“SD card is blank or has an unsupported file system” is a common error if you use an SD card on your Android device. It generally appears while trying to access the SD card files, especially on a device that does not support the file or the file system of the card.
As a result of this error code, users are unable to access the data inside the device. Moreover, if the user tries to proceed, the operating system suggests the user format their SD card, erasing all data from it.
The error occurs when the SD card’s data is corrupted and not recognized by the operating system. The hardware side of things such as a damaged controller chip or gold contacts of the card can also lead to this error.
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How to Fix “SD Card Is Blank or Has Unsupported File System” Error
Common fixes for this error are to simply take the SD card out and then reinsert into your device. Restarting your device after inserting the SD card can also help fix the error.
If the above methods do not work, use the following solutions listed below to fix the “SD card is blank or has unsupported file system” error.
Clean the SD Card
First, check if the SD card has any damage. If the issue is because of hardware problems like damaged or tarnished contacts, cleaning the device with an electronics-safe solvent can make the device operable again. To clean your SD card
- Remove the SD card from your device
- Take a clean, lint-free cloth and spray or dip it in the contact solution
- Now, clean the golden contact points of the SD card until the dirt and grime is completely removed
- Make sure to not put any pressure in the SD card as the force may break or further damage it
- Let the solution evaporate completely and again, insert it inside your device to check if the problem is fixed
If the issue is because of a malfunctioning controller chip, then you will need to exchange the SD card with a new one. A good way to detect if a controller chip is causing the issue is when the SD card fails to reliably operate. Issues such as SD card not being detected or having read/write issues can be a telltale sign of a controller chip failing.
Turn on USB Mass Storage
Note: This process for fixing is applicable to devices running Android 12 only. This method may not work for devices running prior versions of Android.
If the error appears while the card is inserted in your device, the first step would be to check if the data has been corrupted or not by connecting the SD card onto a PC through your phone. To enable this
- Open Settings on your Android device
- Scroll down to About section and tap on Build Number until Developer Mode is on/unlocked message pops up
- After receiving the message, go back to settings and tap on System
- Scroll down and tap on Developer Options. You may need a passcode to access the menu
- In the Developer Options, scroll down and tap on Default USB configuration
- Inside, select File Transfer and then exit Settings
After making changes, connect your device to a PC with a USB cable and transfer the data from your SD card into the PC for backup.
Remove/ Rename Unsupported Files
This error can also popup when the SD card in your device is storing files that are not supported by the Android operating system. Removing or renaming the file of the SD card and then inserting the SD card in your device again can help fix the issue. If the file or folder is hidden,
- Remove the SD card from your device and connect it to a PC
- On your PC, press the Windows key + E to open the File Explorer
- On the top toolbar, click on View> Show and click on Hidden Items to enable them. A check mark will indicate that they are enabled
- Now, from the quick navigation on left, click on your PC and then open the SD card directory
- Delete any unrecognizable files from the device by Right-clicking on the file and selecting the Delete icon
- After deleting, safely remove the SD card from the PC by Right-clicking on the SD card and selecting Eject
- Insert the SD card again in your device and check if the error is solved
If the error still appears, scanning the SD card from your PC may help solve the issue. CHKDSK or check disk is a tool that scans the drive connected to your PC and fixes any bad sectors or logical errors in the SD card. To perform a scan on the SD card
- Remove the SD card from your device and connect it to your PC
- After the PC detects the SD card, Press the Windows key + R to open Run
cmdand press the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys together to open command prompt with elevated access
- On the console, type
chkdsk <drive letter>: /f /rand press Enter
- The scan will begin scanning the card and attempt to fix it
- After the scan completes, remove the SD card by ejecting it from your PC and again, insert it into your device to check if it works
Format SD Card
If the data in the SD card is unimportant or if you have a backup of the data, then formatting the SD card can make the OS detect it again. Formatting wipes the data inside a drive and makes it compatible with your device to read or write files on.
Make sure that the SD card is being formatted in the device you are going to use it on otherwise, it may cause compatibility issues if formatted from a PC.
To format from an android device:
- Open Settings and scroll down or search for Storage
- Tap on the SD card to open it. Allow if asked for read/write permission
- Tap Format as portable and tap on Format again to start the procedure
- After the process completes, tap on Done
- To set it up again, open the notification center and then tap on Set-up
- Choose the type of storage you want it as and tap on Done again to complete the process
The process to format the SD card might differ according to the device and the version of Android you’re using. Consult your device’s support website for detailed information
If you’re formatting the SD card from a PC to use as a portable storage device
- Connect the SD card to your PC
- Open File explorer and then click on your PC from the navigation pane
- Right click on the SD card and then click on Format
- Click on the Quick Format check box and then click on Start
- On the confirmation window, click on OK to start the process
- Let the process finish and click on OK to finish the process
Change File System Format
Sometimes, due to the files being corrupt, the SD card will change the file format type to RAW. This state makes the SD card unreadable by the device or the PC. To make it readable again, you will need to change the file format of the SD card to NTFS, FAT32 or exFAT. To do this
- Connect the SD card to your PC and open File Explorer
- Navigate to your PC and then right click on the SD card
- Select Format and in the next window, click on the File System menu
- Select NTFS, exFAT or FAT32 from the drop down menu and then click on Start to begin the process
- Confirm by clicking OK and then let the process finish
- Insert the SD card in your device to check if it gets detected by the system