Nikon camera not reading SD card? Try these fixes

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from Windows to iOS and streaming services... Read more
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Nikon camera won't read SD card

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Nikon cameras use SD card to read and write clicked pictures. Sometimes, the camera may stop reading the card. Several users have reported Nikon camera not reading SD card issue.

Nikon camera‘s issue with the SD card seems to be a common affair. Several users have reported similar issues.

If you are also troubled by this issue, here are a couple of troubleshooting to help you fix Nikon camera not reading SD card issue.

Fix Nikon camera SD reading problems

1. Perform basic SD card checks

nikon camera sd card

  1. Before proceeding with other troubleshooting tips, perform these basic checks to make sure the SD card is in working conditions.
  2. Take the memory card out of the camera. Reinsert the SD card and make sure you are inserting it correctly. You should hear a click sound when the SD card is inserted.
  3. Check if the SD card you are using is approved by the company. You can check the list of the approved card here.
  4. Take out the memory card and check if the memory card‘s contact pins are clean. Use soft dry cloth t0 clean any dust. Reinsert the card and check for any improvements.

2. Check and reformat the card

  1. Before formatting the card, check if it is working fine using a computer. Insert the card into a card reader of your laptop or external card reader and check if it is detected.
  2. Create a back up of the data in the card to your computer.
  3. Right-click on the SD card and select Format.
  4. For the File system, click the drop-down menu and select FAT  and click on the Start button.
  5. Once the format is complete, eject the SD card.
  6. Insert it into your Nikon camera and check if the camera can read the SD card.

Format using Nikon camera

  1. If the issue persists, try formatting the card using the camera.
  2. Insert the SD card into your camera.
  3. Press the Menu button.
  4. Scroll down and select the Setup Menu.
  5. Select the “Format memory card” option.
  6. Click Yes to confirm the action.
  7. Once the card is formatted, check if the camera can read the card.

3. Update camera firmware

  1. If the issue persists, the issue can be with your camera. Try updating the camera firmware and check for any improvements.
  2. To check the currently installed firmware, go to Menu > Setup > Firmware Version.
  3. Go to Nikon support page.
  4. Select your camera model from the options.
  5. Click on Firmware and download and the latest version of the firmware available for you camera.
  6. Make sure the camera‘s battery is fully charged.
  7. Extract the downloaded firmware and move the firmware files to your SD card (Not the folder, but only files inside the folder).
  8. Eject the memory card and insert it into your camera.
  9. Go to Menu > Setup Menu > Firmware version.
  10. Here you should see the “Update” option.
  11. Select Update and press OK.
  12. Select Yes and then select OK.
  13. Wait for the process to complete. Once the update is complete, you should see “Update completed. Turn Camera off” message on the screen.
  14. Turn off the camera. Turn it back on.
  15. Check if the camera can read the SD card now.

By following the troubleshooting tips in this article you can fix Nikon camera not reading SD card issue with ease.


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