What to Do if Your Xiaomi Doesn’t See Memory Card

Modern phones get roomy internal storage so the user can store all the necessary information. You should buy an SD card if the permanent memory is still insufficient. But what to do if your Xiaomi phone does not see the memory card? In this article, let’s analyze this problem and its methods.

What memory cards support Xiaomi smartphones?

To begin with, let’s find out what memory cards are supported by MIUI and, in general, Xiaomi and Redmi phones. There are several options for SD cards:

  • microSD – up to 2GB;
  • microSDHC – from 2GB to 32GB;
  • microSDXC – from 32GB to 2TB;
  • microSDUC – from 2TB to 128TB.

Smartphones use the first three options. In older models, it was microSD and microSDHC; in newer models, it was microSDXC. The microSDXC is now found in all Xiaomi phones released in the last few years.

An important point: not all new Xiaomi smartphones support the memory card. Such a feature may not be available at all. Manufacturers are gradually ceasing to equip mobile devices with slots for SD. So far, this applies mainly to the flagships, which already receive an impressive amount of permanent memory. For example, the new Xiaomi 12, 12 Pro, and 12X models do not have a microSDXC slot. The Xiaomi 11T and 11T Pro also lack this feature. But the phones from the budget Redmi line have a slot for SD.

As mentioned above, the microSDXC standard provides up to 2TB of memory. But that doesn’t mean that all smartphones support that capacity. Most often, memory is limited to 512GB or 1TB. In low-cost smartphones, it’s usually 128-256GB.

To determine whether a certain model supports the SD card and the maximum amount of third-party memory possible, you need to look at the specifications. You can do this on the official website mi.com or Gsmarena.

The main reasons why Xiaomi does not see the SD-card

Now let’s understand why Xiaomi does not see the SD card. Most of the reasons are systemic, but mechanical factors can also be.

System reasons include:

  1. The card is disabled in the settings. In MIUI 12, you can enable and disable persistent storage by yourself.
  2. The storage is full, which prevents current content from being displayed and new content from being moved there.
  3. Wrong file system format selected, or a system crash has occurred.
  4. Your phone is infected with a virus, or you accidentally placed a malicious file on the external storage.

There are mechanical reasons too:

  1. Faulty SD card (e.g., oxidized contacts).
  2. Damaged tray.
  3. The format or capacity of the drive is not suitable for your smartphone model.

Determine why Xiaomi stopped seeing the memory card, then proceed to the decisive action.

What to do if the memory card is not detected?

Let’s move on to the practical part. There are several methods by which the smartphone should see the external drive.

Manual connection of the card

Immediately after inserting a new card into the smartphone, it may not be detected. This is because you need to perform a system activation of the new drive. To do this:

  1. Go to “Settings” and open the “About the phone” section.
  2. Click on the “Storage” tab.
  3. Scroll down the page and click on “Connect SD card.
  4. Wait a few seconds for the card to connect. Now go into Explorer and check if the third-party drive is displayed there.

Checking the SIM Tray

Mechanical damage can affect not only the card itself but also the slot. Remove the tray and inspect it carefully as well. There should be no chips and cracks. To check, move the microSDXC to another smartphone.

If the SIM card is not detected, the cause is definitely in the holder. You need to buy a new tray suitable for your model. The holder can be ordered on AliExpress.

Card Formatting

This method is helpful if the file system or any other system problem occurred. It is also useful if the card has been infected with virus software. Keep in mind that the formatting process will delete all user materials, so if possible, transfer them to your computer or to your smartphone’s internal storage. You can format the card in the phone’s settings without using a PC or additional programs.

  1. Open “Settings” – “About phone” – “Storage”.
  2. Scroll down the page and press “Format SD card.
  3. Confirm the action and wait for a few minutes. If MIUI still can’t see the SD card, then it’s not due to a system storage failure, and you need to try other methods.

Before formatting the microSDXC, try removing it from the system and reconnecting it. To do this, click on the “Eject SD card” tab in the Storage section. Then reconnect it as described in the first method.

Removing unnecessary information from the drive

If the external storage device is full, it may not work properly. In this case, you need to delete unnecessary files. But it is not easy to do this because the smartphone does not see the card – and you can not transfer materials. Try connecting the phone to your computer. If the PC recognizes the microSDXC, transfer some content to a hard drive or cloud storage. If your computer doesn’t see the drive either, you’ll need to format it.

Inspect the card for damage or oxidation

Remove the card from the slot and examine it carefully. The card may be faulty, so the phone can’t see it. The SD card should be free of scratches, cracks, chips, and other visible damage. If oxidation occurs, you will see blackened contacts on the backside.

If the smartphone has recently been dropped on a hard surface or water has entered inside, this can cause malfunction. In this case, you should contact a service center or buy another external storage device. Careful usage will help to avoid such problems in the future.

Reset phone to factory settings

Sometimes Xiaomi or Redmi does not see the memory card due to an extensive system problem. If disabling and formatting the drive does not help, and you are sure there is no mechanical damage, try resetting the smartphone to factory settings. Before that, be sure to make a backup to save important data. In this article, we talked in detail about hard resetting. In extreme cases, you may need to reflash the phone.


What to do if Gallery does not see an SD card on Xiaomi?

Most often, Xiaomi Gallery or camera doesn’t see the memory card because of the incorrect format of photos stored on the SD. The resolution should only be a jpeg or png. Go to explorer and check the format. If the images are in raw (CR2) format, click “Rename” and change to jpeg or png.

Some users note that the resolution is correct, but Gallery still doesn’t show pictures from microSDXC. Then check if they don’t show up in “Other Albums” or even the Trash. It also sometimes helps to move the image folder to the internal memory and back to the SD.

Smartphone has a hybrid tray, what does it mean?

A hybrid tray means you can use microSD, but you must put in only one SIM card. If you need two SIMs, there won’t be room for SD.

What file system microSD supports Xiaomi phones?

MicroSD uses two main file systems – FAT32 and exFAT. MicroSDs up to 2GB and micro SDHC up to 32GB run on the FAT32 file system, while microSDXCs run on exFAT. Accordingly, since the smartphone supports microSDXC, the file system must be exFAT. It turns out that the main thing is to choose the right version of the SD card, not the file system.

We discussed what to do if your Xiaomi smartphone does not recognize the inserted memory card. Several effective methods will help to cope with the problem. We hope that the article was useful and informative.

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