Is the SD card not full but says full and nothing is on it in your Nikon, Canon, or Sony camera? Take it easy! This post on MiniTool will walk you through feasible solutions to recover memory card files when the SD card shows full but no files and fix this issue.

My SD Card Says It’s Full But It’s Not

SD card is a widely used file storage device, usually used in various electronic devices such as cameras, smartphones, car navigation systems, etc. However, recently many users claim that their camera says SD card is full but it is not, and they cannot view the photos on the SD card.

Generally speaking, this problem “SD card full but can’t see files” is often caused by the following reasons.

  • The SD card is not properly connected to your device.
  • Files on the SD card are invisible or hidden.
  • The SD card is not properly formatted.
  • The SD card is infected with a virus.
  • The SD card is corrupted or has file system errors.
  • There is a problem with the device used to read the SD card, such as your camera.

What should you do when the SD card says it’s full but there’s nothing on it? Follow the workable solutions below to solve this problem right now.

Recover Data When SD Card Full But Can’t See Files

When an SD card says full but nothing on it, the first thing you should do is to restore its files to a safe location on your computer or another storage device. This is because the data on it may get lost forever during the SD card repair process.

Once your camera says SD card is full but it is not, please stop using the SD card immediately. Otherwise, the files on it could be overwritten and become unrecoverable.

For camera SD card photo or video recovery, professional and free photo recovery software is a good choice. And, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is the ideal solution for Windows photo recovery.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery excels at scanning for and recovering photos, videos, and audio from internal hard drives, and external storage devices like memory cards, USB flash drives, digital cameras, etc., even though these devices are inaccessible, damaged, or formatted.

For instance, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is effective in recovering files from unreadable SD cards, recovering data from unrecognized external hard drives, recovering photos from formatted SD cards, and more.

Most importantly, as a secure data recovery service, MiniTool Power Data Recovery won’t bring any damage to the original data and the SD card during the file recovery process.

Right now, download MiniTool Power Data Recovery and install it on your computer to start photo or video recovery when the SD card not full but says full.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 1: Connect the SD card to your computer.

Before data recovery, you are required to remove the SD card from your camera and then connect the SD card to your computer by using the PC’s built-in memory card slot or an SD card reader.

After that, run MiniTool Power Data Recovery to go to its main interface.

Step 2: Select the target device to scan.

On the drive list page, all the drives detected by MiniTool Power Data Recovery are displayed. Select your SD card and click the Scan button.

scan the target SD card

During scanning, the found pictures and videos will be listed under the Path category list. You can unfold each folder to find the needed items. Alternatively, you can go to the Type category list to view found files with a specific image/video format.

view found files by file type

Besides, after scanning, you are allowed to use the Filter feature to filter the listed files by file type, file modification date, file size, and file category. This helps you locate the required items faster.

filter found files

To check if the found items are wanted, you can double-click them to preview them. Supported file types to preview include JPEG, JPG, PNG, JPE, MKV, WEBM, MTS, MP4, MP3, WAV, and so on.

For all found videos and most pictures, you are allowed to recover them one by one by clicking the Save button in the preview window.
preview the video

Step 3: Choose the needed pictures/videos to recover.

Check all needed photos/videos, and click on the Save button to choose a storage location for the selected files. It is recommended to store the files to another drive rather than their original path so as to avoid data overwriting.

save needed files

If the selected files are larger than 1 GB, a window will pop up saying that you need to upgrade to recover unlimited files. This is because MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free supports no more than 1 GB of free data recovery. Hence, to break this limitation, you should upgrade MiniTool Power Data Recovery to an advanced edition.

“My SD card says it’s full but it’s not. There are some images on my camera but I can’t see any files. Luckily, MiniTool Power Data Recovery recovered my pictures.”Click to Tweet

Top Recommendation

In addition to MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you can choose another free photo recovery software – MiniTool Photo Recovery to perform SD card data recovery.

Apart from digital camera SD card recovery, MiniTool Photo Recovery is also suitable for data recovery of other file storage media, such as HDD data recovery, USB drive file restoration, and more.

