Troubleshooting: SD card undetected issue

If Files by Google doesn't show your SD card:

  1. On your device, tap Settings
  2. Tap Device maintenance and then Storage
  3. Check if your SD card is recognised. 

If the SD card isn’t detected in Settings, remove and re-insert the SD card. Once it's detected in Settings, follow the steps listed below to format the SD card to portable.

If the SD card is recognised in Settings but not in Files by Google, that SD card might be formatted as internal storage. We recommend that you format your SD card as portable storage.
Android offers two ways to format SD cards:
  • Portable storage: When you format an SD card as portable storage:
    • You can load files, like pictures and videos, on the SD card.
    • You can’t install apps on the SD card.
    • You can transfer the SD card between devices.
  • Adoptable storage: When you format an SD card as adoptable storage:
    • You can load files, like pictures and videos, on the SD card.
    • You can install apps on the SD card.
    • You can’t transfer the SD card between devices.
    • The SD card replaces internal storage. A 32 GB SD card replaces 32 GB internal storage. The SD card storage isn’t added to the internal storage.

Important: If you format your SD card, data will be permanently deleted. Before you format the SD card, back up your files.

Format a new SD card into a portable SD card

On Nokia

How to format SD card on Nokia

  1. On your Nokia device, open the Settings app.
  2. Select Storage and then SD card.
  3. To open the SD card with Files, select Just once.
    • If you want to open the SD card with a different app, select from your list of apps.
  4. At the top right, select Menu More and then Storage settings.
  5. To format the SD card, select Format and then Format SD card.

On Lenovo

How to format SD card on Lenovo

  1. On your Lenovo, open the Settings app.
  2. Select Storage & USB and then SD card.
  3. To format the SD card, select Format and then Erase & format.

On Xiaomi

How to format SD card on Xiaomi

  1. On your Xiaomi, open the Settings app.
  2. Select Storage and then SD card.
  3. To open the SD card, select Files and then Just once.
  4. At the top right, select Menu More and then Storage settings.
  5. To format the SD card, select Format and then Format SD card.

Format an adoptable SD card into a portable SD card

These instructions are for SD cards that are already formatted as internal storage. 

On Motorola and Nokia

How to format SD card on Motorola

  1. On your device, open the Settings app.
  2. Select Storage and then SD card.
  3. At the top right, select Menu More and then Format as portable.
  4. To format the SD card, select Format.
  5. Once all content is moved to the SD card, select Done.
  6. At the top of the home screen, swipe down the “Notification” menu.
  7. In the Settings notification, select Set-up.
  8. To transfer your files to the portable storage, select Portable storage and then Done.

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