Fixed: Pictures on SD card not showing on computer

“I am facing a serious problem with the SD card in my camera. Recently I traveled to San Francisco and took a lot of pictures with my DSLR. I can see these photos from the SD card on the camera, but the images are not showing when I connect the card to my PC. I really need to get these files. How can I recover photos if the images on the memory card are not showing on the computer? ‘

It’s frustrating to know that your photos are present on the SD card, but you cannot open or edit them on the computer. SD card can display full storage. Photos are visible on the camera but not on the computer. The situation is critical as there is also a risk of losing all the photos from the SD card.

Why are the images not displayed on the SD card

There can be many possible reasons like SD card slot or card reader not working, files are hidden, card is infected with virus, corrupted or developed bad sectors etc. If your SD card contains data but shows empty on the computer, it could also be due to a file system error. Or you might have accidentally formatted the SD card; so too, the photos will not appear when deleted.

How to recover pictures from SD card, if files not showing on computer?

If the photos on the SD card are not visible on the computer, first check and fix SD card issues. Once SD card errors related to hardware, file system errors, or other logical issues are fixed, you can access its photos. If despite solving all possible SD card issues, you cannot access its images, then use SD card photo recovery software. Later, you can reformat the SD card for reuse.

1. Restart your computer

This is the simple solution for the images on the SD card are not displayed on the computer. Restarting your computer would delete the log or temporary files causing the SD card problem. After which, the files in the SD card would be visible.

2. Change your card reader

If the the photos on the SD card cannot be viewed on the computer but are visible on the camera, maybe your computer’s SD card reader or SD card slot is not working.

Try using a different card reader or use a different SD card slot on your laptop.

3. View image files on SD card

Maybe the photos on your SD card are hidden. Virus infection can hide files on removable media. Therefore, you cannot see the images recorded on it. Follow the steps below to view the images on the SD card:

  • Connect the SD card to the PC.
  • In the Control Panel, Click on File Explorer Options and click on the View
  • To verify Show hidden files, folders and drives.
Images on the SD card are not displayed on the computer - 1
File Explorer window.
  • Click on OK> Apply. Your photos should now appear on the SD card.

4. Remove write protect / read only status from SD card

If the SD card is locked or write-protected, you cannot open, edit, or save its files. Check the SD card switch on the side and make sure it’s on. If the memory card is still read-only, disable write protection with the diskpart utility and access its photos.

Follow the steps below to remove write protection from SD card:

  • Type cmd in the Windows search box. To hit Enter.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type disc part. To hit Enter to open the Diskpart.exe utility.
  • Then type list disc in diskpart.exe. To hit Enter.
  • Now type select disk N (N is the list number of your SD card) and press Enter.
Images on the SD card are not displayed on the computer - 231
Diskpart.exe utility window.
  • Type read-only disk clear attributes. To hit Enter to clear the write protection on the SD card.

Now check whether the image files appear on the SD card or not.

5. Correct SD card errors using Check Disk

If you cannot see the images on the SD card, use the Windows Check Disk utility. This will check your SD card for errors and fix them.

Open Windows Explorer and locate the drive assigned to the SD card. Then right click on your SD card reader and click Properties. Select the Tools tab and click the ‘Check it out now’ in the Error checking section.

Steps to check SD card errors:

  • In the list of drives on your PC, right click on the SD card. To select Properties.
  • Choose the Tools tab in the Properties
  • Click on the To verify
  • In the dialog box, check ‘Automatically fix file system errors ” and ‘Scan for and attempt to recover bad sectors ” to fix file system errors on SD card.

Wait for the process to complete. Then check your SD card, whether the image files are visible or not.

6. Get SD card photo recovery software

When the photos do not appear on the SD card, the quick solution is to use the best SD card recovery software. Tools like Stellar Photo Recovery can recover missing or deleted photos from all kinds of SD cards regardless of capacity or brand. Whether your photos are hidden, deleted or not showing due to virus infection or corruption, the software can work in any situation.

You can restore camera RAW, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, GIF and other image file formats without affecting their original visual quality. It is fast and extremely easy to use. Stellar Photo Recovery is available for Windows and macOS systems.

Steps to recover photos not appearing on SD card:

Step 1: Connect the SD card to the computer.
Step 2: Launch Stellar Photo Recovery on the computer.
Step 3: Select the SD card and click To analyse.

Scan SD card or camera drive
Scan SD card or camera drive

Step 4: Once the scanning is complete, Overview the photos found, and click on To recover.

Overview of photos found in Stellar Photo Recovery
Preview the photos found in Stellar Photo Recovery.

Step 5: Next, select a location to save the found images to your SD card. Do not save them to the same SD card; choose another location.

It is viable to get a free trial of the software. This way, you can assess its recovery capabilities in advance.


If the images are not displayed on the SD card, it does not mean that you have lost your photos. The photos are still present on it and can be recovered, if not overwritten. First of all, try to fix any possible issues related to the SD card. Use the disk check utility in Windows, remove the write protection from the SD card, or view the files. If these methods are not helpful, get photo recovery software on your computer. Make sure the recovery tool is secure and compatible with your memory card.

Once you have recovered the lost photos, don’t forget to reformat the SD card for new use.

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