5 Tips to Solve SD Card Full but No Files on Computer

Find why SD card is full but no files and get five solutions to fix SD card no files but full issue.


By Kelsey / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Why is my SD card full but no files?

SD cards are widely used as portable storage devices for digital cameras, media players, and tablet computers. However, in the process of using SD cards, you may encounter various problems. This article is for you to deal with such a common issue - SD card full but no files.

SD Card Full But No Files

Why does my SD card say full when it's empty? There are many reasons why an SD card says it's full but no files show up. The most common reasons are as follows:

  • Your SD card is infected with a virus.
  • Files on the SD card are hidden.
  • The SD card file system is corrupted or there are bad sectors on it.
  • The SD card is not properly connected to your device.
  • If you have formatted SD card before, it may be because you have not formatted it correctly.

5 proven fixes for SD card full but no files

In the following, we are going to talk about some practical solutions to the “SD card showing full but no files” issue. Before that, please run an antivirus scan on your SD card device to ensure there is no threat to it.

Way 1. Reconnect SD card

If you are using the SD card on a mobile phone, please plug it into a computer. Or, please try a new port to connect the SD card to the computer. It should be noted that if there are NOMEDIA files in the SD card, please delete them. These files will make the Android phone unable to read the media files in it, causing SD card no files but full.

Way 2. Show hidden files on SD card

Even if the SD card is brand new, it is not completely empty because there will be hidden files on it. If you find that SD card is full but no files, it is possible that all files on the SD card are hidden, you can recover hidden data from external hard disks like an SD card with the simple steps.

Step 1. Insert your SD card into the memory card slot on the computer and make sure it is recognizable.

Step 2. Open the SD card, click View on the top, and select Options.

File Explorer View Options

Step 3. In the View tab, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives under Hidden files and folder, and click Apply. Then, check if the “SD card says full but nothing on it” problem is solved.

Show Hidden Files Folders

Way 3. Check file system errors on SD card

Logical issues such as file system errors or bad sectors can also result in a memory card full but no files. Fortunately, they are not difficult to fix. Windows comes with a disk check utility that can scan for and automatically repair file system errors. You can go with the guide below.

Step 1. Press Windows + E to open This PC window. Right-click the Micro SD card full but no files, and choose Properties.

Step 2. Go to the Tool tab, tap on the Check button under Error checking, and then Scan drive.

Properties Tools Check

Step 3. Then, wait for the scanning to complete and follow the on-screen prompts to fix the checked errors. After that, you can see if memory card says full but nothing on it is fixed.

You can also recover files from SD card using CMD with the chkdsk command. You can click the linked article for detailed guidelines.

Way 4. Format SD card

Formatting SD card can be of great help when facing the memory space error. It can bring SD card to the initial condition and erase all existing data. You can simply do this job from Windows Explorer.

Step 1. Open File Explorer and right-click the connected SD card.

Step 2. Select the Format option, and select the file system and the unit size carefully.

Format In File Explore

Step 3. Tap Start to do a quick format for your SD card.

Way 5. Restore missing files on SD card with data recovery software

Another solution to the error “memory card showing full but no files” is to recover SD card data with one of the best data recovery software - MyRecover. This can be really helpful if you want to get back some important data in your SD card but you cannot access it or you have formatted the SD card.

This powerful universal recovery software can restore deleted and lost files, as well as recover formatted data. In addition to SD card, it also supports data recovery from computer/laptop, USB flash drive, external hard drive, HDD, SSD, etc.

All you need to do is download and install the efficient recovery freeware, then follow the easy guide below.

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect the SD card to your computer. Run the MyRecover file recovery software. It is completely compatible with all Windows systems and Windows Servers.

Step 2. Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.

Select The Formatted Partition To Scan

Step 3. This tool will thoroughly scan your SD card and find all your lost data on it. You can use the Filter and Search features to preview and find wanted files.

Scanning Formatted Partition

Step 4. Tick the needed files and click Recover x files to save the restored data to a secure location.

Select Files ToR ecover From Formatted Partition

Final thoughts

The “SD card full but no files” usually happens suddenly. Although there are many ways to figure it out, there is a possibility that the data on the SD card get lost during the operations. Therefore, using a reliable recovery tool like MyRecover to retrieve SD card lost files or recover formatted SD card data is indispensable.

Besides, this recovery solution can help you deal with various data loss concerns such as recovering files from Windows crashes, virus attacks, Recycle Bin emptied, and so forth.

Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.