missing and knowing how to uncover them, you can ensure your data remains safe and accessible.

FAQs

  • Yes, some viruses can alter your file attributes to hide them. So, it's crucial to scan your SD card with reliable security tools to detect and remove malware.

  • Yes, there are different methods for different systems. Once you follow the methods provided in this article to show hidden files, they will remain in effect permanently unless you turn off these options.

  • Yes, hidden files can often be recovered using file recovery software like iBeesoft Data Recovery or Recuva.

  • If you've followed all the steps and still can't find hidden files and they are critical, please seek professional help - data recovery services.

  • Formatting your SD card will delete all files, including hidden ones. Use this as a last resort. Make sure you back up any important data first. If your card is inaccessible, try using Android, Windows, or Mac data recovery software to retrieve your files before formatting.

  • While it is usually safe to view hidden files, always ensure you know what the files are before making any changes.

    1. Always keep a backup of important files.
    2. Regularly scan your memory card for viruses and malware.
    3. Always use the "Eject" function to prevent file corruption before removing your SD card.