Why Your SD Card Says It's Full When It's Not & How to Fix

Explore the possible causes of the SD card not full but says full, mitigate associated risks, and discover actionable steps to rectify the issue. Uncover the secrets to retrieving missing files from your SD card effortlessly.


By Penny / Updated on February 21, 2024

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Imagine this scenario: you're on a picturesque vacation, capturing breathtaking moments with your camera, only to be thwarted by an unexpected message claiming your SD card is full, even though you know it isn't. Sound familiar?

Many users encounter the frustrating dilemma of their SD card showing as full when there's still plenty of space available, leaving them scratching their heads in bewilderment.


Possible Reasons Why the SD Card Says It's Full When It's Not:

The perplexing issue of an SD card misreporting its available space can stem from various underlying factors.

One common culprit is file system corruption, where the SD card fails to accurately track and report the amount of free space available. Additionally, hidden system files and fragmented data can contribute to this discrepancy, leading to confusion and frustration among users.

Potential Risks of the SD Card Saying It's Full When It's Not:

Beyond the inconvenience of being unable to utilize available storage space, the phenomenon of an SD card misreporting its capacity poses inherent risks to data integrity.

Users may inadvertently overwrite existing files or attempt to perform storage-intensive operations under the false assumption of available space, potentially leading to data loss or corruption.

Feasible Fixes:

1. Check Hidden Files:

Hidden system files and directories may occupy space on the SD card, contributing to the false "full" indication.

Steps to Fix:

  1. Connect the SD card to your computer.
  2. Enable the option to show hidden files and folders in your file explorer settings.
  3. Navigate to the SD card directory and check for hidden files and directories.
  4. Delete unnecessary hidden files and directories to free up space on the SD card.

2. Format SD Card:

 Formatting the SD card can resolve file system issues and clear hidden system files, restoring accurate reporting of available space.

Steps to Fix:

  1. Back up any important data from the SD card to your computer.
  2. Format the SD card using the appropriate formatting tool or utility.
  3. Select the desired file system format (FAT32, exFAT, etc.) and proceed with the formatting process.
  4. After formatting, transfer the backed-up data back to the SD card.

3. Update SD Card Driver:

Outdated or malfunctioning SD card drivers may cause communication issues between the card and your device, leading to inaccurate space reporting.

Steps to Fix:

  1. Open Device Manager on your computer.
  2. Locate the SD card driver under the "Disk drives" section.
  3. Right-click on the SD card driver and select "Update driver" to download and install the latest driver software.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the driver update process.

4. Scan for Errors:

SD cards may develop file system errors over time, leading to inaccurate space reporting.

Steps to Fix:

  1. Connect the SD card to your computer.
  2. Open the Command Prompt with administrative privileges.
  3. Type the command "chkdsk /f" followed by the drive letter of the SD card (e.g., "chkdsk /f E:") and press Enter.
  4. Allow the scan to complete and follow any prompts to fix file system errors detected during the scan.

MyRecover: Recovering Missing Files from SD Cards

MyRecover emerges as a powerful tool in the arsenal of data recovery solutions, designed to effortlessly retrieve missing files from your SD card. With its intuitive interface and advanced algorithms, MyRecover simplifies the data recovery process, ensuring swift and seamless retrieval of your valuable files.

Features of MyRecover:

Deep Scan Functionality: MyRecover conducts a comprehensive deep scan of your SD card to locate and recover missing files with precision.

File Preview: Preview recovered files before restoration to ensure their integrity and relevance.

Selective Recovery: Choose specific files or folders for recovery, minimizing clutter and optimizing efficiency.

User-Friendly Interface: MyRecover's intuitive interface makes data recovery accessible to users of all skill levels, with guided steps and clear instructions.

Operating Steps:

Download and install MyRecover on your computer.

Insert the SD card into your computer's card reader.

Launch MyRecover and select the SD card as the target drive for recovery.

Initiate the deep scan to identify missing files and folders on the SD card.

Preview the recovered files to verify their integrity and relevance.

Select the desired files for recovery and designate a destination folder for their restoration.

Complete the recovery process and access your restored files with ease.

In Conclusion:

The frustration of encountering an SD card claiming it's full when it's not is a common ordeal among users, but fear not – solutions abound.

By understanding the potential causes, mitigating associated risks, and implementing practical fixes, you can reclaim control of your storage space and preserve your precious data. With MyRecover by your side, recovering missing files from your SD card becomes a breeze. So, fret not – your data is in safe hands.


1. Why does my SD card say it's full when there's plenty of space left?

SD cards misreport space due to various factors like hidden files and system errors.

2. Can formatting my SD card resolve the "not full but says full" issue?

Yes, formatting clears hidden files and resolves file system issues.

3. Is it safe to use recovery software like MyRecover on my SD card?

Yes, MyRecover is safe and effective for SD card data recovery.

4. What should I do if my SD card still shows as full after trying the fixes?

Consider other potential causes like hardware issues or seek professional help.

5. Can I recover deleted files from my SD card using MyRecover even if it's not full?

Yes, MyRecover can recover deleted files regardless of space status.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.