It offers you concise and clear interfaces that make it easier and faster to carry out data recovery.

Just get MiniTool Photo Recovery to have a try when facing this issue – not enough space on SD card but there is.

MiniTool Windows Photo RecoveryClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

the main interface of MiniTool Photo Recovery
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If you are encountering the issue “SD card says full but nothing on it” on Mac, you can choose Stellar Data Recovery for Mac for data restoration.

How to Fix SD Card Not Full But Says Full

After rescuing your data on the memory card that says full but it is not, you can follow the ways below to fix the issue without worrying.

Before trying advanced approaches, you can perform some basic troubleshooting steps, such as cleaning up the SD card and reinserting it into the camera, or inserting the memory card into another camera.

If these steps are impractical for you, consider attempting the following solutions.

Solution 1: Show Hidden Files on the SD Card

As mentioned before, if the files on the SD card are hidden accidentally or due to virus infection, you may encounter the “SD card says it’s full but there’s nothing on it” error.

In this situation, you can follow the steps below to show hidden files on your SD card.

Step 1: Connect the camera SD card to your computer by using an SD card reader.

Step 2: Press Windows + R key combination to open the Run dialog box.

Step 3: Type cmd and press Enter to open the Command Prompt window.

Step 4: Type the attrib -h -r -s /s /d g:\*.* command and press Enter. Here “g” refers to the drive letter of your SD card.

execute the command to show hidden files

Once the command has finished executing, press the Windows + E keyboard shortcut to open File Explorer or insert the SD card to your camera, and check if your files are visible.

After making files visible, we suggest using antivirus software to scan for and remove the virus that makes SD card files hidden.

Solution 2: Error Checking the SD Card

If the SD card has file system errors, the “SD card full but no files” problem may also occur. To check and fix your SD card, you can run the Windows built-in error-checking tool in File Explorer.

Step 1. Insert the SD card into your computer via a card reader.

Step 2. Open File Explorer and move on to the This PC section. In the right panel, find and right-click the target memory card to select Properties.

Step 3. Under the Tools tab, click Check to check the drive for system errors.

check the drive for system errors

Step 4. In the pop-up window, click Scan and repair drive to start disk repair. After that, wait for the process to complete.

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Solution 3: Format the Camera SD Card

Formatting can be used to fix most SD card errors. If the “SD card not full but says full” problem is caused by an incorrect SD card file system, you can try to format the SD card to restore it to a normal state.

You will lose all data on the SD card after formatting it. So, make sure you have restored the files on it to another location.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

How to format a camera SD card? You can do this through File Explorer or a third-party partition manager.

Before formatting the SD card, remember to connect it to your computer.

In File Explorer

Step 1. Right-click on the SD card and choose Format.

Step 2. In the new window, set up the file system, allocation unit size, and volume label. Check the Quick Format option and press the Start button.

Via MiniTool Partition Wizard

Sometimes you may encounter an error message saying Windows was unable to complete the format while formatting the drive in File Explorer.

In this situation, you can turn to a professional SD card formatter to format the disk. MiniTool Partition Wizard is the greatest one.

Step 1. Download, install, and launch MiniTool Partition Wizard Free.

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2. Select the camera SD card and scroll down to choose the Format Partition feature in the left panel.

format the drive

Step 3. Set partition label, file system, and cluster size.

Step 4. Click the Apply button to take all changes into effect.

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Solution 4: Fix Your Camera

If the SD card works fine on your computer or other devices but not showing files when it is inserted into your camera, there is likely something wrong with your camera.

In this case, you had better bring your camera to professional electronic equipment repair outlets and seek help from the repairers.

Bottom Line

Is your SD card not full but says full? Can’t see any files? Recover its files and then try these approaches to fix the issue: show hidden files, check the SD card for file system errors, format the SD card, and repair the camera.

If you have any suggestions about how to fix the SD card full issue or have any questions while using MiniTool software, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or send an email to [email protected].

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